zaterdag 28 juni 2008

Irizar 9th in TT Spain

Euskaltel couldn't bring the national TT title to the Basque Country. It was Luis Leon Sanchez who rode a great time trial and beat Ruben Plaza and Jose Ivan Gutierrez. Marke Irizar was the best rider from Euskaltel on a 9th place. Egoi Martinez ended on a 17th place, Josu Agirre on 18th.

1. Luis Leon Sanchez Caisse d'Epargne 32:59
2. Ruben Plaza Benfica +0:16
3. Jose Ivan Gutierrez Caisse d'Eparrgne +0:56
9. Markel Irizar +1:32
17. Egoi Martinez +2:31
18. Josu Agirre +2:36

donderdag 26 juni 2008

Interview with Haimar in AS

Haimar talked to the spanish newspaper AS and here's the translation of the article.

-With 9 days before te start, how do you feel ?
Good, I rode a new preparation and I think it was a good choice. I rode the Tour of Romandy, the Dauphiné Libéré and the Volta a Catalunya and I have reached a good form. I'm going to do some more training sessions befor going to France.

-Have you studied the route of the Tour 2008 ?
After the Dauphiné I explored together with Sanchez, Astarloza and Isasi some of the new climbs in the Alps. In addition, we've also been two days in the Pyrenees and explored the stage over the Tourmalet to Hautacam and the one over the Peyresourde to Aspin.

-You are known for your good time trial, but after the Dauphiné it seems like the climbs become more your thing.
I'm not happy with the crono in that race. Nevertheless I was good in the mountains. I believe that the Tour is won by doing well on the climbs and being regular in the time trials.

-Are you at the top of your carreer now ?
I'm older now. I'm in my eleventh year of professional cycling now. It will be my 8th Tour, the same as my team Euskaltel.

-Will you be the leader of the team ?
I will share the leadership with Mikel and Samuel, who wants to be in form for the Olympic Games in Beijing. Mikel has a lot of experience in the Tour too and the Tour comes at a good moment. We have a balanced team and this way the pressure isn't on one person.

-Who do you think are the favourite for the victory ?
Cadel Evans has the biggest opportunity to win the Tour. We've also seen a very good Valverde in the Dauphiné, he will certainly fight for the general rank. Hopefully we can manage to get on the podium.

-What do you think about Contador not being able to defend his title ?
From the beginning I thought it was an incorrect decision. I believe that in the Tour de France should be the best riders. Alberto's new team has to pay for what happened last year.

-This year your contract with Euskaltel finishes. What crosses your mind at the moment ?
At the moment only the Tour de France is on my mind. I'll have to ride a good Tour because my future might depend on it.

woensdag 25 juni 2008

Haimar in Cycle Sport Magazine

In the Tour edition of Cycle Sport Magazine you can find an 'interesting' article about how he alway gets in the top 10 without anyone noticing. Apparently there are three methods to do this :

1. Never attack, never annoy anybody : "This one worked for me in 2006. See,you didn't even know I'd finished in the top 10 that year, did you ?"
2. Get into the soft break : "Me and Kim Kirchen were in 13th and 14th place after stage 14 last year, so nobody minded when we buggered ofo with Alexandre Vinokourov and gained five minutes the next day!" The writer says that Haimar will plan his break this year in the stage to Prato Nevoso.
3. Pretend to be working for your team-mate : "Iban Mayo is still annoyed with me for overtaking him in the 2003 Tour, when he was meant to be the best Basque rider in the race!"

Together with this interview we get to see a picture with the subscription 'Who is this mysteriously consistent Tout rider from the Basque Country ?'. Of course the answer should be Haimar Zubeldia, but the picture is clearly Mikel Astarloza :p Irony oh irony

Euskaltel in Spanish TT champs

Euskaltel will be represented on the spanish time-trial championships by three riders. Markel Irizar, Egoi Martinez and Josu Agirre will defend the orange colour. It won't be easy because they will have to battle it out against specialist like Gutierrez, Luis Leon Sanchez and Plaza. Of course when Markel or Egoi will have a great form they will be able to ride a good time.

maandag 23 juni 2008

Euskaltel ready for Tour

Euskaltel has its team ready for the Tour de France. We already knew that Haimar Zubeldia, Mikel Astarloza and Samue Sanchez will be the leaders. Then we had Amets Txurruka, Ruben Perez, Egoi Martinez and Gorka Verdugo. Now we also got the other names.Big surprise for me is Juan Jose Oroz, he's a good rider but he already rode so much this year and he's still young ! Iñaki Isasi will be the sprinter for the team.

Suisse 9 : Anton ends up 3rd

In the last stage of the Tour de Suisse there were no more changes in the general rank so Igor Anton ended on a very good third place. There was an early break with F. Perez, Tjallingii, Duclos-Lassalle, Lill and Weissinger but with 8 kilometres to go it was over for them. There were a lot of escapes in the last kilometres and with 1.5 km to go Gilbert got away. He sprinted for the victory but Fabian Cancellara managed to get him back with a few metres to go and won the stage. In the general rank the lead was for the young czech Roman Kreuziger before Andreas Klöden.

1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 4.01.07 (41.905 km/h)

2 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux
3 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0.04

27. Igor Anton +0:08
54. Gorka Verdugo +0:08
58. Jorge Azanza +0:08
100. Dionisio Galparsoro +1:36
104. Iñigo Landaluze +1:46
115. Aitor Hernandez +3:06
125. Andoni Lafuente +4:40

General Rank
1 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 35.43.46
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0.49
3 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 1.55
53. Gorka Verdugo +34:56
61. Jorge Azanza +38:03
92. Iñigo Landaluze +55:43
114. Dionisio Galparsoro +1:06:29
129. Aitor Hernandez +1:08:56
130. Andoni Lafuente +1:08:56

zondag 22 juni 2008

Suisse 8 : TT Anton good and still 3rd

The big question in the climb time trial in the Tour de Suisse was whether Igor Anton would be able to defend his third place in the general rank. The answer is easy : Yes ! He rode a good time trial and ended up 7th in the stage. Jose Rujano impressed with a great time trial but only young star Roman Kreuziger was able to beat it. With that great time he also took the lead in the general rank. Kim Kirchen had a great fallback and is now 7th.

1 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas (24,848 km/h)
2 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Caisse d'Epargne 0.15.73
3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0.17.25
7. Igor Anton +1:48:46
38. Jorge Azanza +6:16:01
57. Iñigo Landaluze +7:37:45
59. Gorka Verdugo +7:44:36
69. Dionisio Galparsoro +8:26:67
79. Aitor Hernandez +9:01:07
121. Andoni Lafuente +12:09:72

General Rank
1 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 31.42.31
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0.49
3 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 1.55
56. Gorka Verdugo +34:56
66. Jorge Azanza +38:03
94. Iñigo Landaluze +54:05
119. Dionisio Galparsoro +1:05:01
133. Aitor Hernandez +1:36:51
134. Andoni Lafuente +1:49:37

zaterdag 21 juni 2008

Suisse 7 : Anton still in third

It was one of the sprinting stages in the Tour de Suisse so Euskaltel could take a day of rest. And so they did, because the first Euskaltel to finish was Igor Anton on a 45th place. The break of the day consisted of Van Summeren, Rosseler and Scholz but with 17km to go, their story was over. Then there were a range of attacks, even one with leader Kim Kirchen but the one that got away was Fabian Cancellara. At 8km to go he left everyone behind an won the stage with 2 seconds advantage. In the general rank nothing changed. Igor is still on a good 3rd place.

1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 3.47.09 (45.063 km/h)
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 0.02
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence - Lotto
45. Igor Anton +0:02
92. Gorka Verdugo +0:02
111. Iñigo Landaluze +6:07
122. Aitor Hernandez +6:07
127. Dionisio Galparsoro +6:07
128. Jorge Azanza +6:07
137. Andoni Lafuente +6:07

General Rank
1 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team High Road 30.41.42
2 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 0.27
3 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.33
61. Gorka Verdugo +27:38
72. Jorge Azanza +32:14
104. Iñigo Landaluze +46:54
127. Dionisio Galparsoro +57:01
139. Aitor Hernandez +1:28:17
140. Andoni Lafuente +1:37:54

vrijdag 20 juni 2008

The past two weeks

Due to the exams I couldn't keep you up to date on the Euskal Bizikleta, the Dauphiné Libéré and the Tour de Suisse. Here's a small report about them

Euskaltel was sure to show great things in the home race, the Euskaltel Bizikleta and so they did. In the first stage Igor Anton was in the right break but in the sprint he couldn’t compete for the victory. In the second stage Koldo was just great, beating Badeb Cooke in a sprint on his home ground. There was also a good Jorge Azanza in the break of the day. The last stage was a disappointment because Igor was so close to a victory but in the last descent he go passed by Eros Capecchi :(

In the Dauphiné Libéré Euskaltel lined up the three big guns Haimar, Samuel and Mikel and it was definitely worth it. From the prologue on Euskaltel was constantly visible. Haimar showed once again his climbing skills and ended 5th in the general rank. Mikel proved that his 9th spot from last years Tour wasn’t just a lucky shot. In the same style as in the Tour he maintained a great 7th place in the general.

In the Tour de Suisse we saw Iñigo Landaluze twenty seconds away from winning the first stage in a break with three. The next day it was Anton who maintained his shape from the Euskaltel Bizikleta and won the second stage and took the leader’s jersey. He maintained this jersey until yesterday where he lost it to Kim Kirchen. The whole team did a great job the whole week leading the peloton.

donderdag 19 juni 2008

I'm back

Yep the examinations are over so I'm back to keep you up to date with all the Euskaltel news. Some great things happened in the team during my break so I'm very excited and very proud to be a big fan of Euskaltel :D

woensdag 4 juni 2008

Examination period :x

Everybody's favourite time of the year is coming up for me, the examination period. These weeks school is more important than my blog so I won't update it until the 19th of June or something. Luckily Magnu ( just came back from his break so you won't have to miss anything. Of course I will keep on following the results of our men in the upcoming races andI hope they can win something in the Euskal Bizikleta, Dauphine Libere or/and Tour de Suisse. Aupa and see you back soon :D

zondag 1 juni 2008

Giro 20 TT : Markel 50th

The final stage of the Giro d'Italia 2008 was a time trial. Not the favourite ender for Euskaltel probably because Markel Irizar was the first Euskaltel and disappointed a bit with his 50th place. For the riders that started earlier had an advantage and this way Marco Pinotti took the victory. For the Maglia Rosa it went between Contador and Ricco with only 4 seconds difference, but with Contador's time trial capacities it didn't became a thrilling race. The battle for the third place was more exciting because Bruseghin managed to get this spot only two seconds in front of Pellizotti. Special mention for Jurgen Van den Broeck who became 7th in a great way !

1 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team High Road 32.45 (52.213 km/h)
2 Tony Martin (Ger) Team High Road 0.07
3 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 0.10
50. Markel Irizar +2:07
82. Alan Perez +2:48
111. Josu Agirre +3:35
133. Ivan Velasco +4:47