Sergio García, Alejandro Ropero and the wildcard for Vuelta a Andalucía: “A dream”
The EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team, the Contador Foundation’s ProTeam structure, will finally discover during 2021 one of the most prestigious races on the international scene: the Vuelta a Andalucía. The Spanish race, an event that was born in 1925, confirmed this Thursday the presence of the team in its main group for 2021. A confirmation and a very special participation for two of the riders of the squad, the Andalusians Sergio García and Alejandro Ropero.
Both García and Ropero are looking forward to the possibility of competing in their born lands. Both are among the pre-registered riders provided to the organization of the Andalusian race.
“For me it is a dream that I am fulfilling,” said Sergio García without hesitation. “I can still remember perfectly the 2017 edition, when it started from Setenil de las Bodegas, which is next to my house, the last stage. Alberto Contador was still a professional and I remember that they let me be on the bus. For me that was something impressive. But the possibility of being here and being able to run at home is the greatest and most emotional thing. If in the end we can run we will try to do it well”.
Alejandro Ropero shares his partner’s thoughts. “It is one of the races that I am most looking forward to racing. Last year I was asked about how Grand Tour I would like to race and in the end I ended up putting this race first. A Grand Tour is a Grand Tour, of course, but the home race is always exciting. The Vuelta a Andalucía is also a big one. The route is very interesting. And in the end it will be a unique experience that comes with that jump in category that we were looking for so much. Neither Sergio nor I, Andalusians, will be able to forget the experience. We will try to face the race, hopefully we can be in front. For me it would be a dream”, says the guy from Otura.
There has always been a strong link between Andalusian cycling and the structures of the Foundation, with at least one cyclist from this region on the staff. The current EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team includes two local riders, Sergio García from Cádiz and Alejandro Ropero from Granada. Both were already part of the continental project since last season. Juan Pedro López from Seville and José Antonio García from Granada have also run through the structure in the past. Several Andalusians are competing in the Foundation’s junior and U23 training structures.
Of the proposed route, García indicates that the third and fifth stages attract a lot of his attention: “We will try to do a very good stage on the last day, between Mijas and Zahara de la Sierra, because it passes close to home and these are the roads I train on practically every day. The third stage is also going to be very hard and is a day to do very well”.
On this third stage we will use the knowledge of one of the Andalusian riders of the U23 team. Mario Vilches, native of Quesada (Jaén), is a great connoisseur of the whole area, the usual terrain of their training: “This third day is very demanding, but especially the intermediate area of the stage. There is not a single flat metre in 50 kilometres, on a very narrow mountain road between constant bends and counter bends in the middle of the Natural Park. The climb to El Yelmo, which is crowned in El Campillo, the climb to Despiernacaballos and the stretch to Potones is a very hard and technical one. Depending on how the pack takes it, they can make a marinade. The finish by itself is not so hard, although the accumulated fatigue will always be noticed, but this area can be the decisive one to break the race. And we will also have to be attentive to the weather on that day, as the altitude is always around 1,500 metres”.