Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Euskaltel to add riders

Incoming general manager at Euskaltel Euskadi, Igor González de Galdeano, has revealed Euskaltel will add at least five more riders to their roster next season.

Today's squad consists of 23 riders, but that's about to change according to the former yellow jersey.

"I would like to have a group of 28 riders, the majority of which would be Basque", he told El Diario Vasco. "If we're missing points at the end of the season, we'll look at what we'll do then. What's clear is that cyclists trained in the Basque Country is likely to sign. But we have to be aware of where we are, cycling has gone global. We have to adapt to what we have".

He added that "at the time being, none have offered me riders to sign who have points. Our priority will be Basques with WorldTour points".

Galdeano will be looking to tie down the team's key riders to new contracts in the near future, and is quietly optimistic they'll all stay on.

"I want to keep the backbone of the team. That is the four riders who already have contracts in place for next year (Peio Bilbao, Mikel Nieve, Romain Sicard and Gorka Izagirre), along with Samuel Sánchez, Igor Antón, Jon Izagirre and Mikel Landa. They've all said they'd like to stay on, and I'm counting on them. Obviously we can't sign any contracts before August 1., but they've given their word."

Galdeano paid the Tour riders a visit in Liège to "transmit calmness and inform them about the project".  The budget is rumoured to rise to approximately nine million euro next year, but Galdeano says he doesn't know the exact figure. As for additional sponsors, last week ruled out by Euskaltel president García Erauzkin, Galdeano says "that's up to Euskaltel".

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