Monday, November 28, 2011

Orbe relishing Orbea opportunity

Given his name, it is most fitting that Haritz Orbe will ride for Orbea next year. The 20-year-old makes the move from Basque sub-23 team Bidelan-Kirolgi after a stellar season at the Spanish amateur scene and, despite his youth, feels ready for the challenge ahead.

"Yeah, I feel ready to race at this level", he told El Pedal de Frodo. "This season I proved I've progressed a lot. Obviously it'll take time to adapt to the level, but, yes, I do feel ready for it. I'm really enthusiastic about this move, and from my first pedal stroke I'll strive to pay back the Fundación, Miguel Madariaga in particular, and Orbea for the trust they've shown in me. I didn't ride for Naturgas (the Fundación Euskadi's own sub-23 outfit), but pretty much every Basque cyclist aim to join this team nonetheless."

Despite securing his dream move, Orbe isn't getting carried away. So far this winter, he's been spending more time at school than on his bike.

"I haven't taken a lot of time off this winter. This year's off-season has been like the previous ones: centred around my engineering studies. Although, from December and onwards, I'll spend more and more time on the bike and give the sport a real go. Cycling deserves a chance".

Reflecting on the recently-concluded season, the youngster was particularly pleased with his performances in the year's biggest races: the nationals, the Vuelta a Madrid and the Tour de l'Avenir.

"I was consistent pretty much throughout the year, and I got good results in major races like the national champs and in Madrid (he was third in the under-23 road race and achieved the same result in the under-23 competition in the capital race). Taking part in l'Avenir was also a highlight. I have to admit though that I would have liked to have won more races, but overall I've learned a lot both this year and in 2010".

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