Friday, January 11, 2008

Looking for improvement

Reading through today's DEIA I found this great overview of every Euskaltel rider's objectives for the season ahead. This wasn't easy, but I've tried to sum it all up in short rider by rider. Here you go:

  • Mikel Astarloza: Will look to better his 9th place overall in the Tour this year. "A win would be great", he said, "but I appreciate more consistency".
  • Jon Bru: He admits last season was bad, and hopes to once again enjoy the bike this year. No specified objective.
  • Haimar Zubeldia: Will look to shine in the early-season races, specifically in the Vuelta a Valencia and in Paris-Nice. But make no mistake, the Tour will as ever be his biggest goal.
  • Jorge Azanza: No concrete objective, will look to avoid injuries and illness.
  • Beñat Albizuri: Hopes to leave an impression in the early months of the year, especially in Valencia and Paris-Nice. Hopes to have luck on his side this year.
  • Dioni Galparsoro: Aims to be in peak condition early on, especially in Paris-Nice, and in the Giro d'Italia in May if the team decides to take part.
  • Igor Antón: Two aims: the hilly spring classics and the País Vasco, and the Vuelta at the end of the year. No Tour.
  • Lander Aperribay: Will start the season in Paris-Nice, and will hope to be in good shape come the spring classics. Hopes to ride the Giro.
  • Antton Luengo: Will start slowly, his first race being Tirreno-Adriatico. Antton is a certain starter in the Giro. But there's a big if there as you know...
  • Andoni Lafuente: No real objectives, aims to help the team as much as possible.
  • Aitor Hernández: Will start out in Paris-Nice. Looks to grab first pro win, as well as being a valuable domestique.
  • Aitor Galdos: Did not mention any races to aim specifically for, but is feeling great after some hard training this winter. Will start in the Tour Down Under.
  • Gorka Verdugo: Is a guarantee for the Tour, and aims to improve on further this year.
  • Amets Txurruka: One big aim; the Tour de France. He's already sure of a spot on the team. Will do the Tour Down Under, and hopes to perform well early on in the season.
  • Iñaki Isasi: Is looking for an injury-free year, simple as that.
  • Alán Pérez: Will take advantage of any opportunity presenting itself, but did not mention what races he's planning on doing this year.
  • Iñigo Landaluze: His goal will be to win a stage in one of the three Grand Tours. He's a certainty for the Tour, and might do the Giro for the first time. Will also look to be competitive all year long.
  • Iván Velasco: Hopes for strong showings in Australia, Mallorca and Murcia, and to participate in the Giro.
  • Koldo Fernández: Hopes to take part in a Grand Tour, as well as winning more races than last year.
  • Juan José Oroz: Like Koldo, hopes to start one of the three GTs.
  • Markel Irizar: Hopes to peak for Roubaix and Vlaanderen.
  • Javier Aramendia: Will start the Tour Down Under, followed by Mallorca, Andalucía, Almería, Murcia, Castilla y León, Llodio and then his biggest goals; Roubaix and Vlaanderen.
  • Rubén Pérez: Not targeting one or two races, but hopes to be in the breaks in the races he'll take part in. Will do the Tour again this summer.
  • Josu Agirre: Will sacrifice himself for the team's greater good. No exact peak.
  • Samuel Sánchez: Will focus solely on the second part of the season, starting with the Tour. Won't do Paris-Nice, País Vasco or the Ardennes classics. After the Tour, he'll do everything he can to win the Olympics and the World Champs.
  • Egoi Martínez: Did not indicate what races he'll do or when to peak.

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