donderdag 21 mei 2009

Euskaltel & Haimar going strong in Catalunya

Euskaltel and Haimar Zubeldia are doing a great job in the Volta a Catalunya. In the second stage it all came down to a sprint, Samuel placed himself 14th, Mikel 19th, Aitor Hernandez 23th and the other big guns didn't lose time. The third stage has been won by Alejandro Valverde who is leading the Volta now, but he's closely followed by Haimar who's second in the general 14 seconds down, Samuel who's third with 15 seconds and Mikel who's 4th with 17 seconds. Igor Anton lost three minutes in the third stage and isn't competing for the overall victory anymore. Today we get the queens stage where one of our boys will certainly take over the leaders jersey.

maandag 18 mei 2009

No Drama for Euskaltel in prologue

The Volta a Catalunya started with a short time trial, not Euskaltel's speciality as you'll probably know, but the team did their best to not lose time. Samuel Sanchez ended up on a 19th spot, only six seconds behind winner Thor Hushovd. But the best performance today from my perspective came from Haimar Zubeldia, the leader of the Astanasquad with a good 13th place, he's on fire!

1. Thor Hushovd Cervélo 00:04:07
2. Alejandro Valverde Caisse d'Epargnbe +0:01
3. Greg Henderson Columbia +0:02
19. Samuel Sanchez +0:06
36. Mikel Astarloza +0:08
48. Aitor Hernandez +0:09
57. Pablo Urtasun +0:11
63. Igor Anton +0:12
125. Amets Txurruka +0:20
143. Iñigo Landaluze +0:23
152. Ivan Velasco +0:28

zaterdag 16 mei 2009

Ready for rumble in Catalunya

Euskaltel will send a team to the Volta a Catalunya consisting of Samuel Sánchez, Mikel Astarloza, Igor Anton, Aitor Hernandez, Amets Txurruka, Pablo Urtasun, Iñigo Landaluze and Ivan Velasco, who will be making his comeback after his fall in Rioja. As you can see a strong team so we can expect a lot! For Astana Haimar Zubeldia is the leader of the team.

vrijdag 8 mei 2009

Mikel happy with performance in Romandy

Although it wasn't as great as last year, Mikel Astarlazo was satisfied with his first part of the season because he's preparing quietly for his biggest goal the Tour de France.
You showed good shape in Romandy, how do you feel about your Suisse adventure?
I return very happy, my form has been better than I thought. My training sessions have been very calm but what I did in Romandy gave me hope for the next appointments.

What's your next race and what are your ambitions?
My next race will be the Volta a Catalunya. There I don't just want a spot in the top 10 of the general rank, I want a stage win too.

The Tour de France comes closer and closer, do you get nervous or are you staying calm?
I'm very calm, it's in my nature to be. Although some tests bring some special views in my head, a methodical approach in my trainings and to have confidence gives me a lot of tranquility.

Although it's still some time, who do you see as the favourites? Will Mikel do it?
It's certain that I still lack something. Riders like Armstrong, Contador, Valverde, Evans and Menchov will be the protagonists. For myself I don't know if I will be 4th, 7th or 32th in the general rank. All I know is that I will give my all on the french roads. I will give my all to be among the first in the general and otherwise I will go for a stage win.

It's Giro time ... without Euskaltel :(

Tomorrow the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia will start in the beautiful city Venice. I'm very excited because it promisses to be a great edition, with great stages and no clear favourite. Unfortunately Euskaltel won't participate this year because they didn't feel it would fit in their plan. As a return we get Xacobeo with Iban Mayoz, a former Euskaltel member, guarentee for some great attacks. During the Giro Euskaltel will be present in the Volta a Catalunya and the Bayern Rundfahrt.