vrijdag 31 augustus 2007

Team Tour of Poland ????

The team for the next Tour of Poland is already anounced and sprinter Aitor Galdos will be the main rider of the team. Next to him there will be Andoni Aranaga, Lander Aperribay, Jon Bru, Iban Iriondo; Markel Irizar, Antton Luengo and Alan Perez. The Tour of Poland starts 9 september and with Alan Perez also in the Vuelta I dont think this list is totally right.

Vuelta Preview

Tomorrow the Vuelta a España 2007 starts and with what happened in the Giro and mainly in the Tour de France the biggest question is : Will there be more doping cases ? The organisation did everything they could to prevent this, more controls, no Astana and no Mancebo and other Spanish doping ghosts.

The profile
The organisation of the vuelta has made the parcours and profile much easier than the other years, with less kilometres, less mountains and less time trial kms. The vuelta starts with a normal stage from Vigo to Vigo and the first big climbs will already come in the fourth stage to the Lagos de Covadonga. The most important stage will be the tenth on to Andorra where the riders get four though climbs but I also think stage 19 will be a good one for someone who still wants to win the Vuelta at the end. The time trials are much shorter than usually, the first one to Zaragoza is 49km long and the second one in Villalba only 25km.

Top Favourites
I think for the victory we have five main contestans Sastre, Sanchez, Evans, Pereiro and Menchov but there are lots of others who might surprise us like Cunego, Luis Leon Sanchez, Devolder, Danielson, Brajkovic, Zubeldia, Schumacher, Garate, Bertagnolli and of course Gomez Marchante so we probably will get a race with lots of attacks from those people. In the sprint we will get a duel between Tom Boonen and Petacchi and this should get some spectacular sprints if Alessandro is already recovered from his doping troubles.

Euskaltel has one of the strongest teams this year and I really think they can make something great from this vuelta.
Samuel Sanchez : He will be the leader of the team and will try to get on the podium. I also see him winning a stage but it's not necessary, just following is enough sometimes.
Haimar Zubeldia : He will be the big helper for Samuel and if he has the same shape as he had in the tour he will be able to get a top10 spot in the general rank himself. He also said he would try and win a stage if he saw a chance.
Igor Anton : Not sure in wich shape he is now after his disappointing Tour but I hope he can do the same thing as last year, winning a stage, and also getting more experience in riding for stagerides.
Koldo Fernandez : He will try to get some top 10 spots in the sprints, of course I hope for more but if he can prove himself as a good sprinter and sprint constantly in the top 10, he can maybe get lots of confidance and win a stage at the end when Boonen and others wont ride anymore.
Dionisio Galparsoro : Trying to get in escapes and maybe helping Samuel a bit
Aitor Hernandez : Trying to get in escapes and Helping Samuel
Inaki Isasi : I hope he can show himself once again in some sprints and otherwise he will lead the sprint for Koldo
Inigo Landaluze : Like he always does, picking his stage, going in an early escape and trying to win it. He will also be a good help for Samuel
Alan Perez : Escapes

donderdag 30 augustus 2007

Euskaltel arrived in Vigo

Today team Euskaltel arrived in Vigo for the prologue in the upcoming Vuelta a España and they also announced who sleeps with whom in the hotel. Samuel will sleep with Igor Anton, Haimar with Koldo, Isasi will sleep with Galparsoro, Hernandez and Perez will sleep together and Landaluze will get some privacy with a room for his own. Today there schedule was : lunch, siesta, two hours of training and then a massage and supper. I hope this all will help for a great Vuelta and I think we can expect some firework from them.

Eneco Tour Review

General Rank
19. Mikel Astarloza +2.16
31. Ruben Perez +2.59
44. Benat Albizuri +11.14
59. Iban Mayoz +14.23
80. Unai Etxebarria +17.13
82. Jorge Azanza +17.42
101. Aitor Galdos +24.01
108. Joseba Zubeldia +26.19

In my opinion the team didn't really show all his potential. Aitor Galdos should've got at least one top 10 place and Mikel should have showed himself a bit more in the general rank but after his bad prologue and the easy stages he didn't really have the chance anymore. One good point, I think Benat rode a really good eneco tour with a good escape and almost always in the top 50.

woensdag 29 augustus 2007

Eneco Tour ITT : Mikel 15

Today it was the final and decisive individual time trial in the eneco tour. and it promised to be a thrilling end with 5 good time trialriders in the first five spots of the General Rank. Early in the race Quinziato set a great time of 37:10 on the scoreboard. A half our later Sebastien Rosseler came and broke the fastest time with 20 seconds and this was fast enough for the victory. Between the first five Thomas Dekker, Leif Hoste and Jurgen van den Broecke couldn't really measure up so the battle went between David Millar from Saunier Duval and Jose Ivan Gutierrez from Caisse d'Epargne. In the general rank Gutierrez was 2 seconds ahead of Millar and he enlarged this advantage with another nine seconds so Gutierrez won his second tour this year after his win in the Tour Mediterraneen.

For Euskaltel Mikel Astarloza did a good job with a 15th place and a 19th place in the general rankings. Ruben Perez couldn't really impress and went from place 20 to 31.

The video I added is a movie my friend Thomas made with me and Mikel and I thought it would be fun to show it to you, you can also see my autograph book :D

Stage Results

15. Mikel Astarloza +1.04

40. Ruben Perez +2.10

49. Unai Etxebarria +2.22

73. Iban Mayoz +3.00

95. Jorge Azanza +3.35

109. Benat Albizuri +4.12

114. Joseba Zubeldia +4.37

126. Aitor Galdos +6.02

Interview with Haimar Zubeldia

Today there is an article in the Diario Vasco about Haimar Zubeldia and because I adore him I will try to translate it for you and myself. Here is the intervies in spanish : http://www.diariovasco.com/20070829/deportes/ciclismo/zubeldia-vuelve-vuelta-espana-20070829.html

SAN SEBASTIAN We will not forget the fifth place in the Tour de France but Haimar Zubeldia knows that the Vuelta will be something totally different. He will return in the peloton after extending the Tour de France with the Clasica San Sebastian. " I don't really know in wich shape I am, I have recovered enough since the tour. The second week of August I rested, the third I trained very hard and the fourth I recovered again." said Zubeldia who has been training in Gipuzkoa and Jaca and he also trained with Markel Irizar and Andoni Aranaga.

Euskaltel is going to the Vuelta with a confident leader Samuel Sanchez, the man for the end of the season, with wich they don't only gamble for stage victories but also for the general rank. "The leader of the team is Samuel, who prepared the Vuelta conscientiously. He already showed that he can do good things in the month september. In Burgos he was at a good level and he assured he will be in good shape. But in general we will do the same thing as we did the whole season, try to get into escapes. The season ain't over yet !"

About the Vuelta, Haimar thinks that "Los Lagos" return too soon, the first stage even can be complicated. Of course in Asturias we will see who will be able to win and who won't. The race in general seems very open. The favorites will be Sastre, Menchov, Marchante and Pereiro, in the last year we saw there wasn't really a leader so it will be very open.

It seems that Haimar Zubeldia prefers the Tour de France above the Vuelta : "Yes, that's true, the tour suits me more than the Vuelta. In my first Vuelta I finished 10th, the climbs in the vuelta are more explosive, in the tour they are longer so you can ride your own pace.

Between the Tour and the Vuelta Haimar thinks that there's not enough time to prepare, just like between the Giro and the Tour. "The team of Euskaltel will be one with lots of difference, Landaluze will pick a day and win the stage, for Anton we will have to see how he recovered from the tour, Isasi is a very important rider for the team." With kindness for his companions Haimar tries to maintain the same line as they did in the Tour. " Aitor Hernandez, Alan Perez, Galparsoro, and Fernandez are riders with alot desire and we want to show that we are a team with alot desire.

Haimar will be the only rider from the Tour next to Anton. "Since the start of the season I knew that I would ride Tour and Vuelta, in the vuelta I will help Samuel, but if I can I will take my chance."

dinsdag 28 augustus 2007

Eneco Tour 7 : Aitor in the escape

After a couple of boring days in the eneco tour, todays stage promised somthing good and also Euskaltel was in the good mood. Aitor was in the early break that went to the finish but when the final break was made, Aitor couldn't get in. In that break were Lastras and Lund some seconds before Caethoven, Tjallingi, Hinault and some others. Pablo Lastras made his final attach at 8km before the end and managed to win the stage,only some seconds before Lund and Caethoven.

In the pelotonsprint Ruben Perez became 21th and he's still placed 20th in the general rank, but with tomorrows time trial I dont think he can win many places.

Stage Results
1 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 4.15.28 (41.664 km/h)
2 Steven Caethoven (Bel) Chocolade Jacques
3 Anders Lund (Den) Team CSC
21. Ruben Perez +0.13
29. Benat Albizuri +0.13
52. Mikel Astarloza +0.13
56. Iban Mayoz +0.13
61. Unai Etxebarria +0.13
103. Jorge Azanza +2.36
122. Joseba Zubeldia +7.10
123. Aitor Galdos +7.10

maandag 27 augustus 2007

Eneco Tour 6 : Luciano Pagliarini wins

In the enco tour the riders took a rest day today because there was nothing really to do. Early in the stage there was an early escape with Beppu, Drancourt and Pronk but at 5km before the finish their story was over. In the sprint the Brazilian Luciano Pagliarini made an impressive jump and won before Mark Cavendish, Aitor Galdos became 24th. Tomorrow there will finally be an exciting stage, it will be a small Amstel Gold Race and Ruben Perez with his 20th place in the general rank and only 1.05 behind Nick Nuyens has a chance of doing something good.

Stage Results
1 Luciano André Pagliarini Mendonca (Bra) Saunier Duval - Prodir 4.01.10 (44.757km/h)
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile Team ST
3 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank ST
24. Aitor Galdos ST
26. Ruben Perez ST
33. Benat Albizuri ST
61. Unai Etxebarria ST
95. Mikel Astarloza ST
111. Iban Mayoz ST
113. Jorge Azanza ST
134. Joseba Zubeldia +0.17

General Rank
1 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 21.12.57
2 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank +0.10
3 José Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +0.14
20. Ruben Perez +1.05
36. Mikel Astarloza +1.28
46. Benat Albizuru +7.18
69. Aitor Galdos +11.18
80. Iban Mayoz +11.39
91. Jorge Azanza +12.00
110. Joseba Zubeldia +15.01
111. Unai Etxebarria +15.07

Vuelta Team Complete

Euskaltel has announced its team for the upcoming vuelta. We already knew that Samuel, Haimar, Inaki, Iñigo, Igor and Koldo Fernandez will ride the tour of Spain and the open spots will be filled in by Aitor Hernandez, Dioni Galparsoro and Alan Perez. For Alan Perez it will be his first big tour and immediately with a very strong team ! The team will be lead by Gorka Gerrikagoitia.

Egoi is coming back home !!

Euskaltel has announced today that Egoi Martinez will ride in the orange jersey again next year. After the sudden stop from his team Discovery Channel, Egoi got offers from Saunier Duval and Caisse but he prefered his former team because of the new philosophy. I'm very happy that Egoi is back because I think he learned alot from Discovery and can now bring that info to Euskaltel, especially about time trials :p At the other hand with the shit that Euskaltel will only have 26 riders next year, there will be another one that will have to go :(

zondag 26 augustus 2007

Eneco Tour 5 : Aitor 12

The fifth stage of the eneco tour was won by Wouter Weylandt, and with this succes he's the new Tom Boonen in Belgium. He won the sprint after a break with 4 (Longo, Grabovsky, Eeckhout and Poulhies) was caught again and a rain of attacks didn't work out. Second became Thor Hushovd and third Matthew Goss.

Aitor Galdos got a good 12th spot in the sprint and Iban Mayoz did some great work and tried to get in an escape after te big break was caught again, but he failed.

Stage Results
1 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic 4:09:31
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole ST
3 Matthew Goss (Aus) Team CSC ST
12. Aitor Galdos ST
22. Benat Albizuri ST
68. Ruben Perez ST
71. Unai Etxebarria ST
79. Joseba Zubeldia +0:14
81. Mikel Astarloza +0:14
96. Iban Mayoz +0:32
105. Jorge Azanza +0:32

zaterdag 25 augustus 2007

Eneco Tour Stage 4 : Iban first, then Unai

The fourth stage of the Eneco Tour was a normal sprint stage but this time with two breaks. First a break with Iban Mayoz but they got taken back at 80km and then a second group was made with Unai Etxebarria but they were also taken at 5km before the finish.

In the sprint Aitor Galdos was the victime of a sweep in the peloton and due to this he rode in the grass and he couldn't keep up the pace. The sprint was won by Robbie McEwen before Chicchi.

Stage Results
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 3.42.28 (46.065 km/h)
2 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas ST
3 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole ST
42. Benat Albizuri ST
47. Ruben Perez ST
100. Mikel Astarloza ST
101. Joseba Zubeldia ST
105. Jorge Azanza ST
132. Iban Mayoz ST
146. Unai Etxebarria +0.33
150. Aitor Galdos +0.52

vrijdag 24 augustus 2007

Eneco Tour Stage 3 : Ruben in the break

Just like in the Tour de France Ruben Peresz showed his fighting spirit in an escape today but just like yesterday with Beñat the break didn't have the chance against the preparing peloton for the sprint. In the sprint Mark Cavendish won easily before Fred Rodriguez and Kenny van Hummel after the disqualification of Wouter Weylandt. Aitor Galdos didn't ride a great sprint and became 33th. There was also something with Beñat today, he had something in his eye and needed the medical help to remove it :P

Stage Result
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile Team 4.31.09 (44.056 km/h)
2 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Predictor - Lotto ST
3 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil - Shimano ST
33. Aitor Galdos ST
54. Iban Mayoz ST
62. Jorge Azanza ST
65. Mikel Astarloza ST
76. Benat Albizuri ST
92. Joseba Zubeldia ST
109. Ruben Perez ST
147. Unai Etxebarria +3.32

Interview with Samuel Sanchez

There is an interview with Euskaltel rider Samuel Sanchez on the Euskaltel site but of course it's once again in Spanish but I will do my best and translate it :D

-Hey Samuel, what are your goals in the next Tour of Spain ?
My two goals are being on the podium at the end and winning a stage, if this happens, I will be very satisfied.

- What do you think about the team Euskaltel is sending to the Vuelta ? I think we have a very good and strong team and it's also very compensated. Haimar Zubeldia, Iñigo Landaluze, Iñaki Isasi and myself contribute experience while Igor Anton and Koldo Fernandez contribute youth. Together with Aitor Hernandez and Dioni Galparsoro we make a powerful group which can get stage triumphs and a good position in the general rank.

-Which stages in the vuelta are the most important ?
I think the crono in Zaragoza will be very important. In addition, after this test we get two stages ending on a climb, Cerler and Arcalis. Looking at the profiles of the stages, it will be a very attracting and amusing race for the spectators.

-Who are the favourites for the victory ?
My favourites are Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Angel Gomez Marchante and Santos Gonzalez, I think they are the riders with the most potential.

- After the Vuelta, which other races are important to you ?
I will start in Paris-Tours and Lombardio, the classic end of the season. In Lombardia I finished second and I want to see if I can get the same level. And before these two, I want to ride the World Championships, I hope I get a place in the list of select riders. Last year I was there with the best and I would like to repeat this.

donderdag 23 augustus 2007

Eneco Tour Stage 2 : Beñat in the break

Unlike all the other stage races in the protour the first real stage of the Eneco Tour didn't start with a sprint stage but with a nice hilly ride and the riders certainly wanted to make something nice out of it.

Early in the race there was a break with Beñat among them but the break couldn't stay away and there were caught again by a peloton with 50 riders. It rained attacks but on the last climb a group was formed of seven with Nick Nuyens who won the sprint before Thomas Dekker, Jose Ivan Gutierrez and David Millar.

Mikel Astarloza was the first Euskaltel rider on the 22th place, in the same group as Ruben. Iban Mayoz didn't finish the race but I don't have a clue yet why.

Stage result
1 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 4.42.38 (40.22 km/h)
2 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank ST
3 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne ST
22. Mikel Astarloza +0.37
25. Ruben Perez +0.37
54. Benat Albizuri +6.48
69. Iban Mayoz +10.41
71. Jorge Azanza +10.41
92. Aitor Galdos +10.41
108. Unai Etxebarria +10.41
124. Joseba Zubeldia +13.38

Eneco Tour Prologue

So yesterday I went with a friend to the prologue in the eneco tour and we had a great day ! We stood 5 hours in front of the Euskaltelbus but we didn't get bored. First there were no riders but a really nice guy Luis Lamas entertained us a bit. Then Aitor and Unai started and they were supernie, they were posing for pictures the whole timeand then also the other riders came and. My friend took 300 pictures, wich will follow later, I got all the autographs from the riders, a bidon from Iban Mayoz with water in it and a sheet of paper on wich the times were written when the riders of Euskaltel had to leave. I also entertained myself with the fact that I had to help all the other people that didn't know the riders names. There were also alot of people who thought Iban Mayo would be there but of course it was Iban Mayoz :x

I had no idea of the results until late in the evening, so I cant tell anything about it, I only know that when Mikel had to ride it rained really hard.

1 Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 6.09 (49.706km/h
2 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank +0.01
3 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Predictor - Lotto +0.02
35. Unai Etxebarria +0.15
55. Iban Mayoz +0.19
73. Benat Albizuri +0.22
79. Ruben Perez +0.23
109. Mikel Astarloza +0.29
113. Aitor Galdos +0.29
142. Jorge Azanza +0.39
148. Joseba Zubeldia +0.44

dinsdag 21 augustus 2007

Andoni Aranaga Fired

After the announcement that Euskaltel will have only 26 next year, the first rider is already fired for 2008. It's the 28 year old Andoni Aranaga who was welcomed by Euskaltel two years ago after adventures with Kaiku and the Belgian team Chocolade Jacques. Euskaltel said Andoni had problemsn with his weight and couldn't live up to their expectations.

maandag 20 augustus 2007

Eneco Tour and Vuelta line-up

Due to a fall in the Vatenfall Cyclassics Gorka Verdugo will not be able to compete in the coming Eneco Tour. Although his injuries seem less bad than earlier mentioned, he probably wont compete anymore. He will be replaced by sprinter Aitor Galdos and I think this is a great thing because there will be some sprints in the eneco tour where he can show his skills. And I would love to meet him too :P
Today they also anounced the team for the vuelta, not the whole team yet but a group of ten riders of wich 9 will ride it. The team is : Samuel Sanchez, Haimar Zubeldia, Igor Anton, Inigo Landaluze, Inaki Isasi, Koldo Fernandez, Aitor Hernandez, Dionisio Galparsoro, Juan Jose Oroz and Alan Perez.

Vattenfall Cyclassics : Ballan Wins Galdos 17

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) has won his second big classic of the season, after his win in the Tour of Flandres early in the season, he now won the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg. He escaped in the last kilometre and managed to stay away from the sprinters.

Early in the race there was an escape with Luke Roberts (CSC), Gerben Löwik (Rabobank) and Floris Goesinnen (Skill Shimano), they got a maximum advantage of 15 minutes but at 20km before the finish there story was over. Aftern they were taken back, there were alot of escapes and once it looked like the final break was made. A group with Bettini, Voigt and Ricco escaped but they couldn't agree to ride together so they were taken back and everything was ready for a sprint.

It was T-mobile and Rabobank who prepared the sprint for their sprinters Gerald Ciolek and Oscar Freire but they couldn't keep up the pace so Alessandro Ballan escaped and he won. Oscar Freire managed to come very close second and Gerald Ciolek third.

Aitor Galdos was the only one from Euskaltel in the group of 22 for the sprint but due to bad placing he only got the 17th place. There was also bad news for Euskaltel, Gorka Verdugo fell and probably broke his collarbone so he wont compete in the eneco tour and he will probably end his season with this.

1 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 5.21.05 (42.811 km/h)
2 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank ST
3 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) T-Mobile Team ST
17. Aitor Galdos ST
27. Jon Bru +0.05
29. Ruben Perez +0.05
63. Koldo Fernandez +1.19
66. Dionisio Galparsoro +1.19
68. Juan Jose Oroz +1.19
76. Alan Perez +1.42

zaterdag 18 augustus 2007

Vuelta a Burgos 5 : Sanchez 8

In Burgos the last stage was won by the belarussian Vasil Kiryenka. He won the stage in the same way as his teammate from Tinkof Ignatiev did in the beginning of the week, attacking in the last 10 kilometres and riding as hard as possible. Second was Francisco Perez and third Garzelli and a good 8th place for Samuel Sanchez.

In the general classification Mauricio Soler, the polka-dotjersey winner of the tour, is first, two seconds ahead of Alejandre Valverde, first Euskaltel rider here was Amets Txurruka on a 20th place.

Stage Result
1 Vasil Kiryenka (Blr) Tinkoff Credit Systems 3.39.42 (43.15 km/h)
2 Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +0.02
3 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo +0.11
8. Samuel Sanchez +0.11
27. Iker Flores +0.28
38. Amets Txurruka +O.28
45. Markel Irizar +0.28
63. Aitor Hernandez +0.28
70. Lander Aperribay +0.28
85. Igor Anton +0.42

General Rank
1 Juan Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld 14.31.37
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +0.02
3 Carlos Castaño Panadero (Spa) Karpin Galicia +0.30
20. Amets Txurruka +5.12
26. Aitor Hernandez +7.17
27. Igor Anton +8.05
54. Samuel Sanchez +13.14
55. Markel Irizar +13.17
58. Iker Flores +13.36
78. Lander Aperribay +20.50

Deutschland Tour 9 : Ciolek Wins Again

Today it was the last day of the Tour of Germany and just like in the Tour de France it became a sprint duel. Early in the race there was an escape with Nierman, Lloyd, Totschnig and Drancourt but they couldn't stay away so it became a sprint and Ciolek wins once again, his third consecutive victory in a sprint. It wasn't a great day for Euskaltel because in the sprint Fernandez got the 13th spot and Galdos the 20th.

In the general rank Jens Voigt won, just like last year, before Levi Leipheimer. The first Euskaltel rider was Dionisio Galparsoro on a 46th place, quite bad actually.

Stage Results
1 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) T-Mobile Team 3.16.55
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram ST
3 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Crédit Agricole ST
13. Koldo Fernadez ST
20. Aitor Galdos ST
25. Alan Perez ST
39. Juan Jose Oroz ST
40. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
96. Jon Bru ST
101. Unai Uribarri ST
136. Anton Luengo ST

End Ranking
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 30.57.21
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel +1.57
3 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +2.10
46. Dionisio Galparsoro +14.28
47. Jon Bru +14.47
62. Juan Jose Oroz +19.07
86. Anton Luengo +30.06
106. Alan Perez +37.24
123. Unai Uribarri +44.17
124. Koldo Fernandez +44.25
144. Aitor Galdos +58.46

Gp Ouest France - Plouay : Team Euskaltel

It might be a bit early but I already found the line up from Euskaltel for the pro-tourrace in Plouay. It will be a b-team because it will be held during the Vuelta. The team : Benat Albizuri, Andoni Aranaga, Unai Etxebarria, Aitor Galdos, Iban Iriondo, Andoni Lafuente, Iban Mayoz and Alan Perez.

vrijdag 17 augustus 2007

Deutschland Tour 8 : ITT

Today it was time trial time in the Tour of Germany and as you might know,this is not Euskaltels cup of tea. And once again we could see this clearly with the first Euskaltel rider being Juan Jose Oroz on the 40th place.

For the victory Laszlo Bodrogi had the best time for a very long time but at the end Jens Voigt passed him with 15 seconds and with this victory he will also win the Tour of Germany.

Stage Results
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 39.42.4
2 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Crédit Agricole +0.14.8
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel +0.25.6
40. Juan Jose Oroz +2.43.7
66. Alan Perez +3.15.1
78. Unai Uribarri +3.27.6
118. Dionisio Galparsoro +4.39.0
127. Anton Luengo +4.52.2
134. Koldo Fernandez +5.01.9
148. Jon Bru +5.36.6

General Rank
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 27.40.26
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel +1.57
3 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +2.10
48. Dionisio Galparsoro +14.28
50. Jon Bru +14.47
67. Juan Jose Oroz +19.07
93. Anton Luengo +30.06
114. Alan Perez +37.24
131. Koldo Fernandez +44.15
132. Unai Uribarri +44.17

Vuelta a Burgosn Stage 4 : Valverde wins TT

Just like in the Tour of Germany, there was a time trial today in the Vuelta a Burgos and it was won by Alejandro Valverde. He finished the 15km ride in a time of 16.47, 22 seconds faster than the new russian star and winner of the first stage Ignatiev.

No one from Euskaltel got in the top 20, the first one was Aitor Hernandez at 27. In the general rank Amets is at place 19.

Stage Results
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 16.47 (53.62 km/h)
2 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems +0.22
3 Andrei Kunitski (Blr) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo +0.34
27. Aitor Hernandez +1.13
33. Markel Irizar +1.18
42. Samuel Sanchez +1.32
45. Iker Flores +1.35
53. Amets Txurruka +1.43
63. Igor Anton +1.51
101. Lander Aperribay +2.34

General Rank
1 Juan Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld 10.51.27
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +0.02
3 Carlos Castaño Panadero (Spa) Karpin Galicia +0.30
19. Amets Txurruka +5.12
27. Aitor Hernandez +7.17
28. Igor Anton +7.51
56. Markel Irizar +13.17
59. Samuel Sanchez +13.31
60. Iker Flores +13.36
87. Lander Aperribay +20.50

Euskaltel News : Egoi Martinez/Ivan Velasco/Interviews

Egoi Martinez back to Euskaltel ??
According to the newspaper DAIA, Euskaltel has offered Egoi Martinez a contract for two years in the team. Egoi left Euskaltel after 5 years, for the American team Discovery Channel but now that they quit he has the chance to go back. I really hope he will come because Saunier Duval and Caisse d'Epargne wont do him good, i think.
Ivan Velasco terribly injured
Due to his fall in the first stage of the Vuelta a Burgos, Ivan Velasco is injured very badly. He broke his left collarbone and he has broken his wrist in two places. With these injuries he won't be able to show himself in races and this is very important since euskaltel wants to go from 31 to 26 riders :(

Interview with Mikel Astarloza and Samuel Sanchez
For the people who love to read, here http://www.velo-club.net/article.php?sid=40366 you can read an interview with Mikel Astarloza in French and here http://www.cyclingnews.com/riders/2007/interviews/?id=sammy_sanchez_aug07 you can read an interview with Samuel Sanchez in English

Vuelta a Burgos Stage 3 : Nothing for Euskaltel

Aurelian Passeron has won the third stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in a sprint with 7 who escaped early in the stage. In the sprint for the eight place Jimmy Casper won and Iker Flores got 21th, the first Euskaltel.

Stage Result
1 Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
2 Aivaras Baranauskas (Ltu) Agritubel
3 Tom Stubbe (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen
21. Iker Flores +0.54
38. Amets Txurruka +0.54
44. Markel irizar +0.54
63. Samuel Sanchez +0.54
74. lander Aperribay +0.54
91. Aitor Hernandez +0.54
110. Igor Anton +1.08

donderdag 16 augustus 2007

Deutschland Tour 7 : Kufstein - Regensburg

Today there was another boring stagen. Like always in these rides there was an early escape with Mandri, Leben, Belohvosciks, Putsep and Stalder but they couldn't stay away from the pack so it became a sprint. Ciolek was once again the fastest and won his second consecutive stage here in Germany. There was also a good 10th place from Koldo Fernandez.

Stage Results
1 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) T-Mobile Team 4.08.20
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram ST
3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne ST
10. Koldo Fernandez ST
21. Aitor Galdos ST
22. Alan Perez ST
86. Juan Jose Oroz ST
110. Unai Uribarri ST
111. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
115. Jon Bru ST
159. Anton Luengo +1.04

woensdag 15 augustus 2007

Vuelta a Burgos 2 : Euskaltel Disappoints

Mauricio Soler, the polka-dot-jersey winner of the Tour, has won the second stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. He did this by attacking at 1.7 kilometres to go, he left behind a group of 17 others that just couldn't follow him. Second became the trackrider Carlos Castaño and third Leonardo Piepoli. Soler also took the overall lead.

Euskaltel disappointed in this race, only Amets could get a spot in the top twenty and that isn't good either because they have a team with so much potential.

Stage Results
1 Juan Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld 3.50.56 (38.712 km/h)
2 Carlos Castaño Panadero (Spa) Karpin Galicia +0.17
3 José Ángel Gómez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir ST
19. Amets Txurruka +3.49
28. Igor Anton +6.26
30. Aitor Hernandez +6.44
63. Markel Irizar +12.39
65. Samuel Sanchez +12.39
67. Iker Flores +12.41
74. Lander Aperribay +16.04
DNF Ivan Velasco

General Rank
1 Juan Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld 7.14.56
2 José Ángel Gómez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir +0.17
3 Carlos Castaño Panadero (Spa) Karpin Galicia ST
21. Amets Txurruka +4.09
27. Igor Anton +6.26
29. Aitor Hernandez +6.44
59. Samuel Sanchez +12.39
62. Markel Irizar +12.39
63. Iker Flores +12.41
84. Lander Aperribay +18.56

Deutschland Tour 6 Laengenfeld - Kufstein

After the rain there will be sunshine, like people use to say and this certainly goes for Euskaltel in the Tour of Germany. After the last disappointing stages, we finally got to see some good Euskaltel action. First of all there was Jon Bru who tried to escape out of the pack at 20km before the finish, he couldn't keep his advantage, but he tried something and showed his great shape.

Like usual there was an early escape with two riders, Martens and Murer but they didn't have a chance against the pack so it became a sprint. Finally the Euskaltel riders Galdos and Fernandez were placed good and they sprinted with all the big ones. It was Ciolek who took the victory but I thought for a second that Koldo could win, he became fifth. Not only Koldo did a great job but also Aitor got in the top 10 at place 10

Stage Result
1 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) T-Mobile Team 3.57.40 (44.18 km/h)
2 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital ST
3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne ST
5. Koldo Fernadez ST
10. Aitor Galdos ST
41. Jon Bru ST
53. Alan Perez ST
85. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
87. Juan Jose Oroz ST
142. Unai Uribarri ST
162. Anton Luengo ST

General Rank
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 22.52.24
2 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +0.33
3 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank +1.14
45. Jon Bru +9.11
46. Dionisio Galparsoro +9.49
72. Juan Jose Oroz +16.23
95. Anton Luengo +24.10
120. Alan Perez +34.09
135. Koldo Fernandez +39.13
140. Unai Uribarri +40.49
159. Aitor Galdos +52.19

dinsdag 14 augustus 2007

Vuelta a Burgos Stage 1 : Ignatiev wins

Mikhail Ignatiev has won the first stage of the Vuelta a Burgas. He was in an early escape and managed to stay away from the peloton. Euskaltel did a pretty good job with 2 riders in the top 20, Isasi 13 and Anton 18, although Iñaki should be able to get a top 10 spot.

1. Mikhail Ignatiev
2. Daneil Moreno
3. Alejandro Valverde
13. Inaki Isasi
18. Igor Anton
41. Samuel Sanchez
46. Amets Txurruka
52. Aitor Hernandez
57. Ivan Velasco
67. Markel Irizar
109. Lander Aperribay

Deutschland Tour 5 Sonthofen - Soelden

Another day in the Tour of Germany, another bad day for Euskaltel. Although a basque won, it wasn't someone from Euskaltel. The only good thing about today was the great performance of Alan Perez, who was in an escape with Alexander Efimkin that ended 10km before the finish.

Alan was in a break with seven but on the hardest climb of the Deutschland-tour, the Rettenbachferner, only Alan could follow Alexander Efimkin. But in the peloton all the favourites made a really fast pace so there was no way they could stay in front. With 15 great riders we went to the top and it promised to be a thrilling end.

The first ones who had to pass were Levi Leipheimer and Davide Rebellin who couldn't follow the pace of Voigt, Ten Dam, Gesink, Lopez Garcia and Cunego. Then Lopez Garcia attacked and he got a nice advantage. Voigt tried to get in his wheel but he coudn't reach it, while only Robert Gesink could follow Jens' wheel. In this order they went to the finish where Jens Voigt maintained his Yellow Jersey and David Lopez Garcia got his first victory of his carreer.

Stage result
1 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 4.21.07 (36.028 km/h)
2 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC +0.12
3 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank +0.20
34. Dionisio Galparsoro +5.16
42. Jon Bru +6.26
60. Anton Luengo +7.48
74. Juan Jose Oroz +10.16
90. Unai Uribarri +13.31
146. Alan Perez +19.56
149. Koldo Fernandez +20.01
168. Aitor Galdos +25.01

General Rank
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 18.54.44
2 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +0.33
3 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank +1.14
46. Jon Bru +9.11
47. Dionisio Galparsoro +9.49
73. Juan Jose Oroz +16.23
96. Anton Luengo +24.10
122. Alan Perez +34.09
136. Koldo Fernandez +39.13
141. Unai Uribarri +40.49
160. Aitor Galdos +52.19

maandag 13 augustus 2007

Team Eneco Tour

Finally the team for the Eneco Tour or Tour of the Benelux is announced and it looks like a pretty strong one with Mikel Astarloza as the leader. The full team is Mikel Astarloza, Ruben Perez, Jorge Azanza, Gorka Verdugo, Unai Etxebarria, Iban Mayoz, Beñat Albizuri and Joseba Zubeldia.

I will go to the starts in Hasselt on the 22th and Antwerp on the 24th and I will try to take as much pictures as possible and i'm gonna try and say something to the guys. If you go too, please leave a message so we can meet at the Euskaltelbus :D

Deutschland Tour 4 Singen - Sonthofen

The Italian Damiano Cunego has won the fourth stage of the Deutschland Tour in a sprint with Davide Rebellin and David Lopez Garcia.

For action in this stage we had to wait until the only obstacle in this stage, the Riedbergpass. Before there was a break with Rooijakkers and Witecki but they couldn't had no chance on the climb.

On the climb a group with Cunego, Rebbelin, Uran, Leipheimer, Gesink and Lopez Garcia escaped and got a good advantage. In the descent Leipheimer and Gesink couldn't follow and Uran missed a curve and fell hard into the woods so only three riders went to the finish. David Lopez Garcia tried to surprise the two Italians with a long sprint but it didn't work, Cunego sprinted Rebellin easily out of his wheel and won his fourth victory of the year.

It became another terribly bad day for Euskaltel with only Jon Bru in the peloton :s

Stage Results
1 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 4.28.06 (41.134 km/h)
2 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner ST
3 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne ST
43. Jon Bru +0:05
69. Juan Jose Oroz +1:51
84. Koldo Fernandez +1:51
85. Anton Luengo +1:51
86. Dionisio Galparsoro +1:51
119. Alan Perez +9:57
120. Aitor Galdos +9:57
123. Unai Uribarri +9:57

General Rank
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 14.33.31
2 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Team CSC +0.01
3 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel +0.27
49. Jon Bru +2:51
75. Dionisio Galparsoro +4:39
85. Juan Jose Oroz +6:13
109. Alan Perez +14:19
119. Anton Luengo +16:28
126. Koldo Fernadez +19:18
153. Aitor Galdos +27:24
154. Unai Uribarri +27:24

Interview with Markel Irizar

There is an interview with Markel Irizar in Spanish on the Euskaltel site, so I thought it would be interesting to translate it into English.

-How did you get into cycling ?
My father was a big fan of cycling. I began to go to races and I really liked it, one day I said I wanted to dedicate myself completely to cycling so I started on my 14th in the team of Oñate. I immediately took it serious, I did a lot of effort and now i'm here.

- What do you like about this sport ?
The fact that you are able to fulfil a dream and earn enough money to live from it. It's also fun to take part in races with people you have seen in magazines or on television. If you work hard and with some luck you get some good results, you will see the results of that very quick. Still I didn't get that much luck, I hope someday I will.

- You overcame cancer in 2002, how do you feel about that now ?
It's already five years ago and by most people it's almost forgotten but cancer cannot be forgotten by yourself, it marks your life. When I'm cycling, I want to prove that I can do the same as someone that didn't have had cancer, this has blocked me several times. I was obsessed with showing that cancer didn't make me different. I try to forget all that stuff now and I hope things will go better.

- So you're a very strong person ?
Yeah I am, cancer is a word that always will be associated with death, but I had a lot of support from friends and family and I always will have. I learned wich people really love me and that was a valuable lesson.

- Lance Armstrong wrote a letter to you
Yeah I don't know how it happened but I got a supporting letter from him and I send him a card back with : Thanx for the support, it really means much. When I became ill, a friend of mine was the secretary of the doctor from Lance and she told him about me. Later in the Criterium International, I got the chance to meet him because he wanted to know me. So I went to his bus and he was very nice and he was happy that I had overcome the disease.

- This year you participated in the Giro and we saw you in a few escapes
The days I was in the escapes, where actually my bad days because I didn't feel good then. But the thruth is that I wanted to escape even more, but I did what I could.

- Where is Markel Irizar in his life at the moment ?
The last years I improved enough but I am at a good level now. At the Criterium International I saw myself more ahead already and in Flandres I was in the main squad and in the Giro my crono's were decent. But the most important thing is experience !

Deutschland Tour 3

I just made a whole review about the race and I accidently pushed the wrong button so now i'm gonna do it shortly.

Anton Luengo was in an early escape but didn't get far. Break with Terpstra and Leben later with Jon Bru, Amael Moinard and Russ. A messy stage but ending in a sprint with Erik Zabel as the winner. First Euskaltel 38 Galparsoro, this sucks :s

zaterdag 11 augustus 2007

Deutschland Tour 2 : TTT

Today it was Team Trial Time and for Euskaltel this is one of the biggest fears. And once again it was a big disappointment for the riders, they became 19th out of the 23 teams, maybe two small positive points : They got there best result in a team time trial this year after some 22th and 21th places and only Anton Luengo couldn't follow the pace so they stayed quite together as a team. I really think they should practice more on the trials because you can get better results just by some small changes and more practice.

For the victory it would go between team time trial specialists CSC and Discovery Channel and also the German teams Gerolsteiner and T-Mobile because they would want to show of in front of their home crowd.

The first strong time was set by Discovery Channel with 52.05.99 but when CSC reached the first checkpoint they already had 5 seconds of advantage and they only made it bigger, ending with a time of 51.40 and the stage victory, as expected with riders like Cancellara, Voigt and Julich in the team. Gerolsteiner became third and T-Mobile fifth due some material problems for Ciolek.

Stage Result
1. Team CSC 51.40.00
2. Discovery Channel +0:25
3. Gerolsteiner +0:55
19. Euskaltel +2.53

General Rank
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 5.15.55
2 Fabian Cancellara (Sui) Team CSC +0.01
3 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC ST
121. Aitor Galdos +2.53
122. Koldo Fernandez +2.53
123. Alan Perez +2.53
126. Juan Jose Oroz +2.53
129. Dionisio Galparsoro +2.53
131. Unai Uribarri +2.53
136. Jon Bru +2.54
161. Anton Luengo +4.17

vrijdag 10 augustus 2007

Team Vuelta a Burgos

In preparation for the Tour of Spain, Euskaltel will participate in the Vuelta a Burgos from 14 till 18 august. It will be a very strong team with lots of potential for a stage victory and even a good end rank.

The team : Samuel Sanchez (picture), Igor Anton, Amets Txurruka, Inaki Isasi, Lander Aperribay, Aitor Hernandez, Markel Irizar and Ivan Velasco.

Deutschland Tour 1 : Saarbruecken

Robert Förster from Gerolsteiner has won the first stage of his own country's tour. He managed to take the victory in the sprint where he took the wheel of Napolitano and then jumped over him and Erik Zabel.

The stage was marked by a long escape with 3 riders, Maarten den Bakker, Matej Mugerli and Philipp Ludescher but they couldn't they reached the finish first but they still had to do another two town laps so the teams with a sprinter took them back.

For Euskaltel there was a great eight place for Aitor Galdos and a bit disappointing 23th place for Koldo Fernandez. They should learn to get in front when it's sprint-time, they always have to ride very fast to get in the top 10, they should get better results if they just got in front of the headgroup. Everybody finished in the first group.

Stage Result
1 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4.24.16 (41.708 km/h)
2 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital ST
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram ST
8. Aitor Galdos ST
23. Koldo Fernandez ST
39. Alan Perez ST
60. Juan Jose Oroz ST
143. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
163. Unai Uribarri ST
176. Anton Luengo ST

General Rank
1 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4.24.06
2 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Skil-Shimano +0.02
3 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital +0.04
13. Aitor Galdos +0:10
28. Koldo Fernandez +0:10
44. Alan Perez +0:10
64. Juan Jose Oroz +0:10
142. Dionisio Galparsoro +0:10
160. Jon Bru +0:10
162. Unai Uribarri +0:10
175. Anton Luengo +0:10

donderdag 9 augustus 2007

Team Vattenfall Cyclassics

On the 19th of August the only protour one day race in Germany will be held in Hamburg. This means that Euskaltel also will show up here and this is the team : Jon Bru, Alan Perez, Juan Jose Oroz, Koldo Fernandez, Aitor Galdos, Dionisio Galparsoro, Gorka Verdugo and Ruben Perez. It will probably become a sprint between the strongest sprinters so maybe Koldo, Aitor and Ruben could have a chance on a nice top ten spot or even more.

dinsdag 7 augustus 2007

Team Tour of Germany

Today we finally got the team for the Tour of Germany, the first protour stagerace after the Tour de France. The team consist of Aitor Galdos and Koldo Fernandez for the sprints, Dionisio Galparsoro and Antton Luengo for the mountain stages and Jon Bru, Juan Jose Oroz, Alan Perez and Unai Uribarri for the other work.

maandag 6 augustus 2007

Euskaltel News : Vuelta/Team 2008/Unai Etxebarria

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano has announced the five certainties for the Vuelta 2007. Samuel Sanchez will be the leader, the others are Haimar Zubeldia, Iñigo Landaluze, Iñaki Isasi and Koldo Fernandez. So there are another 4 empty spots, we know Ruben Perez and Mikel Astarloza wont ride the vuelta so maybe Galparsoro, Galdos (for the sprints), Luengo and then maybe Joseba Zubeldia or Juan Jose Oroz but these are just hopes.

Team 2008Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano also announced that next year there will only be 26 riders left in the team, not 30 anymore (or 29 without Aketza Peña). So with the retirement of Unai Etxebarria (see next title) there will have to be two other riders that leave :( Also Euskaltel will skip some smaller events like Santarem, Asturias, Rioja and Trentino. I hope they still will come to Belgium and the eneco tour :)

Unai Etxebarria retirement
The only rider not from Spain, Unai Etxebarria will say farewell to Euskaltel and cycling at the end of the season. He will be 35 then and has had a good carreer with wins in the Dauphine Libere, the Vuelta, the GP primavera and this year a stage in the Trofeo Calvia. I hope you will have a good other life Unai !

Subida a Urkiola : Gomez Marchante wins, Amets 11

The spanish rider Jose Angel Gomez Marchanten has won the Subida a Urkiola in his own country. With this victory Saunier Duval has a lot to party for because David Millar has won the British national championships on the same day. For Euskaltel Amets Txurruka was in the early break but couldn't get in the top 10, he became 11th.

Early in the race there was a break of 26 riders, among them Amets and three from Saunier Duval, Cañada, Mori and Camaño. On the first climb to Urkiola Gomez Marchante, David Lopez and Juan Josa Cobo came from behind and reduced the big group to 12. Then Gomez' teammates gave everything untill the final ascent. Also Cobo wanted the victory and he started to make pace, but he made everything ready for Marchantes final attack. The Spaniard pushed hard over the last kilometres and got an advantage of 40 seconds.

1 José A Gómez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 3.50.38 (42.27 km/h)
2 David López García (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +0.40
3 Juan José Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir +0.43
11. Amets Txurruka +2.17
24. Iban Velasco +3.44
48. Antton Luengo +10.37

zaterdag 4 augustus 2007

Clasica San Sebastian : Bertagnolli wins

The Italian Liquigas-rider Leonardo Bertagnolli has won the Clasica San Sebastian edition 2007 in a sprint with Basque Juan Manuel Garate. With Bertagnolli the Clasica gets a second "unknown" winner in a row with Xavier Florencio last year.

Race review
Early in the race a group of 21 left, among them Burghardt, Julich, De La Fuente, Caucchioli, Chavanal and the Euskaltel riders Galparsoro, Bru and Perez. But they didn't stay together very long so a little group of four escaped, Lopez Garcia, Albasini, Arrieta and the Belgian Vandewalle.

Behind them another group was formed with Perez Arrieta, Bossoni, Russ, Chavanel and Bru. The others from the first group got back into the peloton. As they went on to the Jaizkibel, the biggest difficulty in the race, Caisse d'Epargne and Discovery Channel made the pace in the peloton and because of that the headgroup had only 3 minutes advantage.

In the second group Bru and Chavanal had to pass so it was three against four so the secound group got caught by the peloton. In the peloton, that only has 25 riders anymore, Garate attacks as the first one but he didn't get away. In the front Lopez could not follow the others and had to pass before they reached the top. On the top the frontgroup still had 58 minutes on the peloton but then it's attacktime there. One after another attack Ricco, Carrara, Astarloza, Marchante ... but none of them gets away.

Due to these atacks the frontgroup got caught and there were only 20 riders left in front, among them the big favourites Valverde and Rebellin. In the descent of the last climb Bertagnolli and Garata left and they got an advantage of 30 seconds and nobody could get them back. Astarloza tried but he got Barredo in his wheel to stop him. In the sprint of two, they almost stopped riding but then Garate attacked but too early and Bertagnolli could easily get over him so he won his first classic.

1. Leonardo Bertagnolli
2. Juan Manuel Garate
3. Alejandro Valverde
4. Alessandro Ballan
5. Carlos Barredo
6. Mikel Astarloza
7. Carlos Sastre
8. Inigo Landaluze
9. Xavier Florencio
10. Giovanni Visconti
18. Gorka Verdugo
23. Haimar Zubeldia
105. Samuel Sanchez
107. Ruben Perez

vrijdag 3 augustus 2007

Igor Anton not competing in Subida a Urkiola

Igor Anton won't compete in the Subida a Urkiola this sunday because he's still tired from the tour and not strong enough. He will make his comeback in the Vuelte a Burgos. He will be replaced by Andoni Aranaga.

Interview Ruben Perez

Today I got an interview with Ruben Perez from my fellow super-euskaltelfan and blogger Magnus, you can find his blog in my favourites (http://ibanmayoblog.blogspot.com/) . I will now try to translate the interview as good as I can for you. http://www.gara.net/paperezkoa/20070803/31853/es/He-pasado-pensar-colgar-bici-correr-Tour

Ruben Perez
In his third year with the professionals, Ruben Perez has managed to get his master's degree. The man from Zaldibar showed his orange jersey in the tour, always in an escape. He is a cyclist with a lot of class and together with his combativity he became a protagonist in the stages to the Great Bornand, Plateau de Beille and Ghant, where he was only 3lm from the finish before he got caught again.

Ruben Perez is now 25 years old, but he wanted to quit cycling after his fifth year with the amateurs in 2003. Now he represents the future that Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano and Miguel Madariaga love in the new Euskaltel.

Yesterday Ruben ended a training with the team for Clasica San Sebastian. He thinks he's in a good shape but the examination will be saturday. After the Clasica he will go to the HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg and the Eneco Tour.

"Apparently, I already have the cyclist card" he assures, after he reached Paris in his first tour. "The Greatest Race, but I did it and I feel very proud" . He had ever overclassed his expectations"I went to the tour with the intention to do what I've done, but I never thought I would reach the finish that way, and for that reason I'm very contented."

In the three escapes, two times Ruben had to work for another companion, in the stage to the Great Bornand for Landaluze and to Platea-de-Beille for Txurruka. Only in Ghant he could do his own thing.

The opportunity from Orbea

The certain thing is that four years back little things lacked so Ruben wanted to quit cycling. By the amateurs he rode five seasons, all in the Olarra and always with victories, but in 2003 a virus ruined his illusions. When he thought he wouldn't get an opportunity, suddenly Team Orbea came up.

"In my fourth amateur year I got mononucleosis and I didn't heal well. In my fifth year I was much better but I thought things should go better so I thought about quitting with cycling. Untill Orbea gave me this opportunity and it was an incredible opportunity.

Three years later Ruben Perez is a consolidated cyclist but still misses his first victory. Gonzalez de Galdeano indicates him as one of the Euskaltel-pillars for the future.

Subsida a Urkiola : Team Euskaltel

Euskaltel has announced their team for the Subsida a Urkiola. It will be a young time with Igor Anton and Amets Txurruka as the favourites.

Team : Igor Anton, Amets Txurruka, Benat Albizuri, Unai Etxebarria, Anton Luengo, Aitor Hernandez, Andoni Lafuente, Juan Jose Oroz, Ivan Velasco and Alan Perez.

Interview with Mikel Astarloza Part 2 : Rest of the season

Q : You've already had a full season ? Doesn't it affect you ?
M : I have 60 days of competition and 20,000km crossed, also counting those from trainings. Tired ? Yeah I am. When I returned to the Basque country for Euskaltel I arrived with the idea to work for Samuel Sanchez. I rested a bit and rode the Dauphine Libere. In that race Euskaltel didn't press me for anything but it's a race that I've always liked and I had the illusion to do it well. The Dauphine was a very important race for my ex-team AG2R so it was a test that I value much. I wanted to do well and I finished seventh ! But ending between the first ten of the tour was a big difference. You can't fall, you have to taka advantage of the wind, you have to try and lose as less as possible in the ascents so you can hunt in the descents. It's an important tension.
Q : Did you have a bad day in the Tour ?
M : I had a hard time in the stage to the Aubisque and I lost seven minutes. There was an accumulation of circumstances that came to me.
Q : Wich circumstances ?
M : I remained single on the Marie Blanque, in the descent I couldn't get back in the front like the other days. Tactical I failed and sometimes the calculations fail too.
Q : Of all the Tours you rode, was this your best one ?
M : It has been the best one seeing the results and my physics. I never felt equal in any other Tour. When you see that nobody responds to you, everything is easier.
Q : Wich other races are you going to ride this season ?
M : I want to get a good result in the Clasica San Sebastian and I'm going to ride the Eneco Tour. I won't ride the Tour of Spain.
Q : What do you think of the Clasica San Sebastian ?
M : I know it well, I have arrived two or three times in the frontgroup but I'm not fast enough in the sprint to win.
Q : Who are the favourites, you think ?
M : There is no clear favourite. There are runners like Valverde, Rebellin, Menchov, Haimar or me but to win will be an other question. If a big group arrives at the finish, everything can happen. Surely that leaves much more names.

Interview with Mikel Astarloza : Part 1 The Tour

Yesterday there was an interview with Mikel Astarloza in the Diario Vasco, the Basque newspaper. I will try to translate it although my Spanish isn't great at all.

Mikel Astarloza has been one of the biggest sensations in the Euskaltel Team this year. The team that needs new faces and new names for the future and has found a solid, serious and good cyclist in him. The two parts, the Mikel and the team are very happy to work with eachother.

Q : You already had experience in the Tour de France, what was the difference between this edition and the others ?
M : The difference was that I have been able to maintain my good shape from the prologue until arriving in Paris, I've always been within the first ten. I was very good in the Alpes, the climbs are longer and easier than those in the Pyrenees. I'm a "diesel" cyclist and I hate the great changes in height, but I always could come back in the descents.
Q: You also maintained your regularity in the time-trials.
M : I finished tenth in both, that has allowed me to gain time on the climbers. and in the Pyrenees I tried to lose as less as possible.
Q : How did the tour end for you ?
M : I would say it has been hard physically, not to lose much time.
Q : Did the team support you ?
M : I put a lot of pressure on myself, I always do. In the last time-trial Igor said that it didn't matter what I would do, I rode a great tour. My time-trial would be accostumed to those from Valverde and Kirchen and I could pass Pereiro, for me these were important things. I'm a runner that works well with the pressure.
Q : Did your ninth position take away some of the questions about you ?
M : I dreamed about getting between the first ten in the Tour and now I achieved that, it's a dream that became true. I saw that I was improving every year so it wasn't an accident, I have been close to the top ten before.
Q : Now you have to go back to the tour next year and maybe win a stage ?
M : There are many riders that dream about winning a stage in the Tour, it's very hard to win a stage, although you're in great shape. To be between the first ten has more value, it's not a question of luck.

donderdag 2 augustus 2007

Euskaltel first week of August

The tour ended just a couple of days ago but Euskaltel already announced that they will try and show the same things as they did in the tour. At the first hand in the Clasica San Sebastian with Haimar Zubeldia, Mikel Astarloza and Samuel Sanchez.

At the other hand a team with the youngstars Amets Txurruka and Igor Anton will perform at the Subida a Urkiola, a though race with the finish on top of a climb. Last year this race was won by Iban Mayo but after his transfer to Saunier Duval he already came twice in contact with doping. The first time the spanish court spoke him free but this time he will be punished heavily.