Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Euskaltel's TTT-sixtet set

The dreaded team time trial world championships are up this Sunday, and a press release from Euskaltel reveals the six riders that will get the dubious honour of representing the orange squad at the event.

The team bosses have opted for six of the more capable in the discipline: Romain Sicard, Juan José Oroz, Mikel Astarloza and Gorka Verdugo will all line up after completing the Vuelta the past weekend, and will be joined by the Izagirre brothers.

The course is a rather long one with its 53,2 kilometres, and will take in the ascents of Cauberg, Lange Raarberg and Bergseweg. The top 20 teams from the Europe Tour, the top five from the American and Asian Tours, and the top ranked team from both the African and Oceanian Tour will all line up.

So is Euskaltel as bad in the team crono as everyone would like to have it? If you consider this year's results, they very much are. A look at the team time trials the team has participated in earlier this year doesn't make for satisfactory reading. In the Tirreno-Adriatico right at the start of the season, the team ended up 21st out of 22 teams. In the Giro d'Italia in May, the team went on to finish dead last out of all 22 participating teams. In the ENECO Tour in early August, Euskaltel were next to last in 20th place, while there was a considerable upturn in fortunes at the Vuelta (which can be explained by the race being one of Euskaltel's main season goals, contrary to what's the case at most other teams), where the riders in orange ended up a respectable ninth out of the 21 teams on the start line in Pamplona, Navarra.

Photo: Iñaki Azanza

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