Thursday, August 18, 2011

Galdeano downplays Vuelta expectations

While several experts tip Igor Antón to hotly challenge for the overall win in the Vuelta, team DS Igor González de Galdeano insists the podium is a more realistic aim. Speaking to el Diario Vasco, the former rider was keen to downplay expectations. "Igor is not the main favourite, but he'll be among the best. He's never been on the podium in a GT. Actually he's never won any kind of stage-race. Last year went really well and we'll just try to perform equally well this time around", de Galdeano stated. "But we've prepared well and we're ready. The preparations have gone to plan. Antón's feeling fresh and ready to go so we should be good. But you can never know if he'll be at the level he was at last year though." The rider himself echoed de Galdeano's sentiments and emphasized that talk of a Vuelta win might be a bit premature given he's never even won a 'normal' stage-race so to speak. "I'll be happy if I end up on the podium, but we'll take it as we go. Obviously you've done something right if you're mentioned as one of the favourites, but I'm still yet to put the finishing touches to my Grand Tours", he told DEIA, referring to his injury-enforced abandonments of the 2008 and 2010 editions of the race. "I haven't finished top three in a GT or even won a smaller stage-race. Without discarding anything, I'll just do my best and see where that takes me." The Vuelta is finally returning to the Basque Country this year after a 33-year long hiatus. Though pleased to see the race virtually pass by his house, Antón admitted it puts even more pressure on himself and his team: "It certainly adds more pressure but hopefully we'll do well. There may be some protests or something, you never know, but I don't think that'll happen. It's important to draw a line between sport and politics sometimes and just enjoy the spectacle."

1 comment:

Stephen said...

It's very open this year so podium is quite possible, if his team look after him as well as Samu's did in the TdF then anything could happen.

I think Nibali has to be the man to beat though but its going to be a great race....and for those of us in the uk, ITV4 are showing it live for the first time, let's hope its an omen!


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