Cycling Profile: Juan Antonio Flecha
Juan Antonio Flecha is a Spanish professional racing cyclist and currently rides for Sky Team. He was born in May 17, 1977 in Argentina and he is a specialist in classical one and achieved several victories including a stage of Tour de France in 2003, Championship
of Zurich in 2004 and also won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2010.
Flecha lost his father in a car accident when he was only 4 year-old and at the age of eleven he immigrated to Spain with his mother. He started his professional career in 2000 in the Spanish Fuenlabrada team and took a part in numerous one-day races.
At the beginning of 2003 season, he grabbed third spot in Trofeo Caliva and secured eleventh place in Vuelta a Catalunya. He participated in Tour de France and surprisingly, he won eleventh stage by easily beating the other cyclists in Toulouse.
In 2004 season, he worked as a co-leader in the Fassa Bortolo team, for the Classics races along with his teammate Fabian Cancellara and secured first place in Züri-Metzgete and Giro del Lazio. He also displayed good effort in Gent-Wevelgem race but failed
to take a lead and took seventh place. Due to his brilliant performance, he earned fifth spot in World Cup.
In 2005, Flecha enjoyed a successful season and after putting runner-up spot in the Gent–Wevelgem and finished third in Paris–Roubaix races, he took a title of one of the best one-day racers in the UCI rankings. He also won the fourth stage of Volta la Comunitat
He joined Rabobank team in 2006 season and earned fifth spot in Tour of Luxembourg. Although, he was considered one of the best spring classic riders and again finished twelfth in Tour of Flanders and grabbed fourth place in Paris-Roubaix. In 2007 season,
he took runner-up’s spot behind Stuart O’Grady.
Flecha took the overall yellow jersey in Circuit Franco-Belge and third place in Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2008. In Tour of Flander 2009, he took three days for third spot in the overall standing but in the sixth stage, he lost his pace in Montagne de Lure
climb and in the end, he took thirtieth place in overall standing. In August, he showed his skills and secured sixth place in Eneco Tour.
In 2010 season, he left Robobank team and joined Team Sky. In this season, he again showed his tremendous performance and took third place in E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and Paris–Roubaix. He grabbed first place in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and also won the thirteenth
stage of Tour de France.
In 2011 season, he won the fourth stage of Tour of Qatar and secured runner-up’s spot in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. He won the ninth place in time trial of Tirreno-Adriatico.
In ninth stage of the Tour de France, Flecha was involved in a crash after France Television car made a sudden move and hit Flecha and Johnny Hoogerland badly. Meanwhile, Flecha did not lose his hopes and crossed the finish line with the timing of 5 hours,
27 minutes and 9 seconds, ahead of Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) with difference of 5 seconds. He took Combativity award along with Hoogerland for his brilliant performance. Nonetheless, if he maintains his effort then there is possibility that he can win the
next Tour de France 2012.