Sergio García: “The usual thing, the custom, is to see cyclists who make the jump to pro with a certain amount of success”
One of the seven new faces of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team 2020 goes especially unnoticed. It is Sergio García’s. The Andalusian is a shy, quiet, discreet kid. But at the same time his enthusiasm is contagious. García enjoys every second of concentration, bike rides, talks, and quiet time with his colleagues. García is from Cadiz and is a resident, although for geographical reasons he is from Málaga. The explanation is very simple. His village, Alcalá del Valle, a little over 5,000 inhabitants, belongs to Cádiz. The nearest hospital, the same one that covers all the towns in the area, is in Ronda.
Sergio’s cycling background is in mountain biking. It was on the big wheels that he forged his first pedals and it was on these that he made his leap onto the road. In his professional development he has always gone hand in hand with the Alberto Contador Foundation and together with his fellow countryman Alejandro Ropero they will give presence to the integral formative bet that begins with the Zaragoza Selection Campus. Two riders in a team of twelve cyclists. “When I signed the document for go to the Campus I had not done almost road in my life. I was not caught that first year. I went back the next year, I had already done something else, and look, I was that lucky. I got picked. It happened that I didn’t finish the race, it was hard to compete or finish the races, maybe I was still preparing for mountain biking… I don’t know. I remember Félix García Casas told me: it was difficult to find a team that way. With Jorge Ramos’ training I improved a lot. And then came the jump to u23, where I learned a lot from Rafa Diaz Justo”.
García is aware that he is very lucky, maybe even more so because in the cycling scene the most usual thing is not to jump to the professional level without the endorsement of the victories. The Kometa-Xstra rider has not been a winner. “Compared to what is usual to see, yes, it is like that. It’s a different case. The usual thing, the custom, is to see cyclists who make the jump with a certain record. It’s not my case. Due to my characteristics I have not been able to get many victories, or many very good results. I don’t have a speedometer, it’s difficult to finish off; and that is fundamental for the list of winners. Sometimes the results are not everything and maybe they don’t transmit how you are as a person or as a rider”. And doesn’t this opportunity mean that you have to take on a bit more responsibility? “Maybe it’s partly like that, yes, those who have always followed you and supported you expect more from you. And you can also be an example to others. But then again, in part. You do what you like, and you also have to keep on enjoying doing what you like. That is fundamental. Of course concentrated, with clear ideas, going day by day… I just got here. Really until the first contact with the competition we will not know what our level is”.
One of the great moments of his 2019 season came at the Giro d’Italia U23. In the corsa rosa, in the stage of Aprica in which he had to face a double step through the Passo di Foppa, the terrible Mortirolo, García gave a very outstanding performance that did not go unnoticed by many directors. In the overall final, hampered by an untimely breakdown on the sterrato stage, García finished 18th. But in the secondary classification for young people, he finished fifth. “If I have to define myself, I’m a climber. I’m a very diesel cyclist. I am comfortable in the mountains, I find my rhythm well. Without a doubt, the stages with long passes are what I am best at. In Spain you ride differently, more aggressive, more explosive, more at a different pace. I have the impression, but at the moment it is an impression, that in that aspect everything is more controlled, it is not so changeable, in race within the professionalism”.
It is precisely the Mortirolo that has left its mark on García. “Until now it’s the mountain I’ve liked the most. Although the Puerto de Las Palomas or the Puerto del Boyar are also special, because they are the climbs of home,” he smiles. Las Palomas, in fact, has been a leading port in some Vuelta. “It has tremendous possibilities”, defends the Cadiz native. And he remembers that in 2020 he will take part in the Vuelta a Andalucía in one of its stages; and very close to the finish line. “The truth is that I would have loved to do this stage. Of course I would have liked to do the Vuelta a Andalucía one day, which is my home race and I would be very excited about it. And if they let me choose another one, one of the three big ones. I wouldn’t care. Any of them would be a dream. The Vuelta is the Vuelta, of course. The Giro may have the most authentic mountain of the three right now”.
In the concentration of Oliva Nova García he shares room with Diego Pablo Sevilla, with José Antonio García and with Alejandro Ropero. The most veteran rider of the structure, after the retirement of Juan Camacho, a cyclist with one year of experience and another one that, being a debutant, enjoyed in 2018 an experience as stagiaire. “A good room,” he jokes. “They have a lot of experience; you can certainly learn a lot from what they have experienced and how they live cycling. At the end of the day you talk about everything, of course, there’s time for everything. You can’t spend all day thinking about the bike either, in the end we are all young, we have young people’s concerns. I know Diego from the activities of the Foundation, but José Antonio, Alejandro and also Alessandro Fancellu have been partners. The rest are all new. After the first contact, we got along well, the atmosphere is very good and if we get along well, it could be an important year for all of us. Personally, we are improving our English so that we can communicate better”.
García’s first season in the professional squad will begin with Challenge de Mallorca. “In principle I will start quietly. Then I’m planning the Vuelta a Murcia and the Clásica de Almería. Later, if everything goes well, I would like to be able to be in the Giro d’Italia u23 and the Giro del Valle d’Aosta. But that’s something we’ll have to see later”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
? Atila Madrona (1, 3 y 4)
? Carlos B (2)