"Resilience" is the word Sergio Higuita uses to define his career. "You have to try to persevere, spend the bad times because the good ones can come," he says the Colombian cyclist, winner of the stage that ended in Becerril de la Sierra. Higuita grew up in Medellín, in the Castilla neighborhood, a humble area where He began to give pedals by Luis Fernando Saldarriaga, the most renowned cyclist discoverer in Colombia. "He instilled in me that you have to suffer, be persevering, that if one hurts the legs of the others too. You have to have a lot of discipline. Now I can bring out that mentality that he left me, "he explains.
Saldarriaga always trusted him. "It gave me the opportunity to come to Europe with Postobón Apple to learn from European cycling. He has experience with runners like Chaves, Atapuma, Henao … He took me through that process. I was always in his hands and it was good for me because I am now Pro Tour, "he acknowledges. Higuita is a grateful and generous 22-year-old boy, two conditions that mix during his time at the Euskadi Foundation, where he ran on loan at the beginning of the season.
"I prepared very hard when I was at the Euskadi Foundation. The whole team supported me in Andalusia, in Valencia … When I had that second place in Andalusia with Euskadi I knew that I had the capacity to win a stage in a big one. The people in my environment believe in me, motivates me. Equal Jorge Azanza and the whole part of Euskadi, Jesus (Ezkurdia), the companions, say that I have conditions to win, "he confesses. And his victory in the Tour confirms it.
Higuita fondly remembers her time at the Euskadi Foundation, which allowed her to return all the generosity she received as a child. His family did not have the means to buy him the materials he needed to ride a bike. He could have them thanks to the solidarity of the neighborhood. And he doesn't forget it. That is why he sent to the New Generation Club, where he started, equipments of the Basque team so that no child was missing anything.
Sergio, or René, as he is called in the neighborhood by the famous goalkeeper of the Colombian national team in the 90s, has achieved the greatest victory of his life, But he does not want to monopolize the merit. He prefers to share it with Juanma Gárate, his director at Education First. "He told me he could win the stage with five kilometers remaining. The director was the one who kept me combative because it came from a lot of wear. He told me that he could, that he had to crown in the port with forty seconds or a minute, "he confesses.
But I had told him more things before the stage. "Today may be the day that changes your life," Gárate told him in the morning. And it has been changed. Now he has a victory in a big one, a triumph that was far away when he practiced at the velodrome as a child. "Efraín Domínguez was my first teacher on the track. I learned to sprint, to demarcate. I worked on speed, I polished myself," he says. He is capable of doing more things than climbing mountains. It is the new talent of Colombian cycling, which does not end in Egan Bernal or Iván Ramiro Sosa.
. (tagsToTranslate) Sunday Garcia