Thursday, November 30, 2006

Relive Iban`s greatest moment

Remember Alpe d`Huez 2003? Yeah, thought you would. At YouTube there is a great 6 minute video of Iban`s biggest ever win. The music is great, and I`ve watched it a hundred times. Especially the moment Iban leaves everybody trailing in his wake, seeing the likes of Lance, Joseba Beloki and Hamilton not able to follow, is just awesome. Pure class from an unbelievable cyclist. Click and watch:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Laiseka may quit

Roberto Laiseka, who`s been with Euskaltel since the start in 1994, may retire after all. It was widely thought that he would return to the team for the 2007 season, but according to Madariaga, says he`s more likely to retire than continue at the moment. Laiseka injured himself badly at the Giro back in May, and after a long recovery process, hoped to return. That may still happen, but his recovery is taking more time than planned, and Roberto is afraid he won´t be able to reach former heights. If he`ll retur, Euskaltel will have 30 riders for 2007; if not, 29.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bru, Azanza and Galparsoro interview

Euskaltel new-boys Dioni Galparsoro, Jorge Azanza and Jon Bru have given an interview to Gara, speaking of their move from Kaiku, their hopes for the 2007 season and their stay at the Professional Continental team Kaiku, which is now defunct. Click and read:

New change for sports-directors

The three sports-directors at Euskaltel, Jon Odriozola, Xavier Carbayeda and Gorka Gerrikagoitia, will face different tasks to previous years next season. Euskaltel have decided that each one of the directors shall be responsable for ten riders each. Odriozola will be responsable for the new-comers, among others Galparsoro, Astarloza, Bru, Azanza, Txurruka and Galdos Alonso. Carbayeda will take care of riders like Iriondo, Uribarri, Velasco, Apperibay and Lafuente, while Gerrikagoitia will take care of riders like Laiseka, Hernandez and Etxebarria. This model has been used to good effect at CSC, probably the best team in the world, and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano decided to try to copy this.

In this Diario Vasco article, some of the rider`s calendars were also revealed. A group of 13 are already in training to be in particularly good condition at the beginning of the season. Among these are Bru, Galparsoro, Azanza, Aranaga and Hernandez. Samu Sanchez and Astarloza will peak for the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, while the Tour de France group will probably be made up of Haimar Zubeldia, Rubén Perez, Gorka Verdugo, Iñigo Landaluze, Iñaki Isasi, Mikel Astarloza and Igor Ánton. All riders will have their specified calendar until June. After that period, every rider`s program will be evaluated and plans will be made for the last half of 2007.

Jon Odriozola interview

New Euskaltel-Euskadi director Jon Odriozola has given an interview to Basque sport`s daily El Correo, where he talks of his future plans for Euskaltel, his inspirations, his time with Gewiss-Ballan and much more. Click on the link to read;

Monday, November 27, 2006

The neo-pros of 2006

Four new neo-pros joined Euskaltel-Euskadi prior to the 2006 season. Each one of them have impressed, and here`s a look at how they coped with the Pro Tour:

Beñat Albizuri Aransolo rode for Euskaltel as a stagiaire in 2005, coming from Orbea, and then impressed sufficently to be given a contract. In 2005 he placed a brilliant second on the third stage of the Vuelta a la Rioja. Though not able to record any top, top placings this year, Beñat has showed a lot of promise, especially in the Giro d`Italia, where he figured in many breaks. Beñat completed the Giro, but his 144th place overall does not reflect his super performance. He also participated in Pro Tour races like the ENECO Tour, Milano-San Remo and Tirreno-Adriatico.

Iban Iriondo Uranga came from the small team Olarra, and his first year was planned to be a transition year, where he was not supposed to peak for any special races. He was supposed to race when Euskaltel needed him to; and so he did. He didn`t record any results of note, but rode amongst others the Dauphiné Libéré and the Deutschland Tour. Next year, we will see more from this talented youngster.

Unai Uribarri Artabe joined from Orbea, and, like Iriondo, was used for the team`s greater good. Top results eluded him, but like Iriondo, Euskaltel expect more from him next year. Though failing to set alight the peloton, he still had an unforgettable year, riding races like Paris-Roubaix, ENECO, Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Eindhoven TTT.

Ruben Perez Moreno was definetely the most impressive of the four, showing his potential on several occasions. Also he from Orbea, Ruben recorded many impressive results. 4th on the fourth stage in the Vuelta a Murcia, 6th on stage 12 in the Vuelta a España and some top-ten placings in sprints were his most stand-out performances in 2006. I expect great things from Ruben next year....

Euskaltel 2007

This is the picture of all Euskaltel-Euskadi riders for the 2007 campaign, with the exception of Mr. Euskaltel, Roberto Laiseka, who is still recovering from several knee-operations. Also present when the picture was taken, was Miguel Madariaga, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, Jon Odriozola, Gorka Gerrikagoitia and Xavier Carbayeda. The picture was taken at the team`s meeting in Derio this week-end.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Euskaltel look to the future

Euskaltel-Euskadi have always been a team of young riders; a team not frightened to give youth a chance. Therefore, Euskaltel have been monitoring the small Basque amateur teams, and have of course the deal with Professional Continental team Orbea. Here, promising young riders will be nurtured carefully before making the jump to the very elite; the Pro Tour. This deal has worked wonders for Euskaltel, and they have therefore agreed deals with another six amateur sub-23 teams. From now on, Sopelana, Debabarrena, Caja Rural, Alfus Tedes, Bidelan and Azpiru will have close contact with Euskaltel, and their most talented riders will hopefully join Orbea prior to joining Euskaltel. This move just goes to show how much Euskaltel mean to Basque cycling. They are giving everyone with a talent a chance to succeed, and are therefore a unique team in the world of cycling. Euskaltel`s youth policy is among the very best in the world. The work done by the people in charge of Fundacion Euskadi is just brilliant.

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano interview

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, one of the Euskaltel heads, has given an interview to well-known Basque daily El Correo Digital. This interview I definetely think is worth a read, as he discusses much of next year`s calendar and when many of the riders will be trying to reach top-form. Click on the link:

Dioni Galparsoro interview

Like many other Euskaltel riders nowadays, the very likeable Dioni Galparsoro has given an interview to Spanish sport`s daily El Mundo Deportivo. Here, he talks about his objectives for next season, his year to forget, Euskaltel`s future prospects and so on. Click on the link, and enjoy:

Samu wins again....

Samuel Sanchez has won yet another criterium, this time the Memorial Maria Isabel Clavero. The race was held in Las Rozas, where Samu, of course, won the final sprint, snatching the win in front of Peio Arreitunandia of Barloworld, and Xavier Florencio of Bouygues. His season is simply unbelievable....

Friday, November 24, 2006

Odriozola-Galdeano interview

In the El Mundo Deportivo you could read a small interview with Euskaltel directors Jon Odriozola and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano some days ago. They mainly talk about their ambitions for next season, and for all of you that haven`t read it, here`s the link: Enjoy!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Euskaltel get-together in Derio

From Sunday the 26th to Thursday the 30th of November, all Euskaltel-Euskadi riders and staff will meet up at the Hotel Laia de Derio, reports. Derio is a medium-sized village in the Basque province of Viscaya, and here, the Euskaltel riders will train together, plan their calendars for the next campaign, hold press-conferences, get to know eachother and everything else that comes along with such a pre-season meeting. If you want to know the complete and detailed scedule for each single day, just click in to Euskaltel`s homepage, and you`ll find it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Basque cyclists on the market

According to Noticias de Gipuzkoa, several Basque cyclists are without a team for next season. Among the 16, 3 of them were released by Euskaltel this season. One of them is Josu Silloniz, the sprinter I reported had put an end to his career some days ago. Though, the Basque daily says nothing about retirement, but instead says that he`s injured. I guess the newspaper know this better than me, but I`ll let you know once I find out. Here´s the list of Basque professionals without a team for next year:

  • Joseba Albizu, Euskaltel-Euskadi
  • Gorka González, Euskaltel-Euskadi
  • Josu Silloniz, Euskaltel-Euskadi
  • Josean Garrido, Quick Step
  • Iñigo Chaurreau, Ag2r
  • Iker Leonet Iza, Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears
  • David Latasa, Comunitat Valenciana
  • Antonio Berasategi, Kaiku
  • Rubén Oarbeaskoa, Kaiku
  • Javier Ruiz de Larrinaga, Kaiku
  • Gorka Amuriza, Orbea
  • David Sojo, Spiuk-Extremadura
  • Joseba Agirrezabala, Grupo Nicolás Mateos
  • Mikel Elgezabal, Atom
  • David Pérez, Atom
  • Unai Yus Paredes, Rota dos Moveis

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Flores joins Fuerteventura-Canarias

Iker Flores Galarza has decided to join the new Professional Continental team Fuerteventura-Canarias. Though, it seems that this team may just exist in the heads of someone, as many of their so-called sponsors have no idea that they`re putting money into cycling. The team has also still to be recognised by the Spanish Cycling Federation. Though, anyway, Iker has joined this team, and after 6 good years with Euskaltel, I wish him the best of luck for the future.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fans pay tribute to Samuel Sanchez

On Saturday, the fans of Samu Sanchez had organised a big tribute to the exceptional Euskaltel rider. In Güeñes, a small place in Samu`s home province Asturias, Samu`s brilliant season was celebrated in the Casa Consisitorial del municipio. The mayor spoke highly of Samu, and after the official act, food was served. Fellow Euskaltel rider Aketza Peña Iza was present, along with Fundación Euskadi head Miguel Madariaga and mechanic Tomás Amezaga. Samu has had his best season ever, and has been among the very best on Pro Tour level; the highest level for a professional cyclist. Added to his palmarès this season were two stage wins in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, a stage in Vuelta a Asturias, a stage in the Vuelta a España and the Championship of Zurich, along with a second in the Fleche Wallonne, Giro de Lombardia, a fourth in the World Championship road-race and a second place on the final UCI Pro Tour classifications. (from

Sunday, November 19, 2006

New car-supplier for Euskaltel

The Chech Republic car-supplier Skoda, widely known for their Tour de France sponsorship, have reached a two-year agreement with Euskaltel. Skoda will supply Euskaltel with 11 vehicles, and replaces Renault as Euskaltel`s car supplier, Diariovasco reports. Euskaltel riders Igor Antón, Andoni Aranaga, Iban Iriondo, Ivan Velasco, Dioni Galparsoro, along with directors Galdeano, Odriozola, Madariaga and Carbayeda, were present when this was made official yesterday.

Euskaltel jersey 2007

According to El Correo Digital and Diariovasco, the Euskaltel shirt will go through some minor changes prior to next season. Relax, it will still be orange and all that, but the "Euskaltel"-word will begin with a small "é" instead of just "E". And at the end of the word, there will be a butterfly. As soon as I`ll get a picture of it, I`ll post it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Yon Bru interview

Former Kaiku rider, and now Euskaltel rider, Yon Bru Pascal has given an interview on If you visit the page, you`ll be able to read about his years with Kaiku, L.A. Pecol, his move to Euskaltel, his hope and ambitions for next season, Euskaltel and much more. It`s a great interview on a great page; read it!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Josu Silloniz retired?

As I wrote earlier in my article "Where did they all go?", I said that I didn`t know where Josu Silloniz, amongst others, would ride next season. Now it seems Josu won´t be riding at all next year, if you are to believe This blog is usually very reliable, so I guess it`s true. Josu was a very good sprinter some years ago, but has struggled a bit in recent seasons, not being able to exploit the potential he showed in earlier years. If I get any conformation whatsoever, I`ll let you know.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Julian Gorospe interview

Former Euskaltel-Euskadi director Julian Gorospe made an interview with Spanish sports daily El Mundo Deportivo two days ago, which can be read at their homepage. Just click on the link: Here you can read his view on Euskaltel, next season, new signings, Iban, his departure etc. Well worth a few minutes of your day; Julian will be sorely missed at Euskaltel I think.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Orbea ready for 2007

Joseba Zumeta

Continental team Orbea, Euskaltel`s feeder-team, have almost completed their roster for next season. Their budget will be in the region of 650 000 Euros, partly funded by the Fundacion Euskadi. Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano will be their new directeur sportif , and, by now, Orbea have signed five new riders; Javier Aramendia from Caja Rural, who will join Euskaltel in 2007, David Martín and Asier Fernández from Cafés Baqué, Igor Romero from Debabarrena and Juan José Oroz from Kaiku. A total of six riders who were present at the start of last season, have left. Alan Perez joined Euskaltel from Orbea in mid-June, and Euskaltel recently signed Iván Velasco. Further, Gustavo Domínguez will join new-team Karpin-Galicia, while Dailos Diaz joins Fuerteventura-Canarias. Vidal Celis and Gorka Amuriza were not offered new contracts. Riders continuing with Orbea will be Josu Agirre, Xabat Otxotorena, Iñigo Lazkano, Iker Mezo, Julen Zubero, Joseba Zumeta, Iván Melero, Brad Armstrong and Aaron Villegas. That will make for a total of 14 riders officialy under contract with Orbea for 2007.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Euskaltel`s season

The positives:

  • A step up from last year
  • Very good Tour
  • Brilliant Vuelta
  • First classic-win
  • Amazing in Vuelta al Pais Vasco and San Sebastian
  • Euskaltel renewed it`s sponsorship
  • Promising signings
  • Promising results in sprints and TTs

The negatives:

  • Bad UCI team ranking
  • Should be stronger all year round
  • Not consistent enough
  • Lost many good riders
  • The loss of Julian Gorospe
  • Lost their leader; Iban Mayo

Monday, November 13, 2006

Mean machine

Here`s a picture of Iban`s new bike; the beautiful Scott Addict. Saunier Duval will ride on this new model when the 2007 season starts, and I have to admit it will be strange to see Iban ride on a Scott bike. Iban has "always" ridden an Orbea Orca or an Orbea Opal, as Orbea has been Euskaltel`s bike supplier. But, I guess the Addict is just as good. Anyway, it`s the qualities of the rider, not the bike, that counts. Here`s the components on the Addict for all you bike lovers:
  • Weight: 5.9 kg
  • Frame: Scott Addict HMX IMP Carbon technology
  • Integrated seattube
  • Fork: Scott ADDICT 1 1/8" Carbon steerer. Integrated carbon dropout.
  • Headset: Ritchey WCS carbon integrated
  • Derailleur (rear): Campagnolo Record Carbon 20 speed
  • Derailleur (front): Campagnolo Record Carbon
  • Shifters: Campagnolo Record Carbon Quick Shift 20 speed
  • Brakes: Campagnolo Record Skelton D-Brake black
  • Crankset: Campagnolo Record Carbon Ultra ToqueIntegrated Crank 34/50T
  • BB-set: Camp Record Carbon Ultra Torque
  • Handlebar: Ritchey Road Wcs EVO 31.8 CarbonOversize anatomic
  • H`stem: Ritchey Wcs AXIS Oversize1-1/8" / four bolt
  • Pedals: Time RSX Titan Carbon
  • Seatpost: Ritchey Wcs Carbon 31.6mm
  • Seat: Selle Italia SLR- Kit Carbon
  • Hub (front): Campagnolo Hyperion Ultra
  • Hub (rear): Campagnolo Hyperion Ultra
  • Chain: Campa Record C10 Ultra Narrow
  • Cassette: Campagnolo Record UD 10S 12-25 Titan
  • Spokes: Campagnolo Hyperion Ultra
  • Rims: Campagnolo Hyperion Ultra Carbon Clincher
  • Tyres: Conti Grand Prix 4000 700x23 C

Info from:

That`s why Euskaltel`s my team

  • They represent a whole nation
  • They`re Basque
  • They`ve got a philosophy
  • They climb better than anyone
  • They had Iban Mayo
  • They have values in their team
  • They`ve got the best fans ever
  • They`re exciting and entertaining with their aggressive way of riding
  • They`ve got a brilliant youth policy
  • They`ve got smashing riders
  • They`re unique and different to any other team
  • They respect the Code of Ethics, unlike some other teams
  • They`ve got a satisfying drug policy

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Where did they all go?

As Euskaltel`s 2007 roster is finalized, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at those riders who unfortuantely couldn`t stay. In all, 8 riders have left Euskaltel for various reasons.

Iban Mayo`s situation and reasons for leaving don`t need any introduction. It`s all really sad, and he`ll be riding for Saunier Duval-Prodir for the next two seasons.

Iker Camaño will also be riding for Saunier Duval-Prodir next season. Euskaltel offered him a new contract, but he opted for a change of teams. Iker and Euskaltel still enjoy a very good relationship, as his choice was understandable and wasn`t as controversial as Mayo`s departure.

David Herrero Llorente really is a big loss for Euskaltel. After a brilliant first-half of the season, Euskaltel offered him a new contract. He was regarded as a future star of Spanish cycling, and he was due to make his Grand Tour debut in the Vuelta, where he was regarded as a possible top 10 finisher. But David and Euskaltel sadly couldn`t reach an agreement, alledgedly because of financial issues. David then surprisingly agreed to join new Spanish Continental team Karpin-Galicia, instead of numerous Pro Tour teams. The departure of David Herrero was really surprising, as he recorded impressive results, notably in the Euskal Bizicleta and the Tour de Suisse, and he was regarded as a possible future captain of the team. Really sad that money should be the issue, but as always, money talks....

David López Garcia was also a rider Euskaltel wanted to keep, but he opted to join fellow Pro Tour team Caisse d`Epargne-Illes Balears. After quite a good season, where he rode the Giro and the Tour and got to show his climbing legs on some occasions, Euskaltel were ready to keep him, though David had other ideas, unfortunately....

Joseba Albizu, Iker Flores, Gorka Gonzalez and Josu Silloniz were not offered new contracts, and none of them have been able to find a team so far. Though, they are all brilliant riders, so I guess it`s just a question of time.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Euskaltel-Euskadi 2007

Following the arrival of Ivan Velasco, Euskaltel have finally finalized their roster for 2007. Here`s the complete list, all 30 of them:

- Beñat Albizuri Aransoro
- Igor Antón Hernandez
- Lander Apperibay Aranda
- Andoni Aranaga Azkune
- Mikel Astarloza Chaurrau
- Jorge Azanza Soto
- Jon Bru Pascal
- Unai Etxebarria Arana
- Koldo Fernández de Larrea
- Aitor Galdos Alonso
- Dionisio Galparsoro Martinez
- Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez
- Iban Iriondo Uranga
- Markel Irizar Aranburu
- Iñaki Isasi Flores
- Roberto Laiseka Jaio
- Andoni Lafuente Olaguibel
- Iñigo Landaluze Intxaurraga
- Antton Luengo Celaya
- Iban Mayoz Etxeberria
- Aketza Peña Iza
- Alan Pérez Lezaun
- Rubén Pérez Moreno
- Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez
- Amets Txurruka Ansola
- Unai Uribarri Artabe
- Ivan Velasco Murillo
- Gorka Verdugo Markotegui
- Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre
- Joseba Zubeldia Aguirre

Ivan Velasco joins Euskaltel

26-year-old Ivan Velasco Murilla of Pro Conti team Orbea, has agreed to ride for Euskaltel for the next season. Velasco signed a one-year contract earlier today, and is the fourth rider in all to join Euskaltel from Orbea. Earlier, Ruben Perez, Beñat Albizuri and Alan Perez have taken the step from Continental level to the Pro Tour through Euskaltel. Ivan Velasco hasn`t managed to win a race to date, but last year had some impressive results. 11th. in the Tour de Limousin, 14th. in the Vuelta Ciclista a la Rioja and 13th. in the Circuito de Getxo stand out as his most notable performances. Prior to joining Orbea in 2006, the rider from Arrasate rode for Ulma-Cegasa (1999-2000), Ruta-Europa (2001-2003), Serbitzu (2004) and for the same team as Lander Apperibay; Bidelan-Kirolgi( 2005). I wish him the best of luck for 2007.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Euskaltel should have done more to keep Mayo"

Those are the words of former Euskaltel-Euskadi directeur sportif Julian Gorospe, according to today`s El Mundo Deportivo. In a small interview, Julian says that Euskaltel could have done more to keep hold of Iban, who he refers to as "a fantastic rider". Euskaltel-Euskadi have come along way he says, winning important races, but says that Iban was a vital part of it. Further he says that Iban, on his day, could beat everyone, but that he`s also a very "nervous rider", and that the pressure sometimes becomes too big for Iban to handle.

On a personal note, Julian denied that he would join Caisse d`Epargne-Illes Balears, at least not for the coming season. He`s temporarily unemployed after not getting a new contract offer from Euskaltel after his current contract ended this season.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Iban to ride Giro-Tour 2007

Just so you know it`s official, Saunier Duval director Joxean "Matxin" Fernandez said in an interview last week that Iban will definetely ride the Giro and the Tour next year. He said that Iban will ride the Giro in the support of Italian big-hitter Gilberto Simoni, and to gain form for his biggest objective; the Tour de France. Iban has never ridden the Giro earlier, but has wanted to for a couple of years now. Guess Simoni will get the help he needs to conquer the Giro crown for a third time, at least in the mountains, where Iban along with super-climber Leonardo Piepoli will do their best to give him an easy ride.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New medical staff at Euskaltel

Euskaltel-Euskadi have chosen to renew their medical team ahead of the upcoming season, reports Eduardo Salvador González will continue working for Euskaltel, and to new faces, Guillermo Cuesta and Sergio Quíles, will complete it. These three will also work as doctors for Euskaltel`s farmer team, Orbea, next season. Why Euskaltel renewed the medical staff, is not known.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Kaiku connection

When the 2007 season starts, 4 former Kaiku`s will ride in the orange of Euskaltel. It`s quite amazing that four riders from one team will ride again for the same team in modern-day cycling. Three Kaiku`s of the 2006 season, namily Jorge Azanza, Yon Bru and Dioni Galparsoro, will join up with former Kaiku Andoni Aranaga Azkune, who`s already spent one season with Euskaltel. Andoni Aranaga has had an ok season, considering it`s his first season in the Pro Tour. But he will hopefully take another step forward next season. All four riders are gifted and solid riders, so no doubt they are welcomed with open arms at Euskaltel. The Euskaltel heads have high hopes for each one of them, and hopefully they will enjoy the coming season. Though, I would have liked to see another Kaiku rider riding for Euskaltel. That would be Pablo Urtazun Perez....

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jorge Azanza

Jorge Azanza Soto is a promising and very talented rider who joins Euskaltel from the now defunct Kaiku Professional Continental team. Born in 1982, Jorge has still to record a victory in the professional ranks, but has really impressed the last two seasons. Jorge Azanza is a very good all-rounder, and is reminicent to fellow team-mate Unai Etxebarria in racing style. Both are always on the attack, and Jorge will definetely get his long-awaited win sooner rather than later if he continues to be as active as he`s been of late. Jorge`s most impressive results to date, are his 6th place in the Trofeo Calvia and 12th place in the GP Miguel Indurain this year, and his 9th place overall in last years Vuelta a Rioja. Jorge`s arrival will definetely strengthen Euskaltel for next season, no doubt about that. I`m looking forward to see him race in the orange of Euskaltel next season. Aupa Jorge!

Euskaltel shine in Vitoria

tbody>In the Criterium de Vitoria, held in the Basque capital on Saturday, the Euskaltel-Euskadi riders enjoyed much success. Sprinter Koldo Fernandez de Larrea won the elimination race in front of Pereiro Sio and Berasategui. Panaria rider, but soon-to-be-Euskaltel-rider, Aitor Galdos Alonso, won the points competition, in front of fellow Euskaltel rider Samu Sanchez and Pereiro Sio. In the team competition, the team of Astarloza, Isasi, Dueñas, Cuesta, Jimenez, Garrido and Duran won. Samu Sanchez was the best placed Euskaltel rider in the overall, finishing second to Pereiro Sio and in front of Antonio Berasategui.

Amets Txurruka

One of the most exciting riders Euskaltel have signed so far, is in my opinion the talented climber Amets Txurruka Ansola. Born in 1982, he still hasn`t turned 24, and joins Euskaltel from his only professional team to date, Team Barloworld. Regarded as a great climbing prospect, Amets has still to record a pro victory, but last year impressed enough to attract interest from Euskaltel-Euskadi. Especially his great performances in the Euskal Bizicleta, Vuelta a Asturias and the Clasica de Alcobendas this year, where his consistency earned him a ninth place overall in all three races, was impressing. His eight place in the Giro d`Oro and fifth in the Grand Prix de L`ind &Art de Laciano was also impressive stuff, and a lot is expected from him for the 2007 season. He`s definetely a rider to watch out for in the future, believe me. I think we just got ourself a new Igor Ánton.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Updated Euskaltel roster

Though Euskaltel-Euskadi`s 2007 roster has still not been made official, I though it was time to update you on who will be around for sure next year. After the arrival of Bru, and the renovation of Mayoz`s and Laiseka`s contracts, 29 riders make up the team. That means there`s still room for Euskaltel to secure the services of another rider, as the limit for a Pro Tour team is 30 riders. Though, Euskaltel may be pleased with the 29 riders they`ve already got. Anyway, here`s a list of Euskaltel 2007 so far:

- Beñat Albizuri Aransoro
- Igor Anton Hernandez
- Lander Apperibay
- Andoni Aranaga Azkune
- Mikel Astarloza Chaurrau
- Jorge Azanza Soto
- Unai Etxebarria Arana
- Yon Bru Pascal
- Koldo Fernandez de Larre
- Aitor Galdos Alonso
- Dionisio Galparsoro
- Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez
- Iban Iriondo Uranga
- Markel Irizar Aranburu
- Iñaki Isasi Flores
- Roberto Laiseka Jaio
- Iñigo Landaluze Intxaurraga
- Andoni Lafuente
- Antton Luengo Celaya
- Aketza Peña Iza
- Alan Perez Lezaun
- Iban Mayoz Etxeberria
- Ruben Perez Moreno
- Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez
- Amets Txurruka
- Unai Uribarri Artabe
- Gorka Verdugo Markotegui
- Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre
- Joseba Zubeldia Aguirre

Thursday, November 02, 2006

That`s why Iban`s my hero

I often start thinking about why exactly Iban is my hero. Why not Cunego, Zubeldia or Bettini for that matter? Why is Iban the one I look up to? I didn`t choose to support him, it just came naturally to me. I`ll try to sum it up everything I like about him:

  • He`s extremely talented
  • He`s a nice and caring man
  • He`s not as over-confident as many other cyclists tend to be
  • He`s a climber
  • He`s Basque
  • He`s not doped. I`m convinced of that
  • He`s got flair
  • He`s got charisma
  • He`s got panache
  • He`s the biggest talent of his generation
  • He`s just special and different to other cyclists


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