Sunday, November 27, 2011

The one team man

Like team captain and friend Samuel Sánchez, Igor Antón is very much dedicated to the cause. The 28-year-old told Basque daily DEIA that he would have stayed at the team even if Euskaltel hadn't been allocated a WorldTour-licence, and he envisages staying at the team as long as it's operational.

"I signed a two-year deal in 2010, and it never crossed my mind to break that contract", he explained. "Of course, sometimes it is tempting to discover what it's like at other teams, but I've always wanted to retire here. It would make me proud if I one day am able to say that I spent my entire career here, from the first day 'till the last. I'll only leave this squad if it ceases to exist".

Due to Euskaltel's limited budget, it's no secret that Antón would have earned better money at a bigger team. The lure of higher wages have tempted many a rider to leave the their home team over the years, but for Antón it's never been about the money.

"Money is an important ingredient, but the sense of self-realization is what makes you do this for a living. Take a guy like Laiseka for example: injuries put paid to his career, but I'm sure he would have continued to ride for Euskaltel for nothing. I appreciate the money I'm earning, but I'm not wasting it. I know riders who, in their first year as professionals and with their first pay-checks, go and buy a car. I didn't buy a car until last year. It's a matter of priorities; mine was never the money".

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