Friday, December 23, 2011


  • As expected, Spanish national coach José Luis de Santos virtually guarantees reigning champ Samuel Sánchez will be selected to represent his country at the London Olympics next summer. Speaking to BiciCiclismo, de Santos said the Euskaltel captain, Óscar Freire, Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador are near dead-certs to take four of the five spots on the team. "He's the reigning champ and the 'soul' of our Olympic dream, so he should be considered one of the leaders", the coach said of the Beijing 2008 victor. "And he's a smart rider who knows how to seize the opportunities presented to him. He showed as much in Beijing".
  • What with Cavendish deservedly taking out BBC's Sports Personality of the Year-award and Phil Gilbert racking up gongs after gongs at home as well as abroad, cyclists seem to be all the rage at the yearly awards ceremonies. Iñaki Isasi was earlier this week honoured by the sports writers of Álava, and yesterday Samuel Sánchez was voted "Best professional cyclist of 2011" in his home region of Asturias.
  • Esteemed Spanish cycling website El Pedal de Frodo yesterday held it's own awards gala. Hordes of cyclists and celebrities of the sport were present at the ceremony in the picturesque village of Iurreta, Vizcaya, including the likes of Roberto Laiseka, Beñat Intxausti, Juan Marí Guajardo, Javier Bodegas, Miguel Minguz, Davíd Lopez García, Pedro Horrillo, Víctor de la Parte and Koldo Fernández. Standout climber Mikel Landa was voted "Best young rider", Mikel Nieve "Beste Basque", Omar Fraile "Best sub-23 rider" and Igor Antón "'Bilbainada' of the year". Entirely as anticipated, Alberto Contador was elected "Rider of the year".

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