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The turn according to Juanma Gárate, director of Education First

The turn according to Juanma Gárate, director of Education First

There are people who know well what is cooked in the Italy spin. One of them is Juanma Gárate (Irun, 04/24/1976), team sports director Education First. As a professional cyclist, Gárate achieved victories in the three big laps, something within the reach of very few. He was champion of Spain on the route and winner of the classic of San Sebastián. Almost nothing. He became professional in Italy and his relationship with Pink Corsa It was always special. In addition to his victory in El Alto de San Pellegrino (2006), Gárate achieved positions of honor in the general classification: fourth in 2002, fifth in 2005, or seventh in 2006, including the Maglia of King of the Mountain. We chat with Juanma about the 2022 Giro, about his cycling career and about cycling in general. [IRP Posts = "7598" Name = "Italian turn 2022: a statement of infinite amore" "] As an active cyclist, he ran several years in Italy. How did you live the experience of running the turn in an Italian squad? For an Italian team, the turn is the maximum. I arrived at professionals in Italy to a team with great expectations in this race: the lampre. The leader was Gilberto Simoni, with whom I agreed in his 2001 victory. Being a foreigner in a squad like this is lived with great intensity. For me it was an incredible school, and that came from Iberdrola, which was a very solid structure in fans. The turn was prepared with authentic passion. My first lessons in cycling were in Italy, and perhaps I have a special love for this career.

They say that every stages turns has its own idiosyncrasy. What is that of the Italian turn? The atmosphere in the turn is completely different. Let's say the Tour de France is the Champions, but the public is not really the best understood in cycling. There are people who take vacations and go to the tour like who attends a show. On the return, the race runs largely in summer and through tourist areas, so it comes a lot of truthful. But the turn is for people who have passion. They are people who understand cycling and show the difference. All towns and cities are turned: the pink balconies, the painted streets of Rosa. The month of May becomes a pink in Italy because of the turn and the Italians feel it as something of his. Everyone talks about the turn. As a cyclist, you perceive that passion of the public and you know that he is there because he understands cycling.

How does the peculiarity of the turn influence the competition itself? Is it very different from a career like the Tour de France? The composition of the race is the same, but deep down they are very different. In the tour the tension is maximum because there is a lot at stake. Sponsors profitable 90% of their investment in the tour and paraphernalia is higher. There are a lot of guests, sponsors ... There is almost another parallel team following the race. All this causes the voltage to rise and responsibility as well. In that sense, the turn is more relaxed. But it is a very important appointment because it is the first big one of the year. And how does a team like Education First face the turn? We have high expectations because things have not been good for us in recent months. The flu that extended in the platoon has hit us and there have been times when we have had up to 17 runners. When we seemed to be tracing, the massive fall in Lieja arrived, which affected five of our runners. Two of them should have participated in the turn, but suffered various fractures. Then it was the fall of Rigoberto Uran in Romandía, although we did not count on him for the test. We have spent bad moments, but we see that the team's trend is ascending. We need a good short -term result for the team to spread and enter into winning dynamics.
In this season there have been times when we have had up to 17 runners at the same time.
In Italy I want to get is that this click I arrive right away. We have Magnus Cort Nielsen, who has had a clavicle and wrist fracture. I don't think it's competitive from minute one, but I think it will help us change the dynamics. In this way, we can face the rest of the somewhat more relaxed turn and bet with Hugh Carthy by the general. And how do you see this year's turn? This year the turn begins powerful. The first stage already has a high end: a fourth category port, but there are 5 km in which you have to enter well placed from below and that generates tension. The second day is a chrono. The third day, a transfer to Sicily and the ascent to Etna. I think it is a beginning that will create differences and that it will open the race. We talk about Alps and Dolomitas, but the ninth stage, that of the blockhaus, is a barbarity with 5,000 m of unevenness. The final part of the race is rather classical. It does not have excessively long stages, but we ascend mythical ports of the dolomites. In short, you cannot get just in shape and give seconds because they can then weigh a lot. It is what I want to convey to my runners. Let's go back to your stage as an active cyclist. What victory marked you as a professional? Undoubtedly, the victory with the most impact was the one that I achieved in Mont-Vantoux, in the 2009 tour. But for me the victory in the classic of San Sebastián of 2007 was unforgettable, although I was the second to cross the goal (the winner of That edition, Leonardo Bertagnolli, was disqualified by Dopaje and Juanma was appointed winner).
The most unforgettable victory for me was the one achieved in the classic of San Sebastián.
I am from Irun, in the skirts of Jaizkibel (the emblematic climb of the classic). I have grown and I have fond of cycling by climbing Jaizkibel with the backpack and sandwich to see the classic. I did it with my friends and I did it with my family. Fighting for victory years later in that same stage was unforgettable. It is the career that has marked me the most. Last year we won with Neilson Powless and for me it was a high as team director. Nor can I forget the victory in the Giro, in the Alto de San Pellegrino. Superbien came to me. After several TOP TENI felt that I deserved it. You were one of the cyclists who made a career abroad when it was not yet something too common Yes we were a little pioneers to leave abroad, but we didn't have another option either. Before I opened cyclists such as Iñigo Chaurreau, Ion Odriola, Astarloa, or Oscar Freire himself, who won three World Cups. Now it is almost the usual. Through the networks you are closer to the fan. In our time, you needed the press to remember you. I am aware that in Euskaltel, for example, I would have had another tracking. But having run outside has given me other things, other values, other knowledge. I do not regret anything. And after a few years as sports director, what are the lessons learned Cycling is very hard and the mental aspect is especially attracted to me. Being on the other side has taught me to understand how important the mentality is for an elite athlete. Sometimes, the difference between being or not lies in my head and is what is still surprising. As director, I have to manage those emotions. When you are able to rename, performance rises exponentially. And that is my work: correct errors without losing motivation and trust. Focusing is unproductive, I prefer to face the problems of my runners from a constructive and creative point of view, and act.

From your position, how do you value the growing public exhibition of cycling equipment? What do you think of initiatives such as The less thought day of Movistar, who has given so much to speak? Sometimes things are said that taken from context can be misunderstood. But I don't see it badly, at all. Being transparent is good and it is what we are doing in the teams in recent years. We owe the sponsors and we owe the public. Times have changed and people want to know what goes beyond races. We see it in football, in motorcycling, in tennis ... but it is that cycling is close by nature, since the best cyclists in the world pass two meters from the public. An example: in the last round Basque Country, I gave permission to one of my children to miss class and thus be able to see how Roglic warmed before one of the stages. If you had to balances all these years ... I would never have thought about running as a professional 14 years and getting what I have achieved. In fact, in my last year of fan I would have been satisfied just by having the opportunity to debut in the highest category. I have never considered myself a star, but a cyclist who has managed to take advantage of his opportunities, that he read the careers well and that he knew how to move. Without a doubt, I would repeat and choose cycling.  
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