Monday, May 30, 2011

Briefs: Trio honoured/Tour team latest/Gironde and Navarra conclude

  • Igor González de Galdeano has ruled Giro duo Oroz and Isasi out of the running for a Tour start. Contrary to reports on a few days ago, Mikel Landa is not in with a chance of making the squad either, meaning the remaining spots on the nine-man team (Samu, Verdugo, Txurruka, Martínez and R Pérez are already dead-certs remember) will be rewarded to four of the following six: Urtasun, Fernández, A Pérez, Castroviejo, G Izagirre and Velasco.
  • Igor Antón, Mikel Nieve and stand-out youngster Miguel Mínguez were all hosted by the Deputy of Bizkaia today after returning from Italy. Madariaga and the Galdeano brothers were also present at the celebration of a surprisingly successful Giro campaign.
  • Orbea went close yet again in the Tour de Gironde's last stage yesterday, but the guys in blue were forced to return to Spain without a win to show for their efforts. Aberasturi sprinted to sixth on the final stage into Villenave d'Ornon. Adrián Sáez ended up an honourable fourth on GC, just 14 seconds down on winner Julien Foisnet, whilst Ricardo García is not likely to be too pleased with his 13th place. Zabalo was 23rd, Aberasturi 68th, Etxebarria 80th and Urain 95th. The team ended up second in the team rankings and Zabalo took the mountains prize, reason enough for DS Díaz to be pleased with his charges' performance. "Without a doubt we're very pleased", he told "The riders were strong and as a team we were strong. We adapted well to the French way of riding; more aggressive and less conservative."
  • The Vuelta a Navarra came to an end yesterday with a testing stage to Pamplona. Naturgas' most likely men to make an impression towards the end, Martínez and Barbero, both suffered crashes that curtailed their hopes of stage success. The latter recovered reasonably well though to claim 27th at just 12 seconds, while the former ended up 44th nine seconds further adrift. Overall, Damien García was the team's best performer, finishing 31st. Ocampos took 64th, Barbero 70th and Martínez 84th. Alberto Guinea failed to complete the stage. Naturgas finished next to last in the team rankings, only finishing above local team R. Navarra - Telco- Conor Rete.
  • The fourth of june is a day marked in red in Naturgas' calendar: it's the day of the Basque time trial championships. The team have already held training sessions on the course to be well prepared, and the red brigade were back at it again yesterday with a session in Orduna, la Fundación Euskadi's homepage reports. Igor Merino is likely to be the team's best hope of a win, and apparently they're leaving nothing to chance.

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