A new addition to the team’s stage race roster for 2014, Mikel Nieve brings explosive climbing prowess and considerable Grand Tour experience with him to Team Sky.
Nieve turned pro in 2009 and has tackled six Grand Tours since then, completing three of them inside the top 10. Comfortable riding the grandest races, Nieve’s two stage victories to date have both come in Grand Tours, including a fine solo victory at the 2010 Vuelta a Espana and an equally-impressive triumph in the 2011 Giro d’Italia.
Happy to ride for his team-mates or target individual success, Nieve also took third place on Mont Ventoux behind Chris Froome during the 2013 Tour de France, going on to finish the race 13th overall.
Q & A
Who inspired you to start cycling?Miguel Indurain. When he was winning Tours all the kids starting riding bikes.
First bike:I can’t remember the type.
First cycling club:My village club Aizan K.E.
Childhood hero:Indurain. He was not only a cycling hero, but a local hero.
What do you love most about cycling?I like to get better every day, and the fact you can set yourself goals and go for them.
Previous teams:2008 Orbea - Oreka SDA (CT); 2009-13 Euskaltel Euskadi
Favourite race:After riding it for the first time – the Tour de France.
Career highlight:All of the big tours are important to me but my childhood dream was to ride the Tour de France.
If you weren't a rider, what would you be?I would still be involved in sports somehow, but I’m not sure.
Interests away from cycling:To relax with my family and friends.
Favourite music:I don’t have a particular taste – it comes and goes.
Best friend in the peloton:Juan Jose Oroz
Favourite food:A Spanish omelette
Most famous person you've met:Eddy Merckx or Mario Cipollini.
Most embarrassing moment:At the start of a race I managed to crash into a lamppost in the neutral zone. A lot of riders were laughing at me.
Best advice:Put your heart into it and give it your best.
Cinturo de l'Emporda - 3rd
Volta a Mallorca - 7th overall
Vuelta a Espana - 1st stage 16; Trofeo Inca - 4th; Giro di Lombardia - 7th
Giro d'Italia - 1st stage 14, 10th overall; Vuelta a Espana - 10th overall
Giro d'Italia - 10th overall, 3rd stage 20; Tour de Suisse - 5th overall
Tour de France - 12th overall, 3rd stage 15; Clasica San Sebastian - 4th