The Caja Rural-RGA team has signed another rising star of climbing, 22-year old Colombian Heiner Parra, after observing the progression he has shown in his first season in Europe with 4-72 Colombia team.
Saldarriaga, Parra’s trainer and manager for 2013 season, describes young Colombian as a pure climber and points out his main advantages:
"Parra is a born climber , with a good ability to change the rhythm and very explosive. A great V02 max parameter (maximum oxygen), weight of 52 kilos and 1.59 in height taken all together form a real fighter. As the road climbs, his strength and endurance are good and his technical skills are revealed with his interaction with the bicycle," Saldarriaga told biciciclismo.com
"The climbs with steep ramps is where he excels, because he is an offensive rider, able to maintain speed on a sustained effort. The climbs with constant changes of ramps and percentages, however, are not favorable," details Saldarriaga on his pupil.
At the age of 22, Colombian is looking to the future with an optimism, but he’s also realistic and cautious enough to let his career develop slowly.
"Achieving great results in Europe is yet to come, but I’m able to take mountain stages of difficult races, if only I could prepare myself exclusively to such kind of effort, " Parra explained.
Looking at Colombian’s last season results highlighted by finishing seventh in the Tour de l’Avenir, winning the queen stage in the Ronde Isard and taking fifth place overall in the Tour of Alsace, it’s not that hard to give faith his words.
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