Young Spaniard rules himself out of Grand Tour in his WT debut season with Movistar Team, thanks team-mates for their "normality", which "helps everyone to feel at ease inside the group quite sooner"
Carlos Barbero is quite a different rider. It's not about his Mechanical and Industrial Engineering studies at the University of Burgos, so much easier to find riders with such degrees after times where pro cyclists were even lacking basic formation weren't that far away. It's not, either, about being a sprinter in arguably the most GT-focused squad in the whole UCI WorldTour. Above all, the 25-year-old from Burgos, just next to the Basque country in northern Spain, shows an overwhelming clarity of ideas. A man of few, very much measured words, which denote maturity. A value he'll have to prove as he joins the Movistar Team in 2017.
“I've taken all steps required: three years into Continental squads, then two seasons with ProConti Caja Rural… and now this opportunity comes, the one that every cyclist seeks for, which is riding the big leagues, the WorldTour. It's a new team for me, yet one I know as I've met practically all riders here in the past. This offer I take on it with a lot of excitement, especially when it comes to racing that bigger, more international calendar. The Movistar Team offers you all things you need to succeed, and I hope I can respond to their confidence."
Coincidentally, two of Eusebio Unzuçe's five signings for 2017, Bennati and him, are sprinters. Though, Barbero's preferences are involuntarily inclined by the fact that “my power-weight ratio makes me do better in uphill finishes than at traditional sprints. Yet I like to take part and dig deep at all sprints at my reach, not only those that suit me better.’”
And thus, the question about his 2017 calendar came. And it exposed Barbero's clairvoyance signaled earlier. “I might be one of those very few, strange riders who don't like Grand Tour sat all. These are for other, different riders. I don't get any driven by them. I prefer to be doing classics or stageraces more adjusted to my abilities.” Joining the Movistar Team also offers Carlos Barbero an opportunity to explore unknown territories. “Races like Milano-Sanremo or Amstel Gold Race are sceneries where I'd like to play. Those are routes that I've seen on TV for my entire life, and now there's a chance I can compete there and live them from inside."
The leap towards the WorldTour has also opened him the doors of a group seemingly grandiose from outside, yet as normal as a group of young lads in another environment would be – which we try to show from here. “Many from this group were already known, after sharing so many years inside the peloton with them. Earlier, they were rivals; now they're team-mates. And I didn't feel anything special when meeting them in Pamplona… because they're normal. You see Alejandro, Dani (Moreno), Nairo… you see them doing such extraordinary things on TV, they're the very best in the peloton, yet when you come across them in person, they're just normal. They're equals, they help to build a group because there's no egos. It might seem strange to see them behave this way, but that might be the key for success. It really helps everyone to feel at ease inside the group quite sooner.”
“My ideal 2017 season? I don't ask for much. I hope the team management to be happy with my job, and of course we'll make the most out of this chance to get as many victories as possible. But we must go step-by-step: getting used to the team system, the WorldTour pace… and letting the other things just happen.”