My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

De la Fuente looking for 2012 team

Category: Cycling

David de la FuenteSome riders of the ceasing Geox-TMC team still haven't found a new team. One of them is David de la Fuente, who at this moment is still searching, but still has no firm offers for the coming season.

“I don’t have anything, I’m waiting for replies. The prospects are bad,” de la Fuente told Marca.

The Italian footwear manufacturer Geox announced its decision to withdraw from cycling sponsorship in late October, but the team management refused to give up and continued their search for a new possible sponsor.

“We were convinced that [Mauro] Gianetti and [Joxean] Matxin would have found something,” de la Fuente said. “We were too optimistic, but I don’t regret anything.”

Despite not knowing where he will race next year, David de la Fuente has trained throughout the winter. But it hasn't been very easy to train without any structure.

“From the moment the season finished, I haven’t gone three days without touching the bike,” he said. “Now I’m going out every day, but not for more than three hours because seeing as I don’t have a team and I don’t have objectives. But I want to be ready in case somebody has a place for me, either now or later on.”

I am surprised that de la Fuente is the rider who is now without a team and the Spanish rider himself finds it quite odd, as well. David de la Fuente was part of Alberto Contador’s Astana team at the 2010 Tour de France and then very important when Juan José Cobo won the 2011 Vuelta a España.

“I’m living a sad situation, I’m not so bad as to have no team,” de la Fuente said. “I’d never have imagined that it could have happened to me. I’m starting to prepare myself mentally for the possibility of retirement, but not all doors are closed yet."

Cobo signs two-year deal with Movistar

Category: Cycling

Having no computer is really annoying. I had so many ideas of messages I would like to write, but have no chance. However, I will have a pink Sony Vaio VPCCA3S1E in my hands in one or two weeks time. It feels good, but I hate to wait.

But now, time to write something about pro cycling and about Geox-TMC's Juan José Cobo.

As you know, the Geox-TMC will fold, which means the team's riders must find new teams and the Spanish rider Juan Jose Cobo has signed a contract with Movistar Team for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Cobo raced with Caisse d'Epargne in 2010; a team directed by Eusebio Unzué. Next year, Cobo and Eusebio Unzué will be linked up again, as Unzué is the manager of Movistar.

In 2010, Cobo has problems to perform in races as he suffered from depression, but now he is eager to make up for lost time.

"I am very pleased as Movistar Team is one of the best teams in the world and will give me the opportunity to be in the biggest races on the calendar," Cobo said. "In 2010 I ran to Unzué's orders and things did not go well. I think we were both left disappointed by that and I'm sure everything will be better. I am excited and eager to be ready with my new teammates."

This year, Cobo had his big as he won the Vuelta a Espana. He won the race by a margin of 13 seconds from Chris Froome. Earlier, the Spaniard won stage 10 at the 2008 Tour de France.

Basso names Nibali as favorite

Category: Cycling

Ivan BassoIvan Basso says that his favorite to win the 2012 Giro d'Italia is his Liquigas-Cannondale team mate Vincenzo Nibali. Basso would love to ride the Italian Grand Tour as well and the team may start the race with two leaders.

Earlier it has been rumoured that Nibali would skip the Giro and instead focus on the Tour de France.

“My favourite for the Giro is Nibali,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m convinced that in the end Vincenzo will be at the Giro too.

“The route as a whole is very well-suited to him and the absolute priority for Liquigas is to perform well at the Giro. Who will be the leader? Between us, there’s reciprocal respect. There’s no need to talk, the role of captain will be decided by the legs.”

No decision about Nibali’s participation will be done until late April, says Liquigas-Cannondale manager Roberto Amadio.

“We’ll take stock after Liège-Bastogne-Liège, keeping in mind the form and desire of the riders,” Amadio said.

Basso is a double winner of the Giro d'Italia, having won the 2006 edition and the 2010 edition, and will try to win a third title. He believes that in 2012, his own (possible) success at the Italian GrandTour will depend on the race’s penultimate stage, which finishes atop the Stelvio, but the riders will also cross the Mortirolo. The Stelvio, at 2,758m, will be the highest summit finish in Giro history, but there is reasons to be concerned about the weather, as it might stop the race from climbing the summit.

“If it snows on the Stelvio on May 26, we won’t go up it, and it will become hard for me to think about winning the Giro,” Basso said. “I can hardly think of dropping everyone on the way up to Lago Laceno or Piani dei Resinelli. It’s true that the Giro is won day by day and not in one stage, but where I have to make the difference is on the Stelvio and the day before at Pampeago.”

But he hopes that the final kilometres of the Stelvio can be his chance to ride into the maglia rosa.

“The last 8km are 2000 metres above sea level and the last 3km are hellish,” he said. “You don’t need tactics there, just legs. The problem is that on the Stelvio it can snow even in August.”

Basso will have the chance to win if they ride the Stelvio, but if not, Nibali could win the race. I guess, that's what Basso says.