The Asturian Martín Barrero López (June 3, 2003) will compete next season in the U23 team of the Fundación Contador under the orders of Rafa Díaz Justo. The rider from the Principality, who is in his third year in the category, comes from Rias Baixas, where he has been for the last two seasons, and stands out above all for his aptitude for the mountains.
Barrero, resident in Oviedo, was formed in the Escuela de Ciclismo Las Mestas de Gijón, from whose structures he made the jump to the U23 category with the Galician formation. “In 2022 I could only race the first part of the season, I could not get continuity because of a pneumonia and because of an accident that I suffered in which I broke a collarbone and forced me to stop. This year things have been much better, especially in the second half of the season. In the first half of the year I had to face the adaptation that I couldn’t finish a year earlier. In the Vuelta a Ávila, the Vuelta a Salamanca and the Vuelta a Galicia I felt much better”.
His approach to cycling had a casual point of view. “I grew up in a small village in western Asturias, Fonteta, with a quiet life. And, typically, you take the bike, you move around the environment, you play around there… One day a cyclotourist march passed by there and I was fascinated to see those road bikes. So I ended up getting one and started cycling on the road. To this day”.
Fonteta, very close to the border with Galicia, is located in a unique mountainous environment, rich in climbs of both entity and level. One of the most famous is the Pozo de las Mujeres Muertas. In an environment like this, it was easy for him to feel more comfortable on the climbs. “Although genetics is capricious and there’s Oscar Freire to confirm it,” he jokes, “but in my case, yes, I consider myself a climber. I’ve always stood out more on this terrain and I’ve always liked that feeling of going as fast as possible on this terrain”.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team U23: “When we began to outline the planning of the next season we had in mind to reinforce more the climbing plot. In races with very mountainous profile this year we have had something of lack of finishing in this sense. And Martin is a rider who fits us very well. He is not a particularly well known rider, but we have seen flashes of quality in him at various times during the year and we firmly believe that he could be one of the pleasant surprises of the new season”.
Barrero is currently studying a higher degree in sales and commercial space management after having previously completed a degree in chemistry and environmental health. The possibility of making this signing a reality began to take shape halfway through the season. “I coincided in several tests with the team and Rafa consulted me about this possibility in the middle of the season. As soon as he offered me the option, I immediately said yes. You always look for references among your friends and acquaintances and Ramón Fernández, who raced here, spoke to me very well and also encouraged me to come”.
[📷 Volta a Galicia / Ciclismo González]