After a “dream” season in 2014, Cristina Martinez’ dream continues: in 2015 she will be a professional with the Spanish formation Lointek.

“It is a privilege to be where I am at 18 years old. I dreamed of this and when the team manager contacted me it was a great joy. I had no hesitation in accepting. I am excited to be part of the Lointek structure.”

Get a free giffgaff Sim

Cristina Martinez was one of eight Junior Women who trained at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, for four weeks prior to the 2014 UCI Road World Championships in September. After winning two medals in the Spanish national championships (gold in the road race and silver in the time trial) the 18-year-old went on to finish a credible 31st against the world’s best Juniors in Ponferrada. This together with national medals on the track and titles at a regional level, means the young athlete finds it hard to pinpoint the high point of her career so far.

“I am a regular rider and if I had to emphasise a highlight, I think it would have to be my overall 2014 season. It has been a dream season for me. I have worked hard with constant struggles and sacrifices every day but I feel more motivated and excited than ever. It has always been my dream to join a professional team.”

She hopes that her time at the UCI World Cycling Centre will have prepared her for her propulsion into the world of professional cycling.

“We didn’t just learn about everything related to sports but also life in general, how to fend for ourselves. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. What I particularly liked on the sporting side was the organisation of training, how to dedicate yourself exclusively to sport and respect a timetable with time for rest, meals…

“Next year my main goal will be to learn, progress, and get used to this category of riding,” she concluded.

Lointek Sports Director agrees: “We noticed Cristina in the Spanish Junior Women’s races. Her results were very good and we saw her talent. She is young and has to develop, but for the moment her body and abilities indicate that she will be a good climber.”

He continues: “We propose a smaller calendar for our young riders with about 20 days’ racing in events on the UCI calendar. She will get experience and develop. If she listens to the staff and follows our advice she will progress to a good level.”

Cristina Martinez is the second young athlete from the Junior Women training group to sign a professional contract after Jelena Eric (Serbia) with BTC City Ljubljana. The UCI World Cycling Centre plans to hold a similar training course for Junior Women in 2015.