Colombian climbing ace Mauricio Soler is hoping to rediscover his climbing wings with a move to Caisse d’Epargne in 2010.
The “Colombian condor” lit up the 2007 Tour de France, winning a stage and claiming what many would be the first of many King of the Mountains jersey.
But Soler came crashing back down to earth and struggled through two injury-plagued seasons at Barloworld during 2008-09.
With a move to the star-riddled Caisse d’Epargne, Soler is hopeful he can find the space he needs to regain his confidence.
“I am very happy to arrive at a team as important as Caisse d’Epargne. I hope to be at my best to give back something big to the team,” he told Biciciclismo. “I will have no problem working for (Alejandro) Valverde, everyone knows he’s one of the best riders in the world.”
Soler is just one of a few big names to move to Caisse d’Epargne for 2010.
Other new faces include veterans Christophe Moreau and Marzio Bruseghin as well as Spanish bulldog Juanma Cobo.
Soler said being on such a strong and diverse team as Caisse d’Epargne will help take the pressure off him as he tries to rediscover his confidence.
“They were two difficult years, especially for the injuries to my knee and hand,” he said. “I had the pressure and responsibility of the team and it was very complicated to be tranquil. Now, there’s Valverde and many others who can share the load. This will allow me to prepare better and with more tranquility.”
For 2010, Soler said he hopes to be back at his best for the Tour de France and then make his debut at the Vuelta a España.