News for January 5, 1997

More Miguel Indurain Analysis

Miguel Indurain was born on July 16th of 1964 In Villaba (Navarra) and made his debut as professional in 1985. His main victories close to 120 and many places of honor are as follows:

1985/Reynolds: Two stages at the Tour D'Avenir and Leader's Jersey at la Vuelta a Espana for four days.

1986/Reynolds: Two stages and the Overall at the Tour D'Avenir, stage at la Vuelta a Burgos, stage and Overall at la Vuelta a Murcia.

1987/Reynolds: Stage at la Vuelta a Murcia, Two stages at Semana Catalana, three stages at Valles Mineros, one stage at la Vuelta a Galicia and the Gran Premio Navarra.

1988/Reynolds: Stage and Overall at la Volta Cataluna, stage at la Vuelta a Cantabria, stage at la Vuelta a Galicia.

1989/Reynolds: Overall at Paris-Nice, stage and Overall at Criterium International, stage at the Tour de France and Criterium de Pamplona.

1990/Banesto: One stage and the Overall at Paris-Nice, stage at the Tour de France, stage at la Vuelta a Valencia, stage at la Vuelta a Burgos, Clasica de San Sebastian (first Spaniard to win a World Cup Race) and Criterium de Tarnos.

1991/Banesto: Two stages at Bicicleta Vasca (2nd Overall after Gianni Bugno), stage and Overall at Tour de Vaucluse, two stages (both ITT) and Overall at the Tour de France, stage and Overall at la Vuelta a Cataluna.

1992/Banesto: Prologue at the Tour of Romandie, two stages and the Overall at the Giro d'Italia, prologue, two stages and Overall at the Tour de France, Spanish Championship, Volta a Cataluna, race from Castilla-Leon, Criterium de Monein, Criterium de Aulne, Criterium de Alcobendas.

1993/Banesto: Stage at la Vuelta a Murcia, two stages and Overall at the Giro d'Italia, two stages at the Valles Mineros, Prologue, stage and Overall at the Tour de France, stage at Trofeo Castilla-Leon and Vuelta a Los Puertos. Silver Medalist at the Road World Championships.

1994/Banesto: Stage Etapa at la Vuelta a Valencia, stage at Overall Tour de L'Oise, stage at Castilla-Leon, stage and Overall at Tour de France, Criterium de Castillon.

1995/Banesto. Two stages and Overall at the Tour de France, ITT World Champion, one stage and Overall at the Dauphine Libere, Overall at Midi Libre, one stage and Overall at la Vuelta a Galicia, two stages and Overall at la Vuelta a la Rioja, two stages at la Vuelta a Asturias, Moscow Criterium, SIlver Medalist at the World's Road Race.

1996/Banesto: Olympic Gold Medalist at the ITT, stage and Overall at Vuelta a Asturias, stage and Overall at Bicicleta Vasca, two stages and Overall la Vuelta al Alentejo, two stages and Overall at the Dauphine Libere.

His trajectory in the major stage races and other important races is as follows:

Tour: 1985 (abandoned), 1986 (abandoned), 1987/97, 1988/47, 1989/17 (stage between Pau and Cauterets), 1990/10 (stage between Blagnac and Luz Ardiden), 1991/1 (stages Argentan-Alencon and Lugny-Macon), 1992/1 (Prologue of San Sebastian, stages Luxemburgh-Luxemburgh and Tours-Blois), 1993/1 (Prologue of Puy de Fou and stage of Lake Madine), 1994/1 (stage Perigeux-Bergerac), 1995/1 (stages Seraig and Lake Vassiviere, both ITT) and 1996/11.

Vuelta: 1985/84 (Leader four days), 1986/92, 1987/abandoned, 1988/abandoned, 1989/abandoned, 1990/7 (one stage), 1991/2 and 1996/abandoned.

Giro: 1992/1 (two stages), 1993/1 (stages Senigalli and Sestriere) and 1994/3.

Hour Record: 1994 new mark established at 53,040 km.

World's ITT: 1995/1.

World Road Race: 1987/64, 1988/abandoned, 1989/abandoned, 1990/12, 1991/3, 1992/6, 1993/2 and 1995/2.

Olympic Games: 1984 Los Angeles/abandoned and 1996 Atlanta/1 ITT


Here are the reactions to Indurain's retirement from some of the people in the cycling world:

JOSE MIGUEL ECHAVARRI - Director for Team Banesto and one of the closest to Indurain during his athletic career as a cyclist commented that Indurain's retirement is a great "signing" for his family. "I have nothing to say about his decision to retire. Simply that he leaves a great team, his team throughout his whole cycling career, Banesto, for another one much better, his family, said Echavarri. For Echavarri, Indurain's decision is wise and intelligent. "He didn't have a good season, but has sealed it with Olympic Gold for a glorious closing for his brilliant career. We have to respect his decision and nothing else". "This January 2nd - added Echavarri - is a very special day for me and somewhat sad also, although I admit that it had to come". Echavarri, who has shared many difficult moments and successes, said that he doesn't know what Indurain will do now with his new life. "I don't know what he will do from now on, but something is clear: whatever he has done he will do as good as he has done when riding the bicycle". About the new Banesto, that started precisely today in Pamplona he added: "it is a different Banesto, since Indurain can't be substituted. A new day begins although wee continue to have the same objectives with the new cycling promise, Abraham Olano ahead of us".

EUSEBIO UNZUE - Banesto's Sport Director, has declared that "this has been the day that nobody wanted to arrive". Unzue said during a meeting of team Banesto at a hotel in Pamplona: "Everything in this life has beginning and end and today we face the end of Indurain's career, probably a very tough decision for Miguel himself". "For Miguel today will be the beginning of happiness and tranquility and also the beginning of enjoying everything he has accomplished during this years", he added. Unzue also said that the news didn't surprise him. "We had motives to believe that he was not going to continue. From the beginning of the season he thought that this was going to be his last season and that's the way it's been". Unzue declared that he was very "against seeing Miguel in another team's uniform and even to see him riding for one more year". "All the social life of this country will miss him, because he won't be riding and we wouldn't think of anybody taking over. His athletic career has ended and we will notice his absence more than anybody else, but luckily we have another team that gives us a lot of confidence", de added. Lastly he said: "It will be very difficult to imitate him and to pretend to achieve what he has is impossible".

About the offers that Indurain received to continue in the sport: "Miguel gave the opportunity in this two and a half months for team to seduce him, but apparently they haven't been able to do it and make him continue". In terms of the contacts maintained with Indurain by Banesto, he said: "Miguel and Banesto has sat down as always, but he simply said that the day that he made a decision he would communicate with us and that's what he did. Late yesterday Miguel called the bank through Luis Abril and the team through Jose Miguel Echavarri and told them of his decision".

PEPE GRANDE - National selector and candidate for the presidency of the Spanish Federation has told EFE that with Miguel Indurain's retirement we are losing "a champion like Spain never had". Grande assured that it is always "sad" when a champion like Indurain retires, "and more when he was in physical condition to go for one more season", he added. Grande feels that Indurain's retirement has been influenced by many things, the days that a professional cyclist has to be away from home, a possible team change and that he never reached a financial agreement. In his opinion after Indurain retired from La Vuelta, everything became out of context, although he feels that if Indurain opted for this decision it must be the best one. "Miguel probably weighed his physical state, his family and the repercussions from a possible team change after spending all his career in one team, to make such an important decision", he finished.

FRANCESCO MOSER - "I gave him at least two more year". "Even though there was talk of his eventual retirement, his announcement has surprised me. To stumble during season like he did on the past Tour is no reason to throw the towel. In competition there are always more losses than wins and one doesn't have to take things so strongly. At least that's how I see it".

JEAN MARIE LEBLANC - "I admire him" "As Tour director, I could only express my admiration for Indurain. His five victories were almost perfect. He was never too overboard or defensive. Like Jacques Anquetil, he had total control over the cyclists and it has left me impressed. I have sent him a fax in which I told him that I will remember him as a man of exquisite character".

MARCO PANTANI - "I have a bad taste in my mouth". Miguel should have continued for at least one more year, since at 32 years of age an athlete is not finished and he maintains good physical form. I'm not going to deny that his retirement has left a bad taste in my mouth. I thought that the rumors about his retirement were only part of the process for signing a new contract. But it is true that after the Tour I saw him with very low morale".

BJARNE RIIS - "I'm sad. I'm very sad about Miguel's retirement. I believe that he has taken the best decision, but on the other hand I would have liked to have beaten him again. I don't know if he would have been capable of winning a sixth Tour, in that sense maybe it was better to leave it instead of suffering another defeat in a race of so much importance and prestige".

EDDY MERCKX - He considered Indurain's decision as logical since "when a cyclist is not 100% mentally, the best thing is to leave it". Merckx showed respect for his decision "a great champion and a great person" and I wish him "all the luck in the world in his change of lifestyle. I feel that his retiring at La Vuelta a Espana in September was a decisive factor in his decision to hang the bike. I don't think that he didn't consider ONCE's offer for economic motives, he wasn't a champion that paid too much attention to money", declared Merckx. The Belgian couldn't compare his career with the Navarran. "They were different times. Indurain was an extraordinary champion who had one great objective every year, to win the Tour. He wasn't too interested in anything else". Merckx concluded that Indurain's retirement "leave the peloton without a great leader", but showed hope in that the younger cyclist will take over where Indurain left off.

BERNARD HINAULT - Commented that Miguel Indurain "reached his glory days late at 27. The French race was always his objective and he renounced to everything else to win at the Tour. Without a doubt, a great champion and an important loss for the peloton".

CLAUDIO CHIAPPUCCI - "It makes me feel like retiring. Indurain is a myth and we will miss him. The fact that starting now he won't be with us in the peloton makes me feel like retiring also. He has been the first one from our generation to say good-bye and I hope to be the last one. This is the end of an era, but I will always remember the extraordinary power to ascend that Miguel had. Lie I have already said, I will miss him".

PRUDENCIO INDURAIN - "I've known it for days. I knew for days already that my brother was going to retire, but even then we went out to train, he will continue doing it, even though he's no longer a professional. Miguel has always motivated me, he was the mirror in which I used to look into, since he requires the maximum in training and racing. Miguel has been a great champion and a person like no other".

GIANNI BUGNO - "He told me five years ago. I feel bad that Miguel Indurain has decided to leave cycling, he who has given so much good to it. When I heard about the news of his retirement, I was reminded of a conversation that we had five years ago. Then he told me that he would hang the bike when he turned 32, like he has done. I thought that it wouldn't be this way, but in the hour of truth he has kept his word. What a shame!".

The 1996 winner of the Tour de France, Dane Bjarne Riis said, "I'm not surprised by Miguel Indurain's decision to abandon the profession. It is always sad when one of the greats abandons, but for me personally is something positive. Now I have one rival less, although I would have liked to have beaten Indurain one more time", said Riis to the Danish press. Riis added: "He has been on of the greatest" in cycling. "To win the Tour five times is similar to what Eddy Merckx accomplished", who has difficulty comparing riders from different times. But Riis assures that Indurain's decision doesn't surprise him, although he has no doubt that a well prepared Indurain could have been threat for the next Tour. "After been after the top of the podium five times, I doubt that he would be satisfied with second place", affirms Riis. For the next Tour, Bjarne Riis considers that his biggest rivals will be Richard Virenque, Abraham Olano and Laurent Dufaux, against which he will try his all.

Indurain leaves. He had us so spoiled that we thought that this day would never come. But the time has come. Things aren't as bad as people think for Spanish cycling. We can look at the future with more optimism than the Belgians after Merckx or the French after Hinault. To start with we have Olano, the first Spaniard to wear the Road World Championship jersey. But we are not going to ask Olano to win the five next Tours, but in him we have a candidate to fight in them, and that is a lot. Abraham has a lot of things similar to Miguel, both physically and technically. But until now they have had one thing different: the luck, a indispensable condition to win the Tour. While Miguel has spent his best years with only one seriously fall - at Salou at the Volta in '89, which cost him a shoulder fracture - Olano has had bad luck follow him.

Physically you could say they're brother. Miguel is 1.88 meters, Olano a little shorter. Both are serene in character and can resist pressures and wear poker faces. Olano is progressing in the mountain, just like Indurain did in his beginnings, when nobody though him capable of winning a Tour. He has already fought to win at the Giro and Tour (and Vuelta. FRG) which shows that with progression he could achieve it in the near future.

THE IDEAL AGE - With Indurain absent, all the eyes in Spain will be on Olano. ON the 22nd of this month he will turn 27, ideal age for a cyclist for the next three or four years. From his same generation in contrast there are: Mikel Zarrabeitia and David Garcia. The presence of Antonio Martin and Mariano Rojas will be missed. Also worth mentioning, David Etxebarria, winner at the Tour D'Avenir and Josue Barrigon, two of ONCE's hopes.

Italian News

Johan Museeuw, Franco Ballerini and Stefano Zanini left for Calpe (in southern Spain) for two weeks of training. Also Frank Vandenbroucke and the Belgina compliment of Mapei-GB: Steels, Peeters, Leysen, Bomans and Mattan. The team meeting will be from the 20th to the 30th of January in Toscana, Marina di Bibbona.

Cologne Six Day Race

Belgian Etienne de Wilde and German Olaf Ludwig have won the Six Days of Colonia. Next race at Brema (Ger) from January 9th to the 14th.
Final Classification: 

 1. Etienne DE WILDE (Bel)-Olaf LUDWIG (Ger)    257 points
 2. Veggerby-Madsen (Dan), at one lap, 		316
 3. Kappes (Ger)-Risi (Svi) 			315
 4. Martinello-Villa (Ita) 			284
 5. Teutenberg (Ger)-Gilmore (Aus) 		167

Fondriest's have another daughter

Carlotta his second daughter was born at 4:00 PM at the Cles Hospital (Trento): the little one weighed 2.8 Kgs. His first daughter, Maria Vittoria, was born the day of his victory at Milano- Sanremo 1993.