Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sáez "fearless" ahead of debut

Euskaltel's signing of Adrián Sáez de Arregui Egurrola was anything but ordinary. The 25-year-old was facing an uncertain future just a few months ago, having been released by Orbea at the end of the 2011 season. Then Igor González de Galdeano's retirement prompted veteran Iñaki Isasi's retirement, freeing up a spot on the team. Possessing experience, age and much-needed all-round skills, the native of Araia was a natural fit. Having made the step up into the big league virtually through the backdoor, you'd excuse Sáez for being a little intimidated ahead of his Euskaltel bow at a race as big as the Tour Down Under in less than a month. Speaking to Spanish news agency EFE, he revealed he's not.

"I'm facing the Tour Down Under with respect. But not with fear", was the clear message.

Sáez will line-up at the WorldTour stage-race alongside fellow new-boys Ricardo García and Victor Cabedo, as well as Gorka Izagirre, Pablo Urtasun, Romain Sicard and Rubén Pérez. Getting the season underway in warm and cycling-friendly Australia is widely regarded as the optimal start to a new year - something he's hoping to take advantage of by being in decent shape already in January.

"This year's off-season has been pretty much the same as every off-season. That being said, I'm aiming to be in a good state of form earlier than usual. I've also spoken to my team-mates about this race, and they say racing in the Australian summer is the best way to get prepared for the remainder of the year".

Upon completing the Tour Down Under, Sáez is hoping to be selected for the Mallorca Challenge in February. His schedule for the rest of the year has of yet not been announced.

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