Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fraile - I wasn't prepared for WorldTour move

Having an agreement to join the local WorldTour team broken off and being forced to watch relatively unknown foreigners join the team instead, one would excuse Omar Fraile for being a tad bitter. Speaking to Gara, the new Caja Rural recruit appears to be everything but, though, insisting he agrees with Igor González de Galdeano's judgement that a move to the top level was perhaps a move too big in 2013.

The former Orbea rider had a deal in place to join 'the Carrots' next year, but will instead don the green of Caja Rural alongside the likes of Amets Txurruka and Iván Velasco.

"I took Galdeano's proposal (that the move to Euskaltel be called off) very well", he said. "We shared the same opinion. I wasn't prepared, seeing how cycling, with it's points system, is today. Now I'm joining a smaller team without the competitiveness of the WorldTour to continue growing and prepare to join the very elite in the future.

"At the time being I'm focused on Caja Rural, and we'll see next year where we stand", he continued, affirming he's not guaranteed a spot on Euskaltel's 2014 roster. "If everything goes well in the future, I'll return with them. I want to go step by step, to grow as a rider, because it's very difficult to reach the top level in today's world of cycling".

As mentioned above, the 22-year-old will team up with former Euskaltel duo Velasco and Txurruka at Floren Esquisabel's team. Going from being a fan of the duo to being their team-mate is something he's enjoying.

"They're very good riders, and personality-wise they're cracks. I've been travelling with them since the first day, and they're nice guys. It's a bit strange though; I've followed them since I was a kid, and being their team-mate and friend is great.

"The team has been strengthened this year. It'll be a competitive team that will be noticed. Moreover, the mood in the training camps is very good - it's a good group".

Looking towards next year, Fraile admits a debut appearance at the Vuelta al País Vasco "would be a dream come true". Competition for places will be hard though, but, whether he gets the nod to do that race or not, stage-races will be where he aims to shine the most, as "that's where I perform the best and am enjoying myself the most".

Just like this year, the Volta a Portugal will be a major goal in 2013. Before that, though, he's likely to line up in the Challenge Mallorca, Algarve, some French one-day races, the Giro del Trentino, the GP Miguel Induráin, Vuelta a La Rioja, Klasika Primavera and the Vuelta a Asturias.

Photo: Diario de Navarra

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