VeloVeritas got an opportunity to chat with Iban Mayo at the Saunier Duval team launch in Estepona in January this year. It’s interesting to publish it now, on the eve of the Tour after Iban won a stage of the Giro.
It was after 10.00pm when I finally got time with Iban. He was patient and polite; but he doesn’t speak French, English or Italian – just Spanish (or rather Castille, as the Basques would have it), and Basque, naturally.
You were seven years with Euskaltel, what’s different at Saunier?
“Well, you have to ride the bike just the same and it hurts just the same! Seriously, Euskaltel is a regional team, in fact to the people in the Basque country it’s the national team.
“Every rider comes from the Basque country so there are no fresh ideas coming in to the squad but you are always under the spotlight… I was always the centre o