30-year-old Basque allrounder makes it to WorldTour racing with Movistar Team in 2017 after just over a decade since he took up competitive cycling
It was high time for Víctor de la Parte (Vitoria, ESP; 1986) to be able to take his car to any event the team required him, without it being a two-day journey. “It’s such a big change, to be living just 80km away from your squad’s headquarters, driving yourself to the pre-season camp, speaking your mother tongue with many guys you already knew before… CCC Sprandi was of course a big team, yet this is a big leap forward, a whole different level. We all five newcomers to the Movistar Team this winter have felt like at home from the very first minute we put out feet on the hotel. It’s like a family: you can really feel the good atmosphere, the experience they’ve ammassed over the years, which makes things work so smoothly.”
“I’ve fought for many years for this place, travelling the world, gathering experiences. Despite being already 30 years old, I think it’s a good age for me to enter the World Tour. I took up competing in cycling really like -he started full-time activity just over a decade ago – Ed.-, and I always lacked a bit of ‘maturity’. Every squad I made part of -Caja Rural, SP Tableware, Efapel, Vorarlberg, CCC Sprandi- was an adaptation and rekindling of all things, going ahead and exploring what I could do in pro cycling. And I feel like the best is yet to come from myself,” explains De la Parte, entering a stretch of otherwise full physical development.
Even though his palmarès already features big results like the GC victory in the Tour of Austria (2015, a prologue win in the Volta a Portugal (2014) or a podium finish in the Tour of Croatia this very 2016 -the last season also including a near top-ten overall finish in the Tour de Suisse–, “I missed some calendar depth before joining the WorldTour for the upcoming season. Actually, I was riding everything that was in store at my previous squads. That’s why I don’t have any big requirements for the Movistar Team when it comes to my schedule. There are no ‘compulsory’ races for me. Whether it’s a WorldTour race or your backyard event, it’ll be a big race – this squad only races in the best venues. I might be more inclined towards competing in Grand Tours, since I think those are better suited to my abilities. Except for the sprint – I an ‘null’ when it comes to sprinting (laughs) – I can defend myself well into all terrains, and when in form, as well as doing good TTs, I really fare well in the mountains. All in all, I consider myself a good allrounder,” says Víctor, whose girlfriend, ex-pro Amaia Martioda, has helped him from both personal and professional points of view as a performance nutritionist.
“I think that we both Eusebio Unzué and myself are hoping from me to breakthough here, take everything that I’ve got outside at last – and we expect it to be a lot more than I’ve done so far. The Movistar Team offers me everything that I need to thrive, and I’ll make all efforts possible to reach a good level,” remarks De la Parte, one of only three pro riders (together with Sky’s Mikel Landa and cyclo-cross specialist Javier Ruiz de Larrinaga) in Álava, one of the three provinces in cycling heartland Basque Country. “We’re truly lacking some opportunities, especially since the U23 structure coordinated by (former pro) Gorka Beloki, based in Vitoria, had to stop after 2016, so we must keep fighting for the young guys to feel like there’s a point of reference, an aim they can set their sights on. There’s quality in our land – they just need a bit of support.”