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"Then I will rest, and if all goes well, I will be at the Vuelta. It is a very good schedule. I really want to get to know the Ardennes, to learn, to get to know the stress and to help Alejandro (Valverde)."

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12.01.2016 @ 15:12 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

At 24 of years, Ruben Fernandez goes into his fifth professional season, the second in the WorldTour with Movistar Team. Naturally the Spanish rider who has grown step by step, has one goal for 2016: to improve.

 

Fernandez has benefited from the good weather at home and expects to be competitive in the Tour Down Under that starts next week and offers him a chance to improve on last year’s fifth place.

 

"The truth is that the season has gone very well. The weather in Murcia is unbeatable, it seems like spring, except for a few cold days. I always trained at home and one day I travelled to Almeria," he says in a press release. 

 

He is confident to do well in Australia, like last year, when he was fifth in his first race of the WorldTour, only beaten by Rohan Dennis, Richie Porte, Cadel Evans and Tom Dumoulin. 

 

"I'm feeling pretty good so we'll see how the race goes, but I want to start to race. Last year I was nervous, it was the first race with the new team and the first WorldTour event. It is different and very fast. There is more speed and tension,” he recalls.

 

His schedule is ready: Tour Down Under, Vuelta a Murcia, Clasica de Almeria, Tour of Andalusia, Paris-Nice, Tour of the Basque Country, Amstel Gold Race, Fleche-Wallonne and Liege. 

 

"Then I will rest, and if all goes well, I will be at the Vuelta. It is a very good schedule. I really want to get to know the Ardennes, to learn, to get to know the stress and to help Alejandro (Valverde)," he says.

 

His first desire is to continue growing as a rider after he won the Tour de l'Avenir, rode for Caja Rural for three years and joined the Movistar Team last year. 

 

"I would be satisfied if I could take another step forward, further improve the consistency and get a victory, a stage or an overall win in a stage race. For now I am there, I have moved forward and am about to take that next step. There are many races that are well suited to my skills. I hope that the circumstances will be good and that I can seize the moment," he says.

 

In his first season in the WorldTour, Fernandez had a good level: fifth in the Tour Down Under, ninth in the Volta ao Algarve, he debuted in the three-week Giro d'Italia, was ninth in the Tour of Burgos and sixth in the Tour of Britain. 

 

"The feeling was very good because I was so-so, in the spring. I suffered from allergy but finally it started to go well. This past year allergies have hampered me a lot. It was brutal after several years when it had not affected me. Above all, I've improved my consistency," he explains. 

 

He is satisfied with his performance in the Giro. 

 

"The results were very good, although at first when I should have been fine, I was very annoyed by allergy and had a feeling of helplessness. However, when we moved to another area and I improved in the last week when I was supposed to be more tired, I noticed that the body allowed me to push on," he says.

 

In a team like Movistar, Fernandez tries to find his place and hopes to someday emulate Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde by leading a team. 

 

"The truth is that everybody is good in this team. From inside they are very humble, they help you and give you advice.  You have always wanted to be a team leader, knowing that is very complicated but why not aim high? Above all, it is the dream of any child that starts to ride.  Time puts everyone in their place. Of the grand tours, I prefer the Tour because of its prestige. I have always enjoyed the Vuelta too but they all have their own characteristics," he concludes.

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