The biggest difference between cycling today and in the past is in its globalisation, according to five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain.The new RadioShack-Nissan team is proof of this and could dominate races around the world, he said.
“The biggest difference to earlier is in the globalisation of cycling. Today there are big races in Australia, America and even in Asia. As a consequence of that, the pros are specialising more and more,” he said in an interview with spox.com.
“Classics specialists ride mainly one-day races, stage race specialists prepare themselves in the winter exclusively for the grand tours. They ride few races in the spring, but are at the highest performance level at the Giro or Tour. Cadel Evans has done that for years. And Lance Armstrong was earlier mostly seen in Europe only when the Tour started.”
The fusion of Leopard Trek and RadioShack is simply another part of this globalisation, the 47-year-old said. “With Cancellara, Klöden or the Schlecks, they have riders who can go for the win in almost every discipline. With this team, it will be possible to dominate races on several continents simultaneously.”
Indurain also said that Tony Martin, who will ride next year with Omega Pharma-Quick Step, has good chances to win the Tour de France. “Maybe not next year and not in 2013. But he has the talent and also the motor for it. However, he must change his strategy, in order to win the Tour.
“He took the first step by transferring to Quick-Step. There he will be captain and won't have to set up sprints for Cavendish any more. Plus he must change his training and become more consistent in the mountains.”
Looking at Alberto Contador's attempts this year to win both the Giro and the Tour, Indurain said that “basically, it is possible” to win both in one year. “But, it has to be extremely well planned. The training has to be tailored to the situation, the regeneration period carefully held to. And during the race, everything has to go perfectly. The slightest injury, an unlucky crash, and it is over.”