Astana’s manager, Vinokourov, says their Colombian rider needs more time and experience in order to be a true Grand Tour winner. According to him, the illnesses and several injuries have masked Columbian’s true potential.
Another member of the Astana team, Jakob Fuglsang, has expressed his intentions to target next season’s Tour de France. However, team’s manager has eyes on the 23-year old rider, Lopez, who even though had a difficult season, he was able to score stage victories in the Vuelta a Burgos and Tour of Austria where he was able to take out two stage wins and also the best young rider classification in this year’s Vuelta a Espana.
“Miguel is a very talented cyclist with great potential,” Vinokourov said for El Tiempo. “In addition, he is still very young and he has so much of his career ahead of him. Unfortunately, so far, some health problems, injuries have not allowed him to fully show his potential. But, this season already showed what high level can reach.”
He has everything
“Lopez has everything he needs to do so. He has talent, perseverance, fighting spirit, climbing skills and a strong time trial, he just needs time and experience,” Vinokourov added.
“Lopez already did the Vuelta a España,. And speaking of the Giro and the Tour, he has to try at least to make his debut in these races.
According to Vinokourov, even though Colombians are usually known to excel at climbing, when it comes to time trials, the results are not very promising. The case apparently is completely different with Lopez.
“I do not think it’s a long-term problem. His biggest problem at the moment is his youth and a certain lack of experience. In addition, during the last season, he did not have much chance of working on his time trialling due to the injury. When everything returns to normal, we will see the progress of the Colombian at this stage. I am sure of that.”