Wednesday, August 29, 2012

10 non-Basques set for Euskaltel

Approximately one third of Euskaltel's 2013 line-up is likely to be made up of riders from outside the Basque Country.

So says Igor González de Galdano, the man charged with leading the 'new Euskaltel' as of next season. It's previously been said the team will count on 28 riders from 2013 and onwards, five more than this year, but that number doesn't appear to be set in stone. The oldest of the Galdeano brothers says the team will hire between 26 and 29 riders, of which a majority will be Basques - but only just.

"Samuel Sánchez, Igor Anton, Gorka and Ion Izagirre, Mikel Nieve, Romain Sicard, Mikel Landa and Egoi Martínez will be part of the team, but we'll have to wait before completing the roster. I want to have as many Basques as possible on the team, 18 or 19, and the rest will come on board from elsewhere", he told

Despite earlier reports, no riders (including Jure Kocjan) have thus far been signed. Saying only 18 or 19 of next year's team will be Basques though, means quite a few will have to be let go at the end of the season, but no names has of yet been mentioned. Galdeano is looking to hire riders that will guarantee Euskaltel a top 15 place in the UCI's rankings - a proposition he admits is a tough one.

"We don't want to rely on invitations to the big races, nor do we want to convince the Licence Commission every year (that we're worthy of a place in the WorldTour). My goal is to get that top 15 place, but it's not easy".

As well as looking to hire riders, the team is also on the look-out for new staff. Gorka Gerrikagoitia, Álvaro González de Galdeano and Iñaki Isasi will stay on as sport directors, but Galdeano disclosed they're looking for an additional non-Basque one.


Johannes said...

Oh, that´s quite a lost. I expected not more than 3-5 non-Basque riders.

But as a consequence this means that quite a few riders of the current team will be forced to leave, as I expected, that Euskaltel will sign some new basque-riders, too.

So I think riders like Saez, Azanza, Cazaux, Minguez and perhaps even veterans like Alan Perez or JJ Oroz will have big problems in getting a new contract.

Magnus said...

Yeah, some of them should struggle to get new deals. Perhaps time's up for Azanza and Pérez

Kristof said...

Azanza did his best in TDF, Minguez I still have confidence for the future, don't want him to leave. Cazaux and Saez I agree, surely not good enough for a ProTour team. Alan Perez had a difficult year, allthough to me he belongs to Euskaltel. I wonder If these new guys will be so much better then our Basques. I really wonder. I think it will be difficult to find good doping free riders. Most talents have a contract and are good paid, why should they come to Euskaltel? I heard rumours about Barredo and Noval. Barredo is known for years he has doping problems and Noval, come on let's be serious. No, if these are the guys Eus has interest for I prefer keeping our own guys. PS : do not forget we had our two biggest scandals with guys we bought from another team (Astarloza and Aitor Gonzalez). I would think twice about who signing...

Stephen said...

I would have thought that hiring riders with WT points - or the potential to get enough to make signing them worthwhile - would be just about impossible on recent budgets. I know there is supposed to be more cash for 2013 but it won't get a lot of quality if it is spread too thin.

Anyway, I think its a terrible idea in principal. I accept that they have to think of replacing Samu (and his points) but a bunch of cut price East Europeans is not the answer I was hoping for.
A sad day.

kKDu said...

That are really bad news. "I want to have as many Basques as possible" would mean for me to stay with all the riders of this year and not with 18-19. I'm still not convinced to be a pro tour team regardless of the team structure.

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