zondag 30 september 2007

Bettini Worl Champio, Samuel 7th

The most important one-day race of the year was held today and the result was the same as last year, Paolo Bettini won. Although the race was far more exciting than last year, the Italian was too strong for everyone. As there happened too mucht, I'm only going to tell something about the last round.

In the last round the final break was made with 17 riders, among them Bettini, Schumacher, Boogerd and Bettini but no Freire, Valverde and Zabel. In that group Bettini did everything to get away and it worked out. He sprinted away together with Kolobnev, Fränk Schleck, Schumacher and Evans. In the other group the Belgians Gilbert and Leukemans tried everything to get back but the five were too strong. They rode to the finish, Kolobnev pulled out an amazing pace but the little Italian won on grinta !

Samuel Sanchez tried to get away in the 17 men group but it didn't work out and when Bettini attacked it looked like he didn't have the power anymore to follow. Although in the last metres he pulled out a great sprint to get past Gilbert and become 7th. Unai Etxebarria was in front of the peloton the whole time, we could see him easily because he was really colourful. He probably worked for the Spaniards and he finished in the bunch with a good 39th place.

1 Paolo Bettini (Italy) 6.44.43 (39.642 km/h)
2 Alexandr Kolobnev (Russian Federation)
3 Stefan Schumacher (Germany)
4 Frank Schleck (Luxembourg)
5 Cadel Evans (Australia)
6 Davide Rebellin (Italy) +0.06
7 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spain) +0.08
8 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
9 Fabian Wegmann (Germany)
10 Martin Elmiger (Switzerland)
39. Unai Etxebarria +0.49

Haimar wins Memorial Jokin Ormaetxea

Mr. Zubeldia hasn't won a race since the Euskal Bizikleta but in the Memorial Jokin Ormaetxea he got something very much alike. Ok the criterium wasn't an official race but it has a much higher emotional value because it's a race for the passed away Basque rider Joan Ormaetxea. The race was held in three parts : the points race, the team time trial and the elimination race and he already showed himself great in the first part where he finished second after Juan Manuel Garate. In the team time trial he got a second place again together with his brother, Iriondo, Irizar, Mayoz and Aperribay and after that he also became second in the elimination after Peio Arreitunandia (Barloworld), resulting in a first place overall.

Points Race
1. Juan Manuel Garate 14
2. Haimar Zubeldia 11
3. Amets Txurruka 4

1. Lasa/Anton/Albizuri/Leonet/K. Fernandez/Jon Garate/Sudupe
2. Haimar/Joseba/Mayoz/Iriondo/Irizar/Aperribay

1. Peio Arreitunandia
2. Haimar Zubeldia
3. Igor Astarloa

Final Rank
1. Haimar Zubeldia 12
2. Peio Arreitunandia 9
3. Juan Manuel Garate 7

zaterdag 29 september 2007

Samuel feels good

Samuel Sanchez says in the Diario Vasco that he's feeling great. He has had a calm week, trained a bit and is in the best form of his life ! He will start the WC as a helper for Freire of Valverde but if he sees his own chance he's gonna take it.

He also said that he got other interested teams but he doesn't see himself in other colors so he has asked Euskaltel for a contract until 2010.
Here's the article : http://www.diariovasco.com/20070929/deportes/ciclismo/sorpresa-vuelta-piensa-mundial-20070929.html

vrijdag 28 september 2007

proTour : Euskaltel all over the world ??

The UCI has announced their plans for the protour 2008. Races like Pais Vasco, San Sebastian, Romandië, Poland, the Eneco Tour and the Olympic Games will be in the ProTour and all the 18 teams will have to compete in those (no Discovery and Unibet). Races that are organised by the ASO like Giro, Vuelta, Milan-Sanremo and Liege-Bastogne-Liege will be put in a special category and the protour teams get the choice if they want to compete in those. A special race will be the Tour, it will be in the new category but all the 18 teams will have the right to start.

The protour year will start in Adelaide, with the Tour Down Under, and will also visit China and Russia so we will be able to see Euskaltel all over the world :D

donderdag 27 september 2007

Criterium Jokin Ormaetxea

All the best riders from the Basque Country will be reunited this Saturday at 18.00 in Azkoita. It's because of a special criterium for Jokin Ormaetxea, the Basque cyclist who died in a car crash. There will be a road race but also a team time trial, so a good chance for Euskaltel to practice a bit. The riders from Euskaltel are Haimar Zubeldia, Joseba Zubeldia, Txurruka, Landaluze, Fernandez, Anton, Iriondo, Azanza, Galparsoro, Albizuri, Galdos, Hernandez, Irizar, Mayoz and Aperribay so almost the whole team will be there. Of course there are also other Basque riders like Garate, Astarloa Camaño and David Lopez.

dinsdag 25 september 2007

Vuelta : Other Classifications

I promised something about the other classifications in the vuelta so here it is :D

Points classification
The only ranking that still wasn't decided on the last day. It went between Menchov and Benatti and maybe Samuel, but with the stage win from the Italian he won it. The reason why Samuel is this high is probably very clear to you all. Also Koldo Fernandez did a great job with a good 7th place.

1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 147 pts
2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 135
3 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 127
7. Koldo Fernandez 80
19. Igor Anton 44
66. Haimar Zubeldia 7
81. Dionisio Galparsoro 3
83. Alan Perez 3

Mountains Classification
It seemed like this would become a battle between the belgian attacker Jurgen van Goolen and Denis Menchov but with Sastre and Samuel that made a big fight in the mountain stages Jurgen didn't have a chance against the great Russian. A good fifth place for Samuel !

1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 90 pts
2 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Discovery Channel 78
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 69
5. Samuel Sanchez 54
15. Igor Anton 28
33. Dionisio Galparsoro 10
34. Iñaki Isasi 10
57. Alan Perez 5
58. Haimar Zubeldia 4
71. Aitor Hernandez 1

Combination Classification
I really don't get why this rank exist, it really has no meaning and nobody cares about it. What's wrong with a classification for the younger riders ?? That's a good classification so we can see who's the best 'junior'. Of course Denis Menchov won this, before Samie !

1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 4 pts
2 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 11
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 15
9. Igor Anton 42
41. Haimar Zubeldia 168
46. Dionisio Galparsoro 177
57. Alan Perez 234

Teams Classification
If Haimar wouldn't have fallen, I think Euskaltel would have won this classification. Sadly enough he did and Caisse d'Epargne won the team classification, but Euskaltel is a very good second !

1 Caisse d'Epargne 242.55.05
2 Euskaltel-Euskadi +12.43
3 AG2r Prévoyance +30.25
4 Team CSC +34.53
5 Liquigas +36.02

maandag 24 september 2007

Vuelta : General Rank Euskaltel

The Vuelta a España has finished and I think we have had a great competition. Ok, maybe it wasn't that spectacular when you look at the winner but when you look at the places 2-10, it was really exciting. Of course from an Euskaltel point of view this tour was just great !!! The third place of Samuel and the three stage victories were the highlights !

Final General classification
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 80.59.07
2 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC +3.31
3 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi +3.46
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto +3.56
5 Ezequiel Mosquera Miguez (Spa) Karpin Galicia +6.34
6 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne +7.07
7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne +8.09
8 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi +8.44
9 Manuel Beltrán (Spa) Liquigas +9.38
10 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quickstep - Innergetic +10.12

  • 3. Samuel Sanchez : What can we say about his performance ?? Fabulous, amazing and heaven are the first words that come to my mind. His first week was a bit silent but he told the newspapers he would be ready in the third week and he made it true. He climbed in the general rank to the third spot with great stagewins in Granada, on the Alto de Abantos and his fabulous time trial !
  • 8. Igor Anton : Although he couldn't repeat what he did last year, winning a stage, his Vuelta was very succesful. On the flat stages he could take it easy, but on the climb stages he had to work for Samuel. A few times he was sent in a break so he could help Samuel later. All of this didn't bother him and rode to a great eight spot in the overall.
  • 44. Haimar Zubeldia : Despite his fall in an early stage, he worked really hard and managed to get in some early escapes. He couldn't ride a good general rank or win a stage but I think he did a really good job for Samuel.
  • 63. Dionisio Galparsoro : One of the greatest helpers in the peloton during the vuelta ! We saw him riding really hard at the front of the peloton and in the first and second week going in a break in the more difficult stages. He rode a damn great Vuelta !
  • 74. Iñaki Isasi : Iñaki rode a slightly disappointing Vuelta. Of course he also worked hard in the peloton for Koldo and Samuel, but he didn't manage to place himself good in a sprint, resulting in a 17th place as his best result.
  • 75. Iñigo Landaluze : A bit the same as Isasi. Did a great job for Samuel but we didn't get from him what we've expected, a long break till the end. Of course he showed himself already in the Tour.
  • 81. Aitor Hernandez : Aitor showed himself this year as a good helper on the climbs. When the pace went up, he mostly couldn't follow but he rode some good results. His still young so we can expect something more from him in the futur.
  • 94. Alan Perez : Placed himself good in the sprints with a 14th place as best. He was man who had to help Koldo in the sprints and he did a really good job !
  • 133. Koldo Fernandez : In this vuelta, Koldo has proven himself as one of the better sprinters in the peloton. He even got a second place once, but I think at the end of the vuelta he got a bit tired so he didn't do that well in the last sprints.

zondag 23 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 21 : Finito ! Koldo 7th

Just like in the tour, the last stage of the vuelta wasn't a big deal. In the beginning of the stage there were alot of riders who fooled around a bit but when they entered the circuit it started to become serious. A high pace was set by Milram and Lampre and no one could escape from the raging peloton. It became a sprint, but Koldo wasn't placed perfectly so he became ok seventh. Benatti won the sprint and with this victory he also won the points classification.

Of course in the general rank nothing changed but more about that and the other classification the next day(s).

Stage Result
1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 2.37.27 (39.71 km/h)
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram ST
3 Alexandre Usov (Blr) AG2r Prévoyance ST
7. Koldo Fernandez ST
24. Alan Perez ST
37. Samuel Sanchez ST
46. Aitor Hernandez ST
49. Igor Anton ST
59. Haimar Zubeldia ST
73. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
75. Iñigo Landaluze ST
117. Iñaki Isasi ST

zaterdag 22 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 19 : 3 TIMES SAMUEL

"Oh my god, I can't believe it" is a quote from the Kaiser Chiefs that came to my mind this afternoon. Samuel won his third stage in this Vuelta and this time it was a time trial !

Early in the race Stef Clement set the best time but when Samuel appeared at the second checkpoint he already crushed his time. Only Menchov was able to follow Sanchez' time because Evans and Sastre were already losing seconds. At the end Sanchez was 12 seconds faster than Menchov, 19 than Evans and 41 than Sastre.

The result of this great race is that Samuel went to the third spot in the general rank and will stand on the podium tomorrow ! Also Igor Anton rode a good time trial but lost a spot in the general rank, he went to place 8. With Aitor Hernandez ending 27th Euskaltel won the team classification and that has to be huge for them especially because it's a TIME TRIAL !! I'm so f*cking happy :P

Stage Results
1 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 22.11 (54.09 km/h)
2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank +0.12
3 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom +0.14
21. Igor Anton +0.58
27. Aitor Hernandez +1.06
29. Alan Perez +1.10
31. Haimar Zubeldia +1.13
66. Iñaki Isasi +2.04
76. Dionisio Galparsoro +2.14
124. Koldo Fernandez +2.56
132. Iñigo Landaluze +3.05

General Rank
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 78.21.40
2 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC +3.31
3 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi +3.46
8. Igor Anton +8.44
44. Haimar Zubeldia +1.04.02
63. Dionisio Galparsoro +1.30.55
74. Iñaki Isasi +1.41.02
75. Iñigo Landaluze +1.43.31
81. Aitor Hernandez +1.50.03
94. Alan Perez +2.03.46
134. Koldo Fernandez +2.43.09

Vuelta Stage 19 : Samu wins AGAIN !!!

The 19th stage of the Vuelta, and also the last one where the climbers could do something, colored totally orange. First of all Iñaki and Alan were in the early break, but they didn't stay in front because they had to help Samuel and Igor on the last climb. On that last climb Igor rode away with a small group, just to help Samuel later in the climb. Samuel rode together with Sastre and Menchov but he escaped and rode to Igor all alone. Igor couldn't do much but Samuel managed to get in front. He had to take that Menchov and Sastre came back but in the sprint on the top of the mountain he killed them and won his second stage !!!!!!!!

You see, this was a great stage of team work for Euskaltel because they also won the team ranks because Igor finished fifth and Aitor Hernandez 20th.

Tomorrow we get a short time trial and for Samuel there is the opportunity to gain a spot because he's only nine second behind Cadel Evans, a talented time trialist but he's really tired from the Tour de France.

Stage Result
1 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 3.37.01 (36.77 km/h)
2 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Relax - Gam ST
3 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank +0.03
5. Igor Anton +0.14
20. Aitor Hernandez +2.50
40. Iñaki Isasi +15.25
41. Alan Perez +15.25
60. Haimar Zubeldia +19.05
61. Dionisio Galparsoro +19.05
69. Iñigo Landaluze +19.05
99. Koldo Fernandez +21.42

General Rank
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 77.59.17
2 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC +3.02
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto +3.49
4. Samuel Sanchez +3.58
8. Igor Anton +7.58
45. Haimar Zubeldia +1.03.01
64. Dionisio Galparsoro +1.28.53
75. Iñaki Isasi +1.39.10
76. Iñigo Landaluze +1.40.38
85. Aitor Hernandez +1.49.09
95. Alan Perez +2.02.48
134. Koldo Fernandez +2.40.24

vrijdag 21 september 2007

Allan Davis to Euskaltel ???

According to the site www.wieleruitslagen.be Allan Davis has got an offer from Euskaltel for 2008 and would be very interested in it. He also has offers from 5 other teams, but this one he preferred. I'm not quite sure if this news is true but if it is, I don't know if I'm really happy with it. First of all he's Australian and not Basque and he was on the Fuentes list, although he was removed from it immediately. I also don't understand why Euskaltel would be interested in a sprinter with Aitor Galdos and Koldo Fernandez doing really good and improving every race.

donderdag 20 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 18 : Samuel 4th in Stage and Rank

Finally there was some movement in the general ranks today and they turned out to be great for Euskaltel. Samuel moved to the fourth spot due to a weak performance of Efimkin and Anton moved to the ninth spot.

Not only in the rankings does Euskaltel show but also in todays stage. In the beginning Iñaki, Iñigon and Alan tried to get in the final break but it were Samuel and Igor who were in the right group. Together with the others from the top 10, except for Efimkin, Barredo and Beltran they rode to the finish. But a certain Luis Perez from Andalucia Cajasur had to ruin the sprint and escaped at 13km before the finish. Because the main group wasn't working together really good, he managed to stay away and won the stage. Samuel became fourth in a sprint with Evans and Mosquera. With Igor 11th and Haimar 36th, Euskaltel won once again the team classification.

Tomorrow the last climb stage is scheduled and it will be the last chance for Samuel and all the others to close the gap with Menchov.

Stage Results
1 Luis Perez Rodriguez (Spa) Andalucia - Cayasur 3.43.45 (41.16 km/h)
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto +0.41
3 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas ST
4. Samuel Sanchez ST
11. Igor Anton +0.47
36. Haimar Zubeldia +3.07
56. Iñigo Landaluze +3.47
93. Iñaki Isasi +17.31
105. Alan Perez +27.45
106. Koldo Fernandez +27.45
107. Aitor Hernandez +27.45
142. Dionisio Galparsoro +27.45

General Rank
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 74.22.13
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto +2.27
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC +3.02
4. Samuel Sanchez +4.01
9. Igor Anton +7.47
44. Haimar Zubeldia +43.59
64. Dionisio Galparsoro +1.09.51
77. Iñigo Landaluze +1.21.36
80. Iñaki Isasi +1.23.48
97. Aitor Hernandez +1.46.22
99. Alan Perez +1.47.26
137. Koldo Fernandez +2.18.45

woensdag 19 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 17 : Koldo 10th

Today we probably got the last sprinters stage in this vuelta before Madird and once again two unknown spaniards were in front. This time it were Jorge Garcia and Juan Olmo. In the peloton it were Euskaltel, Milram and Lampre who did all the work and at 8km before the finish they caught them back and the sprint preparation could start.

Koldo Fernandez was placed really good in the wheel of Daniele Benatti but at 500 metres he got caught up and he couldn't get out of the pack. Benatti won before Bettini and Petacchi. Only Iñigo and Aitor lost some time today but I think one of them might make them good tomorrow, because it will be a stage for breakaways. We shall see...

Stage Results
1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 3.56.58 (44.31 km/h)
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quickstep - Innergetic ST
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram ST
10. Koldo Fernandez ST
15. Alan Perez ST
20. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
28. Samuel Sanchez ST
30. Iñaki Isasi ST
48. Haimar Zubeldia ST
65. Igor Anton ST
123. Aitor Hernandez +0.29
137. Iñigo Landaluze +O.28

dinsdag 18 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 16 : Koldo and Dioni in Break

Today we came close to a second consecutive stage virctory for Euskaltel. Early in the stage a groupe of 18 riders escaped with among them Koldo Fernandez and Dionisio Galparsoro. The peloton gave them a ticket to the finish but they didn't went to the finish together.

Horrach, Duque and Kolobnev managed to get away and at 1 km before the finish everything seemed decided, but then a little group seemed to come back with Koldo. Duque started sprinting and he just made it, 6 seconds before Koldo who became fourth, Dioni became 15 and all the other Euskaltels came in with the peloton.

Stage Result
1 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 4.00.39 (41.147 km/h)
2 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC ST
3 Joan Horrach (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne ST
4. Koldo Fernandez +0.06
15. Dionisio Galparsoro +0.13
20. Iñigo Landaluze +7.43
31. Alan Perez ST
45. Samuel Sanchez ST
51. Igor Anton ST
62. Haimar Zubeldia ST
69. Iñaki Isasi ST
110. Aitor Hernandez ST

maandag 17 september 2007

Team 2008 + Bru, Dioni and Alan

Today we got new news about Euskaltel- Euskaid 2008. Jon Bru, Dionisio Galparsoro and Alan Perez got a contract for 2008 and that's just great because they showed themselves really good in the past weeks. Jon Bru did a really good job in the Tour of Poland, Dioni is riding great in the Vuelta and from Alan we saw a great attack in the Tour de Suisse and great work in the Vuelta. I think with these three we have now 18-19 riders for 2008 and there still are some open spots for new riders or riders from 2007.
We will see ...

zondag 16 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 15 : Samuel Wins !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was an historical day for Euskaltel and my blog. It was the first time since I have my blog that Euskaltel wins something and it wasn't just something, it was a great stage in the Vuelta on the Alto de Monachil and Samuel Sanchez did it. First I wanted to celebrate this with an blogentry with only "yesyesyes" and "!!!!!" but I think you prefer a report :P

Early in the stage a group of 20 left, among them Haimar Zubeldia but in the peloton Euskaltel was working as crazy people, because Samuel was feeling good probably. They brought the group closer and at the Alto de Monachil they only had 1 minute left. One of the first to attack on the climb was Igor Anton but he couldn't stay away from the group of favorites. At the same time only Cunego and Beltran were still ahead from the early break and the door at the end of the group of favorites was wide open.

With six riders we rode to the top : Sastre, Menchov, Efimkin, Evans, Samuel and Igor and right before the top Samuel attacked, knowing that he's one of the greatest descenders in the peloton. He managed to reach Cunego, left him behind and then reached Beltran. Together they went to the finish but Beltran wasn't strong enough to win in the sprint, so Sanchez won another Vuelta Stage !!! In the group of favorites Barredo jumped away but Igor stopped him a bit and became 4th in the stage.

Due to this great performance Euskaltel won the team rank because Haimar finished 26th and Samuel went from 6 to 5 in the general rank and Igor Anton from 12 to 10. A great day for Euskaltel.

Stage Result
1 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 4.45.59 (42.3 km/h)
2 Manuel Beltrán (Spa) Liquigas ST
3 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quickstep - Innergetic +0.24
4 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi +0.24
26. Haimar Zubeldia +2.32
114. Aitor Hernandez +22.15
135. Iñigo Landaluze +22.15
136. Iñaki Isasi +22.15
137. Dionisio Galparsoro +22.15
139. Alan Perez +22.15
141. Koldo Fernandez +22.15

General Rank
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 62.32.27
2 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne +2.01
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto +2.27
4 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC +3.02
5 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi +4.01
10. Igor Anton +7.41
47. Haimar Zubeldia +41.33
54. Dionisio Galparsoro +50.17
80. Iñaki Isasi +1.06.58
90. Iñigo Landaluze +1.18.01
91. Aitor Hernandez +1.18.49
94. Alan Perez +1.20.22
146. Koldo Fernandez +1.59.18

Tour of the Future : Javier Aramendia

This week the Tour de l'Avenir (in english the Tour of the Future) was held and because next year Javier Aramendia will be in the Euskaltel team, I followed him a bit and I have to say I'm not really happy with his results. He didn't show himself much and his best place in a stage was a 36th place. Of course I don't know if he really focussed in this race, but it's a very important one so he should have.

Stage 1 : 44th +0.58
Stage 2 : 41th +0.14
Stage 3 : 66th +6.37
Stage 4 : 58th ST
Stage 5 : 83th +2.45 (TT)
Stage 6 : 76th +2.42
Stage 7 : 44th +3.12
Stage 8 : 36th +1.43
Stage 9 : 49th +3.12
Stage 10 : 42th +1.23
Overall : 33th + 16.23

I also discoverd an other Basque rider who did really good, Beñat Intxausti. He got 5th in the general rank and in a certain stage he got third. He also rode a great time trial (for a basque rider) with an 18th spot. But when I googled his name, I found out that Saunie Duval already gave him a contract for next year :(

zaterdag 15 september 2007

Tour of Poland Stage 7 : Bru 17th, Irizar failed

It was the last stage in the Tour of Poland and finally there were some attacks. Johan van Summeren won the stage and the general rank at the same time. Marzio Bruseghin rode almost the whole stage in front alone but at the end he wasn't strong enough to finish. Van Summeren attacked at 22km before the finish and no one was able to follow.

For Euskaltel there wasn't much to do today, Jon came in as a good 17th and ended in the general rank at place 15. Markel Irizar was 7th in the general rank yesterday but he lost too much time today and became 38th. Only 63 riders crossed the finishline, Galdos, Aperribay, Luengo and Aranaga weren't among them.

Stage Results
1 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Predictor - Lotto 3.56.58 (37.398 km/h)
2 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank +0.23
3 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team +0.32
17. Jon Bru +0.55
34. Juan Jose Oroz +2.51
47. Markel Irizar +5.28
56. Iban Iriondo +7.45
DNF Lander Aperribay
DNF Aitor Galdos
DNF Anton Luengo
DNF Andoni Arana

General Rank
1 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Predictor - Lotto 3.52.11
2 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank +0.27
3 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team +0.38
15. Jon Bru +1.05
32. Juan Jose Oroz +3.01
38. Markel Irizar +5.36
51. Iban Iriondo +15.47

Vuelta Stage 14 : Haimar in the break !

Haimar Zubeldia fell in the beginning of the Vuelta and today we finally got to see that he's healing good. He was in the three escapes and one of them went to the finish. You could see he wasn't really in a good shape anymore like in the tour because he had a hard time following on the climbs but it was good to see him in front once again. He became ninth because he didn't compete in the sprint for the third place.

In the same group as Haimar there were also strong others like Garate and Schumacher but it was Jason McCartney from Discovery Channel who made the final attack and no one could get him back. Thomas Lövkvist tried but he came in 28 seconds behind. The peloton came in 10 minutes behind the break but the general rank didn't change. All the other riders from Euskaltel came in with the peloton except for Koldo Fernandez, but he will probably be a bit tired from all the sprints.

Tomorrow we get a tough stage with the Alto de Monachill as main obstacle, the climb were Vinokourov won the Vuelta last year from Valverde. I think this will be something for Iñigo since we haven't seen him yet.

Stage Results
1 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel 5.21.21 (38.65 km/h)
2 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Française des Jeux +0.28
3 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner +0.50
9. Haimar Zubeldia +0.50
21. Samuel Sanchez +10.05
31. Igor Anton +10.05
42. Dionisio Galparsoro +10.05
52. Alan Perez +10.05
62. Iñigo Landaluze +10.05
95. Iñaki Isasi +10.05
96. Aitor Hernandez +10.05
116. Koldo Fernandez +10.26

General Rank
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 57.45.47
2 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne +2.01
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto +2.27
6. Samuel Sanchez +4.42
12. Igor Anton +7.58
41. Dionisio Galparsoro +28.43
59. Haimar Zubeldia +39.42
66. Iñaki Isasi +45.24
85. Iñigo Landaluze +56.17
86. Aitor Hernandez +57.15
88. Alan Perez +58.48
148. Koldo Fernandez +1.37.34

vrijdag 14 september 2007

Tour of Poland Stage 6 : No Euskaltel

Once again we got a sprint in the Tour of Poland but this time the italian Filippo Pozzato won. He won the sprint before Rojas and Burghardt. The Euskaltel team didn't do much today apparently, Juan Jose Oroz became 31th and only Irizar and Bru were in the same group. The others were all far behind and lost alot of time. Tomorrow the Tour of Poland will end and Markel Irizar is now seventh so he might be able to do something good and gain some spots.

Stage Results
1 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas 4.47.48 (37.776 km/h)
2 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne ST
3 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) T-Mobile Team ST
31. Juan Jose Oroz ST
32. Jon Bru ST
41. Markel Irizar ST
97. Anton Luengo +6.27
105. Iban Iriondo +7.52
126. Andoni Aranaga +19.04
127. Lander Aperribay +19.04
138. Aitor Galdos +22.59

Vuelta Stage 13 : Koldo 14th

It finally happened ! An early escape was able to stay away and didn't get caught by the peloton. The lucky ones were Tom Stamsnijder, Jeremy Roy and Andreas Klier. At 10km Klier attacked and only Stamsnijder could follow but in the sprint the young dutchie started too soon and Klier could easily get over him and win the sprint.

Although the breakaway wasn't caught, it wasn't an easy ride in the peloton. At kilometre 159 Caisse d'Epargne made an attack in team and started to make a hard pace. The peloton split in a few groups but no one from the top 10 wasn't it the first group, so it was a thing for nothink. The sprint for the fourth place was won by Benatti and Koldo was 14th. All the Euskaltel riders finished in the first group except for Iñigo Landaluze who came in one minute behind the peloton.

Stage Result
1 Andreas Klier (Ger) T-Mobile Team 4.01.52 (43.8 km/h)
2 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Gerolsteiner +0.01
3 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux +0.24
14. Kodlo Fernandez +4.03
46. Alan Perez +4.03
50. Haimar Zubeldia +4.03
51. Dionisio Galparsoro +4.03
61. Iñaki Isasi +4.03
65. Igor Anton +4.03
68. Aitor Hernandez +4.03
72. Samuel Sanchez +4.03
139. Iñigo Landaluze +5.02

Interview with Koldo Fernandez

Today you can find an interview with Koldo Fernandez in El Correo and sinche he's doing really good I thought it might be nice to have it in english too. http://www.elcorreodigital.com/vizcaya/20070914/deportes/mas-deporte/cada-freno-menos-20070914.html

-Do you remember your first sprint ?
My first race was the Circuit the Vitoria and I won it because an early escape. My first important sprint was at the Spanish Championships for cadets and I won, and later I won the youth title too.
- Do you like to be a sprinter or did you prefer to be another sprinter ?
When I was an amateur I had to lose weight to be better in the mountains but when I became a pro I had more gymnasion to get more muscles and power and someone noticed it.
-Who are your models ?
Cipollini was the greatest ! Petacchi tried to copy him but he doesn't have the class.
-Do you have alot of nerves ?
Yeah it's what bothers me the most. The pressure I put on myself. In the mountains I'm scared to get out of the races and in the sprint I'm nervous to win.
-Does it cost a lot of power to fight against those nerves ?
A lot ! In the sprint in Zaragoza where I became sprint I crossed the finish totally blocked. I was really nervous.
-How do you fight against those nerves ?
I do some relaxation techniques, but I should do more.

-The best sprinters in the world are in the Vuelta, how does it feel to be among them ?
It gives respect. You know it will be difficult to win but when I became second in a stage, I gained lots of respect. I know much can happen in a sprint and I know I can win.
- Who is the best sprinter in this Vuelta ?
Freire, I think his much better than Petacchi
-In which sprinter can you see yourself ?
Perhaps Freire. I do not have his intuition but when I'm behind Petacchi or Benatti I can ride a good 75-100 metres.
- Do you have time to think in the sprint ?
No, you see sprinters like McEwen and Napolitano using their elbows and you just do the same. You dont have time to think or to be scared.

donderdag 13 september 2007

Tour of Poland Stage 5 : Jon 17th

In te Tour of Poland we got another sprint and once again it wasn't without falls. This time it was up to Aitor who crashed on the last bend so he didn't had the chance to get a good spot. The early escapers were again Bodnar and Wadecki but they were brought back. The peloton fell into three pieces due to the wind but due the amazing work of four Euskaltel riders they got back. It became a sprint where Murilo Fischer won. Jon was able to get a 17th spot.

Tomorrow there will finally be some mountains in the stage so maybe an Euskaltel rider can do something great.

Stage Result
1 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas 6.44.24 (37.938 km/h)
2 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre - Fondital ST
3 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic ST
17. Jon Bru +0.06
28. Juan Jose Oroz +0.06
66. Markel Irizar +0.06
109. Aitor Galdos +0.06
110. Andoni Aranaga +0.06
133. Iban Iriondo +2.22
138. Anton Luengo +14.23
139. Lander Aperribay +14.23

Vuelta Stage 12 : Samuel 7 Koldo 11 Isasi 22

It was a fantastic stage for the riders for Euskaltel ! Ok early in the race Aitor Hernandez had some mechanical problems but they were solved quickly. In the sprint Samuel became 7th, Koldo 11th and Isasi 22th and with this great results Euskaltel wins the team classification for the very first time this vuelta, after some third and second places.

The early escape in this stage was for once not only with unknown spanish riders but with Gilbert, Rebellin, Minard, Krivstov and Ruiz Sanchez, a really strong group. In the peloton Milram worked really hard and it paid off because they caught the early escape and Alessandro Petacchi won the stage before Benatti and Usov.

Tomorrow will be another sprinting stage, so hopefully Koldo or Samuel (:p) can place themself a bit higher and maybe win the stage.

Stage Results
1. Alessandro Petacchi Milram 3:41:01
2. Daniele Bennati Lampre ST
3. Aleksandr Usov AG2R ST
7. Samuel Sanchez ST
11. Koldo Fernandez ST
22. Iñaki Isasi ST
25. Alan Perez ST
39. Igor Anton ST
61. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
98. Haimar Zubeldia ST
106. Iñigo Landaluze ST
125. Aitor Hernandez +1.50

Vuelta Stage 11 : Koldo 14th

Once again the stage was coloured by two unknown spanish riders, Lopez Gil and Garcia de Mateo but sadly for them they weren't able to stay away from the peloton. In the peloton Milram did the most work and it paid off as Alessandro Petacchi won his first stage of the vuelta 2007 before Betinni and his teammate Zabel.

Koldo came in 14th, not really good after his 4th and 2nd place but he wasn't placed really good so maybe we can expect something from him the next stage, that probably will become another sprint. All the riders from Euskaltel came in the same time.

Stage Result
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram 4.45.34 (40.19 km/h)
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quickstep - Innergetic ST
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram ST
14. Koldo Fernandez ST
25. Iñaki Isasi ST
46. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
48. Samuel Sanchez ST
63. Igor Anton ST
85. Haimar Zubeldia ST
92. Iñigo Landaluze ST
95. Alan Perez ST
97. Aitor Hernandez ST

woensdag 12 september 2007

Tour of Poland Stage 4 : Aitor 9th

The fourth stage of the Tour of Poland enden again in a sprint, but this time Aitor Galdos was able to compete !

Early in the race Lang and Murillo got a nine minutes advantage but they couldn't get the victory so it became a sprint. Danilo Napolitano won the stage but the sprint was marked by a big fall with among them Wouter Weylandt and Gerald Ciolek. Due to the fall lots of riders were placed at the same spot, 81.

Stage Result
1 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 5.47.03 (41.89 km/h)
2 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Discovery Channel ST
3 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner ST
9. Aitor Galdos ST
37. Andoni Aranaga ST
61. Juan Jose Oroz ST
65. Markel Irizar ST
73. Jon Bru ST
81. Anton Luengo ST
81. Lander Aperribay ST
81. Iban Iriondo ST

dinsdag 11 september 2007

Unai Etxebarria at WC

The Diario Vasco announced today that Unai Etxebarria will ride the world championships at the end of september. Of course this is great news because with this he might be able to end his carreer with something great (wishful thinking). This also means that two riders probably will compete at the WC, Unai and Samuel. I don't see anyone else picked up by the Spanish Federation.

Tour of Poland Stage 3 : Kopp wins, no Euskaltel

David Kopp from the German Gerolsteiner team won the third stage in the Tour of Poland. He won the sprint before Rojas and Weylandt, but it wasn't a usual sprint. There were lots of obstacles on the last kilometres like cars, trainrails and even a vertical parked police car. This might seem as something funny but the riders this ain't funny at all, come'on it's a PROTOUR RACE, this can't happen in such races !!!

On the Euskaltel side only Markel Irizar showed himself trying to reach the two breakaways Bodnar and Rousseau, together with Wadecki, but they couldn't reach them. The first Euskaltel rider in the sprint was Jon Bru on a 67th place, not good at all. two good points, all the Euskaltels came in in the same group and Markel Irizar is now 10th overall.

Stage Results
1 David Kopp (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4.45.22 (40.411 km/h)
2 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne ST
3 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic ST
67. Jon Bru ST
75. Aitor Galdos ST
96. Juan Jose Oroz ST
105. Markel Irizar ST
122. Andoni Aranaga ST
126. Iban Iriondo ST
136. Lander Aperribay ST
143. Anton Luengo ST

Tour of Poland Stage 2 : Bru 9th

The first real stage of the Tour of Poland became a normal sprinters stage. The early escape was formed by Lukasz Bodnar only, and with one man ahead you already know that this ain't going to work, so it became a sprint.

In the sprint Aitor Galdos was placed bad, so it was up to Jon Bru to sprint and he did a really good job with becomine ninth ! The victory was for Greame Brown before youngstat Wouter Weylandt. Two riders from Euskaltel came in without the big group, Aperribay and Luengo, but I don't know the reason for it.

Stage Results
1 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 4.50.46
2 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic ST
3 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Bouygues Telecom ST
9. Jon Bru ST
29. Aitor Galdos ST
54. Juan Jose Oroz ST
62. Markel Irizar ST
104. Iban Iriondo ST
114. Andoni Aranaga ST
137. Anton Luengo +1.17
140. Lander Aperribay +4.33

maandag 10 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 10 : Samuel 3th, Anton 8th

4 euskaltel riders entertained the stage today. First of all Dionisio Galparsoro and Alan Perez were in the early break which lasted untill the last climb. Alan showed himself good by following the escapes from the others, but it turned out pointless at the end. Then the favorites took over on maybe the most important climb of the whole vuelta.

A group of 6 rode away with Menchov, Sastre, Evans, Efimkin, Piepoli and Beltran but Samuel wouldn't let them go and came back, but at each attack he had to let go but every time he managed to come back. Then at 1km before the finish Igor Anton popped up out of nowhere and he helps Samuel to close the final gap and even tries to attack, this didn't work so it became a sprint. In the sprint Menchov was the strongest but Samuel came in as third, very good of course. He's now on a sixth place in the general rank, only 7 seconds away from the fifth.

Stage Results
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 5.47.05
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto ST
3 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi ST
8. Igor Anton +0.07
44. Alan Perez +5.12
54. Haimar Zubeldia +7.58
74. Iñaki Isasi +12.08
82. Dionisio Galparsoro +15.50
88. Aitor Hernandez +18.54
158. Iñigo Landaluze +28.10
170. Koldo Fernandez +41.05

General Rank
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 39.41.51
2 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne +2.01
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto +2.27
6. Samuel Sanchez +4.42
13. Igor Anton +7.58
41. Dionisio Galparsoro +28.43
71. Iñaki Isasi +45.24
74. Haimar Zubeldia +48.57
91. Iñigo Landaluze +55.18
92. Aitor Hernandez +55.25
97. Alan Perez +58.48
162. Koldo Fernandez +1.37.13

zondag 9 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 9 : Anton in Break, Samuel 8th

In the Vuelta the second mountain stage was on the schedule and it became a big disappointment for belgian hope Stijn Devolder. Early in the race there was a break with Igor Anton, who wanted to repeat he's stage win from last year, but at the begining of the last climb they got caught again.

In the peloton a group with fifteen riders was formed and the most important rider who wasn't in that group was golden jersey Stijn Devolder, he had a bad day and couldn't follow the pace. In the head group Menchov, Sastre, Piepoli, Mosquera and Sanchez seemed to ride away but Samuel couldn't follow so he fell back to the second group. Menchov and Piepoli rode away and they divided the winnings, Piepoli the stage victory and Menchov the golden jersey.

Samuel came over the finish in the third group with Cadel Evans at 1.03 in 8th place, with this good result he climb to the seventh place in the general rank. Anton came in 15th and went to the 14th spot in the general rank. Haimar Zubeldia had a day of rest and came in witht he first bus.

Stage Result
1 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir 4.28.21
2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank ST
3 Ezequiel Mosquera Miguez (Spa) Karpin Galicia +0.17
8. Samuel Sanchez +1.03
15. Igor Anton +1.44
30. Dionisio Galparsoro +3.25
32. Aitor Hernandez +3.50
70. Haimar Zubeldia +8.58
88. Iñaki Isasi +11.53
91. Iñigo Landaluze +11.53
151. Alan Perez +14.53
166. Koldo Fernandez +16.05

General Rank
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 33.54.46
2 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne +2.01
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto + 2.27
7. Samuel Sanchez +4.42
14. Igor Anton +7.51
28. Dionisio Galparsoro +12.53
64. Iñigo Landaluze +27.08
80. Iñaki Isasi +33.16
92. Aitor Hernandez +36.31
104. Haimar Zubeldia +40.59
135. Alan Perez +53.36
143. Koldo Fernandez +56.08

Tour of Poland TTT : Euskaltel 9th !

Today the Tour of Poland started with a prologue/team time trial of 3km on a parcours of 1km. I don't know where they get this stupid idea from but atleast Euskaltel did a great job ! Euskaltel, with sprinter Aitor Galdos as leader, came in ninth and seeing Euskaltels other TTTs this year, this is just great ! Six of them came in together, only Iban Iriondo and Anton Luengo finished 14 seconds behind the team.

The victory was for Lampre before T-mobile and the terrorised team Astana. I think team CSC has had an accident because they have a really strong team with Cancellara, Voigt and Julich but they finished last.

Stage Results
1 Lampre-Fondital 3.36.0 (50 km/h)
2 T-Mobile Team +0.02.7
3 Astana +0.08.0
4 Bouygues Telecom +0.10.3
5 Unibet.com +0.10.7
6 Predictor-Lotto +0.12.1
7 Quickstep-Innergetic +0.13.7
8 Intel - Action +0.15.7
9 Euskaltel-Euskadi +0.15.8
10 Crédit Agricole +0.16.2

zaterdag 8 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 8 Samuel 19th, Devolder in Gold

I'm a little bit confused at the moment because I don't know how to feel. As a belgian I'm very proud and happy about Stijn Devolder because he's the leader in the vuelta now and he has a chance of winning it and for Belgium this would be major ! We should also not forget the great performance from Maxim Monfort who's still fifth in the General Rank

As an Euskaltelfan I'm not that happy, Samuel did ok with a 19th place but I expected more from him since he's still too much behind the other favorites. Samuel was the only good point because all the others just weren't good or didn't do their best.

The victory was for Bert Grabsch who rode early and overclassed Bodrogi with 34 seconds. In the general rank Devolder and Menchov did a great job but Evans, Sastre and Efimkin disappointed so they will have to attack in the next two mountain stages that are going to be very though. Seeing Iñigo's time trial I think he will attack tomorrow.

Stage Results
1 Bert Grabsch (Ger) T-Mobile Team 57.05 (54.87 km/h)
2 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Crédit Agricole +0.34
3 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel +0.48
19. Samuel Sanchez +3.34
49. Iñaki Isasi +5.14
53. Haimar Zubeldia +5.22
67. Alan Perez +5.49
70. Igor Anton +6.01
89. Aitor Hernandez +6.32
100. Koldo Fernandez +6.48
133. Iñigo Landaluze +7.42
149. Dionisio Galparsoro +8.19

General Rank
1 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel 29.25.55
2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank +0.30
3 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne +1.28
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto +1.54
5 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis +2.12
11. Samuel Sanchez +4.09
19. Igor Anton +6.37
37. Dionisio Galparsoro +9.58
63. Iñigo Landaluze +15.45
78. Iñaki Isasi +21.53
110. Haimar Zubeldia +32.31
113. Aitor Hernandez +33.11
136. Alan Perez +39.13
139. Koldo Fernandez +40.33

vrijdag 7 september 2007

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano about first week Vuelta

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano posted his view on the first week on the Vuelta on the Euskaltel site. He thinks that the first week wasn't as though as he expected and all the difference are still small. He also said that Evans will probably ride the best chrono and that the other favorites have to move some spots in the general rank. He made a special mention about Koldo Fernandez because of his great week !

Vuelta Stage 7 : Koldo Fourth

Once again Koldo Fernandez proved himself as one of the top sprinters in the vuelta. He confirmed his second place yesterday with a very good fourth place today in the sprint. It was a sprint with a small group because in the last kilometres there was a hugh crash and because of this most sprinters couldn't compete.

The early breakaway today was for two unknown spaniards but like I said before, it became a sprint. In the sprint it went between Allan Davis and Erik Zabel but Davis threw his hands up too early so Zabel could put his wheel before Davis'. Everybody from Euskaltel was placed in the same time as the winner and with tomorrows time trial I hope Samuel and Igor are in form so they can maintain their good places in the rankings.

Stage Results
1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 3.52.05 (45.578 km/h)
2 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery Channel ST
3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quickstep - Innergetic ST
4. Koldo Fernandez ST
39. Igor Anton ST
40. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
106. Iñigo Landaluze ST
143. Igor Anton ST
148. Iñaki Isasi ST
172. Haimar Zubeldia ST
173. Samuel Sanchez ST
174. Alan Perez ST

General Rank
1 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 28.26.56
2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank +1.06
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC +1.06
17. Samuel Sanchez +2.29
18. Igor Anton +2.30
25. Dionisio Galparsoro +3.33
60. Iñigo Landaluze +9.57
88. Iñaki Isasi +18.33
114. Aitor Hernandez +28.33
115. Haimar Zubeldia +29.03
132. Alan Perez +35.18
134. Koldo Fernandez +35.39

donderdag 6 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 6 : Koldo Second !!!!!!!!

Today Euskaltel came close to the first win since I started my blog. Koldo Fernandez did a great job in the sprint and became second. With this result he shows that he's in great shape and that he's ready for the next sprints.

The stage of today was a normal stage with a break of three Krivtsov, Backstedt and Auge but once again they couldn't stay away. The sprint
was lead in by Milram but Oscar Freire showed himself once again with a fantastic jump and won his third stage.

Together with Koldo, Alan Perez came in 22th and the others where all in the same group with them, except for Aitor Hernandez who came in 55 seconds after the peloton.

Stage Results
1. Oscar Freire Rabobank 4:24:10
2. Koldo Fernandez Euskaltel ST
3. Andre Korff Gerolsteiner ST
22. Alan Perez ST
48. Iñaki Isasi ST
72. Dionisio Galparsor ST
79. Samuel Sanchez ST
102. Haimar Zubeldia ST
108. Iñigo Landaluze ST
114. Igor Anton ST
160. Aitor Hernandez +0:55

woensdag 5 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 5 :Dioni 14

Although there was a climb at 20km before the finish, it wasn't enough for the sprinters to keep them away from a regular sprint. Like usual there was an early escape with at 100km only Karsten Kroon and Angel Gomez Gomez but just like all the other escapes in this Vuelta, they couldn't get to the finish. In the sprint Benatti and Bettini battle against eachother but Oscar Freire made his final jump just at the right moment and won his second stage.

The first Euskaltel rider was Dioni Galparsoro at a good 14th place. Also Isasi, Sanchez, Landaluze, Anton and Haimar were in the first group and especially for Haimar this is a great result after his crash.

Stage Results
1 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 4.07.51 (38.0 km/h)
2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre - Fondital ST
3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quickstep - Innergetic ST
14. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
17. Iñaki Isasi ST
18. Samuel Sanchez ST
56. Iñigo Landaluze ST
61. Haimar Zubeldia ST
65. Igor Anton ST
124. Koldo Fernandez +12.05
139. Aitor Hernandez +17.33
177. Alan Perez +17.33

Team 2008 : More news

Today the Diario Vasco publiced an article about Euskaltel in 2008. They talked about the things we already knew like the 26 riders next year and the skipping of some little Spanish races but there was also some new news or news I didn't know yet.

Euskaltel would get Javier Aramendia (picture) in the team for 2008, he didn't have good results yet but I don't think they hired him without a reason. They are also going to ask the ProTour to skip races like the Giro, The tour of Poland and the Eneco Tour :( I really hope the ProTour won't allow this :P

dinsdag 4 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 4 : Samuel cracked

Today we got the first big mountain on the path to Madrid, the Lagos de Covadonga. Early in the race there was a big escape with 30 people, among them Aitor Hernandez. In the peloton everything stayed together untill the last climb but then it exploded. In the first group Vladimir Efimkin escaped and he managed to stay away and win the stage. In the peloton Sastre made the first big jump and only Menchov and Piepoli were able to followand together with two belgians from the first group, Devolder and Monfort, they rode to the finish.

For Euskaltel Samuel Sanchez cracked, he couldn't keep up the pace from Sastre and he finished 17th together with Anton, more than 2 minutes behind. Haimar managed to finish the stage on a 130th spot together with the sprinters. He hurt the bone of his left shoulder (don't know the english name, in spanish it's Clavicula and in dutch Sleutelbeen) but he hasn't broken anything.

Stage Results
1 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 4.39.56 (39.67 km/h)
2 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir +1.06
3 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel ST
17. Samuel Sanchez +2.29
18. Igor Anton +2.30
26. Dionisio Galparsoro +3.33
68. Aitor Hernandez +9.16
78. Iñigo Landaluze +9.23
105. Alan Perez +17.45
130. Haimar Zubeldia +18.03
137. Iñaki Isasi +18.03
159. Koldo Fernandez +18.03

General Rank
1 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 16.02.50
2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank +1.06
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC ST
17. Samuel Sanchez +2.29
18. Igor Anton +2.30
26. Dionisio Galparsoro +3.33
72. Iñigo Landaluze +9.57
74. Aitor Hernandez +10.05
98. Alan Perez +17.45
105. Iñaki Isasi +18.03
155. Koldo Fernandez +23.34
178. Haimar Zubeldia +29.03

Euskaltel 2008 : More fired riders

Euskaltel announced something more today about the team for 2008. We already knew that Andoni Aranaga was fired, Unai Etxebarria would stop and Aketza Peña was caught for doping so this was logical but the next news is new and sad. Also Joseba Zubeldia, Iban Mayoz, Iban Iriondo and Unai Uirbarri have to look for another team. I'm especially sad for Joseba and Mayoz because I met them in person and they seemed like really nice guys.

Euskaltel also said that there could be other riders to follow but let us hope that this won't happen.

maandag 3 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 3 : Haimar fell, Samuel 11

We can't complain about not seeing Euskaltel in this stage of the Vuelta a España. First they made a terribly hard pace to get the break back, a break with De La Fuente, Vallejo and Serafin Martinez but then something terrible happened ! Haimar Zubeldia fell over a little orange pillar and made a salto. He couldn't get back up immediately and when he got back up he was already behind everyone. He finished last with 11 minutes after the winner. The sprint was one for the stronger riders with Freire and Bettini battling it out and Bettini won.

Stage Results
1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quickstep - Innergetic 4.08.42 (36.912 km/h)
2 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank ST
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team ST
11. Samuel Sanchez ST
21. Igor Anton ST
48. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
67. Alan Perez ST
91. Iñigo Landaluze +0.34
105. Aitor Hernandez +0.49
159. Koldo Fernandez +5.31
187. Haimar Zubeldia +11.00

General Rank
1 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 11.22.54
2 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis ST
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram ST
12. Alan Perez ST
23. Igor Anton ST
36. Dioniso Galparsoro ST
37. Inaki Isasi ST
48. Samuel Sanchez ST
95. Iñigo Landaluze +0.34
107. Aitor Hernandez +0.49
149. Koldo Fernandez +5.31
185. Haimar Zubeldia +11.00

GP PLouay : No Euskaltel

Yesterday there was also one of the smaller protour-events, the Gp Plouay and frenh favourite Thomas Voeckler won, attacking at 3km before the finish. For Euskaltel there wasn't really much to say.

1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 5.32.472 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole +0.02
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas ST
32. Iban Mayoz +0.02
37. Benat Albizuri +0.02
38. Jon Bru +0.02
121. Unai Etxebarria 6.30

zondag 2 september 2007

End of Vacation

Today is the end of the summer break for me and as you might know, I started this blog in July so I never did this together with school. I will try to do my best and write reports and news every day as fast as possible but when I have school work that comes first.

I hope you all keep reading this blog because I really enjoy doing this. Also one other thing : PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS WHEN YOU READ SOMETHING, I like to get review and other info about Euskaltel or my writing skills so don't be scared.

Grtz Your blogger Yort

Vuelta Stage 2 : Alan 14, in GR 6

Despite the good start from Euskaltel yesterday, today wasn't really their day. It was once again a normal sprint stage with an early escape with three unknown spanish riders that were taken 10km before the finish. The sprint was almost there when suddenly 3/4 of the peloton had to stop because of a fall. I'm not sure about this but I think Koldo Fernandez caused this one and took Daniele Benatti, the leader, with him in his fall and due to this fall he lost his jersey.

So we got a sprint with 20 people, among them Alan Perez but he couldn't really place himself good so he became 14 but he did a great job in the general rank, he has now the sixth spot due to some rules I don't really get :P

Stage Results
1. Oscar Freire Rabobank 3:31:03
2. Paolo Bettini Quickstep ST
3. Leonardo Duque Cofidis ST
14. Alan Perez ST
39. Aitor Hernandez ST
41. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
53. Igor Anton ST
56. Haimar Zubeldia ST
94. Iñigo Landaluze ST
107. Iñaki Isasi ST
181. Samuel Sanchez ST
182. Koldo Fernandez ST

General Rank
1. Oscar Freire Rabobank 7:14:12
2. Erik Zabel Milram ST
3. Leonardo Duque Cofidis ST
6. Alan Perez ST
40. Igor Anton ST
43. Haimar Zubeldia ST
45. Iñaki Isasi ST
56. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
93. Koldo Fernandez ST
101. Aitor Hernandez ST
102. Iñigo Landaluze ST
116. Samuel Sanchez ST

zaterdag 1 september 2007

Vuelta Stage 1 : Koldo 7, Alan 18, Iñaki 19

The Vuelta didn't start with a prologue or a team trial this year but with a normal short stage and it became a classical one. There was an early escape with Martinez Acevedo, Champion and Lequatre and later Martinez with Roy but they were never given a small chance on the victory. When everything came back together Philippe Gilbert tried to escape but he couldn't get more than 6 seconds so it became a sprint.

In the sprint Euskaltel did a great job ! Benatti won before Freire and Koldo Fernandez became very good seventh ! There were two other Euskaltels in the top 20 with Alan Perez 18th and Iñaki 19th, everybody from Euskaltel ended in the same group.

Stage Results
1. Daniele Benatti Lampre 3:43:09
2. Oscar Freire Rabobank ST
3. Alessandro Petacchi Milram ST
7. Koldo Fernandez ST
18. Alan Perez ST
19. Iñaki Isasi ST
38. Samuel Sanchez ST
66. Igor Anton ST
67. Haimar Zubeldia ST
102. Dionisio Galparsor ST
106. Iñigo Landaluze ST
161. Aitor Hernandez ST