Friday, November 11, 2011

"Landa is the future"

Despite the current crisis facing Spanish cycling and the rather lacklustre showing by the elite men at the Copenhagen Worlds, national coach José Luis de Santos is staying optimistic. Speaking to sports daily Marca, the 43-year-old claimed the future is bright.

"We have loads of strong riders now, and that will continue to be the case in the future. We've got several top quality youngsters: Jesús Herrada (Movistar), Mikel Landa (who beat Vuelta champ Cobo to the win at Lagunas de Neila in this summer's Vuelta a Burgos) and Juan José Lobato (Andalucía - Caja Granada). They're our future", de Santos, who sadly lost his father a couple of days ago, said.

El Seleccionador also offered his take on the Olympics coming up in London next year - and hinted Samu will be a vital part of his line-up.

"It's too early to tell which riders we'll take to the race, but it's clear that the parcours isn't as easy as people seem to think. I'll check it out in January, but already now I can say I don't think it's suited to Cavendish. I think it's more for riders like Valverde and Freire. We can only bring five riders, so everyone selected will have to attentive and ready for the race, like Samuel".

Despite not having competed for a year and a half, Valverde seems like a shoo-in for the race. So too does Freire - if more for his palmarès than anything else. Samu also seems assured of a berth, so no worries there. De Santos has an embarrassment of riches to choose from for the remaining two spots, but, considering the course's nature, I presume he'll bring someone like JJ Rojas and Juan Antonio Flecha with him to England.

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