dinsdag 31 maart 2009

I'm off to Rome!

For the next week I will be in Rome with school, so this means that I won't be able to update this blog, to my greatest regret cause I'm really enjoying it again nowadays. Of course this means that I won't be able to watch the Tour of Flandres and the first part of the Tour of the Basque Country. Hopefully I can find a bar where they play Rai sport or something so I atleast can watch the last kilometres of Flandres greatest. See you till then!

zondag 29 maart 2009

Pics from Sammy's victory

Thanx to Biciciclismo

Oroz shows form in Criterium International

In the Criterium International Juan José Oroz is clearly getting in great shape for the big classics. In the second stage Alan Pérez was present in the break of the day, but at the end Juan Jose Oroz was the first to cross the finish in a group just twelve seconds behind winner Jens Voigt, together with Ivan Velasco. In the closing short time trial Mikel Astarloza showed that he still has some good skills by placing himself 15th, while Juan José Oroz also did he's best with a good 20th place. In the general ranking he finished on an impressive 7th spot, he's clearly getting ready for the northern classics, where he showed potential last year.

Results stage 2
1. Jens Voigt Saxo Bank 2:30:22
2. Danny Pate Garmin +0:07
3. Romain Feillu Agritubel +0:09
15. Juan José Oroz +0:15
25. Ivan Velasco +0:15
42. Alan Pérez +1:11
77. Mikel Astarloza +6:24

Results Stage 3
1. Tony Martin Columbia 10:05
2. Bradley Wiggins Columbia +0:06
3. Frantisek Rabon Columbia +0:08
15. Mikel Astarloza +0:31
20. Juan José Oroz +0:36
42. Alan Perez +0:50
87. Ivan Velasco +1:29

General Ranking
1. Jens Voigt Saxo Bank 7:23:00
2. Frantisek Rabon Columbia +0:02
3. Danny Pate Garmin +0:09
7. Juan José Oroz +0:30
29. Ivan Velasco +1:23
36. Alan Perez +1:53
54. Mikel Astarloza +6:55

Sammy wins in Llodio!

Samuel Sánchez and Euskaltel delivered a nice piece of team work in this years Gran Premio de Llodio. After a third place of last year with Aitor Galdos, the aim was to do better than that. From the beginning there were a lot of attacks, but only a group of four managed to get away. Luckily in this group two guys from Euskaltel Egoi Martinez and Aitor Hernández were present so in the peloton the other guys could lay back a bit. When with 25 kilometres to go they were taken back, three other guys escaped. Ezequiel Mosquera, David de la Fuente and our Samuel Sánchez! They managed to stay away from the hunting mass and sprinted for the victory. There Samuel Sánchez outsprinted De la Fuente and took the second victory of 2009 for Euskaltel!! Yiihoooeeeee!!!

1. Samuel Sanchez Euskaltel 4:03:58
2. David De la Fuente Fuji ST
3. Ezezquiel Mosquera +0:01
5. Aitor Galdos +0:21
12. Rubén Pérez +0:21
14. Mikel Nieve 0:21
17. Gorka Verdugo +0:25
32. Pablo Urtasun +1:20
39. Jorge Azanza +1:20
62. Iñaki Isasi +6:39
66. Egoi Martinez +6:39
68. Aitor Hernandez +6:39

Koldo 6th in first leg Criterium International

In France Euskaltel was present for the Criterium International. On the first day of the two day-three stages race, we got a stage where a sprint just couldn't be avoided. Euskaltel put out Koldo as their first man and they tried everything in their power to get him in front when the sprint started. Unfortunately Koldo couldn't finish off the great work and became 6th. Other bad news came from Javier Aramendia. He fell in the last kilometres and got an injury on his left ribcage. Today there will the queens stage and a short time trial.

vrijdag 27 maart 2009

Close but no catch for Euskaltel in Castilla

This week the vuelta a Castilla y León came to an end and Euskaltel came a few times close to the victory but unfortunately couldn't grab another victory. The second stage was a 28 kilometres long time trial were Markel Irizar once again excelled and became 6th. A good uphill sprint was the requirement for the third stage, of course no problem for mister Valverde and he won, but for Euskaltel it was once again Rubén Pérez who fought for the victory, this time ending up 5th. In the queens stage it was Aitor Hernández who came through as the best climber of the team on a 14th spot, just in front of newbie Mikel Nieve who became 17th. In the last stage Caisse d'Epargne made the pace to get Alejandro Valverde in a good position for the sprint. He did and won, but Pablo Urtason came very nice 3rd! Overall Aitor Hernández was the best one, ranking 13rd, a great result for him.

maandag 23 maart 2009

Rubén sprints in Castilla

It's now official: Rubén Pérez is Euskaltel's third great sprinter. After the win earlier this year of Koldo and the great performance of Aitor in San Remo, Rubén proved today that he has what it takes to once win a stage. Of course the list of sprinters isn't too great in Castilla y Léon, but becoming fourth in a real sprint stage should be a stepping stone to greater results. Also Pablo Urtasun was able to maintain a good place, he finised 10th.

1. Joaquin Sobrino Martinez Burgos 4:31:53
2. David Vitoria Rock Racing ST
3. José Joaquin Rojas Caisse ST
4. Rubén Pérez ST
10. Pablo Urtasun ST
28. Markel Irizar ST
42. Aitor Hernández ST
68. Amets Txurruka ST
79. Mikel Nieve ST
97. Igor Antón ST
133. Jorge Azanza +9:32

zondag 22 maart 2009

Ready, set, go ... Castilla y León!

After some races in France and Italy, we're heading back to our home base in Spain with the vuelta ciclista Castilla Y León. As I see it, the team will be divided in two groups the climbers and the sprinters. The sprinters will have to work for newly born sprinter Rubén Pérez. This will be Markel Irizar, Pablo Urtasun and Jorge Azanza. The others will be the climbers, or attackers as you like. I'm especially looking forward to see Mikel Nieve again, cause he has been the most promising rider of the beginning of the year for me. Also Igor Antón, Amets Txurruka and Aitor Hernàndez will be present, fun ensured and let's hope for the best!

Great Milan-San Remo with Galdos 7th

Just like last year, Euskaltel was able to put some orange in the first regions of the peloton in Milan-San Remo. In 2008, it was Iñigo Landaluze who excited us following Fabian Cancellara at the end, but this year he fell right in front of the Poggio. On the Poggio, Egoi Martinez impressed and was able to counter the attack of Davide Rebellin. Also Aitor Galdos was able to stay with the main group. When everything came down to a sprint at the end he placed himself on a great 7th spot, of course quite behind Haussler and winner Cavendish who fought a legendary battle. After the race Aitor quoted that he had a great feeling all day long and with this shape he could be on the podium.

1. Mark Cavendish Columbian 6:42:45
2. Heinrich Haussler Cervelo ST
3. Thor Hushovd Cervelo ST
7. Aitor Galdos +0:02
25. Egoi Martinez +0:02
122. Ivan Velasco +8:05
123. Koldo Fernandez +8:05
157. Andoni Lafuente +12:16

dinsdag 17 maart 2009

Euskaltel for San Remo

After quite an aweful Paris-Nice and Tirreno Adriatico in my opinion, hopefully Euskaltel will be able to redeem themselves by giving it their all in the first really big race of the season Milan - San Remo. Team leader will be Koldo Fernandez who will have to try to get in the final sprint, although such a long race can be quite hard for him. There are also Egoi Martinez, good in Tirreno, and Iñigo Landaluze, who rode great last year. The others are Aitor Galdos, Ivan Velasco, Josu Agirre, Andoni Lafuente and Pablo Urtasun. Aupa Euskaltel!

zondag 8 maart 2009

Rubén keeps sprinting in Murcia

The last stage of the Vuelta a Murcia came again down on a sprint and it was once again Rubén Pérez who represented Euskaltel. This time he became 6th, still a good place if you ask me! In the general rank Mikel Nieve was the best orange guy on a 15th place.

1. Graeme Brown Rabobank 3:11:46
2. Greg Henderson Columbia ST
3. Juan José Haedo Saxo Bank ST
6. Rubén Pérez ST
34. Jorge Azanza ST
36. Mikel Astarloza ST
37. Mikel Nieve ST
48. Amets Txurruka +1:50
49. Aitor Galdos +2:09
88. Igor Anton +10:17
90. Sergio De Lis +10:17

General Rank
1. Denis Menchov Rabobank 14:55:06
2. Rubén Plaza Liberty Seguros +0:20
3. Pieter Weening Rabobank +0:35
15. Mikel Nieve +3:52
27. Amets Txurruka +16:42
32. Rubén Pérez +18:53
35. Jorge Azanza +19:33
58. Mikel Astarloza +27:34
76. Aitor Galdos +32:34
87. Sergio De Lis +38:04
92. Igor Anton +40:25

Sanchez 25th in prologue Paris-Nice

Ok I know that the first stage of Paris-Nice wasn't a real prologue, but with only 9 kilometres to go you can barely call it a real stage. The hopes where high for Euskaltel after Markel Irizar's great second place of last year, but he couldn't repeat this. He finished 31th. Samuel Sanchez, the team leader started ok with a 25th place. Haimar Zubeldia is also riding here, in support of Alberto Contador who won today, he became 39th.

1. Alberto Contador Astana 11:05
2. Bradley Wiggins Garmin +0:07
3. Luis Leon Sanchez Caisse d'Epargne +0:09
25. Samuel Sa,chez +0:33
31. Markel Irizar +0:36
51. Gorka Verdugo +0:42
61. Aitor Hernandez +0:46
71. Juan José Oroz +0:48
89. Alan Perez +0:52
100. Iñaki Isasi +0:54
153. Javier Aramendia +1:21

Rubén Pérez and Mikel Nieve impress in Murcia

In the second stage of the Vuelta a Murcia Rubén Pérez confirmed that he's becoming a real sprinters with a fabulous second place behind Greg Henderson, leaving behing Brown, Goss and Aitor Galdós who became 13th. The third stage was a time trial so little was expected from our orange guys. Mikel Astarloza finished 24th but no one was able to put his stamp on the race. The fourth stage was the queen race of this year's Vuelta a Murcia. After 30 kilometres Amets Txurruka got in a break, but due to the hard work of leader Denis Menchov they were taken back before the finish. At the end a small group got away with Menchov, Siutsou, Mosquera, Plaza and ... Mikel Nieve! Our young neo-prof crossed the finish on a 9th place in the same time as winner Rubén Plaza. He just keeps on impressing me!! Damn he's good!

Results stage 2
1. Greg Henderson Columbia 2:07:27
2. Rubén Pérez ST
3. Julian Dean Garmin ST
13. Aitor Galdós ST
38. Jorge Azanza ST
71. Sergio De Lis ST
82. Amets Txurruka ST
95. Igor Anton ST
96. Mikel Nieve ST
100. Mikel Astarloza ST

Results Stage 3
1. Frantisek Rabon Columbia 19:17
2. Bert Grabsch Colubmia +0:19
3. Denis Menchov Rabobank +0:25
24. Mikel Astarloza +1:08
31. Rubén Pérez +1:15
36. Sergio De Lis +1:21
59. Igor Anton +1:53
64. Jorge Azanza +1:55
66. Amets Txurruka +1:57
74. Aitor Galdos +2:10
84. Mikel Nieve +2:28

Results Stage 4
1. Rubén Plaza Liberty Seguros 4:09:34
2. José Herrada Lopéz Contentpolis ST
3. Denis Menchov Rabobank ST
9. Mikel Nieve ST
31. Amets Txurruka +11:31
45. Rubén Pérez +18:03
48. Jorge Azanza +18:03
90. Sergio De Lis +26:51
91. Igor Antón +26:51
92. Aitor Galdós +26:51
95. Mikel Astarloza +26:51

General Classification
1. Denis Menchov Rabobank 11:43:20
2. Rubén Plaza Liberty Seguros +0:20
3. Pieter Weening Rabobank +0:35
17. Mikel Nieve +3:52
30. Amets Txurruka +14:52
37. Rubén Pérez +18:53
45. Jorge Azanza +19:33
63. Mikel Astarloza +27:34
65. Sergio De Lis +27:47
78. Igor Antón +30:08
82. Aitor Galdós +30:25

woensdag 4 maart 2009

A new sprinter is born: Rubén Pérez!!

Something incredible happened today in the first stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia, a new sprinter was born. Although Euskaltel has a team with Aitor Galdos, normally the second best sprinter of the team after Koldo, it was Rubén Pérez who got among the best sprinters and finished third after Graeme Brown and Greg Henderson, leaving strong sprinters like Goss, Paolioni and Leezer behind him. Hopefully Rubén will now get the affirmation and believe that he's a real sprinter and that he can even win races!

1. Graeme Brown Rabobank 5:06:37
2. Greg Henderson Columbia ST
3. Ruben Perez Euskaltel ST
18. Jorge Azanza ST
23. Mikel Astaroza ST
37. Sergio De Lis ST
68. Amets Txurruka +1:49
73. Mikel Nieve +1:49
86. Aitor Galdos +1:49
87. Igor Anton +1:49

zondag 1 maart 2009

Ruben 5th in Almeria after nervous race

The Clásica Alméria became a very nervous race this year. In the early phase a lot of attacks were started with Mikel Astarloza, Koldo Fernandez and Amets Txurruka all trying to get away, without any luck. There were also a lot of falls with in one of them Koldo Fernandez and Sergio de Lis as victims. They were taken to the hospital but only some bruises were diagnosed. At the end 35 riders battled it out for the victory but due to another fall it didn't became a big sprint. Ruben Perez although got in front and managed to place himself as a great 5th in the same time as winner Greg Henderson.

1. Greg Henderson Team Columbia 4:02:45
2. Graeme Brown Rabobank ST
3. Stefano Garzelli Acqua & Sapone ST
5. Rubén Pérez ST
50. Jorge Azanza +8:55
51. Mikel Astarloza +8:55
69. Amets Txurruka +8:55
72. Mikel Nieve +8:55
78. Igor Anton +8:55