- Place: Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona
- Birth: 22/11/1993
- Country: ESP
- Height: 186 Cm
- Weight: 68 Kg
- Pro debut: 2015
- Years in team: 3
- Career path:
2015-2017: Movistar Team
2015-2017: Movistar Team
A BIG HOPEFUL. Winner of the 2015 Tour de l’Avenir with 21 years of age, already in his first season as Movistar Team member, he’s since become arguably Spain’s biggest hopeful for tours big and small. Always drawing comparisons to Miguel Indurain due to his physical appearance and long-range, winning attacks as an amateur, his evolution has been visible since that Avenir success. A year later, in his second pro season, he won the Queen stage of the Route du Sud after working hard for his team-mate Nairo Quintana, prior to a fantastic one-two GC finish for them.
LEAP FORWARD IN 2017. The last season was a confirmation of his popularity and quality. He contested the win on the final stage of Paris-Nice against Alberto Contador; took 8th overall in a WorldTour stagerace, the Tour de Suisse; astonished the cycling world with a podium finish in the Volta a Catalunya, alongside Valverde and Contador; and again showed his courageous style -no less than six breaks- in his first Grand Tour experience: the Vuelta a España. His efficiency was valued by the Spanish Federation, which took him to a first elite Worlds road race in Bergen in September.
STILL TO POLISH. A great climber and a more-than-decent time trialist -he took bronze in the 2014 Spanish under-23 TT champs-, his ability to recover extremely well from long efforts gives hopes of a future talent for one or three-week stageraces, which Spain is certain to need once the big ones are nearly gone following a ‘golden era’.
He discovered bike racing -both road and mountain- with 13 years old, but for the next four seasons he combined cycling with football, his other big passion -he’s an avid FC Barcelona fan–, a sport he had taken up before as a goalkeeper. At age 17, he took a decision to focus on the bike.
At the beginning of his third amateur season with the Lizarte development team, Soler received an unexpected phone call from the man who would become his boss few months later: Eusebio Unzué. “We like your style – let’s see how you do this season,” were the words from the Movistar Team manager, who recruited him for the 2015 season onwards.
HIS ROAD TO THE 2018 TOUR
43 racing days:
– Tour Down Under (34th)
– Vuelta a Murcia (DNF)
– Clásica de Almería (80th)
– Vuelta a Andalucía (3rd)
– Paris-Nice (1st)
– Volta a Catalunya (5th)
– GP Miguel Indurain (6th)
– Paris-Roubaix (DNF)
– Vuelta a Aragón (6th)
– Critérium du Dauphiné (16th)
– Spanish RR Championships (28th)
Debuts in the ‘Grande Boucle’. Took part in the 2017 Vuelta a España (48th).
The magnificent progression by Marc Soler during this 2018 season has granted the Catalan youngster a coveted place inside the Movistar Team lineup for the TDF. The winner of Paris-Nice has shown great consistency, courage into the mountains and all-around prowess, even on the cobblestones, where he shone with a long breakaway during Paris-Roubaix.
A great climber and a good time trialist, Soler will be of great value for the team leaders on the flat, the team time trial and, most importantly, the mountain stages, where he’ll try to remain as close as possible to the Blues’ main names. All of that, while keeping in mind that Marc’s a debutant in the race: patience and calmness will be needed to see how the Spaniard copes with the mos famous race in the world.
“It makes me really excited to be racing my first TDF. I’m coming there with real excitement and will to help out as much as possible, learn everything about this race and give my support to the team in order to win the race. It’s already a dream to be part of the roster. I’ve always said that this was the race that got me into this sport, the one I watched with my dad on the sofa when I was a kit, and that’s why I’m more motivated than ever. Before the Vuelta a Aragón, Eusebio already told me I had a chance to race the Tour, and asked me to get ready for it. That’s why I didn’t put my focus on the Dauphiné and the Spanish Championships to try and get fresher to the second half of the Tour, where I can help the most. I’ve completed many days of altitude training and I hope it brings some fruit.
“My goal is supporting our leaders wherever I can. At the first week on the flat, wherever I’m asked to, pulling at the front of the bunch on the mountains, joining some breaks… all that we need. I think that we can be up there with Sky as the strongest team, having specialists for all terrains. With such a strong roster, I feel like it will be difficult to run out of force at any situation. The first nine days will be about not losing time, especially on the cobblestones, and that’s where you want to have your leaders more protected. After the first rest day we head into our terrain, and shouldn’t have we lost much time, I’m sure it will go well for us.”