Saturday, November 26, 2011

Astarloza set for 2012 Tour














Mikel Astarloza will in 2012, for the first time since that ill-fated 2009 edition, return to the Tour de France. The 32-year-old famously took a solo win on stage 16 into Bourg-Saint-Maurice in that year's race, but a subsequent EPO positive stripped the Pasajes-native of both his win and his honour. Now ready to embark on his first full season in the orange jersey, Astarloza will be one of Samu's right-hand men come July.

The rider reveals as much - as well as his race schedule leading up to the Grand Boucle - on his personal website. Astarloza is set for a year full of top-quality races, a year which may commence in Australia. At the time being it's still an unknown if he'll do the antipodean six-stage race, but, aside from that particular race, his schedule is pretty much set in stone:

  • (Tour Down Under, 17-24 January)
  • Challenge Mallorca, 5-9 February
  • Vuelta a Andalucía, 19-23 February
  • Paris-Nice, 4-11 March
  • Critérium International, 24-25 March
  • Vuelta al País Vasco, 2-7 April
  • Amstel Gold Race, 15 April
  • Fleche Wallonne, 18 April
  • Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 22 April
  • Tour de Romandi, 24-29 April
  • Tour de Suisse, 9-17 June
  • Tour de France, 30 June - 22 July
If Astarloza does go on to race in Australia (and the entire Challenge Mallorca), by my calculations he'll have done a full 50 days of racing prior to the Tour. That sounds excessive, but then again he's always been the type of rider - call it old-school if you like - doing a lot of racing versus training. Anyway, his top-level calendar proves he's once again back among the most trusted riders at Euskaltel.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the Tour de Suisse in May next year? I didn't knew that.

Magnus said...

That's of course a mistake on my part, thanks for pointing it out!

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