Friday, January 13, 2012

Report: Euskaltel secure future, leaves Basque-only philosophy

Telephone company Euskaltel will secure the team's continuation for another four years beyond 2012, and will open the team up to non-Basques and foreigners. So says reliable Spanish newspaper AS.

The newspaper quotes Miguel Madariaga as saying "I trust Alberto García Erauzkin (new Euskaltel president), who's said he believes in a new project with a new captain. We're the only team in the world relying on the Fundación's support to stay alive. Modern cycling is a headed in another direction. It's the only viable option I can envisage".

AS goes on to claim the team will stay on at least 'till the end of the 2016 season, and that Euskaltel will leave it's unique Basque-only philosophy as of next year. The budget will reportedly rise to approximately nine million euro, while the team will also get a new president and manager. AS does, interestingly, not say where they've got this information from, and Madariaga is the only person quoted in the report. Stay tuned for more news on this case later today.


Stephen said...

Good, if slightly strange,news!

Bolsen3 said...

It's sad that they'll leave the Basque philosophy, but I guess it's necessary in the long run, in order to survive in the globalizing development of cycling.

At least I hope they'll have a percentage rule. For instance 80% Basques, or something like that.

Nick said...

A pure shame... EE as we now know it is one of the few aspects of the sport I still enjoy. Id rather have them rake a hit and move to pro-conti than have to lose their identity

Toadie said...

I don't think the team is necessarily bound to loose its identity as a consequence.

The way things are at the moment, some guys with decent results, like Intxausti, Koldo or Castroviejo are going to be snatched for various reasons by other teams. If the team wants to continue at WorldTour level they need to reach out for talent outside of Basque country. As great as EE's dev squad is, there's simply a limited number of riders that are capable of being competitive in the big leagues of cycling.

It's a small miracle that EE had gone so far with basically 3 to 5 riders getting any WorldTour points throughout the season, the best one being ironically from Asturias.

Sky or GreenEdge are also at core national teams, but that didn't stop them from signing young talents like Uran, Keukeleire, Kruopis, Henao etc. just because they happened to be born outside the tiny Euskera.

Stephen said...

To clarify, I was pleased to read about the funding. As for the matter of opening up the team, I think that it is going to be increasingly difficult to score enough points to remain in the top 16 with the current set up. Cycling has changed and I guess that EE will have to change or get left behind. As Toadie says, Sky is seen as a British team but still finds room for a few riders from other countries. As long as the core remains Orange at heart then I can't see the harm.

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