Sevilla training hard for Tour

Since being the rider that everyone wanted to sign in 2001, Oscar Sevilla's career has not taken off

Since being the rider that everyone wanted to sign in 2001, Oscar Sevilla’s career has not taken off

PICTURE BY TDWSPORT.COM After two fairly lacklustre seasons, Oscar Sevilla is hoping that a long overdue move to Jan Ullrich’s T-Mobile team will kickstart his career, which has gone backwards rather than forwards since his second place finish at the Vuelta in 2001, when he was also seventh and best young rider at the Tour de France. Last season the rider nicknamed ‘El Ni¤o’ (‘Kid’ or ‘Boy’) rejoined Alvaro Pino at Phonak, hoping to rediscover the form he had had when riding for Pino at Kelme back in 2001. Although Sevilla rode well at the Dauphin, finishing third, he was largely anonymous at the Tour, trailing in 24th overall. Offered the chance to sign for T-Mobile, where he had wanted to go after that fantastic 2001 season, Sevilla opted to move on once again, his friend Francisco Lara joining the German team with him. Both Spaniards are aiming to make T-Mobile’s Tour team, and have been training hard around Granada on the Sierra Nevada in recent weeks. Interviewed on the T-Mobile website, Sevilla said: “I have been pushing myself hard. Together with Francisco Lara we put in rides of up to 200km per day. We both want to be in good shape when we travel to the team training camp on Majorca on Saturday. “Here in Spain, the temperatures drop in the evening time and the nights can be quite cold, you even get snow higher up on the Sierra Nevada, but by day, from around 10am, you can enjoy temperatures of between 12 and 20 degrees in the area around Granada. Perfect for training,” said the 28 year old, who has bought a house in the area close to Lara’s. “The house lies about 200 to 300 metres above Granada. And I live in this house for a reason – I can start each training session with a gentle downhill,” joked Sevilla, whose aim this year is to support Ullrich in the mountains and “help him to another Tour win.” As well as the desire to make it to the Tour and help Ullrich, Sevilla says he has further motivation to succeed. “We are riding for the best team in the world now and we want to make sure that we slot in straight away.”