Friday, December 02, 2011

Rubén Pérez looking to emulate 2011

One of Euskaltel's most trusted performers for half a decade, utility man Rubén Pérez, once again showed his worth last year with a stellar campaign. Though he failed to build on his so far only professional victory taken in 2010, the 30-year-old was active throughout the season, grabbed two third places and was at his aggressive best in the Tour de France. Looking towards next year, the native of Zaldibar is hoping for more of the same.

"I started off on the wrong foot last year as I caught a virus in the Tour Down Under. That virus, along with my allergies and the resulting weight-loss, resulted in a bad first half of the season. But I turned it around for the second half of the season and did, in my opinion, a good Tour de France. I got into six breaks, some of them dangerous ones, and of course Samu's win made me proud. Next year, if I can be of help to my team-mates and be equally aggressive, I'll be more than pleased," the likeable rider told El Pedal de Frodo.

Pérez will once again start the season Down Under, and will aim to be in strong form for the following early-season races. With number one sprinter Koldo Fernández off to Garmin-Cervélo, Pérez is likely to be given more of a chance to ride for his own chances in the sprint finishes.

"Yeah, I've worked a lot for Koldo these last few years. Perhaps this year I'll be able to go for the wins myself, and hopefully I can pull it off. I'm not completely sure yet, but I'm pretty confident I'll get my chances in some races."

His biggest hope for the year ahead though is - unexpectedly - that the team's sponsors come up with enough money to keep the outfit rolling for another few years.

"I trust the team and the sponsors, but I naturally hope for a bigger budget. It's our biggest hope that the team stays on and that in 2013 we're still a part of the WorldTour. And of course that our names are on the list of riders. I love it here, and I hope the team will be around for years to come".

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