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"Well, honestly, Valverde is very good, but he is human and if he rides everything, I have to pray that he will arrive fresh."

Photo: Movistar Team




26.12.2015 @ 06:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Spanish national coach Javier Minguez faces two important events in 2016, the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the World Championship in Qatar, with two "very different" routes. The Spaniard fears that Alejandro Valverde will not arrive in Rio in his best condition due to his plans to do both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.


In an interview with El Olservador, the newspaper of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Mínguez reveals his feelings ahead of next season, with the Games in August and the Worlds in October. "The two races are very important. Another thing is that the courses are very different and for riders like Valverde, Contador and Purito [Rodriguez] the route of the Olympics, with its very hard profile, is more exciting," he says.


Still he believes that it is too early to make any strategy or select a team leader. "The road race is held on August 6, there is still much time. Therefore we have to see what happens in the Tour and what condition our people have," he says. He does not hide his concern about Valverde's ability to recover for Rio after the Giro and the Tour. "Well, honestly, Valverde is very good, but he is human and if he rides everything, I have to pray that he will arrive fresh," he says.


He has no doubt about the time trial. "Today Castroviejo is the best time triallist and if he is okay, it is normal that he will be there to do the time trial," he says about the Basque who was fourth at the Worlds in Richmond, missing out on bronze by two seconds.



The other event of the year is the unusual Worlds in Qatar. "To have the race in a country with no tradition is good because you can grow cycling there. The downside for us and for the vast majority is that the course has no mountainous difficulties or anything else unless there is wind and echelons. The heat is an enemy that hurts but for us, it is the worst. The worst is the flat course," he says.


On the other hand, he is "calm" when it comes to the present and the future of the national professional peloton. "Spanish cycling is the number one nation. Alejandro Valverde is number one in the UCI ranking and Purito Rodriguez is number two. Contador is also in the top ten, which the rest of  world envies us. Another thing is that they are already in the final part of their career and there are good young people that have to confirm their good signals, like Herrada, Izaguirre, Landa, Lobato and Barbero," he explains. "I approach the future calmly, not in the rush of people and the press. It is true that we now have very good good riders that are at the end of their careers, but there are riders ready to take over. Let's be calm," he concludes in El Observador.



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