Welcome to the second in the Series I hope to continue all way into the new season. Each blog will cover a cyclist to be watched next year, their is no set criteria as such but my guidelines are the following; Under 26 years on the new year, never won a Pro tour event, and riding for a team that will get into the biggest races.
You can find the No 1 in the series here
Todays Young Cyclist to watch in 2013:
Name: Romain Sicard
Nationality : French
Born:1st January 1988
Build: 177cm / 64kg
Team: Euskaltel Euskadi
Sicard goes into his 4th year with the Basque team, only one of two none Basque riders to make it into the team before this season, but he did have family in the region. He enters 2013 with hopes of gaining a greater role in the team.
Sicard is a World Road Race Champion which he won in 2009, in the same year he won the Tour de L’Avenir a big season for him before turning pro. That race has had some fine winners in its history. Quintana won in 2010, Bakelants in 2008, Mollema in 2007, Bak in 2005, Martinez his team mate in 2003 and Menchov back in 2001. He also won the Subida al Naranco in 2009 a race won by the late talent Tondo in 2008.
In Subida he beat Garcia Lopez, Arroyo and Daniel Moreno both riders working as high class support riders on the Protour. In the L’Avenir highlights included a time trial win over tour de france top 10 Tejay Van Garderen. Some of form he showed then has us wondering why he has not delivered yet. He won the Worlds beating talented Betancur now a settled pro by breaking away from 2 others.Sicard Battling on stage 20 of the Vuelta
World u23 winners have been talented bunch and only te first winner has not gone onto good things on the pro tour in fact Sicard is trailing behind and has to show in 2012 he is no also run. 2010 was not so big a year as he struggled with step up in level. He has a stage 2nd in the Dauphine losing to Vogondy on the day, he did well with a 11th on GC for that race. 2011 was a serious set back for him failing to have any decent results with some injury issues as he failed to finish a light schedule.
2012 saw some return of his talent he has shown previously. He at least got finishing races even if results were not the best and he completed a Vuelta with an impressive 5th on stage 20 showing he survived the 3 weeks of suffering, that was a very strong break that day and he did well to hang on to limit himself to 5th that day. A testing day like that will be helpful guide for him going into 2013.
Summary: Will again likely be working for others in major races, should look to be leader in one of smaller stage races as that seems to be were he is strongest, perhaps an early season or later season win is what could suit him. He must ensure his team is looking at his interests and if not look to perhaps move to a french side who will look after him.
He has shown ability with time trials which may help him live up to strong french talk of him as a future grand tour contender when he settles at the top level.