Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sign 'em!


We all know Euskaltel need new faces it they are to take a step up in quality. Even though Euskaltel is the Basque National Team of sorts, there are plenty of quality Basque riders getting their wages with other teams. I know Madariaga has stated that, except for Nieve and Castroviejo, no one else will join the team this year, so this isn't really a very realistic article I'm afraid. But this is my opionion on established, professional riders the team, regardless of wage demands and past history with the team, should bring in: (And, by the way, I'd love to hear your views on the matter)
  • David Herrero: Obvious isn't it? He's way too good for a Pro Conti team. He won something like 10 races when with the team earlier, and it was a big, big mistake to let him go. He's incredibly talented; he's won mass-sprints, time trials and on mountain-tops. Still young, still Basque, and knows how to win a bike race; fits the bill perfectly. He's stated his desire to rejoin the team. Euskaltel should pounce on the possibility to resign him. Allegedly discussions over a prolongation to his contract two years ago stalled due to financial reasons and due to the "new code of ethics" within the team (including how to behave publicly, when to give interviews, what you're allowed to say etc.) Euskaltel need him badly.
  • Beñat Intxausti: Makes me sad to see the biggest Basque talent ride with a non-Basque team. Scott-American Beef is a mess right now, so Beñat might, I reckon, actually join the team if the opportunity to do so was presented to him. I'd love to see him in orange. He reminds me of Ibán. He climbs like a God, but hasn't gotten the opportunity to shine with Scott this year. To get him would be a big boost to the team. He's a guarantee for future success.
  • Arkaitz Durán: Big, big talent. Probably bigger than most people know. He's still very young, and he's got the potential to one day win a GT. I'm serious. He's performed well below what was expected of him when he turned pro five years ago, so a change in surroundings might do him good. Though, I would say, Euskaltel isn't the best place for young talent to develop, but everything than Scott-American Beef I'd say.
  • Mikel Gaztañaga: A good sprinter who can win a race or three a year. More importantly though, he could act as Koldo's much-needed lead-out man. He'd be a solid reinforcement to the team. He has, like Herrero, stated his desire to one day ride for his home team, and it's high time he gets the opportunity. Together with Koldo and Aitor Galdos he'd form an excellent trio. He's riding with Agritubel, and would cetainly jump at the opportunity to ride all the Spanish races and stay in Spain. He'd be a good signing.
  • Juan Manuel Garate: I've wanted him to join the team for years. I almost threw my laptop out the window when I read that Euskaltel didn't offer him more than a one-year contract last year. He required a two-year deal, but as he didn't get it he signed an extension to his contract with Quick.Step. Bravo Euskaltel! There you go! One of the very best Basque riders out there wanted to join you, and now he's with a Belgian squad. That's impressive. I don't know what kind of wages he demanded, so Euskaltel might have had their reasons not to hire him, but he'd lift the team to another level. Not signing him was a catastrophy.
  • David López García: Why Euskaltel let him go is a mystery to me. Madariaga has stated that it should never have happened. He's a great climber and would add some much-needed firepower to the team. He's capable of winning hilly races, and is the kind of rider the team need so badly. Resign him please.
  • Imanol Erviti: A great talent. Could develop into a good time triallist. Of course, he just won a stage in the Vuelta, and that's impressive, but that's got little do with it. He's always been a huge talent, but he hasn't really turned his talent into performances for Caisse (until his stage-win the other day that is). He's young as well, and has never been suspected of doping or anything like that, so he'd fit the bill.
  • Iker Camaño: Quality rider, wasn't given the chance to shine he so thouroughly deserved whilst with the team. A Verdugo-type of rider. Would bring experience to an otherwise inexperience team. Has the quality to get into the top 10 in stage-races.
  • Other riders that I'd like to see riding for Euskaltel: Arrieta, Garcia Acosta, Bingen Fernández, Aitor Pérez Arrieta (I know they're all getting quite old, but still they'd bring quality).

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

patxi vila

Bolsen3 said...

Intauxti and David Lopez would be awesome, Herrero Lorrento too if the team trusts him...

Monika said...

Herrero, López García ok... but Camaño? I don't see him really on top of his career... I don't know if he could give more...

Anonymous said...

Patxi Vila, Igor Astarloa and Iban Mayo!

Funny thing, I think Garate only made a one-year extension as he signed for Rabobank a couple of weeks ago?

Indeed, David Lopez, Herrero and Intxausti would be the obvious and best signings possible. Madariaga told Basque media a couple of weeks ago that he would love to sign Intxausti but he wasn't sure that he even wanted to ride for the team.

arnout said...

Intxausti said earlier that he didn't want to race for Euskaltel indeed. But I don't know if that's for all - time or only for then.

Vila is suspended atm. and will be for next year.

My big dream is Mayo riding the Vuelta a Espana 2009 for Euskaltel though.

Bolsen3 said...

3 riders with more or less a doping past, Euskaltel loose at least one fan if they're signed...

Magnus said...

Patxi Vila is out of the question. He's caught doping... Astarloa wanted to join the team last year, but the team didn't want him. He's way over the top, and he got fired by Milram bacause of suspicious blood values, and I've always suspected him of doping, so he's out of the question too. Of course I'd love to see Ibán return, but I seriously doubt that is going to happen. @anonynous: you're right of course. Though, the fact that he opted for a one-year contract with Quick.Step instead of with Euskaltel makes it all look even dumber on Euskaltel's behalf...

Anonymous said...

Most likely it is a matter of money and we cannot blame Euskaltel for a lack of money.

Bolsen, why? The're caught because they doped, suspended and they cannot start all over again? When you come out of jail you can actually... Apart from that I have no problem with doping, but you knew that already. But I just find it strange that people don't get a second chance after punishment. The punishment is meant to punish for the past acts, when the punishment is over, the past acts are over too. Right?

arnout said...

Oh, I am the anonymous commenter btw.

Bolsen3 said...

Well, it could be that simple, but in the cycling world today I think it's wise to take a strong stand against doping. I don't say that a rider who has taken his punishment shouldn't be able to get a second chance, but I wouldn't want Euskaltel to be "the team that picks up all the dopers" like many small Italian and Spanish teams (and Rock Racing) does.
The Pro Tour teams also have an agreement that a doping suspended rider cannot be signed for 4 years. Unfortunately Liqugas pissed all over this agreement, but that's their problem (I really hope their not invited for next years Tour).

Euskaltel really stands out as one of the teams that take the doping issue seriously, I wouldn't want that to chance...

arnout said...

Which ProTour?

There won't be any next year (maybe there will, but not one with teams).

Bolsen3 said...

Pro Tour is dead no doubt about that, but I think many of the big teams will keep this deal going, at least most of them will make some rules around this I think. If not ASO will make them do it...

Magnus said...

I almost always agree with your views Bolsen, but I have to disagree with your statement about Euskaltel's doping policy. I wouldn't say they take the doping problem seriously. I'd say Euskaltel is just as bad as any other team. Euskaltel have a dark history when it comes to doping, a history I'm thinking about posting. They're hypocrits, just as everyone else. At least that's my opinion. Dare I mention the name Losa?...

Bolsen3 said...

Euskaltel is not taking the doping problem seriously enough, I will agree with you on that, but I do think they've taken many steps in the right direction the last couple of years. The history is not good, the whole "Losa-case" was a scandal, and probably (and sadly) much of the reason for the teams sudden success in 2003-2004, we'll just have to admit that.
But to me it seems that Euskaltel has learned, at least to me they seem much more eager to get rid of doping than most other Spanish teams...

arnout said...

Lets be happy with Losa, otherwise there was a big chance Euskaltel was not invited for the Tour de France 2008.

The name of Euskaltel is still based on those brilliant years, and I really don't mind about the doping. Everyone used that days, maybe Euskaltel did it a bit more efficient, but who cares?

Bolsen3 said...

Couldn't disagree more, but I don't wanna take that discussion again ;-)

Laiseka said...

I think that David HErrero is the man. All the money we have for new riders must be for him.

If Samuel goes, all change. Then we need to buy Herrero and 2 o 3 more quality riders. I think that Lopez, Gaztanaga or the young riders you have said.

 

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