Sunday, November 20, 2011

Injury-plagued rider on the mend

Remember this fellow? After having almost all of last season wiped out by injury, you'd be excused if you didn't. 24-year-old Andoni Blázquez has been haunted by a recurring knee injury since late 2010, but still has the confidence of the Orbea bosses. In 2012 he aims to pay his employer back and deliver on his promise.

"I'll stay with Orbea, but I'm not really sure if I'll be ready for the start of the season", the Astigarraga-native told Iban Mayo Blog. "I'm still troubled by my knee, but it's improving continuously. We're looking to get rid of the problem for good".

The former Bidelan-Kirolgi rider, who joined Orbea in time for the 2009 season, made a brief return to competition this summer at the Volta ao Alentejo. Blázquez naturally struggled to impose himself in his first race back, but came through the four-stage race in 102nd place. He went on to finish 41st in the Klasika Ordizia, but despite telling El Pedal de Frodo at the time that the pain in his knee was gone, the troubles has come back to haunt him. Understandably, he's taking a modest approach to 2012.

"It's too early to set specific goals for next year - we'll see how my recovery evolves. But during my time on the sidelines I've realized that riding my bike for a living is what I really want to do. Mentally I think I'm ready, but how my body responds remains to be seen. I want to remain a professional cyclist, so I'm very grateful Orbea is relying on me."

Andoni Blázquez is one of two ingocnitos for Orbea in 2012. Together with Xavier Zabalo - who crashed so badly in Italy this summer - he's got a spot on the team if his health allows it. With both Blázquez and Zabalo likely to recover sufficiently, Orbea's class of 2012 will count 11 riders: Fraile, Orbe, Zuazubiskar, Barbero and Merino will all team up, whilst Aberasturi, Etxebarria, Bizkarra and Bagües will stay on.

1 comment:

Donosti Berri said...

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