zaterdag 31 mei 2008

Giro 19 : Velasco 38th

It was the last 'real' stage in the Giro d'Italia edition 2008 and once again we got to see some spectacle. On the highest mountain in this Giro, the Gavia, only three riders from the early break remained. This were Baliani, Colom and Perez Guapio. On the Mortirolo Colom let the two guys from CSF alone but unlike other stages, this time the favourites wanted to win themselves. In the group of favourites it was Sella that attacked for his third victory and once again the others let him go. Simoni and Rodriguez tried to get him back but then finished on more than a minute. In the group of favourites it was Di Luca who couldn't follow and this costed him a lot of time, he fell back to th place in the general rank.

On Euskaltel's side it was quite quiet but Ivan Velasco rode a good 38th place. Tomorrow we get the last race, a time-trial and probably Contador will take the Maglia Rosa home to Spain.

1 Emanuele Sella (Ita) CSF Group Navigare 6.52.45 (33.725 km/h)
2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Serramenti PVC Giocattoli 1.04
3 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 1.22
38. Ivan Velasco +15:17
70. Markel Irizar +35:20
98. Josu Agirre +37:19
100. Alan Perez +37:19

Dauphine Libere Line-up

The same day as the Euskaltel Bizikleta ends, the Dauphine Libere will start and Euskaltel sends a great time with lots of potential. The leaders will probably be Haimar Zubeldia, Mikel Astarloza and Samuel Sanchez, so definitely a chance of a victory ! Ruben & Alan Perez, Beñat Albizuri, Juan Jose Oroz ad Iñaki Isasi can try something in an attack or in a sprint, although the competition will be tough there.

Euskal Bizikleta line-up

The 6th of June one of the most important races in the Basque Country will be held, the Euskaltel Bizikleta. Euskaltel will send a good team with potential stage winners like Koldo Fernandez, Igor Anton and Amets Txurruka. The rest of the team will consist of Antton Luengo, Jorge Azanza, Aitor Hernandez, Andoni Lafuente and Egoi Martinez and of course I wish them all the best too ! Aupa (and win something please !!!)

Giro 18 : Dioni out :(

It was another bad day for Euskaltel. Today Dioni Galparsoro had to abondon the race because he had an intense pain in the sinews. He was very sad about leaving the Giro two days before the end but he had no other choice. There was a small ray of sun today, with the 35th place of Ivan. With this place he left good climbers like Leipheimer, Rodriguez, Petrov and Bosisio behind.

In the race there were seven riders that coloured the race from the beginning, among them Siutsou, Efimkin and Sorensen. But it was Kyrienka who was the strongest and left them all behind. He stayed away from the group of favourites and won with 4 minutes of advantage. Between the favourites it was Di Luca that took a lot of time back with a good attack of his team and is now closing the gap with Contador. Only 21 seconds are left between them. Also Riccardo Ricco took some time back and has only 4 seconds left to close. This will surely give an exciting last mountains stage saturday and time trial sunday.

1 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Tinkoff Credit Systems 6.37.32 (35.92 km/h)
2 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes 4.36
3 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Quick Step 4.43
35. Ivan Velasco +25:05
85. Alan Perez +36:53
93. Markel Irizar +36:53
133. Josu Agirre +36:53
DNF Dionisio Galparsoro

General Rank
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 82.29.10
2 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 0.04
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes 0.21
60. Ivan Velasco +1:30:49
70. Alan Perez +1:49:19
74. Markel Irizar +1:55:44
138. Josu Agirre +3:29:11

donderdag 29 mei 2008

Giro 18 : Alan in break & 8th

It was the last stage for the attackers in the Giro d'Italia 2008 and you could clearly see this today. After 8 kilometres a group of 13 left with among them Bettini, Bennati, Visconti, Rodriguez, Voigt and our Alan Perez. Together they got a free pass to the finish from the peloton and Jens Voigt took advantage of this by attacking with 36 kilometres to go. Nocentini, Bosisio and Visconti tried to close the gap but in the last kilometres he only got a bigger advantage. Jens Voigt of course won the stage, 1 minute before Visconti and Nocentini. Alan Perez finished in the third group on a good 8th place.

1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 3.22.46 (43.5 km/h)
2 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step 1.07
3 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
8. Alan Perez +2:04
82. Markel Irizar +7:51
115. Ivan Velasco +10:54
117. Dionisio Galparsoro +10:54
140. Josu Agirre +12:35

woensdag 28 mei 2008

Giro 17 : It's oh so quiet

It was another quiet day for Euskaltel in todays giro stage. It was a typical sprint stage. There was an early break with Gavazzi, Huguet and Ignatiev. Ignatiev tried it on his own at 24 kilometres to go but with 4 kilometres to go he was reeled back in the peloton. It became a sprint where High Road was absolutely the strongest team. Andre Greipel lead in the sprint but the pace was so high that Cavendish gave him the victory in stead of taking it himself. Benatti became third, first Euskaltel was Alan Perez on place 30.

1 André Greipel (Ger) Team High Road 3.27.05 (42.301 km/h)
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team High Road
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas
30. Alan Perez +0:04
63. Markel Irizar +0:04
94. Ivan Velasco +0:04
114. Dioni Galparsoro +0:04
131. Josu Agirre +0:04

ProTour updates

The UCI has launched the idea to reduce the 18 ProTour teams now, to 14 next year. This way the organisers of the Tour, Giro and Vuelta will be able to give out more wildcards to smaller teams. Only 9 teams are already sure of their place in next years ProTour. Among them not Euskaltel because they are still looking for a new sponsor for next year. Hopefully we will get some more information about the team next year !

maandag 26 mei 2008

Giro 16 : Lander out

The bad luck for Euskaltel doesn't stop. In the 16th stage of the Giro we got a climb time-trial. This was too much for Lander Aperribay and he finished together with 6 others out of time. The others didn't do much better because the first Euskaltel to finish was Alan Perez on a 75th place, 5:41 down on winner Franco Pellizotti. He won todays stage after he beat the once again surprising Emanuelle Sella with only 6 seconds. Simoni, Contador and Ricco were the favourites that did the best today and that results in a top three of those three riders. Contador is still in the Maglia Rosa.

1 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 40.26 (19.142 km/h)
2 Emanuele Sella (Ita) CSF Group Navigare 0.06
3 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni 0.17
75. Alan Perez +5:41
82. Josu Agirre +5:56
97. Ivan Velasco +6:38
105. Dionisio Galparsoro +6:48
119. Markel Irizar +7:52

General Rank
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 68.47.31
2 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 0.41
3 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni 1.21
62. Ivan Velsco +1:09:02
72. Alan Perez +1:24:38
73. Markel Irizar +1:25:12
116. Dionisio Galparsoro +2:11:57
142. Josu Agirre +2:53:55

zondag 25 mei 2008

Catalunya 7 : Haimar ends 6th

Haimar wasn't able to maintain his podium spot in the Volta a Catalunya. In the ultimate stage 5 riders tried to get away but the peloton never let them go. Then 14 riders broke away from the peloton, among them Gorka Verdugo, but no Haimar. From that group Carrasco and Cesar attacked and they sprinted for the victory. Carrasco won and Cesar took the overall victory because the others were placed on 7 seconds and the peloton on 23. Gorka Verdugo became 13th and became 10th overall. Haimar Zubeldia fell back to a 6th place after he lost 23 seconds on Cesar.
1 José Luis Carrasco (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 2.20.38 (45.309km/h)
2 Gustavo Cesar (Spa) Karpin Galicia
3 Francisco José Ventoso (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 0.07
13. Gorka Verdugo +0:07
38. Haimar Zubeldia +0:23
58. Ruben Perez +0:23
70. Egoi Martinez +0:23
72. Amets Txurruka +0:23
112. Aitor Hernandez +7:19
123. Igor Anton +7:19
General Rank
1 Gustavo Cesar (Spa) Karpin Galicia 24.29.22
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne 0.16
3 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole 0.21
6. Haimar Zubeldia +0:28
10. Gorka Verdugo +0:34
53. Amets Txurruka +11:51
71. Egoi Martinez +19:08
92. Ruben Perez +28:09
103. Igor Anton +32:59
129. Aitor Hernandez +47:41

Giro 15 : Iñigo out :(

Euskaltel didn't have much reasons to be happy with todays stage in the Giro d'Italia. Iñigo Landaluze had to abandon the race because he had problems with his stomache. The first Euskaltel rider that crossed the finish was once again Velasco on a 43th place. In the race Sella once again showed his great climb skills and won the stage on a impressive way for the second time in a row. Between the favourites Pozzovivo and Ricco were the most impressive ones. Also Contador stayed between the favourites and took the Maglia Rosa. Leipheimer, Savoldelli and Klöden are out for the victory. Once again a special mention for young belgian Jurgen Van Den Broeck who finished 8th and is 8th in the general rank.

Tomorrow we will get a climb time-trial on the Kronplatz, so excitement ensured !

1 Emanuele Sella (Ita) CSF Group Navigare 4.53.24 (31.492 km/h)
2 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) CSF Group Navigare 2.05
3 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 2.11
43. Ivan Velasco +17:34
62. Markel Irizar +21:12
110. Alan Perez +25:17
114. Dionisio Galparsoro +35:17
139. Josu Agirre +35:17
140. Lander Aperribay +35:17

General Rank
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 68.06.43
2 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 0.33
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes 0.55
61. Ivan Velasco +1:02:46
72. Markel Irizar +1:17:42
73. Alan Perez +1:19:19
114. Dionisio Galparsoro +2:05:31
146. Josu Agirre +2:48:21
149. Lander Aperribay +2:55:00

Catalunya 6 : Haimar still 3rd in general

It was the last big chance for Haimar to take some seconds back on Pauriol and Jufre in the 6th stage of the Volta a Catalunya, but he didn't take them. There was an early break with Coppel, Vorganov, Quinziato, Velits and our Egoi Martinez but they never got more than five minutes from the peloton. There it was Credit Agricole for Pauriol and Hushovd that made the pace and the break was caught at 25 kilometres to go. In the sprint it was Chicchi who won in front of Duque and Zberg. First Euskaltel was Haimar on a 26th place.

1 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas 3.44.17 (43.846km/h)
2 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis
3 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner
26. Haimar Zubeldia ST
36. Ruben Perez ST
41. Gorka Verdugo ST
70. Amets Txurruka ST
92. Egoi Martinez ST
122. Aitor Hernandez ST
133. Igor Anton ST

General Rank
1 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole 22.08.42
2 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott 0.02
3 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.07
12. Gorka Verdugo +0:31
58. Amets Txurruka +11:30
82. Egoi Martinez +18:47
100. Igor Anton +25:42
104. Ruben Perez +27:48
143. Aitor Hernandez +40:24

Giro 14 : Velasco 44th

It was Sella's day in the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia. He broke away with a group of 13 riders with among them Bettini and Nocentini. On the penultimate climb the Passo Manghen Sella broke loose and fled away from his companions. He stayed away and won the stage with an advantage of 4:38. Among the big guns there were some that disappointed on the last climb like Di Luca, Contador and Leipheimer. A special mention for Jurgen Van Den Broeck, he was in front of the big group the whole time, great for a young belgian ! Visconti couldn't defend his Maglia Rosa so Bosisio took it over.

On Euskaltel's side Ivan Velasco passed the Passo Manghen with the favourites but then he had to let them go, he finished 44th. Markel Irizar stayed together with the Maglia Rosa and became 61th. After the race the two could climb on the stage for the the price of the fastest team in yesterday's stage. Koldo didn't start in todays stage, probably because there aren't much other sprint opportunities.

1 Emanuele Sella (Ita) CSF Group Navigare 5.37.14 (34.338 km/h)
2 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Tinkoff Credit Systems 4.38
3 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 5.08
44. Markel Irizar +15:17
61. Markel Irizar +18:20
72. Alan Perez +25:58
76. Dionisio Galparsoro +29:43
137. Josu Agirre +41:37
153. Iñigo Landaluze +41:37
157. Lander Aperribay +41:57
DNS Koldo Fernandez

General Rank
1 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes 63.10.47
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0.05
3 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre 0.28
65. Alan Perez +46:34
67. Ivan Velasco +47:44
81. Markel Irizar +59:02
111. Dioniso Galparsoro +1:32:46
116. Iñigo Landaluze +1:35:41
151. Josu Agirre +2:15:36
154. Lander Aperribay +2:22:15

zaterdag 24 mei 2008

Catalunya 5 : Haimar back to 3rd

It was Sylvain Chavanel from Cofidis who dominated the 5th stage of the Volta a Catalunya. He attacked after the first climb of the day and buitl an advantage of 8 minutes. The peloton let him go and he could reach the finish alone with an advantage of 2:32 on a split peloton. Josep Jufre Pou was in that first group, unlike Pauriol and Haimar, and with the three seconds he got in the intermediate sprint, he's now second in the general rank. Haimar finished 23rd and fell back to a 3rd place.
Tomorrow we will get another hilly stage so maybe something for Haimar to try something.

1 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis 3.52.15 (42.293 km/h)
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 2.32
3 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team High Road
23. Haimar Zubeldia +2:37
59. Gorka Verdugo +2:37
100. Ruben Perez +2:37
118. Egoi Martinez +2:37
119. Amets Txurruka +2:37
126. Aitor Hernandez +2:37
148. Igor Anton +3:04

General Rank
1 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole 18.24.25
2 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott 0.02
3 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.07
12. Gorka Verdugo +0:31
60. Amets Txurruka +11:30
82. Egoi Martinez +18:48
102. Igor Anton +25:42
106. Ruben Perez +27:48
146. Aitor Hernandez +40:24

vrijdag 23 mei 2008

Giro 13 : Zorionak zuri Josu ! Koldo 3th

First of all I wanted to wish Josu Agirre a happy birthday, or zorionak zuri as they say in Basque. Josu definitely was in the mood for something and got in the break of the day together with Mickael Buffaz from Cofidis. At kilometre 110 they had their biggest advantage of 8 minutes and 30 seconds but then it went downhill. This stage was one of the last chances for the sprinters so the sprinter teams made the pace in the peloton. With a bit more than 10 kilometres to go the two got reeled back in and it became a sprint. In the sprint Koldo was placed good but in full sprint he got a little touch from another rider and had to use his brakes for a second. This caused that he lost speed and couldn't compete for the victory anymore. But Koldo still did great and improved his 4th place of yesterday with a great 3rd place. First was Cavendish in front of Bennati. Euskaltel won for the first time this Giro the price of the fastest team.

This was probably the last chance for the sprinters for some time. Tomorrow the big guns and climbers can try their luck.

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team High Road 4.11.07 (42.291 km/h)
2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas
3 Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
22. Alan Perez ST
26. Markel Irizar ST
74. Lander Aperribay +0:13
79. Dionisio Galparsoro +0:13
100. Ivan Velasco +0:13
122. Iñigo Landaluze +0:13
165. Josu Agirre +1:00

donderdag 22 mei 2008

Catalunya 4 : Haimar 2nd in general

In the fourth stage of the Volta a Catalunya a group of 5 rode away on the only climb of the day. In that group were Botcharov, Cesar, Fedrigo, Vanendert and Navarro. With a small advantage of only 11 seconds they sprinted for the victory and it was Fedrigo who won. In the second group on 11 seconds Pauriol and Haimar were present, but Dessel was nowhere to be seen so Haimar raised a spot in the general rank. With the upcoming hilly stages of friday and saturday he certainly has a chance against the unexperienced Pauriol.

1 Pierrick Fédrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 5.06.01 (42.586 km/h)
2 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole
3 Gustavo Cesar (Spa) Karpin Galicia
25. Amets Txurruka +0:11
32. Haimar Zubeldia +0:11
47. Gorka Verdugo +0:11
63. Igor Anton +0:23
100. Ruben Perez +10:25
121. Egoi Martinez +14:56
142. Aitor Hernandez +14:56

General Rank
1 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole 14.29.33
2 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.07
3 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana 0.08
12. Gorka Verdugo +0:31
60. Amets Txurruka +11:30
82. Egoi Martinez +18:48
100. Igor Anton +25:15
106. Ruben Perez +27:48
149. Aitor Hernandez +40:24

Giro 12 : Dioni star, Koldo 4th

Dioni Galparsoro was definitely the star of the day in the 12th stage of the Giro d'Italia. He attacked in the first kilometre and got away all alone for a long ride. He had a maximum advantage of 14 minutes but in the peloton the mind was set on a sprint. This meant for Galparsoro that he didn't have a chance and he got reeled back in at ten kilometres to go. In the sprint Koldo could maintain a place in the front, although it could still improve a bit. He finished on a great 4th place just behind the top three sprinters in this giro Bennati, Cavendish and McEwen.

Next time better for Koldo and next time could be tomorrow when another stage for the sprinters is scheduled.

1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 4.05.29 (42.04 km/h)
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team High Road
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence - Lotto
4. Koldo Fernandez ST
25. Alan Perez ST
40. Markel Irizar ST
56. Ivan Velasco ST
73. Lander Aperribay ST
77. Iñigo Landaluze ST
151. Josu Agirre +0:41
165. Dionisio Galparsoro +3:11

General Rank
1 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step 53.05.46
2 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes 5.50
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 6.59
64. Alan Perez +37:16
83. Ivan Velasco +48:54
92. Markel Irizar +57:22
108. Iñigo Landaluze +1:10:31
124. Dionisio Galparsoro +1:19:30
139. Koldo Fernandez +1:28:19
160. Josu Agirre +1:49:43
163. Lander Aperribay +1:56:45

Catalunya 3 : Haimar 6th

Unlike in the Giro, Euskaltel did a good job in the third stage of the Volta a Catalunya. There was an early break with Moreau, Riblon, Champion, Botcharov, F. Martinez, Chavanel and Ruben Perez got away. They got a maximum advantage of 6:30 minutes but on the last climb only Riblon and Botcharov stayed in the lead. In the descent they both fell so they lost their leading place. It was Dessel who attacked and got away. He was chased by a group of five with Pauriol, Jufre, Brajkovic, Uran and Haimar Zubeldia but they had to battle for the seconds place. Haimar left his others battle it out, got the sixth place but became with this effort third in the general rank. Gorka came in with a second group 58 seconds down and is now 11th in general.

1 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 5.10.30 (37.082 km/h)
2 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana +0.34
3 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole
6. Haimar Zubeldia +0:34
11. Gorka Verdugo +0:58
63. Egoi Martinez +4:25
79. Amets Txurruka +11:32
105. Ruben Perez +18:01
115. Aitor Hernandez +24:57
140. Igor Anton +24:57

General Rank
1 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 9.23.03
2 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole 0.18
3 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel 0.25
11. Gorka Verdugo +0:49
62. Egoi Martinez +4:21
85. Amets Txurruka +11:48
101. Ruben Perez +17:54
138. Igor Anton +25:21
145. Aitor Hernandez +25:57

woensdag 21 mei 2008

Giro 11 : Terrible performance of Euskaltel

Euskaltel was nowhere to be seen in the 11th stage of the Giro. The early break with Mangel, Lastras, Dall'Antonia, Veikkanen and Bertolini, later joined by Baliani got away and competed for the victory. In the peloton there was a break between the favourites and the others but it all came back together, except for the Euskaltel riders. They all ended almost 22 minutes down.

Baliani, Bertolini and Lastras were the strongest and they left the others behind. In the sprint Lastras fell and with the hesitation of Baliani, Bertolini was able to take the victory. The peloton sprint was won by Bennati.

1 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Serramenti 5.44.22 (34.67 km/h)
2 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +0.05
3 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) CSF Group Navigare +0.05
117. Dionisio Galparsoro +21:54
118. Alan Perez +21:54
121. Koldo Fernandez +21:54
123. Josu Agirre +21:54
134. Iñigo Landaluze +21:54
135. Markel Irizar +21:54
136. Lander Aperribay +21:54
139. Ivan Velasco +21:54

Mikel about Tour de France

Mikel Astarloza is taking a rest period now after a good Tour of Romandie. He gave an interview about the Tour de France to the Euskaltel site and here it is in english (thanx to Lucybears)

-What are your goals in the next Tour de France ?
My main objective is to do better than last year. I want to enter the top 5 again and win a stage, that would be a dream! To compete in the general rank doesn't mean you can't triumph in a stage.

-You have had time to see the route, what did it tell you ?
Personally I think there's a lack of time-trial kilometres, it's my speciality, so I can make up for the mountains. I personally prefer the Alps and they will be decisive this year.

-How do you see the team now, a few weeks before the start ?
I think the team is very good. We have worked the whole year to come at 100 procent to the Tour de France and I hope that we will be rewarded.

-Who will be the favourites this year ?
The great favourite will be Cadel Evans. Then there is a group of riders like me, Cunego, Dekker, Moreau, Valverde and of course my companions Zubeldia and Sanchez.

Catalunya 2 : Amets in the break

The first stage of the Volta a Catalunya became a normal sprint stage. A break was formed by our Amets Txurruka, Cioni, Bichot and Carrasco on the first climb of the day. They only got a maximum advantage of 5 minutes so they never really had the In the last ten kilometres they were reeled back in and it became a sprint. There prologue winner Hushovd showed that he was the strongest and made sure he stayed first in the general rank. Ruben Perez ended on an ok 20th place. Except for Hernandez and Luengo all Euskaltel riders ended in the peloton.

1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 4.07.35 (40.665 km/h)
2 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team High Road
3 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis
20. Ruben Perez ST
41. Haimar Zubeldia ST
62. Egoi Martinez ST
84. Gorka Verdugo ST
120. Igor Anton ST
135. Amets Txurruka ST
157. Aitor Hernandez +1:07
161. Antton Luengo +1:07

dinsdag 20 mei 2008

Giro 10 : TT says enough

It was the first individual time-trial in the Giro d'Italia, and as expected Euskaltel didn't really do well. The Euskaltel rider with the fastest time was Markel Irizar, who disappointed with a 81th place. He was 5,17 minutes slower than winner Marzio Bruseghin. For the maglia rosa Contador did the best job with a second place, followed by Klöden on a third place.

1 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre 56.41 (41.075 km/h)
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana +0.08
3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana +0.20
81. Markel Irizar +5:17
83. Alan Perez +5:21
84. Iñigo Landaluze +5:23
124. Koldo Fernandez +6:47
131. Josu Agirre +6:52
144. Ivan Velasco +7:27
163. Dionisio Galparsoro +8:56
175. Lander Aperribay +11:35

General Rank
1 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step 43.12.02
2 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner +3.31
3 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes +5.50
51. Alan Perez +19:15
67. Ivan Velasco +30:53
83. Markel Irizar +39:21
106. Iñigo Landaluze +52:30
117. Dionisio Galparsoro +58:24
140. Koldo Fernandez +1:10:18
165. Josu Agirre +1:31:01
169. Lander Aperribay +1:38:44

Catalunya 1 : Prologue : Haimar 16th, Gorka 18th

The Euskaltel riders rode a pretty good time-trial for their standards in the prologue of the Volta a Catalunya. With 5 riders in the top 50 it's certainly a good performance of the team. Haimar was clearly inspired by his baby and got a very good 16th place, 12 seconds down on winner Hushovd. Gorka Verdugo seems in shape too. He took a great 18th spot in the same time as Haimar. Ruben Perez was 29th, Aitor Hernandez 36th and Egoi Martinez 49th. Anton came in 144th and lost 28 seconds.

1. Thor Hushovd Crédit Agricole 4.37
2. George Hincapie High Road +0.06
3. José Iván Gutierrez Caisse d'Epargne +0.07
16. Haimar Zubeldia +0:12
18. Gorka Verdugo +0:12
29. Ruben Perez +0:14
36. Aitor Hernandez +0:14
49. Egoi Martinez +0:17
111. Amets Txurruka +0:23
144. Igor Anton +0:28
148. Antton Luengo +0:30

maandag 19 mei 2008

Haimar becomes daddy

Haimar Zubeldia became a dad of a daughter Ane last night. At 1:15 am his wife Josune gave birth to Ane and Haimar was present. Haimar said "Everything has gone perfectly and we are very happy !". After that he left his wife for the Volta a Catalunya.

Of course I hope everything will stay ok and Ane will become a beautiful daughter. I also hope that this can inspire Haimar to maybe in a race :)

zondag 18 mei 2008

Giro 9 : Koldo 5th

We got to see a boring race in the Giro today. Luckily Koldo ended it with quite a happy ending. From the start Mickael Buffaz and Yuriy Krivtsov broke away. They built up an advantage of over 10 minutes but with the upcoming sprint, the sprint teams made the pace in the peloton. On the last climb of the day Bettini, Ricco and Sella rode away but the first two didn't continue. Sella reached the two breakaways alone and left them behind. The raging peloton got him back at 10 kilometres so everything was ready for the sprint.

In the sprint Daniele Bennati showed once again that he's the best sprinter in this Giro, beating Bettini with only a few centimetres. Koldo was able to place himself good thanks to the help of some team mates but in the last metres he had to make up some space because he got a bit locked in. He made one of the greatest jumps of all the sprinters and with that, we can hope for something better than a 5th place.

Tomorrow there will be a rest day (no worries, the volta a Catalunya starts so their will be something to read). Tuesday we will get a time-trial, Euskaltel's favourite race !

1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 5.30.06 (39.624 km/h)
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence - Lotto
5. Koldo Fernandez ST
51. Ivan Velasco +0:04
85. Iñigo Landaluze +0:04
91. Markel Irizar +0:04
104. Dionisio Galparsoro +0:04
108. Alan Perez +0:04
161. Lander Aperribay +7:36
173. Josu Agirre +10:00

General Rank
1 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step 42.14.16
2 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner +0.34
3 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes +5.53
51. Alan Perez +14:59
65. Ivan Velasco +24:31
85. Markel Irizar +35:09
108. Iñigo Landaluze +48:12
115. Dionisio Galparsoro +50:33
140. Koldo Fernandez +1:04:36
169. Josu Agirre +1:25:14
170. Lander Aperribay +1:28:14

Giro 8 : Quiet day for Euskaltel

Once again there was a little climb at the end of the stage in the Giro and once again it caused a spectacle. The break of the day was formed by Spezialetti, Perget, Nardello, Hansen and Baliani but in the bunch a high speed was set so they never had a chance of a big advantage. In the peloton there was a crash at kilometre 86 with Alberto Contador and Lander Aperribay and if you look good at the picture you can see another Euskaltel rider laying but they don't mention him anywhere. Luckily all continued the race.

At 15 kilometres the bunch almost had the break reeled back in, so Hansen decided to try it on his one. He attacked and managed to stay away until 2 kilometres before the finish. On the last climb the big guns appear in front. Di Luca came back from far behind, he attacked but Ricco was stronger and outsprinted him. Bettini tried to beet him but he once again wasn't fast enough.

The next stage will be another one for the sprinters.

1 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 4.41.05 (44.613 km/h)
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step
3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
59. Ivan Velasco +0:51
63. Markel Irizar +1:14
120. Alan Perez +3:55
123. Dionisio Galparsoro +3:55
125. Koldo Fernandez +3:55
143. Iñigo Landaluze +5:19
155. Lander Aperribay +8:49
156. Josu Agirre +8:49

General Rank
1 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step 36.44.06
2 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner +0.34
3 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes +5.53
53. Alan Perez +14:59
66. Ivan Velasco +24:31
84. Markel Irizar +35:09
109. Iñigo Landaluze +48:12
116. Dionisio Galparsoro +50:33
148. Koldo Fernandez +1:04:20
166. Josu Agirre +1:14:58
173. Lander Aperribay +1:20:22

zaterdag 17 mei 2008

Line-Up Volta a Catalunya

Euskaltel revealed its line-up for the upcoming Volta a Catalunya. It will be a strong line-up with Haimar Zubeldia, who's starting his preparations for the Tour de France, Igor Anton, who comes back after an injury at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Gorka Verdugo, Egoi Martinez, Ruben Perez, Amets Txurruka, Aitor Hernandez and Antton Luengo. I think with this team Euskaltel can really control the race so hopefully it will lead to a victory (or two).

Giro 7 : Aitor Galdos out

It was a quiet and unlucky day for Euskaltel in the seventh stage of the Giro. Early in the race Irizar and Landaluze tried to get in the right break, but that didn't work out. The break of the day was for Balliani, Horrach, Sella, Spilak, Cardenas, Bosisio and Kiryienka. After some mountains only Bosisio, Cardenas, Sella and Kiryienka stayed together and they battled it out for the victory. Cardenas couldn't follow and Sella had a flat tire so Bosisio took his chance and flew away and he was able to stay away and win the stage. Among the favourites Di Luca was the strongest, he came in 5th in front of Ricco, Piepoli and Contador.

Bad news for Euskaltes. As I already expected Aitor Galdos left the race because he didn't have the right condition anymore after the northern classic.

Tomorrow we will get another stage for riders that have the right punch like Rebellin, Bettini and Ricco. But it can also be an opportunity for a break like we have seen the last three stages.

1 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan 4.45.05 (37.041km/h)
2 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Tinkoff Credit Systems +0.46
3 Emanuele Sella (Ita) CSF Group Navigare +1.02
55. Alan Perez +10:14
57. Ivan Velasco +10:14
107. Markel Irizar +24:29
110. Iñigo Landaluze +24:29
126. Koldo Fernandez +28:11
129. Lander Aperribay +28:11
130. Josu Agirre +28:11
161. Dionisio Galparsoro +28:11
DNF Aitor Galdos

General Rank
1 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step 32.03.01
2 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner +0.09
3 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan +5.43
48. Alan Perez +11:04
69. Ivan Velasco +23:40
88. Markel Irizar +33:55
106. Iñigo Landaluze +42:35
116. Dionisio Galparsoro +46:38
152. Koldo Fernandez +1:00:25
163. Josu Agirre +1:06:09
173. Lander Aperribay +1:11:33

donderdag 15 mei 2008

Giro 6 : Alan Perez close to victory

It was a great day for Euskaltel in the Giro today, thanx to Alan Perez. At kilometre 47 a group of 12 left, among them Alan Perez. Their maximum advantage was 16 minutes and the peloton didn't really want to make an effort so they battled it out for the victory. At 11 kilometres to go Priamo sprinted away and only Alan could follow him and together they went to the sprint. In the sprint Priama attacked at 200 metres to go and sadly enough Alan couldn't follow and had to leave the victory. Giovanni Visconti took the Maglia Rosa, Alan is now 4th.

Alan said after the race "I'm very happy that I battled for the victory in a race like the Giro, it was the first time in my pro carreer. Of course it's a bit sour because I just missed the victory. Altough my good general rank now, my main job here is to work for Koldo.

1 Matteo Priamo (Ita) CSF Group Navigare 5.24.49
2 Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi + 0.08
3 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems +0.27
60. Markel Irizar +11:34
84. Dionisio Galparsoro +11:57
89. Lander Aperribay +11:57
100. Ivan Velasco +11:57
133. Iñigo Landaluze +12:42
146. Aitor Galdos +13:15
147. Koldo Fernandez +13:15
148. Josu Agirre +13:15

General Rank
1 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step 27.14.04
2 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner
3 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni +1.22
4. Alan Perez +4:42
79. Markel Irizar +13:18
89. Ivan Velasco +17:18
104. Iñigo Landaluze +22:16
105. Dionisio Galparsoro +22:19
147. Koldo Fernandez +36:06
162. Josu Agirre +41:50
166. Aitor Galdos +42:23
174. Lander Aperribay +47:14

woensdag 14 mei 2008

Giro 5 : Not much of Euskaltel

The fifth stage of the Giro was once again one of a boring race with a thrilling end. Early in the race Dioni and Alan tried to get away but they didn't succeed. It were F. Perez, Laverde, Fröhlinger, Brutt and Millar who were in the break of the day. In the peloton some teams made the pace but it wasn't enough to get the break back, so the five battled it out for the victory.
It was Millar who seemed like the biggest contestant but on the end climb he had a technical problem with his bike, had to stop and threw his bike away. On the same moment Brutt attacked and the other three couldn't get him back although he nearly died in the last metres.For Euskaltel Dioni was the first to finish on a 58th place.
Tomorrow we will get another stage for the semi-climbers or a break, hopefully this time with Euskaltel.
1 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 5.04.52 (39.951 km/h)
2 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Gerolsteiner +0.04
3 Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Col) CSF Group Navigare +0.10
58. Dionisio Galparsoro +0:31
72. Ivan Velasco +0:57
81. Markel Irizar +2:21
135. Alan Perez +5:41
136. Iñigo Landaluze +5:41
148. Josu Agirre +13:27
150. Lander Aperribay +13:27
171. Aitor Galdos +13:39
172. Koldo Fernandez +13:39
General Rank
1 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 21.46.49
2 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle +0.01
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes +0.07
78. Markel Irizar +4:10
84. Alan Perez +7:12
89. Ivan Velasco +7:47
103. Iñigo Landaluze +12:00
107. Dionisio Galparsoro +12:48
146. Koldo Fernandez +25:17
165. Josu Agirre +31:01
168. Aitor Galdos +31:34
179. Lander Aperribay +37:43

Bettini in fight with Koldo

Apparently there has been a little incident between world champion Paolo Bettini and our Euskaltel Koldo Fernandez. Yesterday after the race Paola Bettini went to the Euskaltel buss and called Koldo. When Koldo came, he said that Koldo was a crazy man and asked if he didn't have a wife. Apparently Koldo made a move in the sprint that Bettini didn't really like. He also pointed with his fingers at his head to say once again that Koldo was crazy. Koldo didn't really know what to say and just shook hands with Paolo to say that everything was ok.

dinsdag 13 mei 2008

Giro 4 : Koldo 10th

The second chance for the sprinters was up in the Giro d'Italia. This time the early break was a man alone, belgian Rik Verbrugghe once maglia rosa in 2001. He had a maximum advantage of 11 minutes but the loneliness didn't play in his cards and the advantage quickly narrowed. He got reeled back in the peloton at 25 kilometres before the finish on a hill where Quick-step made the pace. Bettini tried to make the sprinters tired but that didn't really work out.

At 5 kilometres all the big sprinters were in front again, Koldo too together with Landaluze, Irizar and later two other Euskaltel riders. Koldo was placed well, but after a fall at 400 kilometres he got stuck between four others and he couldn't get out. Cavendish won his first stage in front of Förster and Bennati. Koldo became 10th, Alan 20th.

The stage for tomorrow can be something for a long escape, but when the pack gets together at the end riders like Rebellin will get their chance.

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team High Road 4.49.09 (37.558 km/h)
2 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas
10. Koldo Fernandez ST
20. Alan Perez ST
24. Markel Irizar ST
58. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
78. Ivan Velasco ST
98. Iñigo Landaluze ST
170. Lander Aperribay +10:18
181. Josu Agirre +10:52
186. Aitor Galdos +10:52

General Rank
1 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 16.41.26
2 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle +0.01
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes +0.07
69. Alan Perez +2:02
78. Markel Irizar +2:20
102. Iñigo Landaluze +6:50
106. Ivan Velasco +7:21
123. Koldo Fernandez +12:09
130. Dionisio Galparsoro +12:48
156. Josu Agirre +18:05
159. Aitor Galdos +18:26
177. Lander Aperribay +24:47

maandag 12 mei 2008

Giro 3 : Koldo 6th

The first sprinters stage was on the schedule in the Giro today and it became the classical pattern. A break got away, this time with Roy (again), Buffaz, Seeldraeyers, Brutt, Chiarini and Jurco. In the peloton the tempo was made by Liquigas but there were a lot of crashes. Among the victims there were Ricco, McGee (who gave up) and also Landaluze and Velasco. I don't have news about if they are ok yet. At 30 kilometres before the finish the group was reeled back in. Some riders tried to attack but no one could escape from the raging peloton.

At 5 kilometres before the finish Koldo was in a good position but he got caught in and couldn't sprint for the victory. The win was for Daniele Bennati who beat Zabel and Hondo. Koldo became 6th with a great end jump, I saw potential for the further race !

Tomorrow we will get another sprint chance, so maybe Koldo will take this opportunity and make us proud.

1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 5.37.01 (39.523 km/h)
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram
3 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni
6. Koldo Fernandez ST
32. Markel Irizar ST
113. Dionisio Galparsoro ST
120. Iñigo Landaluze ST
121. Alan Perez ST
140. Josu Agirre +0:26
147. Lander Aperribay +0:47
150. Aitor Galdos +0:49
175. Ivan Velasco +5:19

General Rank
1 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 11.52.17
2 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle +0.01
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes +0.07
69. Alan Perez +2:02
78. Markel Irizar +2:20
110. Iñigo Landaluze +6:50
113. Josu Agirre +7:13
114. Ivan Velasco +7:21
115. Aitor Galdos +7:34
142. Koldo Fernandez +12:09
152. Dionisio Galparsoro +12:48
164. Lander Aperribay +14:29

zondag 11 mei 2008

Giro 2 : Bad performance of Euskaltel

Instead of the classical sprinters stage, the Giro's first real stage was a classic with a tough climb at the end. I'm proud to say that Dioni Galparsoro was the first attacker this year. He got away from the peloton at 16 kilometres but he didn't get further than the beginning of the first mountain. Then the break of the day with Loosli and Roy got away. They had a maximal advantage of 10 minutes but at 45 kilometres before the finish they got caught again because they didn't work together. So the peloton rode together to the last climb.

It was ex-winner Danilo Di Luca's team LPR Brakes that made the pace. On the first ascent of the end climb they cut the peloton in half. I think I saw 3 riders of Euskaltel in there. With a group of approximately 80 riders started the last climb but only the big guns could follow the pace of LPR. It was Joaquim Rodriguez who was the first to attack and he seemed to be able to take the victory but in the last metres he was caught by Riccardo Ricco. Di Luca became second, Rebellin third. The yellow jersey has been taken by Pellizotti. The first Euskaltel rider to cross the finish was Alan Perez on a disappointing 60th place.

Tomorrow we will get a sprinters stage. Koldo hasn't done much effort today so we might get to see something good tomorrow.

1 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 5.48.35 (35.629 km/h)
2 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes
3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
60. Alan Perez +0:54
68. Ivan Velasco +0:54
82. Markel Irizar +1:12
124. Josu Agirre +5:37
125. Iñigo Landaluze +5:37
129. Aitor Galdos +5:37
147. Koldo Fernandez +11:01
163. Lander Apperibay +11:40
189. Dionisio Galparsoro +11:40

General Rank
1 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 6.15.16
2 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle +0.01
3 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Team CSC +0.07
77. Alan Perez +2:02
78. Ivan Velasco +2:02
89. Markel Irizar +2:20
125. Aitor Galdos +6:45
126. Josu Agirre +6:47
128. Iñigo Landaluze +6:50
151. Koldo Fernandez +12:09
170. Dionisio Galparsoro +12:48
181. Lander Aperribay +13:43

Interview with Koldo about Giro

-How does it feel to arrive in the Giro with two victories on your conto ? It gives a lot of confidence and tranquility, you don't arrive with nothing, not like in the past when the team wanted me to already do good in Mallorca so I was tired in the Giro. Now I began in Murcia and I won there, a good signal. It's better than I expected and I have great expectations. I don't think there will be many sprint stages, in the first 13 stages maybe 4 or 5. There are some that end on a small climb and that can play in my cards. Such a small climb can kill people like Cavendish, Brown and McEwen.

-What is your goal ?
To win a stage, if I win more, even better but one would not be bad. I haven't one a sprint in a great tour yet. After the vuelta I changed my mentality. I realised that it's difficult to exceed Petacchi and Bennati when they are at top speed, so I should start the sprint myself. That's what I have done this year and it worked. Every year I make physical progress but even more mental progress.

-Who will be the sprinters to beat ?
Bennati more than McEwen. He's 36 now and when he was younger he was already the best in the Tirreno, now he got passed by everyone. The main sprinter will be Bennati. He had some problems with his knee and he had to take some rest so he arrives fresh at the start. He only rode Trentino and Romandie, where he won a stage with an uphill finish.

-Does it cause extra pressure to be the leader of the squad in the Giro ?
Not for me. I only put pressure on myself to do well. Through the years I have learned to stay calm, I'm maturing.

-Are you gonna get enough aid in the sprints ?
Galdos, Alan Perez and Irizar will help me. Also Dioni can help me in the final part. Of course I don't have a Marco Velo or Ongarato, but Markel is a good one too. Galdos and Alan can defend themselves good and try to do something in the last kilometre. I'm happy with the team.

-What will be your objectives after the Giro ?
I don't know, when the Giro ends I will talk with Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano. I know and like the Vuelta and there are many opportunities for riders like me. For me I don't care to ride in September, but I would like to participate in one of the next editions of the Tour. I would like to ride it this year, but I don't know if I go, it will depend on the Giro and if I win a stage. I know the Tour team is very good with Haimar, Samuel and Mikel. I'm not going to say that they have to take me along but if I want to win a stage there once, I should get some experience there. In the Giro I will ride thirteen stages, then I may quit.

-Isn't it important for a sprinter to ride the last week ?
It's ideal to ride thirteen stages, hopefully win one, and then retire. The last week it's too strong with all the climbs. It's not good to remain so thin. But that's my opinion and I should talk about that with the equipment.

zaterdag 10 mei 2008

Giro 1 : TTT : Euskaltel 20th

Today at 15.30 the Giro d'Italia 2008 has begun with a team time trial. Milram opened the fight but it was the russian-italian Tinkoff team that set the first good time of 27:05. Super favourite Slipstream with specialists like Millar, Zabriskie and Backstedt smashed that team with a 26:31. Barloworld, CSC, High Road and Liquigas came all in within 15 seconds but they all had to let the time of Slipstream go in the second part. Also the teams of the favourites Klöden and Di Luca couldn't beat the time, they lost 28 and 29 seconds. Christian Vandevelde was the first Slipstream rider to cross the line so he got the pink jersey.

Euskaltel started at 16.20. Of course the team time trial never has been a favourite of Euskaltel and they became 20th on 22 teams with a time of 27:49. They came in with 8 men, only Lander had to drop out.

Tomorrow we will get a small classic race, so it will be hard for the sprinters teams to control the race. Someone with a good end jump will have a good chance. Maybe Landaluze or Dioni

1 Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30 26.32 (53.366 km/h)
2 Team CSC +0.06
3 High Road +0.07
20. Euskaltel-Euskadi +1:17

General Rank
1 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle 26.32
2 David Zabriskie (USA) Slipstream Chipotle
3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Slipstream Chipotle
142. Aitor Galdos +1:17
143. Markel Irizar +1:17
144. Koldo Fernandez +1:17
145. Alan Perez +1:17
146. Ivan Velasco +1:17
147. Dionisio Galparsoro +1:17
156. Josu Agirre +1:19
160. Iñigo Landaluze +1:22
174. Lander Aperribay +2:12

woensdag 7 mei 2008

Asturias 5 : Gorka in break & 6th

It was the last stage of the Vuelta a Asturias today and once again Gorka Verdugo was in the break. Togehter with six others he rode away in the beginning, but the favourites were too tired so they let them go. At the end Gorka didn't have the power anymore to follow Julian Sanchez, Samoilau and Urtusan sprinted for the victory. The latter won and Gorka became 6th on 22 seconds.
The first Euskaltel rider in the general rank is Gorka Verdugo on the 70th place.

1 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Liberty Seguros 4.51.18 (37.98 km/h)
2 Branislau Samoilau (Blr) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo +0.02
3 Julian Sanchez Pimienta (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia +0.06
6. Gorka Verdugo +0:22
70. Samuel Sanchez +4:41
71. Beñat Albizuri +4:41
74. Javier Aramendia +4:41
80. Andoni Lafuente +4:57
84. Aitor Hernandez +4:59
88. Jon Bru +4:59
91. Antton Luengo +4:59

General Rank
1 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) LA MSS 19.52.27
2 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) LA MSS +1.06
3 Bruno Pires (Por) LA MSS +1.42
70. Gorka Verdugo +30:39
74. Samuel Sanchez +31:37
78. Aitor Hernandez +34:02
105. Antton Luengo +47:31
111. Beñat Albizuri +55:52
112. Andoni Lafuente +55:53
113. Javier Aramendia +57:36
114. Jon Bru +57:56

dinsdag 6 mei 2008

Asturias 3 & 4 : computer problems :(

I'm experiencing some computer problems for the moment. I will try to update my blog with the results but I won't be able to post a lot. Hopefully I will be back before the Giro begins.

In the third stage Gorka Verdugo was in the attack, but they didn't make it to the finish. Samuel sprinted for the victory but he became 6th. First was good old Garzelli. Also Javier placed himself good on a nice 15th place.

In the fourt and queens stage of the Vuelta Asturias, Euskaltel hasn't been able to place theirselves good in the results. Aitor Hernandez was the first on a 33th place.

Results Stage 3
1 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua Sapone 3.46.17 (44.6 km/h)
2 Bernardo Riccio (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems
3 Joaquin Sobrino Martinez (Spa) Burgos Monumental
6. Samuel Sanchez ST
15. Javier Aramendia ST
26. Aitor Hernandez ST
96. Antton Luengo +0:21
97. Beñat Albizuri +0:21
102. Andoni Lafuente +0:21
114. Jon Bru +1:03
121. Gorka Verdugo +1:45

Results Stage 4
1 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Cermica Flaminia 4.49.41 (37.32 km/h)
2 David De La Fuente (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott 0.43
3 Gonzalo Rabuñal Ríos (Spa) Karpin Galicia 0.45
33. Aitor Hernandez +5:24
60. Samuel Sanchez +18:19
88. Antton Luengo +26:13
92. Gorka Verdugo +26:13
100. Jon Bru +26:13
104. Javier Aramendia +26:13
105. Beñat Albizuri +26:13
113. Andoni Lafuente +26:13

General Rank
1 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) LA MSS 14.56.54
2 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) LA MSS 0.59
3 Bruno Pires (Por) LA MSS 1.42
74. Samuel Sanchez +31:11
80. Aitor Hernandez +33:18
85. Gorka Verdugo +34:34
113. Antton Luengo +46:47
119. Andoni Lafuente +55:11
120. Beñat Albizuri +55:26
121. Javier Aramendia +57.10
122. Jon Bru +57:12

maandag 5 mei 2008

Giro d'Italie Line-Up

Euskaltel has announced its team for the upcoming Giro d'Italia. The main candidates for a victory are Koldo Fernandez and Aitor Galdos in the sprint and Iñigo Landaluze for a big escape. The others that may suprise us or help the others are Markel Irizar, Dioni Galparsoro, Alan Perez, Ivan Velasco, Josu Agirre and Lander Aperribay. The Giro will start next saturday with a team time trial.

zondag 4 mei 2008

Asturias 2b : Samu takes TT victory !!!

In the Vuelta Asturias there was also a time-trial planned today and guess what : SAMUEL SANCHEZ TOOK THE VICTORY. He had to take off early because he wasn't really placed well in the general rank, but he immediately set a very strong time. It was a time-trial over 17 kilometres but no one could beat the 19 minutes and 15 seconds of Samuel. Andrei Kunitski became seconds on 7 minutes and the third, Ivan Rovny on 22 seconds.

1 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 19.51 (51.99 km/h)
2 Andrei Kunitski (Blr) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo +0.07
3 Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems +0.22
34. Gorka Verdugo +1:17
60. Aitor Hernandez +1:46
94. Andoni Lafuente +2:29
104. Beñat Albizuri +2:46
111. Javier Aramendia +3:10
120. Antton Luengo +3:27
127. Jon Bru +3:48

Romandie 6 : Mikel 5th in end rank

It didn't go well for the Euskaltel riders in the ultimate stage of the Tour of Romandie. After 12 kilometres Jorge Azanza quit the race. No reason was given (yet) but he wasn't good yesterday either when he came in as one of the last. Hopefully it's nothing bad ! Then there was a crash with Haimar Zubeldia, Amets Txurruka and Ruben Perez. Luckily none of them was hurt and they could all continue the race. Now for the good stuff : In the last 3 kilometres we could see 4 men of Euskaltel in front. Mikel was placed extremely good but with his sprinting skills he couldn't really accelerate and battle for the victory, he became 10th.

In the end rank he finished on a good 5th place, although he should have been able to get a few spots higher imo. Haimar ended on a 12th place, probably an ok result as he's still preparing for the Tour.

1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 3.43.39 (42.763 km/h)
2 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner
3 Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana
10. Mikel Astarloza ST
17. Iñaki Isasi ST
24. Ruben Perez ST
34. Haima Zubeldia ST
60. Amets Txurruka ST

General Rank
1 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 16.43.20
2 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas +0.35
3 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team High Road +0.43
5. Mikel Astarloza +0:54
12. Haimar Zubeldia +2:00
39. Amets Txurruka +11:49
52. Iñaki Isasi +18:37
54. Ruben Perez +20:26

Asturias 2a : Beñat 9th

Euskaltel did a lot better in the second stage of the Vuelta Asturias then they did in the first one. This stage was also a bit easier so it became a sprint after several attacks from different 'unknown' spaniards. In the sprint it was Stefano Garzelli who took the victory in front of Diego Milan and Bernardo Riccio. Beñat Albizuri prooved that he can sprint too and placed himself on a good 9th spot. Jon Bru came in on an ok 25th place. Samuel Sanchez came once again in after the first ones but he probably saved himself for the upcoming time trial later this day.

1. Stefano Garzelli Acqua Sapone 2:07:16
2. Diego Milan Acqua Sapone ST
3. Bernardo Riccio Tinkoff ST
9. Beñat Albizuri ST
25. Jon Bru +0:02
35. Aitor Hernandez +0:02
71. Gorka Verdugo +0:02
100. Antton Luengo +0:02
120. Andoni Lafuente +0:02
125. Samuel Sanchez +1:15
129. Javier Aramendia +11:03

Asturias 1 : Bad performance

The first stage of th Vuelta Asturias was really bad for Euskaltel. Only Gorka showed himself in the beginning. He took some points for the mountains classification on the first twon mountains, but then Euskaltel was nowhere to be seen. Gorka was the first to finish on the 73th place on more than 7 minutes. Samuel finished 92th. This means that all Euskaltels are eliminated for the general rank.

This is what Samuel had to say about it : "It was a very fast and tiring stage, a really crazy day," "We did not pause at all, not even in the feed zone. We did not even stop to urinate: I toyed with the idea of voluntarily crashing to have a little break…" (winking. )"LA Aluminios MSS is a very strong team. For tomorrow, I don't know if I will be in a great form for the time trial. We have to see how we can recuperate from today, and be confident."

1 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) LA MSS 3.51.52 (40.94km/h)
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
3 Constantino Zaballa Gutiérrez (Spa) LA MSS
73. Gorka Verdugo +7:19
92. Samuel Sanchez +13:34
105. Antton Luengo +18:41
111. Javier Aramendia +18:41
128. Andoni Lafuente +28:03
129. Jon Bru +28:03
130. Beñat Albizuri +28:03
131. Aitor Hernandez +28:03

Romandie 5 : Euskaltel coulours the stage

Euskaltel played a good role in the queen stage of the Tour of Romandie. In the beginning of the race Amets Txurruka tried to get in a break, but they didn't get away. It was Haimar who placed himself in the good break of the day together with some good riders as Lopez Garcia, Halgand and Albasini. In the mountains Haimar should have been the best but you could clearly see that in the end he didn't have his tour-shape yet. When De Bonis rode away no one could follow him and the others were taken back.

In the peleton of twenty riders Astana made the pace for Klöden until there was only a small group left. Then Klöden had to do it himself with Mikel Astarloza constantly in the first five of the group. John Gadret was the first to take De Bonis back but this was at 500 metres to go and the neo-prof wouldn't let this victory go so he took Gadret back and won the stage. Mikel finished in the group of Klöden, Kreuziger and Menchov on a tenth place. He's now 5th in the general rank. Haimar finished 16th and is 12th now in the GR.

1 Francesco De Bonis (Ita) Gerolsteiner 3.28.06 (36.472 km/h)
2 John Gadret (Fra) AG2r - La Mondiale 0.03
3 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) Liquigas 0.05
10. Mikel Astarloza +0:07
16. Haimar Zubeldia +0:28
35. Amets Txurruka +5:09
45. Iñaki Isasi +7:27
70. Ruben Perez +16:37
133. Jorge Azanza +29:57

General Rank
1 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 12.59.41
2 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 0.35
3 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team High Road 0.43
5. Mikel Astarloza +0:54
12. Haimar Zubeldia +2:00
44. Amets Txurruka +11:49
54. Iñaki Isasi +18:37
58. Ruben Perez +20:26
91. Jorge Azanza +34:02

zaterdag 3 mei 2008

Romandie 4 : TT-time : Mikel 15th

It was time-trial time in the Tour of Romandie and you know what that means for Euskaltel. Although this time Mikel saved Euskaltel's honour with a good 15th time. He's now 9th in the general rank and with some time-trial specialists in front of him, he can raise a few spots. Mister Zubeldia disappointed a bit with a 46th place, but he should ride good time-trials in the Tour, not here. He's now on a 25th spot. The others all ended far in the back :(

For the victory Tim Clement had the best time for a long while but Andreas Klöden swept that time from the tables, even with an almost-crash in the last kilometre. Thomas Dekker wasn't able to beat his score so Klöden is also first in the general rank.

1 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 25.32 (44.17 km/h)
2 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank +0.06
3 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom +0.20

15. Mikel Astarloza +0:54
46. Haimar Zubeldia +1:39
90. Amets Txurruka +2:25
99. Ruben Perez +2:37
108. Jorge Azanza +2:46
114. Iñaki Isasi +2:56

General Rank
1 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 9.31.28
2 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank +0.05
3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas +0.35
9. Mikel Astarloza +0:54
25. Haimar Zubeldia +1:41
62. Ruben Perez +3:56
68. Jorge Azanza +4:12
74. Amets Txurruka +6:47
91. Iñaki Isasi +11:17

donderdag 1 mei 2008

Romandie 3 : Ruben 10th

Until the last 8 kilometres it was a quit third stage in the Tour of Romandie for Euskaltel. Only Remi Di Gregorio was in the lead after he left his fellow escapers, Arrieta and McKissick, alone. Then suddenly someone from Euskaltel attacked and tried to get away. I'm not sure who it was, but I think it was either Mikel or Jorge. No one got away and it became a sprint. Robbie McEwen won before Bennati and Breschel. Ruben Perez placed himself on spot 10, showing once again that he is becoming a good sprinter. Iñaki Isasi couldn't really convince and became 13th.

1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence - Lotto 4.16.16 (39.8 km/h)
2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas ST
3 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC ST
10. Ruben Perez ST
13. Iñaki Isasi ST
40. Mikel Astarloza ST
41. Haimar Zubeldia ST
62. Jorge Azanza ST
114. Amets Txurruka +2:22

Romandie 2 : Mikel close to victory

It was a good day for Euskaltel in the first and hilly stage of the Tour of Romandie because both Haimar and Mikel managed to stay in the important groupe. The latter of those two even with a great fighting spirit. On the last climb a group of nine goes away and Mikel is the first to close the gap. Then he even attacks and leaves them behind. He gets companied by Botcharov and Veikkannen but at 2 kilometres their story was over. There were reeled back in by a peloton of 38 with also Haimar in it. The sprint was won by Iglinsky in front of Albasini, Mikel became 16th. Ruben Perez was the first to come in of the next big group on a 40th place. Juan Jose Oroz quit the race because he already rode the six northern classics and can use his rest.

1 Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana 4.47.28 (38.07 km/h)
2 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas
3 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner
16. Mikel Astarloza +0:02
24. Haimar Zubeldia +0:02
40. Ruben Perez +1:18
45. Jorge Azanza +1:18
77. Amets Txurruka +1:52
93. Iñaki Isasi +8:19

General Rank
1 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas 4.49.30
2 Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana 0.01
3 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 0.08
7. Mikel Astarloza +0:10
15. Haimar Zubeldia +0:12
52. Ruben Perez +1:29
75. Jorge Azanza +1:36
77. Amets Txurruka +2:10
91. Iñaki Isasi +8:31