donderdag 30 oktober 2008

Aketza Peña goes cyclocross

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

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

zaterdag 25 oktober 2008

Koldo 4th best Spaniard

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

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

donderdag 23 oktober 2008

Samu present at Fiesta de la Bici

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

Fired riders update

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

Euskaltel ready for 2009

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

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

zaterdag 18 oktober 2008

Piemonte & Lombardia : The final races

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

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

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

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

dinsdag 14 oktober 2008

Euskaltel for Lombardia and Piemonte

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

zondag 12 oktober 2008

Paris-Tours: No big surprise

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

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

donderdag 9 oktober 2008

Pablo Urtasun is the new man

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

maandag 6 oktober 2008

Samu wins Criterium de Valencia

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

zondag 5 oktober 2008

Koldo wins Tour de Vendee !!!

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

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

zaterdag 4 oktober 2008

Euskaltel present at Circuito de Pamplona

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

donderdag 2 oktober 2008

Tour de Vendee Line-up

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