By Antonio J. Salmerón
Xavier Florencio may not considering his 2007 season as successful as his 2006 season, when he won the Clásica de San Sebastian, but as he told Cyclingnews, he would like "to have good health" that will let him fight for success in 2008.
"If good health stays with me, I can aspire to everything I did in 2006," said the Bouygues Telecom rider who was bothered by problems like asthma and anaemia this year. "The second half of the season was not so bad for me, because I won a stage in the Tour of Switzerland and finished second overall."
After two seasons with the French team, Florencio is feeling at home. "At the beginning, it was a bit difficult for me because I was the only Spaniard, but now I feel very integrated." His team contests the Classics, but its major goal is the Tour de France. The same is true for Florencio.
"Last year I had the opportunity to know that I can shine in the classic races," he said. "They like me a lot. But I will try to get to the Tour de France in the best shape possible." Until then, he will start racing in 2008 with the Tour Down Under in Australia. "I will then race the Mediterranean Tour, Vuelta a Valencia, Paris-Nice, Milán-San Remo and the Vuelta al País Vasco." If he doesn't end up racing the Tour de France, he said he will perhaps take part in the Tours of Germany and Poland.
Florencio does not think he will be picked by national selector Francisco Antequera, but said, "I want to be in the World Championships in Varese (Italy) as well as in Beijing, but I know that there are some other important Spanish riders who should be there, such as [Alejandro] Valverde, [Carlos] Sastre, [Alberto] Contador, and [Oscar] Freire."