vrijdag 3 augustus 2007

Interview with Mikel Astarloza Part 2 : Rest of the season

Q : You've already had a full season ? Doesn't it affect you ?
M : I have 60 days of competition and 20,000km crossed, also counting those from trainings. Tired ? Yeah I am. When I returned to the Basque country for Euskaltel I arrived with the idea to work for Samuel Sanchez. I rested a bit and rode the Dauphine Libere. In that race Euskaltel didn't press me for anything but it's a race that I've always liked and I had the illusion to do it well. The Dauphine was a very important race for my ex-team AG2R so it was a test that I value much. I wanted to do well and I finished seventh ! But ending between the first ten of the tour was a big difference. You can't fall, you have to taka advantage of the wind, you have to try and lose as less as possible in the ascents so you can hunt in the descents. It's an important tension.
Q : Did you have a bad day in the Tour ?
M : I had a hard time in the stage to the Aubisque and I lost seven minutes. There was an accumulation of circumstances that came to me.
Q : Wich circumstances ?
M : I remained single on the Marie Blanque, in the descent I couldn't get back in the front like the other days. Tactical I failed and sometimes the calculations fail too.
Q : Of all the Tours you rode, was this your best one ?
M : It has been the best one seeing the results and my physics. I never felt equal in any other Tour. When you see that nobody responds to you, everything is easier.
Q : Wich other races are you going to ride this season ?
M : I want to get a good result in the Clasica San Sebastian and I'm going to ride the Eneco Tour. I won't ride the Tour of Spain.
Q : What do you think of the Clasica San Sebastian ?
M : I know it well, I have arrived two or three times in the frontgroup but I'm not fast enough in the sprint to win.
Q : Who are the favourites, you think ?
M : There is no clear favourite. There are runners like Valverde, Rebellin, Menchov, Haimar or me but to win will be an other question. If a big group arrives at the finish, everything can happen. Surely that leaves much more names.

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