In "The Start Ramp," veteran cycling cyber-journalist Sarah tracks and reports on the Tour's Young Rider Competition (riders under 25 on Jan. 1) and Tour first-timers.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Rider profile: Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero

Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero

Though today was not a good day for his team, Phonak's Miguel Ángel
Martín Perdiguero recovered from a potentially disastrous crash on the
descent of the Col du Galibier. He managed to work his way back to the peloton and work (for a while) for his team leader, Floyd Landis. He eventually finished the stage with the autobus at 44:01 behind the stage winner.

One of the features of this column is to cover first time riders in the Tour. In most of the previous columns, the riders discussed (with the except of Schleck yesterday) have been young riders. Today is a little bit different. Martín Perdiguero is not a young rider, in fact, what's so interesting is that he's riding the Tour for the first time -- at the age of 33 (he'll be 34 in October). Martín Perdiguero is 65th overall in his first tour, that's just over an hour and a half behind the race leader.

Who is Miguel Ángel Martín Perdiguero?

He's Spanish and went pro in 1997. His first team was Kelme. He's
also ridden for ONCE-Deutsche Bank, Vitalicio Seguros, Cantina Tollo - Acqua & Sapone, Domina Vacanze - Elitron, Saunier Duval - Prodir and, for the past two years, Phonak Hearing Systems. He's a strong rider with numerous wins and top ten finishes in races across Spain.

Here are some of Martín Perdiguero's most notable accomplishments:  In 2004 he won the Clasica San Sebastian and the Volta a Catalunya. He was second in the GP Miguel Indurain and fourth in the Spanish National Championships (in 2002 he was third and fourth in 2000). In 2005, he was second on stage five of the Vuelta a España and third on
stage 16. He finished in the top ten of several ProTour races in 2005
as well. Some of those include Amstel Gold Race, Volta a Catalunya, and Liège - Bastogne - Liège. Though he has no wins so far in 2006, he has at least eight top ten finishes. Including  the Tour du Pays
Basque, Amstel Gold and Liège - Bastogne - Liège.

Martín Perdiguero's a strong rider and he probably has at least a few
more years of racing in him. Hopefully he'll be back next year to help Phonak and Landis in the Tour. And maybe he'll pick a few wins during the rest of this season. It's also nice to see him riding in his first Tour (though not his first Grand Tour), no matter what age he is.

Good luck, Martín Perdiguero!