woensdag 31 december 2008

Haimar to ride Tour and Vuelta

As you can see on the picture, Haimar is having a grea time at the Astana training camp in Tenerife. Unfortunately they still didn't give him a team jersey so he looks a bit 'stupid' just like Popovych and Armstrong (btw what is he pointing at? :p). At the training camp they also reveiled the goals of their riders and Haimar's goal was to ride good races in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Tour de France and the Vuelta d'España. He'll probably be the leader in Pais Vasco, but a helper in the Tour and in the Vuelta he will get the role of second/third man.

maandag 29 december 2008

Egoi Martinez' own website!

After his great performances in the Vuelta d'España, Egoi Martinez finally got his own personal website. On www.egoimartinez.com you can find some fun stuff to read about Egoi like a biography, a diary and other cool things. One thing that is lacking, an english part of course! (I would gladly translate it if they ask me :p).

I was looking through some sites and realised that there aren't enough fan sites for the Euskaltel guys yet so I would like to make a call for all website makers and fans of Euskaltel to support our orange boys! Here's a list with the sites I know of:

vrijdag 19 december 2008

Two newbies go Down Under

Due to the ProTour license wich Euskaltel just received, they are obligated to send out a team Down Under to the heat of Australia. In the 7-men squad , two newbies will represent Euskaltel for the first time. Pablo Urtasun and Sergio de Lis will try to impress us early in the season together with Josu Agirre, Iñaki Isasi, Andoni Lafuente, Markel Irizar and Aitor Hernandez. It's not a team with a strong leader, but some of them might be able to get in a break or take some points for a classification.

I'm back for more + update

The examinations are finally over, the results are in, I'm not too happy with them but I'm quite pleased with my 44/45 on my english exam *proud*. This means that I will again have some time to update my blog!!!

It seems like I didn't miss too much, the only things that reached me are that Jon Bru retired :(, Samuel Sanchez will participate in the GP Miguel Indurain on the 4th of april and ... Euskaltel got their ProTour license for 2009 and 2010 *yes*, but they won't ride the Giro *boooeee*.

woensdag 3 december 2008

Examination period

You probably already noticed that I didn't really have much time to update my blog anymore, cause I've been super busy with school the last weeks. Now that the examination period will start this friday, I won't be able to update my blog. Of course there won't happen much, but you can stay updated by checking http://ibanmayoblog.blogspot.com, www.wvcycling.com or www.biciciclismo.com.

zondag 30 november 2008

Aitor Seconds in Memorial

Aitor Galdos became second in the Memorial Isabel Clavera, a race in Los Rozas, a suburb of Madrid. Hector Guerra took the victory home and Alberto Fernandez de la Puebla became third.

Yes, we got it!

After some hesitations and a terrifying waiting period, it's now official that Euskaltel will maintain his ProTour license for the next year. I'm not sure for wich races this ProTour license grants the start right, but it's better than waiting every time for it. This also means that Euskaltel will have to come to the Tour of Flandres and other Belgian races, so I can see them once again :)

zaterdag 22 november 2008

Criterium Mitos del Ciclismo de Cafés Baqué

As you all can imagine, Euskaltel was omnipresent at the Criterium Mitos del Ciclismo de Cafés Baqué. Our two sprinters, Aitor Galdos and Koldo Fernandez did both a good job. Koldo just missed out on the victory in the points race, losing to Ricardo Serrano, but Aitor Galdos managed to win the elimination race in front of Iker Camaño and Iban Mayoz. There was also a race for the real 'myths' which was won by Miguel Indurain.

dinsdag 18 november 2008

Dioni Galparsoro finds new team

It's raining good news for Euskaltel fans these days. After the news about Samu and the contract for Aketza Peña, now Dioni Galparsoro has found a new team too. Next year he will ride for Contentpolis-Murcia or Murcia-AMPO, the new name. Together with three other basques Aitor Perez, Mikel Gaztañaga and Gorka Izagirre. Good luck!

zondag 16 november 2008

Sanchez for Vuelta 2009

Samuel Sanchez has announced his goals for 2009. He will skip the Tour de France and will concentrate on the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the big Vuelta and the World Championships. Samu is convinced that he can win the Vuelta after his third place in 2007. He will also go to San Diego to ameliorise his time trial skills in a wind tunnel.

zaterdag 15 november 2008

Aketza Peña finds a team

Aketza Peña will finally be able to leave all his past problems behind cause he has finally found a team. In 2009 he will ride for the Portuguese team Cartaxo-Capital, lead by Renato Silva. Of course Aketza was very happy with this contract as he said to biciciclismo 'To find a team is a great triumph for me because my situation was very difficult.' Apparently he has to thank his training mate José Antonio Garrido for this contract, cause he would have helped him to get in this new team too. I'm looking forward to what he will be able to show us next year!

donderdag 13 november 2008

Euskaltel present at 'Mitos del Ciclismo'

A lot ofr riders from Euskaltel will be present at the criterium Mitos del Ciclismo this weekend. Haimar Zubeldia, Koldo Fernandez, Iñigo Landaluze, Aitor Galdos, Ruben Perez, Dioni Galparsoro, Beñat Albizuri and Amets Txurruka will all participate in the race together with myths like Miguel Indurain, Marino Lejaretta and Joseba Beloki, but also a lot of ex-riders like Etxebarria, Mayoz, Herrero, Uribarri, Laiseka and I probably forget some others.

dinsdag 11 november 2008

No contract for Koldo Gil

News Flash: After the message that Koldo Gil might come to Euskaltel, there came a quick reaction that he wouldn't get a contract with the team next year.

Koldo Gil applies for job with Euskaltel

The very talented climber Koldo Gil Perez has applied for a contract with Euskaltel next year. The Basque from Navarre doesn't have a contract yet for 2009 and called Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano. He said it would become difficult because normally there were no places left in the orange squad. But Igor would think about it.

Of course Koldo Gil would be a great rider to add some wins for the team, but there are still these rumours about him and doctor Fuentes, and that could have a negative effect on the team.

zaterdag 8 november 2008

Euskaltel short news : Azanza - Samu - Aketza

  • After breaking his collarbone in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco last year, Jorge Azanza has now the metal plate in his shoulder removed. Everything went well during the operation and he good go back home immediately.
  • Because of his great personality, Samuel Sanchez has won the Premio Delfos del deporte. This prize was awarded this friday by the Asociación de Amigos del Deporte.
  • The Euskaltel riders will go on their first training camp from the 23th till the 27th november in Derio. Here they will try to decide who will ride where. talk to the media and do some medical examinations.
  • Aketza Peña became third in the ciclo-cross de Las Regueras in the Asturias. He finished after Isaac Suarez and José Diez, but in front of great riders like Unai Yus and Eladio Sanchez.

maandag 3 november 2008

Sergio de Lis joins Euskaltel

It came as a suprise, but Euskaltel has hired another rider for the upcoming season. Sergio de Lis was the chosen one, a 22-year old promising rider from San Sebastian. Last year he rode for Orbea and in the Circuito Montañes he became second in the second stage and wore the leaders jersey for two days.
Hopefully he will be able to impress the staff of Euskaltel and all of us. Of course I wish him all the best for the upcoming season!

zaterdag 1 november 2008

Aketza 5th in Colindres

I know Aketza Peña isn't part of the Euskaltel squad anymore, but I would like to continue following him in his cyclocross adventures, because I know that you all still carry a warm heart towards him and wish him all the best.

This saturday Aketza started his cyclocross tour in Colindres. From the begining he got in the right break of five and together with great riders as Yus, Suarez, Eladio Sanchez and Diez, he battled it out for the victory. Unfortunately in the last round, Aketza had to let go and became fifth. Still a nice performance and this offers prospects for the next races!

donderdag 30 oktober 2008

Aketza Peña goes cyclocross

I hope you all remember Aketa Peña because his carreer apparently ain't over. After he was freed from all the stuff about him and doping, he tried to get a contract for this year but that didn't work out, so he has a new plan ready. This winter he will ride in the spanish cyclocross races! He announced this in a press conference and said that he's quite talented for this. He also found a few sponsors that want to help him out with the costs, now hopefully the results will follow. He will ride the races of the Torneo Spiuk de Euskadi, la Copa Cantabra, la Copa de España and Campeonato de España.

It will be an interesting cyclo cross season with both Aketa and Beñat competing, and maybe like last year some others too. Hopefully they will get some good results!

zaterdag 25 oktober 2008

Koldo 4th best Spaniard

It came as quite a surprise to me, but if you look at wins in 2008, our Koldo Fernandez de Larrea is the 4th Spaniard. With his wins in Castilly y Leon, Murcia, Bizikleta, Burgos and Vendée, Koldo
was only outshined by big winners Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador and Oscar Freire.

If you ask me, Koldo didn't live up to his potential as he let some really big chances go this year. He still misses a big win too so there's still room for improvement next year.

donderdag 23 oktober 2008

Samu present at Fiesta de la Bici

Olympic Champion Samuel Sanchez will together with Alberto Contador be present at the Fiesta de la Bici this sunday. The Fiesta de la Bici is, if I'm not mistaken, an open race for everyone where you can ride next to the present professional riders. So everyone to Derio next sunday!

Fired riders update

The four riders that didn't get a contract for 2009 have all been very active the last weeks to get a contract. None of them was capable to get one yet, but here's an update about where they are standing now:
  • Lander Aperribay: After two years with Euskaltel, Lander couldn't convince a team to get a contract and has retired from pro-cycling. He's now working in the commercial department of Etxe-ondo, an Euskaltel clothing sponsor.
  • Beñat Albizuri: Beñat isn't happy with his dismissal, he feels neglected and unappreciated by the team. He's now going to try it in the cyclo-cross world and feels very motivated about this. His representative is of course also searching for a 'real' cycling team.
  • Jon Bru & Dioni Galparsoro: Jon and Dioni are both hoping on their old Kaiku team leader Óscar Guerrero. He might be able to set up a newt team for next year and the two would get a place there. Hopefully this become true!

Euskaltel ready for 2009

Euskaltel has announced it's full team for 2009. This means that no other rider will be added, so no contract for Gaztañaga, Castroviejo and others. Next year there will be 22 riders, these are the ones that stay : Agirre, Anton, Aramendia, Astarloza, Azanza, Fernandez, Galdos, Hernandez, Irizar, Isasi, Lafuente, Landaluze, Martinez, Oroz, A. Perez, R. Perez, Sanchez, Txurruka, Velasco and Verdugo. The new boys are of course Pablo Urtasun and Mikel Nieve.

We all know Haimar is going to Astana and Antton Luengo retires. This still means that 4 riders are without a contract for next year, these are Beñat Albizuri, Dioni Galparsoro, Lander Aperribay and Jon Bru. Hopefully they will get a team for 2009!

zaterdag 18 oktober 2008

Piemonte & Lombardia : The final races

The Euskaltel boys couldn't deliver another win for the team in the last two races of the season in Italy. In the Giro del Piemonte Javier and Iñigo tried to get away with 20 kilometres to go, but it didn't work out. It came down to a sprint but without a real sprinter, Euskaltel didn't have a chance. Alan rode a fine sprint and became 13th, Markel 23th, Javier 27th and Ivan 28th. Samuel had to give up because of some problems with his knee but everything was fine for sunday.

In Lombardia we could see that Samuel didn't have real issues with his knee, but he didn't have the same great form as in the summer anymore. When Cunego and three others escaped, he was the first to join them in the descent and he lead the chase after Cunego, but when they were reeled back in, he fell back and finished in the back.

Piemonte Results
1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 4.57.15 (40.168 km/h)
2 Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
3 Alexandre Usov (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale
13. Alan Perez ST
23. Markel Irizar ST
27. Javier Aramendia ST
28. Ivan Velasco ST
50. Aitor Hernandez ST
134. Iñigo Landaluze +12:41
140. Josu Agirre +12:41

Lombardia Results
1 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 5.37.04 (43.078 km/h)
2 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana 0.24
3 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne
27. Samuel Sanchez +1:34
42. Ivan Velasco +3:17
50. Alan Perez +5:52
51. Iñigo Landaluze +5:52

dinsdag 14 oktober 2008

Euskaltel for Lombardia and Piemonte

The last two official races for Euskaltel will be held this week and as predicted, Samuel Sanchez will be the team leader. The ones that will need to help him are Iñigo Landaluze, Ivan Velasco, Alan Perez, Markel Irizar, Aitor Hernandez, Josu Agirre and Javier Aramendia. With Samu's third place last year, it should be possible to get another victory this year. But I would even prefer one of the other guys winning cause we desperately need someone else that can win!

zondag 12 oktober 2008

Paris-Tours: No big surprise

Euskaltel hasn't been able to add a race to their victory count of 2008 in Paris-Tours. Despite the good work everyone did to stay around Samuel Sanchez, the parcours wasn't tough enough for him. Of course the lack of Koldo Fernandez played a big role in this, cause with his form of the Tour de Vendée he could have been able to compete for a good spot. At the end Samuel Sanchez was the best Euskaltel rider on a 28th place, finishing with the first big group. Ivan Velasco stayed a very long time with Samuel and finished in the second group.

1. Philippe Gilbert FDJ
2. Jan Kuyckx Landbouwkrediet ST
3. Sébastien Turgot Bouygues Telecom ST
28. Samuel Sanchez +0:04
52. Ivan Velasco +1:13
66. Alan Perez +1:43
85. Aitor Hernandez +1:43
96. Markel Irizar +1:43
116. Javier Aramendia +1:43
117. Iñigo Landaluze 1:43
149. Josu Agirre +2:58

donderdag 9 oktober 2008

Pablo Urtasun is the new man

As De Galdeano announced before, there would be another man for next year and now we have a name ... Pablo Urtasun ! The 28 year old Basque rider comes over from Liberty Seguros. Good news is that he can win a race cause for three years now, he has been able to get a victory every year. This year he won the 6th stage in the Vuelta a Asturias. He's known as a fast man and that will be necessary since he has been transfered to the team to help Koldo in the sprints. This will probably the last transfer for Euskaltel this year.

maandag 6 oktober 2008

Samu wins Criterium de Valencia

Samuel Sanchez has won the Criterium de Valencia last sunday. The race consisted of 4 types of races, Samu won the points race and also the overall ranks. This means Samie is still in good form and hopefully will be able to see this in Lombardia. The criterium was also a goodbye for Juan Llaners, a rider I will always admire because of his strength to continue after what happened with Isaac Galvez.

zondag 5 oktober 2008

Koldo wins Tour de Vendee !!!

Today Koldo Fernandez took home his 5th victory of the season. After a normal race, it came down to a sprint and just like the two last years a Basque won. Although this time it wasn't Mikel Gaztañaga, but our Koldo Fernandez. With 8 victories, Euskaltel has now the same amount of victories as last year. Now that Koldo is in form, he can maybe try something in Paris-Tours.

1 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 5.09.50 (39.892 km/h)
2 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
3 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
48. Iñigo Landaluze ST
49. Ivan Velasco ST

zaterdag 4 oktober 2008

Euskaltel present at Circuito de Pamplona

A few Euskaltel riders will compete in the upcoming Circuito de Pamplona on 12 october. Haimar Zubeldia, Amets Txurruka and the riders from Navarro will be present. As far as I know Jon Bru, Jorge Azanza, Alan Perez, Gorka Verdugo, Egoi Martinez and Javier Aramendia are all from Navarro, but the the last three will definitely not be competing.

donderdag 2 oktober 2008

Tour de Vendee Line-up

Euskaltel will be present at the Tour de Vendee in France next sunday. With a strong team, they will try to get another victory for the team. Koldo Fernandez will be the main goal, if there's a sprint. Otherwise Iñigo Landaluze, Beñat Albizuri, Alan Perez, Ivan Velasco, Aitor Galdos, Javier Aramendia or Dioni Galparsoro can give it a shot.

maandag 29 september 2008

World Championships : Samu 22th

Samuel Sanchez, the lonely representative of Euskaltel at the WCs, wasn't able to repeat his succes story of the Olympic Games. In an exciting race, he didn't get in the right break and couldn't really do anything else cause Joaquim Rodriguez, his team mate, did get into the right break. At the end he became 22th, finishing before the peloton with big favourites as Bettini, Boonen, Freire and Valverde. Of course you all know that Ballan became the new World Champion because of a great attack.

zondag 28 september 2008

Txurruka wins Criterium Jokin Ormaetxea

Once again the best Basque riders came together for the Memorial Jokin Ormaetxea. Just like with Haimar last year, an Euskaltel rider was able to win the race that is held in three parts. Koldo Fernandez won the points race, Igor Romero the elimination race but it was Amets Txurruka that took the overall victory. Second became the promissing youngster Beñat Intxausti, third Mikel Astarloza.

donderdag 25 september 2008

What's still to come in 2008?

With the end of the Vuelta, the last goal of the season for Euskaltel is over, but of course the finish ain't over yet. First of all we will get the World Championships with our Samuel Sanchez. What will the spanish tactics be? Will the race be a tough one? and of course : will Samu be able to win this medal too. All the answers on sunday so stay tuned! For Euskaltel three races are still to go, two of them in France with the Tour de Vendée and Paris-Tour. We should probably don't get our hopes to high up for these but for the third race, the Tour de Lombardia we can expect something. Last year Euskaltel did a very good job there so I'm hoping that Euskaltel will do well on Italian ground for once.

Next to the races, we also hope for some new transfers. The first that come to my mind are Castroviejo, Herrero, Intxausti and Gaztañaga, but of course there are other great riders from the Basque Country so you never know.

dinsdag 23 september 2008

Vuelta end rankings

With an 9th place in the general rank for Egoi Martinez we can be very happy. But we all now that it could, should and would be much more without that ******* fall of Igor Anton. I'm pretty sure he would be able to get a spot in the top 5 and seeing the others riding the last days, I think he would be able to get on the podium. Leaving this Vuelta without a stage victory is very disappointing, especially when we look at the last years in Spain. All Euskaltel riders ended in the top 100 so that's a good fact of course :) Next time better ...

1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 80.40.08
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 0.46
3 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 4.12
9. Egoi Martinez +10:57
28. Mikel Astarloza +45:14
41. Ruben Perez +58:40
45. Amets Txurruka +1:05:52
51. Ivan Velasco +1:12:10
63. Iñigo Landaluze +1:30:15
69. Alan Perez +1:35:03
94. Koldo Fernandez +2:09:33

maandag 22 september 2008

Vuelta Round up

Although I haven't been able to update my blog, I have been able to follow the Vuelta and notice the ups and downs of the team. After the one 'black' day in the Vuelta where Egoi obviously lost his jersey, and the super strong Igor Anton had to give up, everything seemed over. Despite this, the remaining boys did gave everything in their bodies to gain a stage, but unfortunately they didn't succeed. I saw a very strong Alan Perez, whose ready to win a big race in the upcoming year and should have won the stage that Erviti won. Koldo once again wasn't able to win but did a good job in placing himself among the best, now he has to take the next level next year. Amets Txurruka also deserves a special mention just because of all the work he did for the team !!!

zondag 21 september 2008

I'm Back

Due to some connection problems with my laptop and a stupid illness, I haven't been able to update my blog. But... I'm back now and of course I will inform you again with everything Euskaltel.

zaterdag 13 september 2008

Tour of Poland Line-up

The olympic champion Samuel Sanchez will be the leader of the orange squad in the Tour of Poland. He will be supported by Josu Agirre, Jorge Azanza, Javier Aramendia, Aitor Hernandez, Andoni Lafuente, Markel Irizar and Iñaki Isasi. Hopefully the race will be tough enough for Samuel to maybe win a stage or even the whole thing.

Samu leaving Euskaltel ?

After the heartbreaking news about Haimar Zubeldia, we, Euskaltelfans, are in for another 'treat'. Yesterday the news came out that there's a possibility that Samuel Sanchez will leave the team too. First there was the news that he will get a 1.2 million contract from Cervelo, but now there's also interest from the new Russian team Katyusha. Madariage said that they won't going to just 'give' him away and they will be offering him 900.000, but I think more will be impossible. I really really really hope Samuel will make the right decision and stay with the team that made him the rider he is now!

vrijdag 12 september 2008

Vuelta Rest Day Standings

General Rank
What can I say ? Whit Egoi in the Gold Jersey it's of course going great with Euskaltel! He's wearing the maillot for 5 days now and it has been unforgetable days for Euskaltel. Igor Anton is still placed good for an overall performance and seeing his great form, he might be able to win a stage in the upcoming days or place himself on the podium.

1 Egoi Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 45.48.33
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 0.11
3 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 0.29
6. Igor Anton +2:23
47. Mikel Astarloza +29:28
61. Ruben Perez +37:42
62. Amets Txurruka +38:39
74. Iñigo Landaluze +43:16
81. Ivan Velasco +48:39
83. Alan Perez +49:36
97. Koldo Fernandez +57:38

Points Classification
In the team classification Euskaltel isn't doing as good as I hoped to. Koldo Fernandez has been able to place himself good a few times but the real victory or podium spots weren't left for him yet. Hopefully this will change but I don't think Euskaltel will play a big role here.

1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto 99 pts
2 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 76
3Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 75
11. Koldo Fernandez 50
18. Igor Anton 30
22. Egoi Martinez 26
61. Alan Perez 5

Mountain Classification
In the mountain classification it's the same as in the point classification. There's no one in the highest regions, though Landaluze is placed ok on a 10th spot. Maybe a small remark, the biggest mountains are still to come so a lot will change here in the coming days.

1 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis 87 pts
2 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre 51
3 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Quick Step 42
10. Iñigo Landaluze 22
12. Igor Anton 18
18. Egoi Martinez 14
26. Alan Perez 9
38. Amets Txurruka 5

Combination Classification
Actually this is a crappy and worthless combination, I much more prefer the young riders classification like in the Tour and Giro cause it says much more than this one. Egoi Martinez has been leading this classification for a few days but is now 10th. If Igor is going strong like he's doing at the moment, I can see him winning this one, but it will be difficult (and unimportant.

1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 14 pts
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 27
3 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 28
7. Igor Anton 36
10. Egoi Martinez 41
37. Alan Perez 170

Team Classification
With Egoi leading and Igor 6th, Euskaltel is of course doing a great job now. Sadly there isn't really a strong third man at the moment, although I can see Astarloza, Landaluze, Perez or Txurruka gaining some time so that they might become second. Astana will probably be unbeatable, but Caisse should be possible.

1 Astana 137.14.39
2 Caisse D'Epargne 0.10
3 Euskaltel - Euskadi 1.43

donderdag 11 september 2008

Vuelta 11 : Egoi 6th and gold

It was a good day for Euskaltel in the Vuelta d'España. Almost everyone was in front when the peloton split, unlike Alejandro Valverde, he lost 3 minutes. At the end, it was Bettini who beat all the other classical riders and won. Egoi Martinez defeated his golden jersey greatly and became 6th, only 4 seconds down on the winner. Igor Anton did great too, ending in the same group as Egoi together with most of the other favourites. He's in great shape and I think we can expect something from him in the upcoming days. Not tomorrow of course because it's rest day! With Koldo ending 18th, Euskaltel also won the team classifications.

1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step 4.42.44 (39.556 km/h)
2 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 0.01
3 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre
6. Egoi Martinez +0:04
10. Igor Anton +0:04
18. Koldo Fernandez +0:16
36. Ruben Perez +0:53
38. Mikel Astarloza +0:53
47. Alan Perez +1:18
63. Iñigo Landaluze +3:23
108. Ivan Velasco +6:59
117. Amets Txurruka +16:18

Vuelta 10 : Koldo again 6th, Egoi gold

In the 10th race of the Vuelta, everyhting kinda looked the same like the 9th stage. Euskaltel lead the peloton, in the sprint Koldo wasn't fast enough to really compete for the victory and became again 6th. Of course Egoi Martinez stayed in the gold jersey and could once again enjoy the ceremony of getting a new gold jersey.

1 Oscar Freire(Spa) Rabobank 4.19.28 (41.16 km/h)
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
3 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team CSC - Saxo Bank
6. Koldo Fernandez ST
24. Ruben Perez ST
31. Egoi Martinez ST
36. Igor Anton ST
76. Iñigo Landaluze ST
91. Mikel Astarloza ST
123. Alan Perez ST
127. Amets Txurruka ST
158. Ivan Velasco +5:32

dinsdag 9 september 2008

Vuelta 9 : Koldo 6th, Egoi still in gold !

Today Euskaltel took total control on the race. They let a one man break go and gave him seven minutes, but o course Matej Jurco wasn't able to stay in front. So it came down to a sprint. Koldo was placed well and in the last metres you could see him coming but suddenly he wasn't able to accelarate anymore and finished 6th. With a little more help from team members and a better placing he could easily outsprint winner Hinault. Egoi is still shining bright in gold and look at the picture !! It's him with his new born son Iker ! Doesn't he look like a proud daddy :) Anton is still 7th.

1 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole 3.22.21
2 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto
6. Koldo Fernandez ST
32. Egoi Martinez ST
48. Igor Anton ST
85. Iñigo Landaluze ST
106. Ruben Perez +0:14
116. Mikel Astarloza +0:18
125. Amets Txurruka +0:45
134. Alan Perez +0:45
154. Ivan Velasco +2:00

maandag 8 september 2008

Vuelta 8 : Egoi in gold !!!!!

Not Iban Mayo, Haimar Zubeldia, Mikel Astarloza, Igor Anton nor Samuel Sanchez but Egoi Martinez wrote Euskaltel history by grabbing the main jersey in a big tour. Egoi Martinez and Alan Perez got in the early break of the day and luckily the peloton gave them a free pass to the finish. Alan and Egoi did everything they could to get the gap with the peloton as big as peloton and they succeeded. Now Egoi is shining in gold and Igor is still in 7th position overall. Euskaltel rose to the 3th place in the team classification.

1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto 4.57.22 (40.52km/h)
2 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
3 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank
10. Egoi Martinez ST
12. Alan Perez +0:52
35. Igor Anton +6:42
52. Mikel Astarloza +6:42
56. Ruben Perez +6:42
73. Amets Txurruka +6:42
77. Ivan Velasco +6:42
101. Iñigo Landaluze +6:42
148. Koldo Fernandez +7:12

General Rank
1 Egoi Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 33.23.56
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 0.11
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0.32
7. Igor Anton +2:23
42. Amets Txurruka +21:40
54. Mikel Astarloza +28:21
65. Ivan Velasco +34:12
70. Ruben Perez +36:39
73. Iñigo Landaluze +39:37
91. Alan Perez +47:37
111. Koldo Fernandez +57:26

zondag 7 september 2008

Vuelta 7 : Anton 4th and 6th in general

Igor Anton did an amazing job in the second mountain stage of the Vuelta. There was no Euskaltel rider in the attack today, but they made the pace in the peloton with a very good Amets Txurruka. At the end the favourites took over and Anton was the only one who could follow Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador. Sadly David Moncoutié, from the early break, was still in front and the three couldn't compete for the victory. Anton did everything to get some more seconds so in the sprint he became 4th. With this very good result, he's now 6th.

1 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis 4.24.58 (34.19km/h)
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0.34
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
4. Igor Anton +0:34
25. Amets Txurruka +2:55
27. Egoi Martinez +2:55
70. Mikel Astarloza +11:43
74. Ruben Perez +11:43
75. Ivan Velasco +11:43
98. Alan Perez +19:00
135. Iñigo Landaluze +23:15
138. Koldo Fernandez +23:15

General Rank
1 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 28.20.03
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0.21
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0.49
6. Igor Anton +2:12
16. Egoi Martinez +6:41
42. Amets Txurruka +21:29
55. Mikel Astarloza +28:10
66. Ivan Velasco +34:01
71. Ruben Perez +36:28
74. Iñigo Landaluze +39:26
105. Alan Perez +53:18
112. Koldo Fernandez +56:45

Vatenfall Cyclassics : Juanjo 21th

Euskaltel couldn't put a stamp on this year's Vatenfall Cyclassics. They didn't participate in the race and at the end when it came down to a sprint, there was no real sprinter to place himself good. Juanjo Oroz tried but he finished on an ok 21th place. Lander Aperribay and Jorge Azanza didn't finish the race.

1. Robbie McEwen Silence-Lotto 04:37:46
2. Mark Renshaw Credit Agricole ST
3. Allan Davis ST
21. Juan Jose Oroz ST
35. Haimar Zubeldia ST
39. Markel Irizar ST
59. Jon Bru +2:17
80. Iñaki Isasi +6:54
97. Aitor Hernandez +11:16

Vuelta 6 : Landaluze attacks, Anton 6th

Euskaltel was very active in the 6th stage of the Vuelta. Iñigo Landaluze was in the right attack together with eventual winner Ballan, but he couldn't keep up with his pace. Ballan finished solo with 3 minutes advantage of the GC contenders. Anton was the first Euskaltel to finish on a very good 6th place, only losing a few seconds on Mosquera and Contador. It became clear that Mikel Astarloza isn't competing for the GC anymore, cause he finished 65th.

1 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre 6.15.51
2 Ezequiel Mosquera Miguez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 2.42
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 2.45
6. Igor Anton +2:50
21. Egoi Martinez +3:48
40. Amets Txurruka +9:37
46. Iñigo Landaluze +9:59
65. Mikel Astarloza +17:12
66. Ruben Perez +17:12
67. Ivan Velasco +17:12
106. Alan Perez +29:55
122. Koldo Fernandez +29:55

General Rank
1 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre 23.53.26
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 1.00
3 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis 1.21
9. Igor Anton +3:17
18. Egoi Martinez +5:25
52. Iñigo Landaluze +17:50
53. Mikel Astarloza +18:06
60. Amets Txurruka +20:13
72. Ivan Velasco +23:57
81. Ruben Perez +26:24
99. Koldo Fernandez +35:09
100. Alan Perez +35:57

zaterdag 6 september 2008

Germany 8TT : Aitor 14th, Markel 17th

Euskaltel did a pretty good job in the closing time trial of the Deutschland Tour. Aitor Hernandez and Markel Irizar both performed well, placing themselves on a 14th and 17th spot. Haimar Zubeldia disappointed a bit and couldn't put down a good time. He finihed 29th and dropped a place in the general rank to 11.

1. Tony Martin Team Columbia 39:49
2. Bert Grabsch Team Columbia +0:34
3. Gustav Larsson Team CSC +0:48
14. Aitor Hernandez +2:56
17. Markel Irizar +3:05
29. Haimar Zubeldia +3:52
68. Iñaki Isasi +5:17
85. Jorge Azanza +6:05
87. Lander Aperribay +6:11
95. Juan Jose Oroz +6:39
110. Jon Bru +9:37

General Rank
1. Linus Gerdemann Team Columbia 33:25:18
2. Thomas Lövkvist Team Columbia +0:52
3. Janez Brajkovic Astana +3:06
11. Haimar Zubeldia +5:15
27. Iñaki Isasi +11:50
29. Jorge Azanza +12:33
34. Markel Irizar +15:24
40. Juan Jose Oroz +18:10
74. Aitor Hernandez +41:59
95. Jon Bru +54:25
96. Lander Aperribay +54:29

Germany 7 : Jorge in the attack & 8th

In the Tour of Germany the 6th stage had the same scenario as the 5th one. A small group left in the beginning of the race and the peloton miscalculated so that they could sprint for the victory. Just like Jon yesterday, Jorge Azanza was present in that early breakaway. At the end he couldn't really compete for the stage victory, so I was a bit disappointed that he didn't try something in the last kilometres. Haimar managed to keep the 10th spot in the general rank and with tomorrows time trial he should be able to raise some spots.

1 Stéphane Augé (Fra) Cofidis 4.45.33 (44.965 km/h)
2 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano
3 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas
8. Jorge Azanza ST
42. Juan Jose Oroz +3:54
56. Haimar Zubeldia +3:54
59. Iñaki Isasi +3:54
65. Markel Irizar +3:54
77. Lander Aperribay +3:54
83. Aitor Hernandez +3:54
90. Jon Bru +3:54

vrijdag 5 september 2008

Vuelta 5 : Anton 21th

It was a quiet day for Euskaltel in the 5th stage of the Vuelta. No one got in the break of the day and at the end, there was a small climb that made the stage perfect for classic-racers and we don't really have that. Bettini won and Igor Anton finished 21th. He's still 11th in the general rank, Mikel fell a bit down to 22th. In the team classification Euskaltel dropped to 10th and Egoi lost the combinada.

1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step 3.19.28 (45.150 km/h)
2 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
21. Igor Anton +0:06
30. Egoi Martinez +0:06
40. Ivan Velasco +0:06
72. Mikel Astarloza +0:24
74. Koldo Fernandez +0:24
89. Ruben Perez +0:32
108. Amets Txurruka +1:51
140. Iñigo Landaluze +4:00
142. Alan Perez +4:00

donderdag 4 september 2008

Germany 6 : Bru in the attack & 7th

In the Deutschland Tour something unusual happened. A break of the day actually managed to stay away and luckily someone from Euskaltel, Jon Bru, was present. Maybe Jon felt that he needed something to say goodbye for the years with Euskaltel because he rode a good race. Although when it came down to the sprint I thought he would be able to at least compete for a podium spot or something but he became seventh. Nothing happened in the general ranking so Haimar's still 10th.

1 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux 4.17.22 (44.0150 km/h)
2 Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana
3 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano
7. Jon Bru ST
35. Haimar Zubeldia +2:00
47. Jorge Azanza +2:07
51. Aitor Hernandez +2:07
53. Iñaki Isasi +2:07
57. Lander Aperribay +2:07
58. Markel Irizar +2:07
113. Juan Jose Oroz +2:07

Vuelta 4 TT : Igor 12th in general

The Euskaltel guys did an ok job in the first time trial of the Tour of Spain. Especially Igor Anton did better than expected and was able to capture a 38th spot, only 2:35 on winner Levi Leipheimer. Considering his known time trial skills, I think this is hopefull for the rest of the Vuelta. Mikel disappointed a bit with a 37th spot, but I think he's already over his top. With the good result of Anton, he's still 12th in the general rank.

1 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 50.57 (50.049 km/h)
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis 0.12
3 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas 0.33
37. Mikel Astarloza +2:32
38. Igor Anton +2:35
56. Ruben Perez +3:10
76. Egoi Martinez +3:39
83. Alan Perez +3:54
84. Amets Txurruka +3:59
117. Iñigo Landaluze +5:24
149. Koldo Fernandez +6:40
158. Ivan Velasco +7:31

Germany 5 : Haimar 10th

The fifth stage of the Tour of Germany was a mountainous race, but at the end it came down to something close to a sprint with a real sprinter, Gerald Ciolek, as the winner. For Euskaltel, Markel Irizar tried to attack when the break of the day was reeled back in, but he didn't succeed. In the sprint Iñaki Isasi once again disappointed with a 16th place. Juan Jose Oroz placed himself ok 17th. Haimar finished 24 seconds down but still raised a spot in the general rank and is now 10th.

1 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Columbia 5.39.35 (38.517 km/h)
2 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Scott - American Beef
3 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Liquigas
16. Iñaki Isasi ST
17. Juan Jose Oroz ST
30. Haimar Zubeldia +0:24
38. Jorge Azanza +0:58
44. Markel Irizar +1:33
77. Lander Aperribay +20:37
83. Aitor Hernandez +20:37
107. Jon Bru +20:44

dinsdag 2 september 2008

Vuelta 3 : Koldo 3rd, Anton 5th in general

In the third stage of the Vuelta d'España the race was coloured by one man, José Antonio Lopez Gil. He went in the attack but didn't succeed. For Euskaltel everything came down on the sprint with Koldo. This time he was placed well, but at the end he couldn't accelerate like Bennati and Boonen, probably because he doesn't have a sprint train like the others and has to do his own preparations (although he got some help from another strong Euskaltel man, Alan Perez I think).

Just before the three kilometres there was a big crash and all the favourites lost some time. Igor Anton managed to keep that lost time between 7 seconds and jumped a few spots all the way till spot 5. Euskaltel is still second in the team classification, Egoi doesn't have the combinada anymore, because of a strong performance of Bettini.

1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 4.27.54 (38.14 km/h)
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
3 Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
19. Alan Perez +0:07
21. Igor Anton +0:07
28. Ruben Perez +0:16
30. Amets Txurruka +0:19
31. Egoi Martinez +0:19
37. Mikel Astarloza +0:19
68. Iñigo Landaluze +0:42
78. Ivan Velasco +0:42

General Rank
1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 13.23.57
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 0.22
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0.48
5. Igor Anton +0:59
10. Egoi Martinez +1:05
16. Mikel Astarloza +1:11
21. Koldo Fernandez +1:13
27. Alan Perez +1:21
32. Iñigo Landaluze +1:32
77. Ivan Velasco +2:21
107. Amets Txurruka +7:59
109. Ruben Perez +8:33

Germany 4 : Haimar still 11th

The Euskaltel team in the Tour of Germany took another day off in the fourth stage. No one got in the early break and no one really tried in the sprint. First to finish was Iñaki Isasi on a 26th place. I find this results quite upsetting cause it shows that Isasi doesn't have the sprinting skills anymore, cause normally he would easily place himself in the top 10/20 here. Haimar is still 11th in the general rank and since this is his last race for Euskaltel, he's eager for a good result and he even mentioned a win.

1. André Greiper Team Columbia 03:59:37
2. Robbie McEwen Silence-Lotto ST
3. Robert Förster Gerolsteiner ST
26. Iñaki Isasi ST
39. Haimar Zubeldia ST
47. Juan Jose Oroz ST
57. Markel Irizar ST
77. Aitor Hernandez ST
88. Jorge Azanza ST
108. Jon Bru ST
116. Lander Aperribay ST

maandag 1 september 2008

Vuelta 2 : Koldo 4th, Egoi Combinada

The second stage of the Vuelta came down to the predicted sprint. There Koldo planted himself between the best sprinters and became fourth, after Boonen, Bennati and Zabel. I'm sure he will get some other opportunities to improve that result and maybe even win a stage. In the general rank Euskaltel has now 4 men in the top 11 and is second in the teams classification. Egoi Martinez is, after his great first stage, leading the combination classification. Oddly Amets once again lost time, this time 6 minutes, I really have no clue how this can happen.

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 4.25.24 (38.12km/h)
2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram
4. Koldo Fernandez ST
52. Alan Perez ST
54. Igor Anton ST
58. Egoi Martinez ST
71. Mikel Astarloza ST
72. Iñigo Landaluze ST
73. Ivan Velasco ST
110. Amets Txurruka +5:53
115. Ruben Perez +7:25

General Rank
1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 8.56.27
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0.07
3 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 0.10
5. Egoi Martinez +0:22
7. Iñigo Landaluze +0:26
10. Igor Anton +0:28
11. Mikel Astarloza +0:28
81. Alan Perez +0:50
84. Koldo Fernandez +0:57
89. Ivan Velasco +1:15
109. Amets Txurruka +7:16
111. Ruben Perez +7:53

Germany 3 : Haimar 19th

Once again there wasn't much basque orange to see in the Deutschland Tour. The third stage was on schedule and Euskaltel didn't really participate in the race. At the finish, it went between the general rank contenders and Haimar could place himself 19th. Thanks to this result, his now 11th in the general rank.

1. Leonardo Bertagnolli Liquigas 5:20:34
2. Rigoberto Uran Caisse d'Epargne ST
3. Thomas Lövkvist Team Columbia ST
19. Haimar Zubeldia ST
33. Juan Jose Oroz +0:45
38. Iñaki Isasi +0:45
58. Aitor Hernandez +3:41
77. Markel Irizar +4:16
85. Jorge Azanza +4:16
143. Jon Bru +12:00
144. Lander Aperribay +12:00

General Rank
1. Linus Gerdemann Team Columbia 13:56:11
2. Thomas Lövkvist Team Columbia +0:17
3. Janez Brajkovic Astana +0:20
11. Haimar Zubeldia +2:16
31. Iñaki Isasi +7:43
47. Jorge Azanza +10:34
53. Markel Irizar +11:56
56. Juan Jose Oroz +12:41
80. Aitor Hernandez +19:36
102. Jon Bru +27:21
113. Lander Aperribay +28:51

Gorka extends, Bru and Galparsoro away

First of all some good news. Gorka Verdugo has extended his contract with Euskaltel till 2010. After his great performances in Valenciana, Paris-Nice and Catalunya and of course the Tour where he did great things for Samuel, he assured himself of a limited place in the for next year. Unlike Verdugo, Jon Bru and Dioni Galparsoro weren't able to impress the staff of Euskaltel and they will have to leave Euskaltel next year. This was announced by Madariage against biciciclismo.