Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sicard hopes more's in store after first GT

On of the few bright spots in an otherwise dim Vuelta a España performance from Euskaltel, Romain Sicard has stated his contentment at having gotten through his first three-week race in fine shape on Sunday. The Frenchman, of course the centre of much hype a few years ago, ended his first 'Grandie' in a respectable 44th place, and the youngster, still only 24 mind you, is hoping for more big race action in the coming season.

"I came from far out", he told French paper Sud Ouest, referring to his struggle with injuries in 2011. "I hope this (finishing the Vuelta) will serve as a springboard to the future. My 44th place overall is anecdotal. I mostly worked for my leader, Igor Antón. I really wanted to get in a break, but I had tried several times without success. On Saturday (on the race's penultimate stage to the Bola del Mundo, where he finished fifth) 19 of us got away, and we built up a 10-minute lead. There were three cat.1s to climb and a final one with enormous gradients. Three kilometres from the top I was only 19 seconds off the three leaders, and I hoped to catch them to fight for the stage win. But in the end I finished fifth. It's still not bad though as there were some big-hitters in the field. Contador and Rodríguez played out their last duel before reaching Madrid."

Despite seemingly being on the mend though, Sicard intimates that he still feels discomfort on the bike.

"I can still feel my physical problems when riding, but I tend to forget about the pain when I'm racing. I feel that my shape is much better now than at the start of the year. The main thing it to progress", he said.

With his contract formally up after this season, Sicard's future has been the subject of much speculation for some time. The man himself denies being in contact with any French teams though, and reiterates he wants to stay on in orange.

"The "new Euskaltel"-project is not yet finalized. I promised my team leaders we'd meet up after the Vuelta, but I'm pretty sure I'll stay with Euskaltel. It was said I had been in contact with some French teams, but there's been nothing".

If you want to know what Gorka Verdugo, 11th overall in the recent Vuelta, thinks of his breakout race, or what it's like being a father for the first time, there are two interviews in Spanish waiting for you:

One in Gara and one in Deia.

Photo: www.fundacioneuskadi.com


Josh Buehner said...

"I can still feel my physical problems when riding, but I tend to forget about the pain when I'm racing."

hmmmm that's a bit disconcerting to say the least.

Kristof said...

Nice, an interview with Verdugo, too bad I barely understand a word Spanish. Is he satisfied with his 11th place? Does he have plans in the future to try top 10 or will he stay a super domestique? Something mentionned about his contract? For sure some teams must be interested.


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