Friday, February 03, 2012

"He's like Gorospe - talented and stylish"

Though Beñat Intxausti has failed somewhat to live up to the lofty expectations placed on his shoulders since he turned professional half a decade ago, there are few doubting his potential. Team-mate Pablo Lastras, one of the most dependable domestiques in the business, told Deia what he thinks of his young companion at Movistar's team presentation two days ago - and likened him to one of the Basque Country's all-time greats.

"He's got that special gift, that class on the bike", the 36-year-old Lastras said of the former Saunier Duval and Euskaltel rider. "What he lacks, though, is the ability to concentrate in the critical moments. He's gone from being a rider progressing little by little to now needing to be more ambitious. He only needs to believe in himself. In that respect, Beñat reminds me of (Julián) Gorospe - talented and stylish on the bike. They pedal with the same delicious ease. But not believing in himself is holding him back. Beñat is somewhat a victim of his own carefulness. He doesn't want to disappoint or run the risk of raising his voice above the voices of others".

Alejandro Valverde's return to Unzúe's outfit has naturally caused a stir in certain sections of the peloton, but Lastras thinks Valverde's presence will do Intxausti the world of good.

"Intxausti lacks the predator instinct seen in so many other riders. Therefore I think he'll benefit from Valverde's presence. He'll take responsibility, and take some pressure of Beñat. That'll make him more comfortable."

Inxtausti will start off his season this weekend at the Challenge Mallorca. Visit his homepage for more info.


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