Oier Lazkano (Vitoria, 23 years old) returns to action. “I’m fine, the knee is better now,” he explained to AS Movistar corridor about his recent troubles at this joint. Blame it on an injury from a fall in the Clásica de Ordizia, where the stitching prevented him from pedaling properly was seen at the last world championships. Now, with renewed energy, he’s competing for the second time in his career Return to Burgos (15-19 August). The plan: help One Rubio and regain the good feelings on the bike.
—He arrives in Burgos after overcoming his knee problems. Have you been able to train normally in the last few days?
—Yes, I trained well last week. I look forward to it. It was a shame not being able to be at home, especially at the Clásica de San Sebastián. Now it’s time to get that last part of the Spanish calendar done. I think I’m ready. In the end, the road puts everyone in their place, but I arrive with confidence.
—How is this Vuelta a Burgos planned?
—With the idea of finding sensations for the next month. I was unemployed for a week, which doesn’t have much of an impact, and I trained well last week. I want to feel good about myself.
—Despite the demanding nature of the route with passes such as Picón Blanco and Lagunas de Neila, is there a stage marked in red?
– No, we come here with one (Rubio). Especially the beginning of the Pradoluengo stage is very treacherous given the show. There will be a battle and there will be beautiful stages to watch.
– This year he is experiencing a real breakthrough as a cyclist, after such good results at international level (2nd place in Through Flanders) as national (Spanish champions in the background). How do you start being a reference?
“I don’t think he did anything special either. Ultimately, these are steps that must be continued. Improvements in training, in diet… It’s small things. The course is not a line, but there are peaks. You have to be aware that half a year ago I wasn’t doing very badly and now I’m not doing very well. You have to try to improve everything you can.
—Many see you as the future Spanish classic to follow.
-Well, I do not know. We will see. I don’t want to set goals for what I’m going to do. Just keep training, improving, taking care of myself… If I can handle it, that’s fine, and if I can’t, that’s fine too. But yes, the classics are races that I like.
—After your successes in races like A Través de Flandes, are you aiming for the classics on pavés in the future?
I don’t know, I haven’t received anything yet. To say otherwise would be a lie. If you train 100% you can’t achieve anything, it is what it is. Of course I want to win there, but the goals have to be set by the training.
—He talks about improving as a cyclist. In what aspects?
-In total. Training, nutrition, position in the peloton, vision of the race… If you think you don’t need to improve anything, you know everything. Anyone who believes that is evil. You always have to draw lessons from all races, from all failures and successes, learn from them.
—The team has strengthened well in recent years and important drivers could join in 2024. How do you see next season at Movistar?
“Well, nothing has been announced either. It’s been rumoured, heard, talked about, but not even the renovations have been announced. I don’t know who will come, but we have the ambition and the desire to do well. That’s what I notice in the team, the will to do the best. The team is doing well in that regard.
“With a contract for the next course, he has that stability within the structure.” Amid the changes, what role would you like to play in the new Movistar?
-Nothing in particular. I can go to races as a leader and work on others. Both functions can be fulfilled simultaneously. In Jaén, Murcia or the Belgian classics, I can compete with the goal of getting a good position and then ride the Tour, a Giro or a Vuelta with the goal of packing up the leader and being by his side. They are compatible things. I hope to be able to help the team as much as I can.
—Will we see you at the next Tour of Spain just over a week after the start?
“If everything goes according to plan, theoretically yes.”
—Once again, Enric Mas will be the leader of Movistar. How are you feeling after you left the tour?
– I have no idea, I had no direct contact with him. I noticed that he is doing well and that he is training quite hard.
– Have you been able to mentally recover from what happened in the…? Big boucle?
– To see how he has mastered the last year (he also canceled the tour for fear of being relegated), That changed the chip in two months, emotionally yes. I think this last tour was a lot less. We are aware that there are falls in this sport, it is assumed. You have to know how to wear it.