Name: Koldo Fernandez de Larrea
2011 WorldTour ranking: 223
- Spanish National Championships: 3rd
- Vuelta a Madrid: 3rd in stage 2
- Tour de Suisse: 4th in stage 8
- Brixia Tour: 3rd in stage 5
- Tour du Poitou-Charentes: 4th in stage 1
Why I like him:
I adore the love and passion for cycling so evident in the Basque fans, and embodied in the Euskaltel-Euskadi team. It is rare that a rider leaves this proud outfit (essentially their national team), and even rarer that it’s to one of the great cycling powerhouses.
It is for this reason that the switch of Basque sprinter Koldo Fernandez to Garmin-Cervelo has caught my eye, and I’m intrigued to see how the 30-year-old veteran is utilised by the American team. He doesn’t have the greatest palmares, although he has proven on occasion that he is capable of contesting at the front during sprint finishes.
With the Garmin team having Tyler Farrar as their main sprinter, it is hard to see Fernandez having a chance of competing for victory in the major races. However, having lost a crucial part of their lead-out train in Thor Hushovd, signing Fernandez as a Murilo Fischer-type lead-out specialist/sprinter/rouleur could be a very shrewd move indeed.
Where to see him in 2012:
As of yet, I have no idea where to find Koldo Fernandez this season! It all depends on how Garmin deploy him, and how crucial he is going to be in terms of Farrar’s lead-out train. Watch this space.
Watch out for regular updates tracking Koldo Fernandez’s 2012 season over the coming months.