“These signings are pure joy for us,” praises Equipo Kern Pharma’s and Equipo Lizarte’s president, Manolo Azcona. “We are keeping by our side two top quality cyclists developed in-house. They are both bound to become excellent pro riders. They have a special prowess for cycling and will enjoy long careers.”
“It is too soon to tell what kind of riders they will become,” says Equipo Kern Pharma’s and Equipo Lizarte’s Team Manager and Sports Director, Juanjo Oroz. “They are not turning pro because they won the Spanish National Championships, but because they have developed consistently over the last few years. They have been amongst the top riders on every category, and we are confident they will become such in the pro ranks.”
Igor Arrieta (2002, Uharte-Arakil) has been touted as one of the best talents in the outstanding generation of young Spanish riders led by World Tour riders Carlos Rodríguez and Juan Ayuso. He has delivered impressive performances in the mere six months he has spent as an U23, collecting six wins in dissimilar, bright fashions.
“This is the ideal team to grow as a rider,” asserts Igor Arrieta. “Having the chance to turn pro with Equipo Kern Pharma is really exciting. I want to become an all-round rider, able to perform in every terrain. I wish to be a good stage racer. So far, the only stage race I’ve done as an U23 went quite well.” He did indeed win the GC of that Volta a Castellló…
“The team has put a lot of faith in me, and this is the result,” concedes Iván Cobo. “I hope to show in the pro ranks everything I’ve learnt with Equipo Lizarte: the importance of team spirit, the focus on performance over results… My main goal for the upcoming season will be adapting to the pro ranks. It’s hard to say what kind of rider will be like – I guess a climber with stage race potential.”
“Giving riders like Igor Arrieta and Iván Cobo the chance to turn pro is the true sense of this team,” concludes Juanjo Oroz. “Equipo Lizarte is the root from which Equipo Kern Pharma blossoms. We are going to work along with our riders, to trust them, and to show the necessary patience to reach the summit of this sport together.”