It has not been José Iván Gutiérrez's best season this year. In fact, the Caisse d'Epargne rider who usually scores three or four wins per annum did not achieve any victories at all in 2009. Today, November 27, the Spaniard celebrates his 31st birthday, and looks forward to making amends next season.
"It is a fact the season 2009 was far from being the best of my professional career and that I did not achieve my goals," Gutiérrez said.
"I never felt perfectly well at any moment of the year, and the result was that I won no race at all, which never happened before in my life. But I don't want to be too negative because I was all the same able to do my job within the team, help my team-mates when it was necessary. But I am a winner and in certain races I take the start to win, which was not possible for me this year."
Citing "personal problems" as well as illness as reasons for his missed opportunities, the Spaniard is set to return to his winning ways next year before his contract with Caisse d'Epargne runs out.
"Each year is different and what is important is to understand why things went wrong this year so that it will not happen again in 2010," he continued. "This winter I will rest much more than last year because I think it's very important. At the end of 2008 I started training to soon and it appeared to be a mistake."
Gutiérrez plans to start the early 2010 season in top form and peak again later in summer. "I would like to start the season well and race in Australia to take advantage of the good shape I have at the beginning of the year," he continued. "In spring I usually start suffering from allergies which prevent me from racing well. Later in the season I hope to participate in the Tour de France again before getting good results in August and September."
After finishing his racing programme at the Vuela a Chihuahua in Mexico in October, the Spaniard "rested most of all", and will start taking up training again now. "I will start training hard again. I will go to the gym, to the swimming pool and start riding my bike at the same time. First, I will train three or four times a week on the bike, depending on the weather, before progressively increasing the frequency and the rhythm. I want to be in good shape as soon as the season 2010 starts."
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