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"I think he can return to that level. This year he has not been able to prove his worth because he has not had any luck, with crashes and illness. I saw him training before the Tour and the truth is that he was at a very high leve...

Photo: Sirotti






07.11.2014 @ 11:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having just been married and returned from vacation, Mikel Nieve has started his preparation for 2015 when he hopes to continue the line or do even better than he did in his first year with Team Sky. In 2014, he won a stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné and he was 12th and a key support rider for Chris Froome in the Vuelta a Espana, 18th and best Sky rider in the Tour de France and 4th in the Clasica San Sebastian.


On Monday, Nieve returned from his honeymoon and at the same time, the weather changed after a very hot autumn.


"After the Vuelta, I continued to train a little before I took a rest for a month. Now I am back in the routine and have slowly started to prepare. The season has already changed and it is now really winter. Hopefully, the next days will be better so that I can have a good pre-season," he tells Biciciclismo.


Nieve welsomes his new coach Xabier Artetze.


"I talked to him this week. Everything will be easier and I am grateful to have a diretor who is a bit closer to me."




For 2015, Nieve hopes to follow the path from 2014 and improve if possible.


"I have my place in the grand tours where I can help in the mountains. But my goal is also to improve and grow in all areas. I have the illusion that I can still become better and if I can win another race as I did in 2014, it will be even better," he says.


Having already won stages in the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana, he is now left with the most difficult challenge: to win a stage in the Tour de France. This year he made numerous attempts and in 2013 he was third on the Mont Ventoux.


"It is the dream. The Tour is the biggest race and it is very difficult to win, but it is not a goal. I am not obsessed. If the opportunity arises, I will try to take advantage," he says.


Nieve has no doubt that his leader Chris Froome can return to his best in the grand tours.


"I think he can return to that level. This year he has not been able to prove his worth because he has not had any luck, with crashes and illness. I saw him training before the Tour and the truth is that he was at a very high level. I think we can expect him to return to his best," he says.


His balance of his first season with Team Sky after five years at Euskaltel-Euskadi is positive in all aspects. 


"I'm very happy. Personally, I have been very pleased. The team has confidence in me and my teammates are very open. From a sporting aspect, I tried to do the maximum. I think I've been pretty consistent and have been able to reach a good level. The team congratulated me for my performance in the Tour and the Vuelta, but they do it with everyone. They value the effort of each rider," he says.


His team had a difficult Tour and saved the year with Froome's second place in the Vuelta.


"In the Tour, everything fell apart. Chris crashed, Porte fell ill and I was also sick on certain days. I recovered and at least I could be a protagonist, even if I was not at 100%. And in the Vuelta, Froome proved that he would have been closer to Contador if he had not lost so much time in the time trial and that he can aspire to win any race," he says.



About his preparation, Nieve adds that "he has spent more hours on the bike" and at training camps on Mount Teide.


"Already in the previous year I was in Sierra Nevada with Euskaltel. This year I was on Mount Teide. It's hard to stay focused and be away from the world for two weeks but you see the results. I think it is worth the sacrifices."



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