Thursday 13th January 2022 – CARLOS LÓPEZ with Mike Smith
Xàbia professional cyclist, Juan Ayuso, begins an exciting year in sports, the year in which he will consolidate himself in the World Tour category. Ayuso, who many already point to as the jewel of national cycling, is currently concentrated with his team UAE Team Emirates in a hotel in Pedreguer.
Ayuso was the protagonist in last Monday’s team ‘Media Day’, starring in his first official press conference at the hotel’s facilities, responding to journalists specializing in cycling on the national scene. In fact, the EFE Agency was one of those that participated in the press conference.
XAD has been able to access the recording of the press conference, in which Ayuso announces the schedule of tests that he will compete in the first part of the season. He will start with the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, a race that he acknowledged makes him quite excited because “it is the race that I saw when I was little, since it almost passed through the door of the school“. He will continue in Andalusia, before competing in two classics in France and, after a few days rest, he will resume with the Volta a Catalunya.
Regarding this, he commented that it is the first race of the World Tour category – which will last a week – and that “it is a goal” that has been set to see “where” he stands.
After the appointment in the Catalan region, Ayuso will participate in some classics of well-known cyclists, Flecha and Induraín and Romandía, and conclude the first part of the season with the Dauphine Libere, which is the prelude to the three great events on the world cycling calendar: the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
Once that point is reached, he said that “we will recalculate and see how things have gone” to decide “in which races I will participate in the second part of the season“.
To questions from the journalists, Ayuso acknowledged that the team “asks me to win and I ask myself to win. It is my motivation and what I aspire to“, adding that the sports director Matxin Joxean Fernández “wants us to win every race we compete in” something that “is practically impossible, but I know that when I am on the starting line of a race, it is to dispute it“.
He also referred to the end of last season when he suffered a fall after the Avenir tour. “I never got back to my level” as it cost him to recover from the injury, but he also lost a lot of form. The cyclist stressed that it was a “bittersweet” end of the season because the year “had been very beautiful“, with the victories in the Under-23 round, and the bronze in the Under-23 European, among others.
He commented that winter until the beginning of the preseason “has gone super well“, with his family in Xàbia and without losing “a single day of training“. In fact many days he has been seen on the streets of Xabia and around the Marina Alta. Once the concentration in Pedreguer is over, Ayuso will go to Sierra Nevada to continue the preparation at height and arrive in the best conditions in Valencia.
He also referred to the coexistence with the team and the leadership of Tadej Pogacar, champion of the last two editions of the Tour de France; “I am lucky to have the best in the world in the team, he is a reference, to be able to follow in his footsteps and learn from him“, and concluded “I thank him very much for helping me“.
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