Marc Soler: Entering the 2024 season with determination and ambitions

Catalan stage race cyclist Marc Soler made the move to UAE Team Emirates last year, after having spent most of his career at Movistar. The team from the Middle-East is full of talent, and Soler, winner of two stages in the Vuelta a España, is one of its key players. The climber and winner of the Tour de l’Avenir from Vilanova i la Geltrú is full of ambition for 2024.

Marc Soler in Mallorca

The general classification in Paris-Nice and the Tour du Pourvenir is, according to Soler, only the start of what is yet to come. With 30 years of age, Soler is at the ‘peak of his career’, and with UAE Team Emirates he hopes to put the cherries on top of his already-handsome cake. 

“The GC victory in Paris-Nice was indeed beautiful, and I also greatly value my two stage victories in the Vuelta, but I am hungry for more. At the end of my career, I would like to have won a stage in every Grand Tour, particularly at the Tour de France.”

Let’s chat with the Catalan cyclist, who climbing legend Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodríquez once referred to as ‘his successor’.

Marc Soler Trofeo Pollenca Nafent Trofeo Pollenca – Port d’Andratx 2024 – 21th Edition – Pollenca – Andratx 158,4 km – 27/01/2024 – Marc Soler (ESP – UAE Team Emirates) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency 2024

Martí Rodríguez: What are your goals for the 2024 season?

Marc Soler: Looking ahead to 2024, my personal objective is to continue being an important cyclist in UAE Team Emirates, fulfilling the same role as in previous seasons. At the time you and I are talking, I cannot share my full race program just yet.

MR: When are decisions made about the season’s race calendar?

MS: At UAE Team Emirates, the season’s planning happens in December, during the team’s training camp. The pre-Christmas camp is usually the first one of the season, and is a team gathering that sets the foundation for the entire season. Obviously, race programs can change throughout the season, for many different reasons, but the first schedule provides the basis for the training plans thereafter. 

Marc Soler in Mallorca Nafent Marc Soler in Mallorca

MR: Can you describe how a race planning conversation works – who has a say in where you are going to race?

MS: Sports Directors and Performance Coaches are present in these meetings. Together we decide upon the race program. We take a lot of factors into account. For instance, other team members’ programs, my own preferences, and sometimes also sponsor requests. 

MR: We don’t usually see you participating in one-day races or important classics, what is the reason?

MS: You are right. These races don’t really work for me; the team has other specialists for these races and that’s why they don’t include me in the rosters. My performance is much better in races of at least one week or even longer, like the Grand Tours. I do not anticipate racing many one-day races this season either.

Marc Soler Trofeo Pollenca 2024 Trofeo Pollenca – Port d’Andratx 2024 – 21th Edition – Pollenca – Andratx 158,4 km – 27/01/2024 – UAE Team Emirates – photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency 2024


MR: Would another victory in the general classification define your career as a professional cyclist?

MS: There are many races that I would love to win, such as – another time – Paris-Nice, as it is already on my list of victories. But the general classification of the Volta a Catalunya or the Criterium du Dauphine would be fantastic victories. 

MR: Are there any races you’re particularly looking forward to participating in?

MS: Luckily, throughout my career, I have been able to take part in all the races that have caught my attention. This has always been thanks to the teams I raced for, as they know how to listen to their riders. I dream of winning stages in all the Grand Tours. As I have won stages in the Vuelta a España, on two different occasions, victories in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France will remain my goals for the rest of my career, while I also hope to win one-week stage races.

Read the full interview with Marc Soler, and his favourite route to ride in Catalonia, in Nafent volume 9 – out in the beginning of February.

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