The Portuguese cyclist Tiago Machado was announced yesterday as reinforcer of Sporting / Tavira for next season, after nine years in the international peloton.
"I was offered a proposal with my head and feet. It is an ambitious project, in which we will try to break the hegemony of a rival in the Tour of Portugal. All I ask is to be up to the events to dignify the sweater that I will carry to the chest, "said the 32-year-old runner.
Tiago Machado was in ten major laps (three Tour, five Vueltas and two Spins) during his international career – in RadioShack, NetApp and Katusha -, seeking to join the experience at will to win the Tour of Portugal, without forgetting the personal context.
"It was, without a doubt, to be closer to my family. Also wanted to return with physical capacity to be able to compete in the top places of the Tour of Portugal. Now we go to the road all united to see if we break the hegemony ", said the cyclist, who in Portugal had represented the Boavista.
Tiago Machado maintained that he has the right profile to fight for the triumph in the Tour of Portugal. "When I left Portugal, and in the early years out there, I was very good at the counter-watches and on the mountain I defended myself well. I think they are fundamental characteristics to be in the fight for the Tour of Portugal. Now I have the maturity that I did not have a few years ago and I feel ready to fight for the top posts, "he reveals.
The sports director of Sporting / Tavira, Vidal Fitas, highlighted the value of Tiago Machado. "I can include it in one of the five best Portuguese ever and it comes to add quality. It makes our team stronger, no doubt. Tiago has some potential that, in Portugal, possibly no one else has, "he said.
The official is convinced that Tiago Machado has the ability to be a candidate to win races. "At the international level, it has achieved some great results and we think we can carry it to the national level. There is work to do, but James never stopped dreaming, never stopped fighting for it when he had the opportunity, never settled down. There is a part there, which is the dream, which never lost. The job of putting it with the mentality that can win races in Portugal is easier, "he concluded.