vrijdag 30 november 2007

Euskaltel in 2008 : Part 2

Thanx to Magnus, we have some more news about the plans of Euskaltel in 2008, here they are :
+The team will ride the Giro (wooooohooooo !!!!!!)
+Mikel Astarloza and Haimar Zubeldia will be the leaders in the Tour de France
+Mikel Astarloza and Igor Anton will be the leaders in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco
+Igor will ride the Vuelta, so probably no Tour for him
+Haimar will aim for the Tour but also for some early-season stage races (Romandia, Dauphine, ... ???)
+Haimar, Amets, Iban, Ruben and Aitor and 5 others will try to start the season strong (maybe in Australia already ??)
+Samuels plans will be made when he (won't) get(s) his selection for Beijing

woensdag 28 november 2007

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano about 2008

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano gave us some clues about Euskaltel in 2008, here's in short the most important things
Samu : Olympics & Tour, no Vuelta
Tour : Mikel/Haimar/Ruben/Amets/Iñigo/Igor/Gorka/Jorge/Aitor H. and maybe someone else
Giro : Yes !! Dionisio Galparsoro and Markel Irizar
Calender : 25 days less than in 2007
No : Rioja, Trentino, Portugal and not-protour races in France
Yes : Giro del Piemonte
Goals : Tour Basque Country, Vuelta and Tour
New : Tour Down Under (obligated) and maybe Tour of California

Me & my blog in the newspaper

Today there was an article about me and my blog in a flemish newspaper, called de Gazet van Antwerpen. It's about my obsession with Euskaltel and how I make thos blog. There's also a part about Isaac Galvez, but sadly enough there is a small mistake in the article. Isaac Galvez was never a member of Euskaltel, he rode for Caisse d'Epargne.

Despite this mistake I'm very happy with the interview, although I might have smiled a bit more on the picture :P I also think it feels better to write articles for the newspaper than to feature in the newspaper, but that's for later.

dinsdag 27 november 2007

Josu Agirre about Euskaltel

On the second day of the Euskatel training camp Josu Agirre spoke to the press. He rode in the colours of Euskaltel for the very first time and he seemed to like it. "During my team with Orbea I learned alot and I'm very thankful to that team. I had some great moments, but I also got to know the hard part, like in Portugal where I suffered alot. I'm very happy with the new oportunities Euskaltel gave me and I hope I will be able to respond to the confidence that Miguel Madariaga and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano have in me. In 2008 I hope I will be a good help for my team mates, that seems my biggest job for next year. Of course I would love to win something but I don't have to.

maandag 26 november 2007

Interview with Egoi Martinez

Today we finally got a new interview on the Euskaltel site, this time with the ex-Discovery Channel rider Egoi Martinez who's now coming back to Euskaltel !!

-How is the return to Euskaltel going ?
To tell the truth, I'm not assimilated yet. The moment when I signed the contract was really special but since then it was a rollercoaster of things and I'm married now. But I know most of the guys already because some years ago I had a great time with them. There is a great atmosphere and the facilities are good too.

-Two years with Discovery Channel, have you learned much there ?
It were to fantastic years, on sports level and on personal level. Different goals, different routines, different languages... it has been a great experience.

-Now you will be able to share those things with Euskaltel-Euskadi
Yeah for sure, Many things happened since 2005 and everything I learned from Discovery Channel will be a benefit for Euskaltel, that's most important.

-You've only been back for a short time but it seems that Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano already showed you the new mentality of the team.
Yes, before signing the contract, both Miguel Madariaga and Igor explained the new philosophy : The team first and then the individual. I like that very much.

-Have you noticed the new mentality when you were still with Discovery Channel ?
Yeah, I noticed a new air around the team. The tactics during the race were different. Each person has his own style and you can see this during the race. I noticed a very positive change and the image they have shown was very positive too.

-Facing 2008, where can you help Euskaltel?
Considering my characteristics, my strong point is the rounds of three weeks and I will try to do my best in them. This is my seventh season and of course I will try to use my experience to help the younger ones.

zondag 25 november 2007

Txurruka & Cheese

Ok I just couldn't resist posting this pic, it's so funny. On the pic there's Amets Txurruka on a scale so he knows how much kilo's of cheese he will get.

vrijdag 23 november 2007

Amets Txurruka gets prize

Amets Txurruka, the most combative rider in the last Tour de France, still hasn't got his prize, but this will change next saturday. Then Amets will get his weight (61kg) in cheese.

I hope for Amets that he likes to eat cheese because I think he will be able to feed everyone from Euskaltel with this. Of course he has already got the money part of his prize :P

donderdag 22 november 2007

Fired Uribarri with Orbea in 2008 !!!

Finally we get some good news from Euskaltels fired riders. Unai Uribarri has found a new team for 2008, Orbea. Normally Orbea is for the riders who have potential to ride for Euskaltel later. But because Unai is only 23, he got a new chance with Orbeo, probably to help the less experienced guys in the big races.

I hope he will able to show his talent there and that the other guys will get a job too !

woensdag 21 november 2007

Euskaltel on camp

Euskaltel will have his yearly trainings camp next week from 26 November until 30 November. There Miguel Madariaga will make up the schedules for 2008 together with the team. There will also be some trainings, a medical examination and a meeting with the media. They are staying in Hotel Laia de Derio in Bizkaia, so if you have nothing to do, go there :p
I also hope that the new team pictures will be taken there.

dinsdag 20 november 2007

Mikel in 6 hours of Euskadi

On 23 February, the six hours of Euskadi on the track will be held again. Already three couples are announced. Risi and Marvulli, probably the best couple in the six-days circuit, the argentinians Curuchet & Perez and Juan Llaneras with Mikel Astarloza. Juan Llaneras became World Champion in the points track race in Mallorca this year, after he lost his cycling mate Isaac Galvez in the six days of Ghent on saturday 25/11/06 (I was there at that moment and it was really shocking :x )

maandag 19 november 2007

Extreme Giro d'Italia = Nothing for Euskaltel

Although it would be a great lesson for the younger riders, I don't think Euskaltel will send a team to the Giro d'Italia 2008. This will probably because of the extreme hard parcours. On the first day we get a team time trial in Sicilia and after that three other individial time trials are scheduled and as you might know, this is not Euskaltels favourite event :P Not only the time trials are extreme but the climbs aren't easy either. We will get to see heroic duels on the Mortirolo and the Passo Fedaia and after that we will visit the next two WC-tracks in Varese and Mendrisio.

I really hope Euskaltel will see this as a challenge and sends a young team that can improve their skills here and maybe Aitor Galdos for the sprints.

zaterdag 17 november 2007

2007 Iban Iriondo : Fired :(

Today I'm going to write the first review about a fired rider, Iban Iriondo. It was Ibans second year with Euskaltel and probably he couldn't convince the staff of Euskaltel of his talent. Although he rode some good results. His first good result was an 28th place in the Volta a Santarem and he went on in The Criterium International with a 22th place. He finished Paris-Roubaix as the best Euskaltel rider on a 63th place and in the Vuelta a Asturias he got the 32th place in the last stage. He had to give up twice, in the GP Internacional Paredes and the Euskal Bizikleta, after he got a 22th place in the third stage. His last good result was a 9th place in the team time trial in the Tour of Poland. As I said before, these results couldn't make the Euskaltel bosses happy so they fired him :( I hope he will find a smaller spanish team where he can prove himself and maybe one day come back to Euskaltel.

Trofeo Millor : 176
Trofeo Calvia : 90
Volta a Santarem : 110-85-89-28 => 55
Criterium International : 22-68-72 => 56
Gent-Wevelgem : 73
Paris-Roubaix : 63
Vuelta Asturias : 106-94-117-96-32 => 80
GP Internacional Paredes : 57-70-129 X
GP Llodio : 49
Euskal Bizikleta : 53-44-22 X
Circuito Getxo : 93
Tour of Poland : 9-104-126-81-133-105-56 => 51

donderdag 15 november 2007

Aketza Pena is 2007 : Doping ?

Aketza Peña was a very promissing rider and he would be the leader of Euskaltel in the Giro. But 2007 became a black year for him and he became the black sheep for Euskaltel. His first good result was in the Tirreno-Adriatico where he got a 46th place in the second stage. Then he went one to ride the Italian pre-Giro rides and became very succesful in them. He finished 17th in the Giro d'Oro and 25th in the third stage of the Tour of Trentino. Next up was the Giro d'Italia, probably his big goal for 2007. The Giro started good for Aketza with some good placings in stages but then after the 15th stage he got the message that probably ended/changed his carreer. In the Giro of Trentino he tested positive on Nandrolon and was taken immediately out of the Giro. But then it stopped, we didn't get any news about the B-sample or what his punishment will be. PLEASE EUSKALTEL, GIVE US SOME NEWS !
Trofeo Millor : 183
Trofeo Soller : 98
Trofeo Calvi : 117
Tirreno Adriatico : 82-46-70-103-118-121-114 => 90
San Remo : 150
Klasika Primavera : 67
Giro d'Oro : 17
Giro of Trentino : 73-37-25-57 => 34
Giro d'Italia : 21-59-85-64-108-95-101-88-123-47-68-98-37-121-31-92 X

woensdag 14 november 2007

Haimar best Basque in the Tour

For the fourth time in his carreer, Haimar Zubeldia has been crowned as best Basque rider in the Tour de France. The price was awarded by the Urka-Mendi de Zizurkil cycling society. With hsi great fifth spot he probably won the price easily and with this 4 victories he passes Olano and Beloki, which have both three victories. Only Indurain and Lejarreta have more victories, but that will change next year :P

maandag 12 november 2007

New poll / Samuel most popular

I was sick of the old poll so I added a new one : How do you think about Euskaltel performance in 2007 ? The results of the old poll were as expected. Samuel Sanchez was voted as the favourite Euskaltel rider with 32 %. My favourite rider Haimar Zubeldia became second with 30%. I was also very happy with the many votes for others, it's nice to see that there are also people who don't only like the big guns.

zaterdag 10 november 2007

Jorge Azanza in 2007

It was Jorge Azanzas first year with Euskaltel and he immediately showed himself as a promising stage rider. He started his year with some smaller spanish races. There he got some very good results like a 27th place in the Trofeo Soller, a 27th place in the general rank in the Tour of Andalucia, and a 21th place in the second stage of the french race Criterium International. Euskaltel saw he was able to perform good in stage races so they put him up for the Tour of the Basque Country, the Dauphiné Liberé and the Tour de France. He started these great races good with a 26th place in the third stage in the Basque Country but then he had to give up there. In the Dauphiné it didn't go well and he finished 109th, but ofcourse he had to work for his teammates Zubeldia and Astarloza. In the Tour he had to do the same thing so he didn't really have the chance to go for his own classification and he ended 82th. Almost as a punishment he had to ride the Eneco Tour but he wasn't really inspired and got a 82th place.

Next year I would love to see him getting a little bit closer to the victory, starting with some top ten spots in smaller spanish races, and then maybe a good attack in the Tour or Vuelta.

Trofeo Mallorca : 130
Trofeo Pollenca : 31
Trofeo Soller : 27
Andalucia : 31/35/21/36/22 => 27
Clasica Almeria : 59
Marcia : 94/31/35/45 => 88
Criterium International : 55/21/62 => 29
Basque Country : 51/86/26/46/29 X
Dauphiné Liberé : 141/105/139/130/112/98/84/114
Tour : 167/156/74/95/128/91/84/100/98/115/84/126/108/84/85/70/99/104/111/97 => 82
Eneco Tour : 142/71/62/105/105/113/103/95 => 82

donderdag 8 november 2007

Pics Mikel Astarloza

Since there isn't much news about Euskaltel this year of the month, you probably already saw that I started with the reviews. I did this because the new season starts at the end of January already, woohoo :D Because I don't have much time today I will post some pictures from Mikel Astarloza from the Eneco Tour, the pics I promised you some months ago :p

maandag 5 november 2007

Gorka Verdugo in 2007

2007 has been a quiet season for Gorka Verdugo. Everything was set on the Tour de France for him, so he would be able to be a good help for Haimar Zubeldia. He rode Paris-Nice resulting in an ok 41th place, the GP Miguel Indurain with a 37th place and then he rode the Belgian-Dutch classics with changing success. Next he rode the Tour of Romandie and the Dauphiné Liberé without a really special result, but he managed to get a good shape for the Tour. In the Tour de France we could see Gorka working really hard for Haimar Zubeldia and Mikel Astarloza on the mountains. He didn't manage to place himself good in a stage classification but at the end he was ok 48th. He ended his season with a great 18th place in his home-country-ride the Clasica San Sebastian.

Next year I hope Gorka will be able to do the same in the Tour and maybe Vuelta for Haimar and Samuel and of course I would like him to win a stage or race somewhere, or atleast come close.

Valenciana : 89-69-96-129-99 => 102
Paris-Nice : 66-54-47-102-40-39-37-64 => 41
Indurain : 37
Basque Country : 45-58-127-72-61-76 => 54
Amstel Gold Race : 44
Flecha Wallone : 118
Liege-Bastogne-Liege : 39
Romandie : 61-63-130-108-123-102 => 106
Dauphiné Liberé : 75-78-79-46-61-63-66-81 => 55
Tour de France : 80-97-109-128-183-107-122-99-65-84-123-130-58-44-83-34-100-57-55-100 => 48
Clasica San Sebastian : 18

vrijdag 2 november 2007

2007 with Egoi Martinez, 2008 : Back to Euskaltel

After his first great year for Discovery Channel, we all expected great things from Egoi in 2007, but he disappointed a little bit. During the year he rode some good time trials like a second place in the time trial of Castilla y Leon, a ninth place in the prologue of the Dauphine Liberé, an eight place in the Tour of the Basque Country and a fourth place with the team in the Eindhove Team Time Trial. In the other stages his only good results were in the Dauphine Libere with an 8th and 5th spot in the fifth and sixth stage. He rode a very anonymous Tour de France, without a top 30 spot but of course he had to work for Contador and Leipheimer. He ended his season in the Vuelta but he left the race after eleven stages, ending his season in black.

Next year he will be back with Euskaltel and of course we're very happy with that because he might be able to learn the others something more about time trialling :p

Trofeo Cala Millor : 61
Algarve : 36-62-54105- x
Valenciana : 34-111-88-104-61 => 93
Castilla y Leon : 2-19-13-86-38 =>44
Basque Country : 94-70-90-32-?-8 => 31
Amstel Gold Race : 26
Fleche Wallone : 66
Liege-Bastogne-Liege : 40
Dauphiné Liberé : 9-20-43-17-58-8-5-76 => 28
Eindhoven Team Time Trial : 4
Tour : 48-38-143-81-102-68-59-75-95-122-128-98-31-57-72-66-78-112-84-120 => 61
Vuelta : 55-50-37-60-77-77-139-30-113-60-144-x

donderdag 1 november 2007

Markel Irizar 23th in Cyclocross race

Not only Isasi, but also Markel Irizar is trying to keep up his condition in a cyclocross race today. He didn't get the same good result as Isasi, he finished 23th with one lap behind, but it's great that Euskaltel is getting more involved in Cyclocross and there might be some other riders who will try it :D