Lobato gets ready for first full pro season with Andalucía-Caja Granada
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lobato gets ready for first full pro season with Andalucía-Caja Granada

by Bjorn Haake at 6:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Last year's trainee is a man for the sprints

Juan Jose LobatoJuan José Lobato was a trainee with the Spanish Andalucía-Cajasur team at the end of last season and left a good impression. He was so motivated that he ended in ninth place at the U23 Worlds road race in Geelong, Australia. This confirmed to Andalucía-Caja Granada (the 2011 team title) that Lobato is a good rider to sign.

Lobato himself had quite a surprise to wake up to when he joined the pro ranks. "This is not how I imagined it. They did tell me it is a different world, but I dismissed it," he said on sprintespecial.blogspot.com. "In the end, they were right. Above all, the way the sprints are prepared - this was nothing like what I was used to from the amateur races. Quite impressive."

But Lobato did get used to the professionals rather quickly. His first race with the team was the Circuito Montañes, where he had five top six finishes, the best being a fourth place in stage seven.

He was then put in the roster for the Volta a Portugal, where he mixed it up in the sprints. "The respect never goes away," he said, "but it is true that at each finish I felt more at ease and had more confidence. It is a bummer that in the final stage I couldn't sprint because the team had a crash with 20km to go."

General Manager Antonio Cabello is not putting pressure on the 22-year-old. "For now he wants me to find my space and that I stay calm." The youngster is quite eager to get going. "Yes, I am quite anxious to get the season started and most importantly to know if I am up to the big opportunity that I have."

Lobato is a sprinter but cannot judge the complaints of other Spanish sprinters yet, that the Spanish teams aren't setting them up well. "In the amateur races I was used to look after myself, but in the professional races they surely have to help me," he said.

His program starts in Mallorca, then he will do the Vuelta Andalucía and the Clásica Almería. He is not thinking of the Vuelta a España yet. "This would be like a dream come true, but the dream will still be there. First you have to do things well and the rewards and results will fall in place."


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