Many riders take part in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco precisely because it’s such a tough race and it’s a perfect proving ground ahead of the Ardennes Classics and the Giro d’Italia. One such rider is IAM’s David Tanner.
In his second season with IAM Cycling, Australian-born Tanner is a longtime resident on the Cote d’Azur from his days riding with La Pomme Marseille.
It’s home for me now, I don’t spend much time in Australia. I have my own friends there and I get to do my own thing. The weather’s perfect, the training’s awesome. It’s perfect for me.
Living there myself, I know exactly what he means but I was keen to learn how he was finding the Tour of the Basque Country, after a block of training in Sierra Nevada.
Tuesday wasn’t so friendly and the weather was horrible. I had some stomach problems on Monday night and didn’t sleep at all but was feeling better by Wednesday. It’s been 5 or 6 weeks since I’d last raced and I need to get this race in my legs for the next races in the Ardennes and the Giro. It’s important for me to suffer in the race.
I told him that “suffer” was the right word for such a testing stage race. David continued:
Every year you get your arse kicked but after it you have really good form. For me it’s one of the hardest weeks but it serves a purpose.
IAM have no designated leader for the race so instead are focused on getting into the day’s break and hunting for a stage victory. Maybe we’ll see David in a break later in the week. After all, there’s no better way to suffer.
Header image: Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2016 © Richard Whatley