Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Izagirre aiming for Down Under overall

Having finished eleventh last year, Gorka Izagirre is ready to make a run for the GC at the Tour Down Under in a couple of weeks. The 24-year-old reckons he's well prepared for the opening WorldTour event of 2012, and aims to take advantage of this edition's comparatively difficult parcours.

"I feel great. I've done close to 5000 km in training, and as per usual they're more often than not intensive kilometres. We'll get there pretty early to get in some training as well. I'm aiming to finish as high up as possible on the general classification. Last year I finished up 11th, but the course is harder this time around", he told El Diario Vasco yesterday.

The punchy speedster will hope to leave his mark on the race on the revised stage to the top of the Willunga Hill - normally the stage where the GC gets sorted out. After doing Down Under, he'll aim for two of the biggest races on the calendar: País Vasco and the Tour de France.

"I'll go to Mallorca after Australia, before I'll head on to Haut-Var, Paris-Nice, Critérium International and the Vuelta al País Vasco. Then I'll enjoy some down-time and, seeing as I'm in the frame for the Tour in July, see what the sports directors have got planned for me."

While Igor González de Galdeano's resignation is by many seen as a big loss to the team as a whole, the elder Izagirre is keen to accentuate the positives, claiming the heir to the crown, Gorka Gerrikagoitia, has got what it takes to take on the mantle.

"I was pleased with Igor, and I get along very well with Gorka at the races. I like the way this team is developing. Now all that's left to is to perform on our bikes. I firmly believe the team has got several riders able to make a leap in quality (next year)."


Stephen said...

Good to hear that he's in such a positive frame of mind, I was very impressed with him last year and really hope that he can kick on and start getting some good results for the team in 2012.

Given that they (we) have such a small squad I think that getting UCI points on the board early is vital because the lads are going to be very tired by the end of the season!

Magnus said...

Definitely - getting off to a good start will be vital. The season will indeed take its toll on such a young and small squad. The likes of Izagirre and Sicard will have to gather a fair few points if Euskaltel are to stand any chance of continuing in the WorldTour.


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