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"The big challenge for 2016 is to continue as usual and try to be a better athlete, a better person and try to win as much as I can.”

Photo: Etixx-QuickStep / Tim De Waele

FERNANDO GAVIRIA

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08.11.2015 @ 06:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

"I have started training this week. I'm already recovered from the knee injury.” Fernando Gaviria, who was one of the strongest cards for Colombia at the World Championships in Richmond until he had to skip the race with an injury, is ready to embark on his first professional season with Etixx-QuickStep.

 

Gaviria rode for the Belgian team as a stagiaire in the second half of 2015 and got a great start as won a stage of the Czech Cycling Tour and at the Tour of Britain. In an interview with Revistamundociclistico.com, the spectacular sprinter talked about his return to training, commented on the departure of Mark Cavendish and the arrival of other riders for the new year.

 

"For now I'm resting and am close to resuming training again,” he told the Colombian website. "I think I will be riding my bike again this week and start to find a way for what is coming in 2016.”

 

Gaviria was one of the big favourites for the U23 road race in Richmond but missed out on the opportunity to do the race.

 

"Frustrated no, sorry, yes because I was in excellent form, but that's the way cycling is,” he said about the race. “I can’t do anything about it. Now I will get new opportunities. I had prepared for a long time and wanted to do well, but the injury would not allow it. Then I had to take it easy.

 

"I only watched the elite race. I preferred not to watch. In the U23 race, the riders did what they had to do. They had bad luck. In that case there is nothing to do. Jhonatan Restrepo had a broken bike and other problems occurred so you could not ask for more. "

 

He has now set his sights on 2016.

 

"I will be returning to Europe next year,” he said. “In addition I have to wait for the calendar.For now the important thing is to get an excellent recovery."

 

Gaviria is pleased with his first time in his new team.

 

"I am happy, I'm in a big team and fortunately we do well,” he said. “I won so I think it was nice experience and I hope that next year will also be successful.

 

"I felt good, I felt satisfied, but you always want more so we have to keep working harder to get more. I am equally pleased with the results of the Colombian riders in the different races in Europe. Thanks to them we have young people coming up. Thanks to them European teams look for Colombian riders. We is thanks to Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Uran and others that we can ride in Europe.”

 

Gaviria was initially expected to play a lead-out role for Mark Cavendish but the Brit is leaving the team. Instead, Marcel Kittel has been signed.

 

"Actually I'm not glad [to see Cavendish leave], but he had the right to choose,” he said. “I like him for the great person he is and it will impact my learning process that he has left the team. I hope we can keep talking whenever we will meet each other.

 

"I think it's very good [that Kittel arrives]. It gives a point of experience to the team. He is a better sprinter than me. The team needed a rider of that quality and Kittel can teach me a lot.”

 

Another key signing is lead-out man Maximiliano Richeze
 

"For me the arrival of Maximiliano is good and pleasant as he is an Argentine rider who speaks Spanish and so I can understand him easier,” he said. “I've been concerned with the language.”

 

Gaviria will be the only Colombian in his team after Rigoberto Uran has left.


"He is an excellent rider and as a person he is great,” he said. “Rigo was one of those who helped me in the team and made me enter the WorldTour so I appreciate him too.”

 

Etixx-QuickStep have done nothing to hide that they regard Gaviria as a future top sprinter but a grand tour debut may be a bit premature.

 

"That depends on the team,” he said. “If the team prepares me for a grand tour, I will do one. Right now I'm not ready. I need to have a training plan to do a competition for three weeks and with different kind of terrain.”

 

Gaviria has been very successful on the track and is the current omnium world champion. He has no plans to abandon the boards.
 

”The idea is to continue,” he said. “It all depends on whether the Federation selects me for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. And depending on the result, I can combine the track with the road.

 

"The big challenge for 2016 is to continue as usual and try to be a better athlete, a better person and try to win as much as I can.”

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