By Antonio J. Salmerón
Javier Iriarte will ride for Spanish Continental Team Viña Magna-Burgos in 2008. The 21 year-old Spaniard received a call from Team Manager Julio Izquierdo asking him to form part of next year's formation.
"Do you want to be professional?" recalled Iriarte local newspaper Diario de Navarra of the conversation with his future team manager – he did not think twice. After racing this year as an Under-23 for Seguros Bilbao, he had already given up on the idea of debuting as professional rider in 2008. However, Izquierdo needed riders under 25 years old to fill out his team. He had three options: the first two failed and the third one was Iriarte, who replied, "Yes, I want to."
"Iriarte has a lot of courage; he is a team-rider, who also knows how to move perfectly within races and is even able to finish," Seguros Bilbao Directeur Sportif Mikel Madariaga said. "And those cyclists are not plentiful."
"Having a cycling team [to ride for] is almost a luxury," commented the rider. "So I take it as a great opportunity. I want to perform as well as possible. It will be a year to know whether or not I can avail to be a professional, and I will give it my all."