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.