zaterdag 30 april 2011

Izagirre strong in Asturias

In the Vuelta a Asturias Gorka Izagirre is proving himself to be a good small stage race rider. The morning stage of only 82 kilometres ended in a sprint with Euskaltel doing a good job in it with 4 riders in the top 20: Ruben at 6, Iñaki at 13, Javier at 17 and Gorka at 19. All this was preceeded by Juanjo Oroz putting the team in a comfortable seat during the stage as he was in the early break of the day. The second stage of the day was a 14 kilometres time trial, not Euskaltel's favourite subject, but with a 13th spot Gorka Izagirre defended the honour of the team well, with a nice 10th spot overall at the moment. Unfortunately Pierre Cazaux didn't start in the time trial, for reasons unknown at the moment.

Stage 2a
  1. Robert Förster (UnitedHealthCare) 2:06:01
  2. Sergey Shilov (Russian Fed) ST
  3. Manuel Anton (Burgos 2016) ST
  • 6. Ruben Perz ST
  • 13. Iñaki Isasi ST
  • 17. Javier Aramendia ST
  • 19. Gorka Izagirre ST
  • 22. Pablo Urtasun ST
  • 44. Juanjo Oroz ST
  • 48. Pierre Cazaux ST
  • 64. Daniel Sesma
Stage 2b
  1. Stefan Schumacher (Miche) 17:27
  2. José Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar) +00:04
  3. Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthCare) +00:08
  • 13. Gorka Izagirre +00:40
  • 34. Juanjo Oroz +01:06
  • 38. Iñaki Isasi +01:14
  • 40. Pablo Urtasun +01:17
  • 54. Daniel Sesma +01:28
  • 59. Ruben Perez +01:33
  • 95. Javier Aramendia +02:27

vrijdag 29 april 2011

Isasi sprints in Asturias

The first stage in the Vuelta a Asturias ended in a bunch sprint and for Euskaltel, it wasn't Ruben Perez who sprinted along, but good old Iñaki Isasi and Gorka Izagirre. They both placed themselves in the top 10, on spot 7 and 10 respectively, in a sprint that was won by Stefan Schumacher. A good start if you ask me, but I'd like to see a bit more from the guys in the upcoming stages!
  1. Stefan Schumacher (Miche) 3:46:35
  2. Constantino Zaballa (Miche) ST
  3. David Gutierrez (Geox) ST
  • 7. Iñaki Isasi ST
  • 10. Gorka Izagirre ST
  • 34. Juanjo Oroz +00:36
  • 40. Ruben Perez +01:23
  • 43. Javier Aramendia +01:23
  • 49. Pierre Cazaux +01:23
  • 75. Pablo Urtasun +08:19
  • 76. Daniel Sesma +08:19

donderdag 28 april 2011

Verdugo on a roll in Romandy

After the surprising victory of Castroviejo in the prologue, Euskaltel had to settle for a little bit less in the next two hilly stages through the Swiss countryside. Stage one saw an early break make it to the finish with Pavel Brutt as the eventual winner, and although Euskaltel took some shifts to lead the peloton, they never looked that dedicated to defend Jonathan's leader jersey. On the steep climb at the end, Gorka Verdugo was able to follow strong climbers such as Evans, Cunego and Vinokourov to obtain a place in the top 10 of the general ranking. Castroviejo wasn't able to maintain his place there and fell back to 31th overall.

In the second stage, we once again got to see a strong Gorka that was in the group that battled it out for the stage victory, with Damiano Cunego taking it, and with this good result he became fifth overall. Another member of the team coloured the race today as a strong Egoi Martinez was part of the early break that wasn't able to stay away, but he got some points for the mountains classification.

woensdag 27 april 2011

Asturias line-up

Tomorrow the Vuelta a Asturias will take off in Oviedo without homeground favourite Samuel Sanchez, as he is taking some time off after his exhausting classics campaign. Euskaltel will mainly be represented by Ruben Perez & Pablo Urtasun,who will try to grab a victory in the sprints, joined by Gorka Izaguirre and the ones who are preparing the upcoming Giro d'Italia: Javier Aramendia, Daniel Sesma, Pierre Cazaux, Iñaki Isasi and Juanjo Oroz. The Vuelta a Asturias will start in beautiful Oviedo and end after five days on the Alto al Naranco.

Castroviejo amazes and wins Romandy prologue!

Immediate succes for Euskaltel in the Tour of Romandy. Jonathan Castroviejo amazed everyone with a thrilling performance over the 3.5 kilometres long track and winning the prologue by beating a bunch of time-trial specialists like Millar, Phinney and Hoard, and of course taking the first leader's jersey. He wasn't the only one who did a good job though, Gorka Verdugo placed himself just outside the top 10 on spot 11. I'm excited to see what those two can do for the general classification during the next week!

After the race Jonathan Castroviejo declared: "It's a beautiful victory and I'm very very happy with it. Tomorrow is my birthday, so this is a spectacular gift. I used to start in time-trials with the idea to do my best, but know I know I can start with my mind set on winning. I always felt good riding time-trials, but winning a big one like here in the Tour of Romandy is something great. I finally did it and this changes my view on all of this."

  1. Jonathan Castroviejo 3:40.42
  2. Taylor Phinney (BMC) +0.27
  3. Leigh Howard (HTC) +0.73
  • 11. Gorka Verdugo +4.29
  • 31. Iñaki Isasi +8.71
  • 59. Egoi Martinez +11.50
  • 70. Alan Perez +12.56
  • 130. Ivan Velasco +19.38
  • 134. Amets Txurruka +20.75

dinsdag 26 april 2011

Tour of Romandy Line-Up

Now that the important classics are over, it's time for the real deal, the stage tours! After an absence of two years, Euskaltel will finally send a team to the Giro d'Italia again and to start the preparations off, they will ride the Tour of Romandy. Unfortunately both Anton, who will be the team leader in the Giro, and Sanchez will not participate since they are on a break after their good work in the classics. Euskaltel will send a team that will be on the attack and will try to get Koldo Fernandez in position for the sprint, if he's already up for that again. The Tour of Romandy starts today with a 3.5 kilometers long prologue.
  • 141. Jonathan Castroviejo
  • 142. Iñaki Isasi
  • 143. Amets Txurruka
  • 144. Ivan Velasco
  • 145. Egoi Martinez
  • 146. Gorka Verdugo
  • 147. Alan Perez
  • 148. Koldo Fernandez