Koldo Fernandez hoping for good fit at Garmin-Barracuda
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Koldo Fernandez hoping for good fit at Garmin-Barracuda

by Kyle Moore at 5:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Euskaltel-Euskadi transfer excited to finally ride with other Classics specialists

Koldo FernandezAfter eight seasons spent riding with his home Basque team Euskaltel-Euskadi, Koldo Fernandez (Garmin-Barracuda) is excited about the prospect of riding for a team that can legitimately contest the types of races that suit his style.

Fernandez, most comfortable with long flat days in the saddle, was often without much support on the Basque team that is much more suited for hilly stage races and gears its roster around them.

After one of his toughest seasons in Euskaltel-Euskadi orange in 2011, when third place was the best he could muster throughout the season, Fernandez made the move to Garmin-Barracuda in the offseason, as the American team was looking to revamp its own Classics squad after the departure of Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing).

“I needed a change,” Fernandez admitted to Velochrono. “Everything is new to me – the riders, the staff. I am happy.”

Fernandez says that it may be too soon to fully admit that the change will be completely beneficial for both he and his new team, but early indications are that it could be. In the recently concluded Tour of the Mediterranean, Fernandez worked in the leadout that helped set up team-mate Michel Kreder’s two sprint wins.

“It’s a bit early to say whether this change is for me. Only time will tell,” he added. “[Euskaltel-Euskadi and Garmin-Barracuda] are different teams, both in terms of philosophy and ways of working. But I feel good.

“The other riders made me feel welcomed. The staff was really great with me and [team director] Jonathan Vaughters immediately tried to put me at ease. At Euskaltel, the climbers are [given priority] and the atmosphere is like family. At Garmin, it is international. We will work more on my skills with a program focused on the Classics. This is what I wanted.”

Garmin-Barracuda boasts both Tyler Farrar and Heinrich Haussler as riders capable of carrying out sprint wins in the season’s biggest races, and while Fernandez is targeting races that either sprinter could lead, he said he received an early race program that often has him matched up with Farrar.

“We have already spent a few days working together during the pre-season,” Fernandez said of he and Farrar. “My race calendar is based on helping Tyler. However, the team leaves me the freedom to take my own chances at some races.”

Fernandez mentioned that Garmin-Barracuda has his racing schedule outlined all the way to the beginning of the summer. He will head next to the Tour of the Algarve, and eventually to Paris-Nice, “perhaps Milan-Sanremo,” the Tour of the Basque Country, Romandie, California, and the Critérium du Dauphine.

From there, the Spaniard indicated that the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España could be a possibility, along with the Olympics – multiple ambitions for the rejuvenated Fernandez.

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