Indurain: “Spain is in the top-10, but they need to finish off”

The ex-cyclist Miguel Indurain (Villava, 1964), winner of five Tours de France, considers that the health of Spanish cycling is good, that there are many elements in favor and that the riders are in the world top-10, but that lately the most visible thing is missing: the triumphs.

In this interview with EFE Indurain, which this Sunday participated as ambassador of Banco Santander in the relay modality of the Barcelona Triathlon by Santander 2021 Together with the triathletes Javier Gómez Noya and Eva Moral, considers that the lack of victories makes it seem like a bad year for Spanish cycling when it is not.

What attracts you about participating in these types of tests?

It allows me to take a bike, do sports and be with friends. This type of test had not been held for practically two years due to the pandemic and, luckily, it is already being able to be resumed.

How did you experience the pandemic from a sports point of view? Did you keep training at home?

I have filmed at home. There have been no marches and I have not been able to go to see the competition either. As they are in a bubble, you cannot approach the cyclists, that has caused me to have been a little disconnected from what competition is, but we will do it again. I’m looking forward to being with the people I know again, the directors, the mechanics, the riders, the press …

How is the day to day of Indurain right now?

There have been times when I have had businesses and companies, but now I am calmer. I participate in events and I follow the competition, although now I can’t do it live.

How do you rate the health of Spanish cycling?

Okay, all we need to do is win races. We are in the top-10, but we need to finish. Winning a race is difficult worldwide, but for many years we have had top finishers who have won. We have teams, runners, competitions and fans. We are missing the most visible thing, which is winning. When we don’t win it seems to be a bad year but, if you analyze it, the Spanish cyclists are nearby.

At the Tokyo Olympics, Spain fell far short of the medals.

Yes, but there are races that leave and others that do not. One-day races are very difficult. In one day you risk everything and it can go well or badly. Many years it has gone well and we have won medals and we have been Olympic champions, and this time it has not been like that. What you have to do is try again in the next one. The problem is that the Olympics will not be held again for three years.

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Do Spanish cyclists ask you for advice or your opinion?

No, they go on their own. Each one has its own trick and its people, and cycling has changed a lot.

How has the way of competing changed?

The competition itself has not changed much, what has changed is the food, the material, the technology that is applied. I am not involved in competition and they go at a different pace, following the techniques that are evolving and that are allowing you new things.

Before there was also more rest. You yourself explained that in the winter months you used to gain kilos. Surely that would not be possible now.

You adapted to the rhythm of competition that was then. We stopped in October and until February you did nothing. Now, as there is competition all year long, it is more difficult to disconnect, although everyone has a way of managing the year and its objectives. In my time it was like that, we all did the same. Also, before an Irishman lived in Ireland and had to train there all year round. And if one day there was snow, I couldn’t get out. Instead, he now lives in the Canary Islands and can train all year round.

Do you think that now the cycling calendar is too demanding?

Yes, but the competition is like that, demanding. If you are there you have to adapt. The good thing is that having such a wide calendar you can choose which one suits you best, if they let you.

When you competed professionally, you had about 30 beats at rest. Now what is your heart rate?

Sometimes I do stress tests to be able to participate in competitions, but honestly I don’t have it under control. In addition, the important thing is the pulsations that you have competing. There are popular athletes who have 30 beats at rest and then when they exert themselves they are triggered.

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