Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Antón ruled out of Tour and Giro

Despite dancing his way to an epic win atop the Zoncolan in this year's Giro, Igor Antón will not return to the race next year. Or to the Tour for that matter. Those are the words of Gorka Gerrikagoitia, veteran directeur sportif and next year's man at the head of sporting affairs at Euskaltel.

"Obviously it's still early and we've got all winter to decide, but it's highly unlikely", he told Es Ciclismo Tuesday afternoon. "But next year's Giro will be very hard with seven summit finishes and no place to recover. The mountain stages in the Tour are nothing like those in Italy. His participation this year harmed his main target, the Vuelta, even though he won the stage finishing atop the Monte Zoncolan. We'll do what serves his Vuelta-preparation best. The Vuelta will be his one and only target next year."

In other words it looks like the GTs in 2012 will be divided much along the same lines as they were this year: Samu will aim for the Tour, Antón for the Vuelta and (possibly) Nieve for a Giro-Vuelta double. The stage-racing department will get a valuable boost next year with Romain Sicard back in action, but at this moment in time it's unclear whether it's in Italy, France or Spain he'll make his three-week bow.

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