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"When I am told that I will ride the Tour, it is an incentive to work hard and to improve. I've watched it on televison and it is a race that everyone dreams about doing someday. Now I have the opportunity, we have a long list of 1...

Photo: Sirotti




22.12.2014 @ 14:03 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Julian David Arredondo dreams about the Tour de France and the Ardennes Classics and has been inspired by his fantastic 2014 season. The Colombian Trek climber wants to continue what he showed this year when he was one of the revelations, winning a big stage and the mountains jersey at the Giro d'Italia and was a protagonist in Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne


Interviewed at the Trek training camp in Alfas del Pi, Arredondo beams with confidence. "I have proved that I can do good and important things. And I learned a lot. I have more motivation, enthusiasm and confidence. All this makes me expect a very promising 2015," he says.


To do this and take another step in the big races, he knows that he will have to stay calmer in the crucial moments. "I have to admit that I am a little desperate. I like to attack too soon. I need more peace and want to learn to wait for an attack at the right time. Luckily we have good directors in the team. Now I am a little calmer and more experienced. Next year we can use what I have learned," he says.



His calendar for the first part of the season will see him do the Tour of Oman, Tirreno-Adriatico, Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Amstel Gold Race, Fleche-Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. "In the first part I want to do well in Tirreno and the classics and then I will focus on the Tour de France with the objective of winning a stage - I have my eyes on the Mur de Huy - and the mountains jersey," he says. "Every climber dreams about that. I already won it at the Giro and dream about doing it in the Tour. At least I hope to try although I have to work for Bauke (Mollema) and Haimar (Zubeldia). Every day I want to see what happens."


Arredondo is clearly looking forward to the French race. "When I am told that I will ride the Tour, it is an incentive to work hard and to improve. I've watched it on televison and it is a race that everyone dreams about doing someday. Now I have the opportunity, we have a long list of 13 riders. Hopefully I will be there even though I know that it's a pretty stressful race," he says.



In 2014 he excelled in the Giro but he was far from his best in the Vuelta. Next year he will only focus on a single grand tour. "I want to try the Tour. In 2014 it was a bit stressful to do two grand tours during my first year at this level. I went from 50-60 racing days to 90. I will go for more quality and one grand tour will be enough," he says.


Before July, he will focus on the Ardennes classics which he fell in love with when he first treied them in 2014. "They are very explosive races that suit my characteristics. I like them a lot, especially Fleche. And then there are the fans who motivate me even more, and it is a clear goal. I want to finish in the top 10 and it's very important. I will work hard," he says.


Arredondo is aware that he has certain limits. "I like the one-week races, like Tirreno. I have not given the three-week races attention because they are very stressful, long and require a lot of concentration which is something I have to work on. For now, I look one-day and week-long races.


Arredondo didn't get the opportunity at the highest level until he had turned 25 when Trek Factory Racing spotted his potential and signed him from the Nippo continental team. "I expected the results," he says without hesitation about his success in his first year at the top level. "Although I did not know how to ride in the WorldTour, I had competed against many of those riders for four years as an amateur in Italy, Trentin and Battaglin were alreadywinning. It was a matter of time. I had already earned the job, I think it was deserved. However, I was not given the chance," he recalss.


At one point, he thought he would never reach the WorldTour - not because he lacked potential but because nobody believed in him until he met Andrea Tonti. "I was desperate and found cycling very difficult because I was one of the best amateurs with many victories but nobody gave me the chance. I thought it was really complicated. Tonti was the one who helped me to join the Nippo team in Japan. I owe Andrea almost everything. He had faith in me and supported me to get to where I am. I lived at his home in Italy. He was always understanding and I owe hime a lot. Then Luca (Guercilena) has given me the opportunity, and I owe the two of them much because they believed in me," he says.


"After winning Langkawi (2013), I was supposed to find a new team, Trek. Andrea helped me out, and I did several tests where my values were analyzed, ​​and they trusted me. Now I feel fortunate to be in the WorldTour. Many riders have no team and then it was not obvious to give me the opportunity at such a young age when I came from a continental team," he adds.


In fact, Trek rewarded the Colombian and they will now stay together until 2016. "After the classics, I renewed my contract for another two years. When you feel good and and are treated well, there is no need to switch teams. I feel good with everyone, we are a family and I have showed my potential with the results. We are a very united group, everybody is working in the same direction. I already had a good relationship with the new riders like Mollema," he says.


Arredondo is one of the many Colombians that have invaded the WorldTour in recent seasons. "Rigoberto (Uran) was the pioneer of this generation and he has opened the doors. He is an example for everyone. It is beautiful to meet other Colombian riders at the WorldTour races. Now I want to do the right things to keep opening the door for others," he says..



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