By Monika Prell
Iban Mayo, the big Basque star, abandoned Paris-Nice in the last stage due to a crash. But there was an other Basque who called attention: David López. The 25 year-old Caisse d'Epargne rider finished sixth in the overall classification, only 18 seconds behind his teammate Luis León Sánchez, finishing third.
The young López, born in Barakaldo (Bizkaia) became a professional in 2005 with the team Euskaltel-Euskadi, where he stayed during two years, showing his talent as a climber by winning the mountain classification of the Criterium International in 2006.
At the end of 2006, Euskaltel wanted to renew his contract, but in the end, López signed for Eusebio Unzué's Caisse d'Epargne team, who offered him a three-year contract. According to Sabino Angoitia, who was his sport director during the three years López rode for team Cafés Baqué, the young climber is "a rough diamond. He was very regular. He won races and in the stage races he was always in front. He went well in all terrains, except in descents and finishes," Angoitia told Spanish newspaper Diariovasco.