Monday, May 14, 2012

Euskaltel's Tour de France long-team

French cycling website Velo-Club yesterday revealed Euskatel's pre-selection for the Tour de France. The reliable site claims that 14 riders are in the running for nine places.

Here are the candidates: Mikel Astarloza, Jorge Azanza, Gorka Izagirre, Egoi Martínez, Mikel Nieve, Juan José Oroz, Alan Pérez, Rubén Pérez, Samuel Sánchez, Romain Sicard, Amets Txurruka, Pablo Urtasun, Iván Velasco and Gorka Verdugo.

Judging by comments made earlier this year by Gerrikagoitia, Madariaga et al., it seems to be set in stone that the following riders line up: Astarloza, Izagirre, Martínez, R Pérez, Sánchez and Verdugo. No surprises there. So that basically leaves three places up for grabs.

I can hardly see the Giro riders (Nieve, Txurruka, Velasco, Oroz) line up, but then again A Pérez and Sicard have woefully struggled for form this year and really need to step up their game if they are to land a ticket to France - thus opening the door for the riders in Italy. Azanza, who took part in País Vasco but is not racing in Italy, looks a decent bet for a spot on the team, but experienced campaigners like Oroz and Velasco shouldn't be discounted either I reckon.

Who would you like to see represent Euskaltel in July?


Kristof said...

Good question Magnus; I read that among the six certitudes Pablo Urtasun will be the seventh.I'm happy with Samu (offcourse) and Verdugo which is simply the most wothfull domestic in the team. Ruben and P Urtasun are no big climbers but they were so impressive last year (especially Ruben) they deserve for sure a tdf ticket. The same for Gorka Izagirre, very strong rider and talent. Then we have Egoi Martinez, I don't know, he will never have his Discovery shape again (and maybe let's be happy for that), but allthough he's not that strong he has much experience and is a value for the team to guide on the flat. The last one, Astarloza, I will never have any sympathy for him again and I regret to see him in TDF. Without his products he's very average and it's really bad for the reputation of the team.

Kristof said...

For the two other places I'd like to see real climbers as there isn't one real climber in the selection (Urtasun, Perez, Martinez, Astarloza, Izagirre) are all rounders. So I hope for Txurruka and Velasco (I regret Landa/Bilbao not selected). I can't imagine Txurruka being tired from this Giro as he finishes minutes back each day, and Amets is just a fantastic rider if he does not crash. To me Verdugo, Txurruka and Ruben Perez are essential in a Tour Squad. Velasco hasn't ride many races with all his crashes and he's allready 32, he would be my best ninth man in the TDF. Alan Perez needs to be 100% for a TDF selection (last year he was good) but this year he seems to suffer. Sicard, I do not know. The 2009/2010 Sicard could be fantastic, the Sicard of these days is likely not to finish in Paris. Azanza is out of question, not good enough for the biggest race of the year.

Sylvester said...

Jorge Azanza, Gorka Izagirre, Egoi Martínez, Rubén Pérez, Samuel Sánchez, Romain Sicard, Amets Txurruka, Pablo Urtasun and Gorka Verdugo.

Txurruka for sentimental reasons, though. I expect Astarloza to take his spot.

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