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.