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The Spanish team looks close to having a lock on securing a WorldTour license going into the next three seasons, and Barta has been busy racing in support of the team leaders.
“I stayed in Europe after the Giro and then I did an altitude camp to prepare for the second half of the season,” Barta told VeloNews. “Our team is racing until Langkawi, so we’ll be busy.”
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Barta raced the pair of one-day races in Canada in early September, and then B-lined straight back to Europe to help Movistar dig into a series of one-day races in Belgium.
Barta, who joined Movistar in 2021 to link up with friend and compatriot Matteo Jorgenson, did not race the UCI Road World Championships.
Instead, he raced in Belgium in some one-days, including Gooikse Pijl, where Movistar’s Max Kanter was third.
“There are a half-dozen teams fighting for points,” Barta said. “We’ll have a better idea how things are shaping up, and everyone is confident.”
Going into early September, Movistar was hanging dangerously close to the relegation zone, but a strong performance in the Vuelta a España, when Enric Mas finished second overall, and some other top results since then have seen the team bounce up the team rankings.
Mas took another big win ahead of Tadej Pogačar last weekend in Italy at the Giro dell’Emilia, so the Spanish team is breathing easier going into the homestretch of 2022.
Going into this week, Movistar ranked 13th out of the top-18 teams, and is all but assured of qualifying for the next round of WorldTour licenses.
A solid 2022 will be ‘big step’ for next season
The 26-year-old Barta is concluding the first season of a two-year deal with Movistar, and might see a few more race days before the season is out.
Movistar is sending a team to the Tour de Langkawi later this month in the season’s final stage race just to be sure.
Injury at the start of the 2021 season with a fractured femur slowed his progress a bit from his encouraging showing at the 2020 Vuelta a España, when he was 22nd overall and just missed beating Primož Roglič in a climbing time trial.
Barta saw a busy first half of 2022, when he raced the UAE Tour, the Volta a Catalunya, and the Tour of the Alps before a return to the Giro.
“The Giro was good,” Barta said. “After coming back last year from an injury, it was nice to be back racing a lot. I think for the next year it will be a big step. I have another year with Movistar.”
So far in 2022, Barta raced 63 days, the most since he joined the WorldTour in 2019.