Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Orbea 2012

As reported earlier, Orbea have signed up five new riders for next season. Four (alternatively six) will stay on, while three have been let go. Here's a sum-up:

  • Arrivals: Omar Fraile and Illart Zuazubiskar (Seguros Bilbao), Haritz Orbe (Bidelan-Kirolgi), Carlos Barbero and Igor Merino (Naturgas Energia)
  • Departures: Noel Martín, Beñat Urain, Adrián Sáez de Arregi
  • Stayers: Jon Aberasturi, Mikel Bizkarra, Aritz Etxebarria, Aritz Bagües
In addition, injured riders Xabier Zabalo and Andoni Blázquez will have a spot on the team if they recover sufficiently. The former's injuries are already well documented. The latter is continuously troubled by his knee.

All new signings are in my opinion quality additions. Orbe has represented Spain several times in big races, while Fraile is one of the biggest talents in the Spanish peloton and has already signed a contract with Euskaltel for 2013 and 2014. Zuazubiskar has shown great progress this year and adds some much-needed time trialling pedigree, while Merino and Barbero are both highly regarded by national coach Dos Santos and will make an impact already next year I reckon. Despite Miguel Madariaga's comments to the contrary, I'm not too worried about the future of Basque cycling when I look at the quality in all three of the Fundación Euskadi's teams as well as talent-factories like Seguros Bilbao and Bidelan.

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