Meeting Albert Torres, the only Menorquin professional cyclist
Albert Torres is one of those cyclists who combines track cycling with competitions on the road. Coming from Menorca did not make it easier for the 32-year-old to make his living by cycling, but now the pro Team Movistar rider is taking on both disciplines very well. Joan Gomila, the Girona-based performance coach, founder of GoSport Training and coach of GEiEG triathlon, had a talk with Torres about his background, combining the track with the road, and ambitions.
Joan Gomila: How did you come to specialize in track cycling, given the fact that Menorca does not have a velodrome?
Albert Torres: “When I turned nine, I started riding bikes with the cycling team from Tritón, based in Ciutadella de Menorca. At the age of eleven, I went with my parents for the first time to the velodrome in Mallorca. I enjoyed it a lot, went more often and started to get better at it. In 2004, I got selected to go to the Spanish track cycling championships. I won the Scratch, and podiumed in the individual pursuit.”
“After this event, I was invited to go to the Balearic Technification Center. I was only fourteen years old and started to live on my own on another island, without my parents. Even though it was a difficult decision back in time, I could totally focus on improving my track cycling skills. That was the start of my professional career.”
JG: What did you learn from those Olympic Games that you can take onto the next ones, in 2024?
AT: “The Olympic cycle is very demanding. Getting to the Olympic Games is already challenging, as one has to qualify and especially in Olympic years the competition is huge. I have to score points to qualify, for instance in the European or World Championships, and definitely should not get injured.”
“Before Tokyo, I scored already a lot of points early on in the cycle, and that allowed me to accumulate many points, far before the ‘deadline’. That gave me space to relax. That is also the goal for the next Olympic Games.”
JG: Is the qualification for the Olympic Games always in the back of your mind, even if you are competing on the road?
AT: “Right now it is difficult to think about going to the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 since my career is currently much more focused on road racing than on track racing. I love combining both sports, even though it is difficult sometimes. Sometimes the competitions overlap and I have to prioritize one race over the other. The qualification is always in the back of my mind because I need to score points to actually be able to go. I wish I can become a third-time Olympian two years from now”.