Raúl López Franco: “I don’t mind giving my all for a team-mate, when a team-mate wins we win everything”
One of the two new faces arriving from Caja Rural-Alea for the 2023 season is the Aragonese Raúl López Franco (12 December 2001). The rider from Zaragoza will face in a new destination his last year in a U23 category to which he arrived in an atypical campaign: the one of the pandemic.
“I had done my whole stage as U23 with Caja Rural, three very nice years, but I thought that a small change of scenery could be interesting, sometimes the body invites you to take that step”, he comments. López, who rode in the junior category for the Fundación Lintxu structure, landed in the Navarrese team after having achieved two victories and up to fourteen positions in the top-5 in the Basque junior calendar of 2019.
López is another example of a cyclist who has been able to combine his studies with competitive activity. “My parents have always supported me with my cycling, but with the premise that my studies were non-negotiable. Right now I’m in my final year of computer engineering. Little by little, but the important thing is to keep at it. With a bit of organisation, although sometimes it’s not easy, everything can be achieved”, he explains.
López came into the world of competitive cycling thanks to a trip to the Pyrenees by his father. José, the progenitor, enjoyed an experience with the big wheels in this mountainous massif from which he came away delighted. The bike came home and so, little by little, his children got hooked. “First it was Miguel, my brother, who tried mountain biking, started competing and moved on to the road. I saw it, I liked it and I followed in his footsteps. I started in cycling academies and I’ve been doing it for eleven years now”.
As a cyclist, López highlights two points: “I love stage tours, it’s a universe that I love. And within these, the more mountainous days or the days with climbs. As a rider I’m light, but I’m from Zaragoza and here the terrain is flat. From a more human point of view, I’m a person who gets on well with everyone, I have no problem lending a hand to my companions. I don’t mind giving my all for a team-mate. When one of us wins, we all win.
What are your expectations for the 2023 season? “First of all, I want to enjoy it a lot, that’s the most important thing. From the outside, EOLO-KOMETA U23 is very professional. It’s like a professional team, but in the amateur category. And I’m really looking forward to getting to know it and enjoying it. Of course I would love to be able to race in races like the Giro del Valle d’Aosta or the Giro U23. And, of course, I hope I can win or help my team-mates to achieve some nice victories”.
In the squad he will be reunited with the Asturian Pablo Uría, although he is very close friends with riders who have been with the U23 team, such as Arturo Grávalos, or with the junior structure, such as Lucas Guillermo. “Pablo and I have known each other for a long time. From the junior category I have a thorn in my side, I always remember a race he won in the Basque Country in September 2019, I think it was a championship in Barambio in Alava, which finished at the top of Garrastatxu”.