Friday, November 30, 2012

"I'm still young, but the years are passing by"

Escape artist and climber Miguel Minguez had a somewhat unsatisfying third year with Euskaltel. While he made a name for himself at the Giro, it was more for finishing up dead last than for his trio of breakaways. And while he hit form towards the end of the campaign with two strong performances in Québec and Montréal, his season was cut short by a fall at the Il Lombardia and a DNF at the Tour of Beijing.

Looking towards 2013, the bilbaíno hopes to take a step or two in the right direction - but admits start winning bike races is a tall order.

"It would be very difficult (to take my first triumph next year)", he told El Pedal de Frodo. "First you have to try to change the mentality, train hard and well and take a step ahead both physically and quality-wise. While I'm still young, it's also true the years are passing by", said the 24-year-old.

"I hope to take a step forward next year, though, and, if it's possible, a big step forward rather than a small one. Also being confident and feel good physically so that I can help the team as much as possible. I am young, and I don't have any concrete objectives, but at least I'm setting myself small goals".

The former Orbea rider has done the Italina GT for the last two years, but hopes to take on another three-week race in 2013.

"I'd love to do the Vuelta", he admitted. "I think it'll be really hard, seeing as there's likely to be tough competition for places on that team, but it's my dream".

As all the other riders on the team, Minguez's racing schedule for next year is yet to be confirmed. The recently-concluded training camp in Derio, Vizcaya, was more about getting to know the new riders on the team, and Minguez is sure the nine new riders have a lot to contribute.

"It was a very good get-together", he said. "It was different from other years with all the new guys. But everything went well. They have another mentality, and I think we can learn a lot from them and vice versa.

They're not riders with big names, but that's because they've been in Continental teams. They've won a lot of races, and in general they seem to be strong sprinters. I think they'll improve the team. I also think the fans will welcome them. All in all it's good for the team, for Euskaltel, for the local team, and I think they will accept it. It's thanks to them we've acquired enough points to be able to ride the Tour, the Giro and the Vuelta. I think the fans will cheer for them, and hopefully they'll cheer us up to!".

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