Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vuelta route to Antón's liking

Unsurprisingly, Javier Guillén today presented a 2012 Vuelta a España course littered with mountains and short on time trialling kilometres. Featuring a pretty incredible seven summit finishes, among them beasts like Bola del Mundo, Lagos de Covadonga and Cuitu Negro, the parcours seems very much tailored to the likes of home favourites Igor Antón, Joaquim Rodríguez and, perhaps, a certain Alejandro Valverde. Antón will, like last year, target the overall win, but is foregoing the Giro in the hope of reaching the start in Pamplona in optimal shape.

The diminutive climber was present at the unveiling of the course along with Miguel Madariaga, Gorka Gerrikagoitia, Samuel Sánchez, Alán Pérez (who hails from nearby Zurucuain), Gorka Verdugo, Jorge Azanza, Egoi Martínez and Mikel Nieve, and Antón was pleased with what he saw at the presentation.

"I love this Vuelta; it's ideal for climbers", he told Spanish news agency EFE. "That being said though, I'm yet to check out the details of the course. It's perfect for mountain goats, but I would have preferred fewer kilometres against the clock. Every stage will be spectacular, with climbs at the end of them, tension will be running high... It's obvious I'll have to pay attention from the very first day (to avoid mishaps)."

"Without the Giro d'Italia on my schedule, everything should be set for a good Vuelta. I'll aim to at 100% in Pamplona. I hope and believe that this will be my Vuelta".

The native of Galdakao touched the ceiling of Basque stardom with his win in Bilbao's Gran Via last year, and is delighted the Spanish GT will once again visit his home region in this year's edition. The first four stages will run through the region, and Antón is eager to put his mark on one or more of them.

"I'm glad the Vuelta returns to the Basque Country. Last year was a success in that aspect. This year the stages will come early on; we reach Arrate on day three. I'll do my best".

While Antón is annually touted as a favourite for the overall win ahead of the race, fact is he's never even finished on the podium. The 28-year-old recognizes as much, and says a top three finish is his main goal.

"I hope I can be in the fight for the podium. I don't know about the first step - I've never achieved a top three, and I don't want to set myself too lofty aims. A place on the podium would be just fine".


Bolsen3 said...

Why haven't they learned anything from last years Giro? Too many mountaintop finishes! You don't get more exiting races by just throwing in all the mountains you can find...

Bolsen3 said...

It looks good for Igor Anton though :)


web site counter
ISP Internet Providers