Monday, November 07, 2011

Briefs

  • Euskaltel's ten victories this year were taken by five different riders: Antón, Nieve, Castroviejo, Sánchez and Landa. Of those five, only the latter hadn't taken one previously. That means 12 riders on next year's roster will have wins to their name, while the other 11 are still to open their palmarès'. In short: 52 percent of next year's roster of 23 have won a professional bike race. While these numbers still leave a lot to be desired, they're substantially higher than what's been the case in the last few years.
  • Aitor Hernández grabbed his maiden win of the year this weekend. The former Euskaltel rider came out tops in Saturday's cyclo-cross race in Colindres, beating José Antonio Díez and Erlantz Uriarte to take top honours. Another erstwhile Euskaltel stalwart, Aketza Peña Iza, finished up fourth. Hernández was hoping to repeat Saturday's heroics on home turf in Ermua yesterday, but could not live with the impressive Egoitz Murgoitio and had to settle for second. Fellow Orbea rider and mountain bike specialist Iñaki Lejarreta rounded out the podium.
  • Several Euskaltel riders turned up for this weekend's Subida a Orozketa in Iurreta, Basque cycling's end of season celebration. Koldo Fernández, Iñaki Isasi, Jorge Azanza, Rubén Pérez and Mikel Landa represented their team, while current and former greats such as Juanjo Cobo, Beñat Intxausti, David de la Fuente, Aitor Galdós and Igor Astarloa also took to the start line. Vuelta-victor Cobo took the win ahead of Landa and another former Euskaltel veteran, Iker Camaño. The outgoing Isasi was honoured by his colleagues towards the end of the day, and was presented with a framed "goodbye-letter", so to speak, written by retired rider (and now journalist) Pedro Horrillo.

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