Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sicard hoping to stay in orange

Romain Sicard, currently taking part in his very first Grand Tour in Spain, has indicated he'd like to stay with the team in 2013.

The 24-year-old signed a three-year deal with the team ahead of 2010 tying him to Euskaltel through the current season, but with an option to extend his stay further. As the team heads are yet to say whether that clause has been exercised, coupled with the fact that his contract was signed with the Fundación Euskadi (who will no longer be a part of the team from next year on), there's been some confusion regarding his future, but the amiable Frenchman at least made his intentions clear when speaking to BiciCiclismo.

"My hope and intention is to stay with Euskaltel, so that's what's most likely to happen. Igor González de Galdeano has supported me since the beginning and I have a good relationship with him, but we need to clarify some things".

While Sicard's results thus far in 2012 have been everything but exceptional, there's been the odd sign over the last few months that he's still got the legs that carried him to a Tour de l'Avenir and Sub23 Worlds double back in 2009. He's admits though that he's some way from being in top shape.

"I'm feeling good and I'm constantly getting better. I'm still in a phase of recovery, but I'm on the right track. I'm still lacking something to be in peak form. I've worked hard, and still am, to try and rediscover my way of pedalling. I've come a long way, and my shape now has nothing to do with 2011. I'm clearly progressing. I still lack some strength though, but the most important thing for me is to leave the injury behind me. I think it's possible to return to the form I had before."

Sicard will, like the rest of his team-mates, be charged with chaperoning team leader Igor Antón around the pack and lend a hand in the mountains. Antón got his GC big off to a good start yesterday by ceding no more than 28 seconds to team time trial winners Movistar, and Sicard says the native of Galdakao is where he should be form-wise.

"I see an Antón in good form and very focused. It's really motivating to ride for such a great leader, and my mission is to help him out as best I can. It's also exciting for myself seeing as it's my first Grand Tour."

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