Japanese all-rounder to skip Flemish classics and focus on hills
In his seven year long professional career Fumiyuki Beppu has been labelled as a perfect gregario. His status might increase in 2012, however, with his transfer from RadioShack to new Australian WorldTour team GreenEdge.
The Japanese rider told Cyclingnews, “On the flat races, I will support our sprinters like our leader Matt Goss. On the hilly races I certainly will have more freedom”.
Beppu's provisional schedule includes the Tour of Basque Country, the Ardennes, the Tour of Romandy and the Giro d'Italia.
This sequence of racing will be a shift for the 28-year-old all-rounder who usually takes part in the Flemish Classics. “It's true, I love cobbled races like Paris-Roubaix”, Beppu said.
Yet, Marc Lamberts, the Belgian coach he started working with one year ago, also the trainer of Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Philip Deignan and Bart Wellens, suggested Beppu should skip this department. “We saw together I have not enough power for the cobbles. So, why not to try climbing? I have a good recovery; it's a good point for stage races”.
Cyclingnews also understands GreenEdge's managers also pushed Beppu to try the Ardennes classics or stages races as the Australian team has no major card to play there, contrary with sprints and Flemish one day-races. Only ex-HTC Michael Albasini or ex-Rabobank Pieter Weening might claim a special role in a Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“Mentally and physically, I feel very good at the moment, so I think I can have a good season if I'm lucky”, Beppu says. “I like my new team a lot. That's an Australian dream team they wanted to launch since twenty years! They are highly motivated people. I was surprised by their focus on all the details. In our first training camp last month, they went to the Australian Institute of Sport and they cared about us, with a medical check-up and everything.”
With his new team and his matured relationship with his personal coach, Beppu said: “I can push my potential higher.”
His seven years experience will be another asset for 2012. The Japanese rider previously raced for two years at Skil-Shimano and five seasons for Johan Bruyneel's teams, firstly Discovery Channel from 2005 to 2007, then RadioShack in 2010 and 2011. “I have to thank them too”, he said. “Especially my directeur sportif Alain Gallopin who made a good schedule for me.”
A national Champion both in road race and time trial this year, Beppu, went 8th in GP of Plouay, 6th in GP d'Isbergues and in the final stage of the Tour of Romandy. He also raced his first Giro d'Italia, experiencing some breaks. “I hope to go in front again next year once I will have helped our sprinters”, he says.