A Spaniard in Italy

By Monika Prell

For Ricardo Serrano the biggest adventure of his career has already begun. The Spanish cyclist signed a contract with the Italian team Tinkoff.

The 28 year old from Valladolid became pro in 2003 with the Team Labarca 2-Café Baqué. From 2005 to 2006 he rode for the Kaiku team. In 2006 he won his first race, a stage and the final classification of the Vuelta a Burgos.

When Kaiku ended its sponsorship after not being selected for the Vuelta a Espana, Serrano received offers from many teams, including Saunier Duval. But finally, he decided to sign for the new Italian team Tinkoff. "I felt like changing the country. It will be a great adventure because I'll go alone, without friends, and I won't be with Spanish riders", he commented when he signed the contract.

Now, after the first team meeting in Rivera Romagnola, near the town of Riccione (Italy), Serrano said to todociclismo.com that he has been accepted, even if at the beginning he "felt a bit lost because of the language." He's happy about the team, which consists of cyclists from Russia, Germany, Italy and America, whose goal is to win as much as they can and to be invited to participate at the Giro d'Italia.

Serrano will have his chances, even if he admits that Tyler Hamilton will be the leader. But "when I feel good, I'll be behind him and in front of the others", said Serrano. His schedule for the first two months will "probably" be the Tour de Mediterranée, the Vuelta a Valencia, the Tirreno Adriático and the Semana Internazionale de Italia.

At the moment he is training in Valladolid to be fit for the team training camp, which will take place from January 8th to January 24th. He hopes to have then more details and to be in good competitive form, so that he can "attempt to win more races than last year."

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