Cycling What's Happening | 15 februari 2017
Dubai Tour gives Lobato confidence
Juan José Lobato is a new face in Team LottoNL-Jumbo. The 28-year-old Spaniard rode years for home teams, but he decided resolutely for the Dutch WorldTour team last autumn. Although Lobato collected 15 professional victories, he was ready for a new adventure and wanted to take the next step in his development.
"Someone has to be the first one to do it", he said with a laugh about becoming the first Spaniard to ride for Team LottoNL-Jumbo. "Anyway, Team LottoNL-Jumbo is one of the best teams in the world, so I didn't hesitate much."
Lobato made his debut for the team in the Dubai Tour. With three top 15 finishes, he began very well. "I didn't to expect to be that good at the start of the season because my preparation wasn't perfect. I had an injury in December, so I couldn't train as hoped until January. So I am pleased with the successful outcome of my first race."
Before the race, he aimed at the fourth stage to the Hatta Dam because he won that stage in 2016. Unfortunately, extreme high winds forced the organiser to cancel the stage. "That was a pity. In the third stage, I finished fourth, so I was wondering how far I could go on the Hatta Dam stage", Lobato added. "However, the weather conditions were too much. The organisation made the right decision."
Nevertheless, Lobato left the race with a good feeling. The Dubai Tour helped underline his ambitions and gave him confidence with Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s sprint train. "Everything was new. Not only my team, but working for the first time with a sprint train. I sprinted alongside Dylan Groenewegen because I aimed for a good general classification. At the same time, I tried to learn as much as possible about the train because I think I can be valuable in it in the future", Lobato continued.
"My first race for Team LottoNL-Jumbo gave me a lot of confidence. Although my preparation was far from ideal, I could make it up front. I'm sure that I can have a major share of the team’s victories this year. With a sprint train at my disposal, it will be easier for me to start the sprint in the right position. Besides that, I hope to shine in the classics like Milano-Sanremo and Hamburg Cyclassics."
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