Xacobeo-Galicia team leader Ezequiel Mosquera has revealed that he is being troubled by regular pain from the collar-bone that was broken twice in the same place last season. Although the Spaniard had an operation on the damaged bone in January, it has not set well. “I’m a bit concerned by it because it will need to be operated on again, although I will of course be waiting until the end of the season before having this done,” Mosquera told the La Opinión A Coruña newspaper.
Widely known as one of the more nervy riders when racing in the midst of the peloton, the climbing specialist admitted that the bone is not affecting his performance, but is making him even more than edgy than usual. “The problem is that if I have another crash and fall on it, it could break. Riding at the Tour of Bavaria on difficult and very wet roads, I kept thinking about this, but that kind of risk is normal in cycling,” said the 34-year-old Xacobeo rider.
His and his team’s main goal for this season is the Vuelta a España, where Mosquera has finished fourth and fifth in the last two years. His goal for this year is to finish on the podium in his national tour. “I’m setting out with that intention, but last year I wanted to improve on my fourth place [in 2008] and I finished fifth. The important thing is to be in contention and able to take advantage of opportunities that come your way.”
The first step towards that goal was achieved earlier this week when Xacobeo received one of the six final invites to the Vuelta. “We were kind of expecting it, although there were a lot of candidates for those final few places. But thanks to our performances over the last few years, we were counting on getting an invite.
"What did surprise me was that RadioShack were not picked because they are a great team, but I suppose the Vuelta organisation has its reasons for inviting teams to race or leaving them out.”
Winner of the team competition and a mountain stage at the Vuelta last year, Xacobeo Galicia has yet to record a victory of any kind this season. “Our main goal at the moment is to win something because we are in a good vein of form just now and competing at a good level, but we’ve just missed out on wins this season and if you don’t have a win or two behind you then there’s something missing," he said.
"So we need to put that right and also ride well at the Vuelta, because it is one of the most important races in the world. At the very least we want to do as well as we did there last year, which won’t be easy.”
Indeed, success at the Vuelta looks a definite requirement for Xacobeo, as Mosquera acknowledged. “I think there’s some degree of uncertainty over the future of this team because of the general weakness in the economic climate. But I hope that the team will keep on going.”