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OURENSE, Spain (VN) — Larry Warbasse is hunting, not just for success in the Vuelta a España, but a job. The American needs a contract with Swiss IAM Cycling team closing its doors this season.
Warbasse is fighting alongside his IAM Cycling teammates despite the end of their team in sight. Every day, they are active. Warbasse escaped in stage 4 and Mathias Frank did so Thursday, being the last to hold on before Simon Yates buzzed by for the stage win.
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“I’ve been enjoying the Vuelta. Spain always treats me well,” Warbasse said with a smile and a new haircut from the Vuelta’s village. “It’s nice to be here, we’ve been in the breaks, and it’s going well.
“It seems that we have a good atmosphere in the team. It doesn’t seem like any guys are walking around with their heads hung low. Most of the guys here have contracts, a few of us still don’t.”
Warbasse rode his way through the ranks at BMC Racing and in 2015, landed a contact with IAM Cycling as it went WorldTour.
Though he’s yet to win a race with IAM, the 26-year-old has had some strong performances. Warbasse, after pulling out of the Giro d’Italia early, returned in July to place seventh overall in the Tour of Poland.
Teams know him well for his work ethic and consistency. Some insiders say that Cannondale – Drapac might sign him for 2017, but those rumors turned out to be just that, rumors.
“I don’t have a contract yet. I heard about the Cannondale rumor too, but that’s not the case, unfortunately,” the 26-year-old Michigan native said.
“I’ve been continuing in an upward trajectory, I’ve had a good season and I’ve had some good rides. I hope to be able to find something.
“I’d fit in well with most teams. I’d be happy in many places, I wouldn’t say there’s anyone one team in particular. When I was on BMC, I had a lot of experience working for big leaders. Or in another team, where we are aggressive and going for breaks, like IAM.
“I’ve done all I can do to be ready for this Vuelta, now it’s just a matter of racing. I’m racing for a contract here.
The Vuelta offers the perfect place for Warbasse and IAM to demonstrate their worth. This year’s includes little flat stages and goes heavy on mountain and medium-mountain stages, which suit escapees.
“I feel good so I hope that I can continue well in this race. I stayed in Utah a few days later after the Tour of Utah to prepare, I hope that here I’ll improve as the days go on,” Warbasse explained.
“It’s nice to have many opportunities in a race like this. We don’t have a big GC guy, so we have many opportunities to go for it. You saw the other day that the guys were just going for it from the start. It’s so much easier to be in the breakaway when everyone is going for it.”