The Argentinian Eduardo Sepulveda, 21, a member of the World Cycling Center (WCC), will be wearing, during this end of season, the team colours of the UCI WorldTour FDJ-BigMat, in his capacity as a professional stagiaire.
Â âThis is great news â I wasnât expecting it,â he commented. âThrough this training programme, I hope to learn a lot, but also to seize the opportunity and even get a professional contract in 2013.â
Talented in several respects, Sepulveda distinguished himself this season in the Nationsâ Cup Under-23 competition, finishing a very good second in the ZLM Tour (Pays-Bas) and 5th in the final rankings at Saguenay (Canada).
Originally from the province of Chubut, which is not a hilly region, the rider initially favoured track events. However, at the end of 2011, he decided to move away from this discipline after a road-training session with the Argentinian track team in Spain â his first outing in Europe. Experience gained in the velodromes improved his performance in the time -trials. This season, he even finished third in the Pan-American Championships.
His capabilities in the mountain stretches will need to be confirmed throughout the next events. âHis improvement rate is critical in this domain, given the âengineâ of his physique and his 62-kilo frame,â notes Jean-Jacques Henry, trainer at the CMC. âRather than mimicking the acceleration of the star climbers, he needs to manage the uphill stretches using his experience in time-trials and his racing intelligence.â
For the moment, itâs thanks to his peak speed that Sepulveda has achieved most of his best results, such as his success in the Tour de Franche-ComtÃ© this year. His second place in the ZLM Tour was a result of an attacking drive at 800m from the line, and not in a mass sprint
Thanks to his hard work at the WCC, the Argentinian rider is fast making ground in the world of road-racing, with an opportunity in this season, 2012, which begins with the San Luis Tour, against competition at the level of UCI World Tour, with only 20 days of training gained so far.
Â âI think that the professionals will be impressed by his strong will and his astonishing commitment,â concludes Jean-Jacques Henry.
In action last week in the Tour du Val d'Aoste, where he finished sixth in the first stage, Sepulveda showed a particularly enthusiastic state of mind. Having refused his dessert each evening at dinner, he was seen striving to improve his knowledge of the French language! In so doing, he passed on to the entire WCC team a strong sense of sporting discipline.
FrÃ©dÃ©ric MagnÃ©, Director of the WCC, is aware that the training with FDJ-BigMat will benefit the group as well as the individual rider: âThe World Cycling Centre is fostering more and more strong links with the professional sector. This is a reflection of their recognition of the quality of the training of our athletes, accomplished by our trainers and the whole team.â
With the professionals, Sepulveda will participate in the the Paris-CorrÃ¨ze, the Tour du Limousin and in the Classique de l'Indre.