Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Newcomers' delight

Euskaltel's new signings for the 2011 season, Pierre Cazauz, Mikel Landa and Jon Izagirre, all told GARA of their Derio camp experiences yesterday. Each one of them seemed happy with the get-together, with Cazaux saying: "They've all greeted me very well. Everybody have done their best to facilitate my integration, eventhough I only speak French and very little Spanish. It feels like a big family. It's different from most teams, mostly because everyone's Basque." Cazaux is a relatively close friend of fellow country-man and hotshot Romain Sicard. Apparently they've known each other for a long time and live close by, only 10 kilometres seperate them. They also train together, and Cazaux admits being in the same team as his compatriot "makes things easier for both of us." Cazauz naturally holds the dream of competing in the Tour come July, but is under no illusions. "It will be difficult (to get a spot on the team)", he admitted. "To get a ride in the Tour is difficult in all teams, everyone wants to do that race. I will do what the team requests of me and be combative. It's the best race in the world."

Landa and Izagirre, who both progressed from Orbea, were unequivocal in their response: getting to know their team-mates has been awesome. "It's been very good", Izagirre junior stated. "We're all together and making friends. This is a big family and we got friendly straight away. I'm very content at being in the team I always dreamed of. In addition, for the first time I get to ride on the same team as my brother." Landa echoed Izagirre's sentiments, saying: "The first time you meet them you get rid of the nervousness that comes along with getting new team-mates. You realize they're just like you, except they're obviously better bike riders, but still just like yourself." Both youngsters will do a mainly Spanish calendar interspersed with some Pro Tour races. Landa, a noted climber, will look to improve even more in that particular area, while Izagirre, who admits he's not as strong as his companion on the climbs but more of an all-rounder, is relishing the chance to test himself in the biggest races alongside his, for the time being at least, more illustrious team-mates. "I'll do my best. To ride for the leaders on this team will be luxury".

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