dinsdag 30 juni 2009

New bike for the Tour

Especially for the Tour de France Orbea made a new bike to support our guys in the next weeks. A nice model if you ask me!

Ready for the Tour!

This saturday the biggest cycling event of the year will start and of course, as the most important team, Euskaltel will be present. These are the 9 riders that will represent our beloved orange jersey and hopefully make us proud.
  • Igor Anton: After the Spanish Championships it looks like he's getting in shape, he probably won't go for the general rank, but I see him getting in a break in a mountain stage somewhere in the last week and then he should be able to finish it. Maybe he can show us something on the Mont Ventoux, where he became second once in the Dauphiné.
  • Mikel Astarloza: I'm not sure what to expect from him. Just like Anton he rode a great Spanish Championships, but it's so hard for him to finish anything so hoping for a stage win is difficult. In the general it will even get tougher to get a top 10 spot, looking at all the big guns that will be at the start.
  • Koldo Fernandez: It won't be easy for Koldo to win a sprint in the Tour, it's after all the biggest race of the year and all the great sprinters will be present, wel except maybe Boonen. Maybe he should just try to get in the right break and then finish it off in a small group.
  • Egoi Martinez: Of course we can expect to get some attacks from this man. After his leader's jersey in the Vuelta, I'm sure he wants to show something in the Tour too and after his missed stage win at Prato Nevoso last year, he will definitely want to take revenge.
  • Juan José Oroz: I'm excited to see what this young man will be able to see. He rode a good Tour de Suisse where he stayed with the big guns for quite a while, so maybe when he doesn't have to work too hard for the team, he can try something on his own.
  • Alan Perez: I'm always anxious to see what Alan will do. He has definitely the potential to gain a stage, but it just never works out for him. Just like Oroz, if he doesn't have to work for the team, he should be able to get in a break and with a good sprint finish it off.
  • Rubén Pérez: Rubén will probably the one that will have to help Koldo in the sprints, but of course with his newborn sprinting skills, he can try it on his own too, although I don't think he has already the experience to beat Cavendish, Freire ... but a top 10 position is possible.
  • Amets Txurruka: Our most competitive rider of 2007 will probably be aiming for some good attacks and with his power I'm sure he could be able to win a stage. Last year he gave it all for the team and he'll probably do the same this year.
  • Gorka Verdugo: Good-old Gorka is of course a master gregario for Mikel and Igor in the mountains. Individual he hasn't been able to improve a lot after his good start of the year in 2008, but hopefully this can change.

So you see, a lot of potential and let's hope for the best. AUPA!

zondag 28 juni 2009

The Spanish Championships

This weekend Euskaltel participated in the Spanish Championships. First up was the time-trial and only three of our orange guys had the guts to test themselves here. The brave ones were of course Markel Irizar and youngsters Josu Agirre and Javier Aramendia. Although Markel couldn't life up to his expectations after some good time trials in the Tour de Suisse, he became 13th, Josu 16th and Javier 20th, but keep in mind the olympic spirit 'Participating is more important than winning!' (yeah rights :p)

In the road race Euskaltel showed up with a 15-head strong bunch full of motivated riders. With the hilly ride there were some chances for the more advanced climbers. Early in the race Irizar, Azanza, Martinez, Rubén and Josu all tried their luck but it was too early to keep a solid break. At the end Anton got away solo, but was joined by Valverde, Plaza, Zaballa and our Mikel Astarloza. The latter sprinted away in the last kilometres and just got passed in the final metres by Rubén Plaza. Once again no big shot for Euskadi, but still a good 3rd and 5th place!

zaterdag 6 juni 2009

Aitor Galdos going strong in Luxemburg

After a good opening time trial, a good sprint and a third spot in the third stage, Aitor Galdos is doing extremel well in the Tour of Luxemburg. With only two stages to go, he's now fourth in the general rank, only six seconds from leader Assan Bazayev. In the second stage, it was once again Rubén Pérez who competed for the sprint victory, coming in seventh.

dinsdag 2 juni 2009

Line-ups Luxemburg & Dauphiné Libéré

I've been terribly busy the last few weeks because my exams are coming up in a week, but tomorrow Euskaltel will start to race again in the Tour of Luxemburg. The riders there will be Amets Txurruka, Rubén Pérez, Pablo Urtasun, Markel Irizar, Aitor Galdos, Iván Velasco, Aitor Hernández and Josu Agirre. Looks like me something for the sprinters.
Next sunday the Dauphiné Libéré will also start. There the big Tour de France contenders will take of. Euskaltel will send Iñigo Landaluze, Igor Anton, Mikel Astarloza, Iñaki Isasi, Egoi Martinez, Mikel Nieve, Alan Perez and Gorka Verdugo. A nice climbing team if you ask me! Please deliver us another victory!