vrijdag 3 augustus 2007

Interview with Mikel Astarloza : Part 1 The Tour

Yesterday there was an interview with Mikel Astarloza in the Diario Vasco, the Basque newspaper. I will try to translate it although my Spanish isn't great at all.

Mikel Astarloza has been one of the biggest sensations in the Euskaltel Team this year. The team that needs new faces and new names for the future and has found a solid, serious and good cyclist in him. The two parts, the Mikel and the team are very happy to work with eachother.

Q : You already had experience in the Tour de France, what was the difference between this edition and the others ?
M : The difference was that I have been able to maintain my good shape from the prologue until arriving in Paris, I've always been within the first ten. I was very good in the Alpes, the climbs are longer and easier than those in the Pyrenees. I'm a "diesel" cyclist and I hate the great changes in height, but I always could come back in the descents.
Q: You also maintained your regularity in the time-trials.
M : I finished tenth in both, that has allowed me to gain time on the climbers. and in the Pyrenees I tried to lose as less as possible.
Q : How did the tour end for you ?
M : I would say it has been hard physically, not to lose much time.
Q : Did the team support you ?
M : I put a lot of pressure on myself, I always do. In the last time-trial Igor said that it didn't matter what I would do, I rode a great tour. My time-trial would be accostumed to those from Valverde and Kirchen and I could pass Pereiro, for me these were important things. I'm a runner that works well with the pressure.
Q : Did your ninth position take away some of the questions about you ?
M : I dreamed about getting between the first ten in the Tour and now I achieved that, it's a dream that became true. I saw that I was improving every year so it wasn't an accident, I have been close to the top ten before.
Q : Now you have to go back to the tour next year and maybe win a stage ?
M : There are many riders that dream about winning a stage in the Tour, it's very hard to win a stage, although you're in great shape. To be between the first ten has more value, it's not a question of luck.

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