Mikel Astarloza releases racing calendar through July
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Mikel Astarloza releases racing calendar through July

by Kyle Moore at 12:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta al Pais Vasco
Euskaltel-Euskadi veteran beginning in Australia, setting sights on Tour de France

Mikel AstarlozaThe experienced Basque rider Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is looking to ride another full season for his Basque squad since returning from a doping ban late in the 2011 year. After completing a busy season in 2012, Astarloza has already released his racing schedule for the first half of the 2013 season.

The 33-year-old will begin his season as early as possible, at the Tour Down Under. Astarloza will be aiming to peak twice in the first half of the year – in April and again for the Tour de France in July. With team leader Samuel Sanchez still seemingly unsure about his main targets for 2013, Astarloza has set his main goal for France, likely to help the Euskaltel-Euskadi team leader, though Astarloza has shown capabilities of his own in the past.

Astarloza had a busy but inconspicuous season in 2012, with no wins or trips to the podium. He completed Paris-Nice, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Tour de Romandie and the Vuelta a España, always in support of Euskaltel leaders Sanchez, Igor Anton, and Mikel Nieve. Astarloza’s best finish was arguably the Tour de Suisse, where he took 20th overall. The Spaniard had gotten off to a decent start in the Tour de France before crashing out in the mass pileup that occurred with 25km to race in stage six to Metz.

Having not raced since Paris-Tours in early October, Astarloza will use a variety of early season races to prepare for his first targets in April, his home Tour of the Basque Country, as well as the Ardennes Classics.

“My 2013 season will begin in Australia, where I will take on the testing Tour Down Under,” Astarloza wrote on his website. “I will start strong this year, with the objective of arriving in April with good form for the Tour of the Basque Country. In May I will rest a little, then get in my best condition for the Tour de France. The main objective will be the Tour.”

Astarloza posted Christmas greetings on his Twitter page, having just completed a training camp with Euskaltel-Euskadi on December 21st.

Astarloza’s racing calendar through July 2013:

Tour Down Under (January 22-27)
Tour of the Mediterranean (February 6-10)
Tour du Haut Var (February 16-17)
Paris-Nice (March 3-10)
Volta a Catalunya (March 18-24)
Tour of the Basque Country (April 1-6)
Amstel Gold Race (April 14)
Fleche Wallonne (April 17)
Liege-Bastogne-Liege (April 21)
Tour de Romandie (April 23-28)
Tour de Suisse (June 8-16)
Tour de France (June 29-July 21)


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