Igor Antón is hoping to return to his winning form during his second year with the Movistar team. The 31-year-old basque rider, whose last win came during the Vuelta a Espana in 2011, told Biciclismo that he has recharged his batteries with two weeks of training before Christmas in an effort to start the season well next month at the Tour de San Luis.
“I have put in the preparation,” Antón told Biciclismo. “This year I finished the season early and had more peace of mind. I started working at the end of October. I am eager and found good weather in Lanzarote, where I have been for two weeks. I have good memories of 2011 when I won on the Zoncolan stage in the Giro and Bilbao in the Vuelta, my two most recent victories. Always you think of trying to repeat that.”
Antón said he prefers to start his season in San Luis rather than the Tour Down Under because he is better suited to the more mountainous course in Argentina. Following his first race, Antón will compete in the Vuelta a Murcia, Clasica de Almeria, Vuelta a Andalusia, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of the Basque Country, Primavera de Amorebieta and Giro del Trentino. His participation in the Grand Tours has not yet been decided, however.
“I don't know if I will ride the Giro,” he said. “I have not confirmed this. I think it will be based on my performance. But it is not causing me to lose sleep.”
With 2014 Giro winner Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde also riding for Movistar, getting selected for the team's Giro roster could be a high wall to climb.
“The plan perhaps is to earn a spot for the Vuelta,” he said. “That perhaps is more feasible. The Vuelta would be a very good option.”