Euskaltel-Euskadi climber possibly focussing solely on Vuelta a España
The Vuelta a España will again be Igor Antón's main goal next season. The Spanish climber has told Meta2Mil that he intended to go for his home race's overall victory again in 2012 and that he might skip the Giro d'Italia in the Spring to race only one Grand Tour next year.
Despite his triumphal victory in the Giro's stage 14 at Monte Zoncolan, Antón admitted that he preferred to set up a race programme similar to the one he had in 2010, when he won two stages at the Vuelta and wore the red jersey of overall leader for five days.
"There are two options: do the Giro and the Vuelta as I did this year or only the Vuelta as I did it in 2010. If I race only the Vuelta, there are many other objectives that would suit me well and in which I would try to do my utmost, from the Classics to the Tour de Romandie," said the 28-year-old.
"I'd like to do only the Vuelta. Before pursuing other challenges I'd like to prepare for it thoroughly and go for the overall classification. I know it's a risky business to try for everything at the Vuelta but it's a bet I'd like to take and fight for the final victory. There will be time for other challenges but for 2012 this is what motivated me the most," Antón continued. "Still, we need to wait to see the Vuelta route which will be very important to take the final decision."
The Euskaltel-Euskadi leader finished eighth overall in the 2007 Vuelta, but had to abandon the race after two stage wins and while leading the GC in 2010. This year, he won stage 19 but finished only 33rd overall after having competed at the Giro, where he finished 18th.
Antón has never been a contender at the Tour de France, despite his two participations - but he didn't discard the possibility in the future. "One year I'd like to do the Giro d'Italia full on, where I believe I can also go for the GC. I'd also like to plan my race programme around the Tour de France one year, even though in that case I think I'd aim more at winning a stage rather than doing for the overall. For my physique and the race routes, I think that the Giro and the Vuelta are the events that suit me best as regards the overall classification," he added.
Questioned about the possible loss of sponsorship of his team in 2013, Antón was hopeful that Euskaltel would still find a solution through the coming year. "This project has been going on for almost 20 years and even though it costs a lot, it has to go on. It's very possible that the team might have to move down one category one year from now. But we are working hard and well on it and I believe that all of these efforts deserve the continuity of the team."