David de la Fuente finds himself in almost the identical position as this time last year – the Spaniard is once again without a team for the coming season. His current Caja Rural squad did not renew his contract after reportedly promising him a spot on the team for 2013.
"I was saying all year, since I signed in January, I would do another year [with Caja Rural]," de la Fuente told El Pedal de Frodo. I was thinking I was going to do well this year so I chose to wait till later before signing.
"Then we left for the Vuelta and I was told they had me one hundred percent, until we specify the quantities and all ... On the last day of the Vuelta I was told the contract would come in two days and never came," he said.
De la Fuente’s finished second overall in the Vuelta a España’s climbing classification – won by Australia’s Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge) however, it’s been a while since the trusted domestique took a victory.
The 2009 GP Miguel Indurain was de la Fuente’s most recent victory and despite being part of Alberto Contador’s winning Astana team at the 2010 Tour de France and a right-hand man to the 2011 Vuelta champion Juan José Cobo, the 31-year-old is facing possible retirement.
"Although this time and getting used to the idea that life has its phases for a rider and perhaps because of how bad this cycling, mine is running out," said de la Fuente.
The rider who has finished in the top-three of the climbing classification at both the Tour and the Vuelta admits there has been interest from teams but he’s not willing to ride for nothing.
"But the truth is I'm not willing to take any price. Maybe something that has long dismissed had caught now, but I will not repent and because what's done is done.
"I'm pretty pessimistic to do it [sign with a team so late in year] again, or at least be able to find something."
If de la Fuente chooses to retire he says that he would continue to be involved in cycling in some way but the decision would not be without some regrets.
"I would love to continue to enjoy it, which is something important. But, as I said before my thorn would be not winning in a big way."