zondag 8 mei 2011

Disappointing start in Italy

"Euskaltel-Euskadi started off the race without any incidents", that's the only thing you can read at Euskaltel's official website today, and well... there's not much more to say about the first stage and team time trial of the Giro d'Italia. Euskaltel finished totally last and leader Igor Anton already suffered big losses to the other contenders for the maglia rosa. Javier Aramendia and Pierre Cazaux weren't even able to follow the pace and finished alone 3 or 4 minutes later than the winning team HTC. Hopefully tomorrow will bring something fun to write about!

zaterdag 7 mei 2011

Castroviejo on a roll

Jonathan Castroviejo clearly gained a lot of confidence by winning the prologue of the Tour of Romandy, because he did the same thing in the opening time-trial of the Vuelta a Madrid. "Despite the rain," Castroviejo told afterwards "I was really motivated and knew I could win if I did my best." He wasn't the only one from Euskaltel, 3 other guys ended in the top 20 with Jon Izaguirre at 7, his brother Gorka at 11 and Amets Txurruka at 16.
  1. Jonathan Castroviejo 10:11
  2. Rui Costa (Movistar) +0:11
  3. Stefan Schumacher (Miche) +0:12
  • 7. Jon Izaguirre +0:22
  • 11. Gorka Izaguirre +0:26
  • 16. Amets Txurruka +0:33
  • 44. Alan Perez +0:57
  • 54. Koldo Fernandez +1:03
  • 69. Mikel Landa +1:13

It's Giro time!

The Giro d'Italia 2011 is about to start in the beautiful city of Torino and it promises to become an exciting one with lots of potential winners and interesting other names. Euskaltel will mainly be represtend by Igor Anton who will definitely want to prove that he can finish a big stage race with a good end classification after last year's Vuelta. He will be helped by Mikel Nieve, Daniel Sesma, Miguel Minguez, Iñaki Isasi, Pierre Cazaux, Javier Aramendia, Jorge Azanza and Juanjo Oroz. Good luck guys!

zaterdag 30 april 2011

Izagirre strong in Asturias

In the Vuelta a Asturias Gorka Izagirre is proving himself to be a good small stage race rider. The morning stage of only 82 kilometres ended in a sprint with Euskaltel doing a good job in it with 4 riders in the top 20: Ruben at 6, Iñaki at 13, Javier at 17 and Gorka at 19. All this was preceeded by Juanjo Oroz putting the team in a comfortable seat during the stage as he was in the early break of the day. The second stage of the day was a 14 kilometres time trial, not Euskaltel's favourite subject, but with a 13th spot Gorka Izagirre defended the honour of the team well, with a nice 10th spot overall at the moment. Unfortunately Pierre Cazaux didn't start in the time trial, for reasons unknown at the moment.

Stage 2a
  1. Robert Förster (UnitedHealthCare) 2:06:01
  2. Sergey Shilov (Russian Fed) ST
  3. Manuel Anton (Burgos 2016) ST
  • 6. Ruben Perz ST
  • 13. Iñaki Isasi ST
  • 17. Javier Aramendia ST
  • 19. Gorka Izagirre ST
  • 22. Pablo Urtasun ST
  • 44. Juanjo Oroz ST
  • 48. Pierre Cazaux ST
  • 64. Daniel Sesma
Stage 2b
  1. Stefan Schumacher (Miche) 17:27
  2. José Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar) +00:04
  3. Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthCare) +00:08
  • 13. Gorka Izagirre +00:40
  • 34. Juanjo Oroz +01:06
  • 38. Iñaki Isasi +01:14
  • 40. Pablo Urtasun +01:17
  • 54. Daniel Sesma +01:28
  • 59. Ruben Perez +01:33
  • 95. Javier Aramendia +02:27

vrijdag 29 april 2011

Isasi sprints in Asturias

The first stage in the Vuelta a Asturias ended in a bunch sprint and for Euskaltel, it wasn't Ruben Perez who sprinted along, but good old Iñaki Isasi and Gorka Izagirre. They both placed themselves in the top 10, on spot 7 and 10 respectively, in a sprint that was won by Stefan Schumacher. A good start if you ask me, but I'd like to see a bit more from the guys in the upcoming stages!
  1. Stefan Schumacher (Miche) 3:46:35
  2. Constantino Zaballa (Miche) ST
  3. David Gutierrez (Geox) ST
  • 7. Iñaki Isasi ST
  • 10. Gorka Izagirre ST
  • 34. Juanjo Oroz +00:36
  • 40. Ruben Perez +01:23
  • 43. Javier Aramendia +01:23
  • 49. Pierre Cazaux +01:23
  • 75. Pablo Urtasun +08:19
  • 76. Daniel Sesma +08:19

donderdag 28 april 2011

Verdugo on a roll in Romandy

After the surprising victory of Castroviejo in the prologue, Euskaltel had to settle for a little bit less in the next two hilly stages through the Swiss countryside. Stage one saw an early break make it to the finish with Pavel Brutt as the eventual winner, and although Euskaltel took some shifts to lead the peloton, they never looked that dedicated to defend Jonathan's leader jersey. On the steep climb at the end, Gorka Verdugo was able to follow strong climbers such as Evans, Cunego and Vinokourov to obtain a place in the top 10 of the general ranking. Castroviejo wasn't able to maintain his place there and fell back to 31th overall.

In the second stage, we once again got to see a strong Gorka that was in the group that battled it out for the stage victory, with Damiano Cunego taking it, and with this good result he became fifth overall. Another member of the team coloured the race today as a strong Egoi Martinez was part of the early break that wasn't able to stay away, but he got some points for the mountains classification.

woensdag 27 april 2011

Asturias line-up

Tomorrow the Vuelta a Asturias will take off in Oviedo without homeground favourite Samuel Sanchez, as he is taking some time off after his exhausting classics campaign. Euskaltel will mainly be represented by Ruben Perez & Pablo Urtasun,who will try to grab a victory in the sprints, joined by Gorka Izaguirre and the ones who are preparing the upcoming Giro d'Italia: Javier Aramendia, Daniel Sesma, Pierre Cazaux, Iñaki Isasi and Juanjo Oroz. The Vuelta a Asturias will start in beautiful Oviedo and end after five days on the Alto al Naranco.

Castroviejo amazes and wins Romandy prologue!

Immediate succes for Euskaltel in the Tour of Romandy. Jonathan Castroviejo amazed everyone with a thrilling performance over the 3.5 kilometres long track and winning the prologue by beating a bunch of time-trial specialists like Millar, Phinney and Hoard, and of course taking the first leader's jersey. He wasn't the only one who did a good job though, Gorka Verdugo placed himself just outside the top 10 on spot 11. I'm excited to see what those two can do for the general classification during the next week!

After the race Jonathan Castroviejo declared: "It's a beautiful victory and I'm very very happy with it. Tomorrow is my birthday, so this is a spectacular gift. I used to start in time-trials with the idea to do my best, but know I know I can start with my mind set on winning. I always felt good riding time-trials, but winning a big one like here in the Tour of Romandy is something great. I finally did it and this changes my view on all of this."

  1. Jonathan Castroviejo 3:40.42
  2. Taylor Phinney (BMC) +0.27
  3. Leigh Howard (HTC) +0.73
  • 11. Gorka Verdugo +4.29
  • 31. Iñaki Isasi +8.71
  • 59. Egoi Martinez +11.50
  • 70. Alan Perez +12.56
  • 130. Ivan Velasco +19.38
  • 134. Amets Txurruka +20.75

dinsdag 26 april 2011

Tour of Romandy Line-Up

Now that the important classics are over, it's time for the real deal, the stage tours! After an absence of two years, Euskaltel will finally send a team to the Giro d'Italia again and to start the preparations off, they will ride the Tour of Romandy. Unfortunately both Anton, who will be the team leader in the Giro, and Sanchez will not participate since they are on a break after their good work in the classics. Euskaltel will send a team that will be on the attack and will try to get Koldo Fernandez in position for the sprint, if he's already up for that again. The Tour of Romandy starts today with a 3.5 kilometers long prologue.
  • 141. Jonathan Castroviejo
  • 142. Iñaki Isasi
  • 143. Amets Txurruka
  • 144. Ivan Velasco
  • 145. Egoi Martinez
  • 146. Gorka Verdugo
  • 147. Alan Perez
  • 148. Koldo Fernandez

maandag 8 februari 2010

Koldo 5th in Trofeo Cala Millor

In the second part of the Mallorca Challenge, the Trofeo Cala Millor, Koldo wasn't able to do the same as yesterday, but placed himself fifth in the sprint, just like last year. This time it was Freire who took the victory home. It also became clear that Igor Anton isn't in great shape yet as he finished two minutes and thirty seconds behind the peloton. Of course he has still some time left before his big races.

1. Oscar Freire RAB 4:14:21
2. André Greipel COL ST
3. Manuel Cardoso FOO ST
5. Koldo Fernandez ST
34. Aitor Galdos ST
55. Iñaki Isasi ST
79. Sergio De Lis ST
80. Ivan Velasco ST
121. Alan Pérez ST
125. Gorka Verdugo ST
139. Rubén Pérez +0:22
161. Igor Anton +2:30

zondag 7 februari 2010

Koldo opens season 2nd

February has just begun and that means that also the Spanish cycling season has been opened with the Trfeo Palma. All went well for the Euskaltel squad because just like the other years it turned out to become a sprint and Koldo Fernandez was feeling well, but just like the other years he wasn't able to get the victory. Robbie McEwen did, but Koldo came close with a great second spot, his best performance after his 4th place in 2007. After the race Koldo said that he was happy ending 2nd in his first race of the season, but of course he would have loved to win. This shows that he has been training well and he was only beaten by McEwen who already rode this year in Australia. It's also about having luck, but he just felt good during the race and that brings hope for the upcoming races.

1. Robbie McEwen KAT 2:21:16
2. Koldo Fernandez EUS ST
3. Oscar Freire RAB ST
23. Iñaki Isasi ST
34. Rubén Pérez ST
49. Jorge Azanza ST
92. Ivan Velasco ST
102. Mikel Nieve +0:07
138. Sergio de Lis +0:11
142. Gorka Verdugo +0:11
150. Alan Pérez +0:11
184. Juan José Oroz +0:19

zondag 31 januari 2010

Romain Sicard's schedule

Euskaltel has released Romain Sicard's schedule for the first part of the season. It's clear that they want to show off with their new promising rider cause they are letting him ride some big races!
  • Tour du Haut Var
  • Paris-Nice
  • Gent-Wevelgem
  • Three days of de Panne
  • Tour of Flandres
  • Paris-Roubaix
  • Gran Premio Llodio
  • Vuelta a Rioja
  • Vuelta de Asturias
  • Tour de Picardie
  • Bayern Rundfahrt
  • Dauphiné Liberé
  • France national championships
A nice schedule for a first year! Hopefully he can show his talent somewhere and I would like to see what will be next. Vuelta? Tour already? That would probably to early but you never know... Unfortunately he suffers from a stomach flu at the moment, hopefully he will recover soon!

zaterdag 30 januari 2010

Sánchez: My intention is to stay with Euskaltel

For another year Samuel Sánchez will be leader of Euskaltel-Euskadi. The 32-year old 'Asturiano' has two clear objectives, the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour de France, where he wants to win a stage and ameliorate his 7th place of 2008. Samuel Sánchez answered these questions in the Euskaltel training camp in Derio from Biciciclismo.

How is the preseason and winter going?
The most important thing is that everything is going well, without any injuries like last year when I had one at my left knee. My health is good and that's the most important for a sporter.
How are you looking towards the new year?
It will be a special year cause the sponsor will quit after this one so everyone will to their best to get a new one next year. It's important to know whether the team will continue or quit after this year so we have to look out for something new.
Do you expect extra pressure?
No, personally I'm calm and focussed on my preparation. It's an extra motivation. There's no need to get nervous about the team continuing or not. I'm focussing more on training and getting the best out of the races.
Do you have the intention to stay with Euskaltel-Euskadi?
My intention is certain. I don't know how the direction thinks about it, but I feel part of the team, part of the schedule of Miguel Madariaga. I would love to continue here.
You've also said that you wanted to end your carreer in this team.
Yes, I've said that and I stick with it: I would love to end my carreer with Euskaltel-Euskadi. Although I don't want to close other doors because the carreer of a cyclist is short and you'll have to get the maximum out of it.
What are objectives for this year?
The first objective is being 100% in the Tour of the Basque Country, but I already want to show myself in Paris-Nice and the Criterium International and that way getting a good condition for the Basque Country.
And what do you think about the Tour de France?
We have to keep our feet on the ground and I'm a bit reluctant to it myself, but the main objective is to do better than in 2008. The ideal is finishing on the podium, but I have to be realistic cause you have Contador and other strong contenders.
How do you look back on the Tour 2008?
Good and satisfied. I lost time on the Hautacam and the Tourmalet, just like Valverde, and that whitholded me from obtaining a better spot in the general rank.
The Vuelta has been dismissed?
Nothing is certain, we'll have to see that during the season. The Vuelta has an attractive parcours with stages in the Asturias where I live. And the Vuelta is my race, where I finished two time on the podium and won several stages. Just like the Tour of the Basque Country, I want to win it.
The last Vuelta, you lost time in the stage with Xorret de Cati.
That was due to a fall in the stage before, I felt really bad but that's cycling! Valverde was the deserved winner cause he made the least mistakes.
You feel good with Euskaltel-Euskadi?
It's like Athletico Bilbao in soccer, they only choose players from their own region. Other teams have a lot of cyclists to pick from but we're limited. In the Tour de France you need cyclists with experience and the parcours is looking good, there is no team time trial which is good for us. Especially the last week we'll be beautiful with the Pyrenees and the last time trial.
How is the Asturian cycling going?
There is not a lot of new talent, maybe Higionio Fernández with Caja Rural. We have Checu, Noval, Barredo, Navarro, Santí Perez, Sobrino, Santamarta, Antuña and me, but there's nothing after us. We hope that Alonso will take care of this with his new team.
What is certain about Alonso's team?
It's not an invention. He's really planning on starting a team, but what he's real intention are, I don't know yet. But it would be good for Spain to have another team with a good schedule.
Would you like to participate in the World Championships in Melbourne?
It's still far away and a lot of things can happen this season. It's not the ideal parcours for guys like me and Valverde, it's probably a better chance for Freire and I will be happy to help him with that.

vrijdag 1 januari 2010

The new guys in orange!

First of all Happy New Year to all Euskaltel fans! May this year be the one where Euskaltel will dominate the world and everything will turn orange! As a present Euskaltel released the official pictures of the new guys in their new jerseys and I have to say, they look good in it. The guys in the right order are: Castroviejo, Sesma, Mínguez, Sicard, Izagirre and Intxaust.

zondag 27 december 2009

Newbies will open year Down Under

Only 22 days to go and the real cycling fans can finally come out of their winter sleep and enjoy professional cycling again. Just like recent years, the 2010 season will take of in the hot and beautiful country of Australia. And Euskaltel immediately has a new year's present for its fans, we will get to see all the newbies in action! The one to watch will of course be Romain Sicard, who will ride his first ProTour race as a World Champion. He will be joined by Jonathan Castroviejo, Jon Izaguirre, Miguel Minguez and Daniel Sesma, who will also defend the orange colours for the first time. Young and promising Mikel Nieve will also be present and the most experienced will be Ivan Velasco with his 4th year riding with Euskaltel. I can't wait for the season to start at 19 january!