1993 BANESTO. The beginning of the end.
«After so many years of riding under pressure, at long last I could enjoy a much more pleasant type of cycling».
The Banesto team was in debt with the Tour of Spain. Once again, Induráin decided to ride the Giro and so the team wanted Perico to concentrate all his efforts on the Vuelta. So pressure was put on Pedro’s training schedule to get him into form for the Vuelta. Things were going according to plan and a month before the Tour of Spain, he won the Semana Catalana. To finalise his physical form, he took part in the Tour of Aragon where, unfortunately, he fell ill. Although he recovered on time for the Tour of Spain, he was not as in good a shape as previous years. Once again, Tony Rominger won, in a fierce fight with Alex Zuelle. Delgado managed a 6th place. «My legs didn’t respond when I most needed them and I didn’t perform as well as I could. In other years, you would eventually find your ground as well as the right pace but this year wasn’t like that. Besides the awful weather conditions throughout didn’t help at all».
|Semana Catalana, Dufaux (3º), Delgado (1º) y Cubino (2º)
|Sierra de la Demana, La Vuelta’93. A bad day at the office for Pedro.
«This year I started the Tour de France without confidence due to my performance in the Vuelta. I knew that the Tour had an owner and I just concentrated on being with Miguel in the mountains, where he was more alone». This year, Tony Rominger who had won two consecutive Vueltas, turned out to be Miguel’s most difficult rival. Delgado was 9th and then took the decision not to return to the French race. «My objectives in the last few years were to be in the top 10 and to help Miguel mainly in the mountain stages. I was perfectly aware that I had my limitations when it came to controlling uphill attacks and it made me blush from embarrassment».
Another decision he took was that 1994 would be his last year as a professional cyclist.
The hardest montain that Pedro has climbed, Col de Galibier, on the side of St Michel de Maurienne.
|Delgado’s mission in the 1993 Tour is an obvious one: he has to help Indurain and stay by his side for as long as possible.