Friday, September 21, 2012

Legends protest team's new direction

In an open letter to the public, seven former Euskaltel riders give the team's new management and their decision to part ways with Amets Txurruka and Iván Velasco short shrift - very short shrift indeed. Below is a translated version for you to read, and don't hesitate in commenting on what you think of Jonathan Castroviejo, Beñat Intxausti, David López, Haimar Zubeldia, Markel Irizar, Iker Camaño and Koldo Fernández's take on the situation.

There was a time when we were all dreaming of becoming professional cyclists. And more, there was a team in our homeland we placed all our hopes in to fulfill those dreams. And, eventually, we all managed to fulfill that dream, though life has taken us on new paths since...

As currently active riders who have grown up as professionals at Euskaltel Euskadi - in its different stages - during parts of our sporting careers, we've still got strong ties to the people who make up the team.

We lament the way this project is headed after it got into the hands of the new management. The recent news of the non-prolongation of Txurruka and Velasco's contracts was the straw that broke the camel's back of our silence: Amets is a team-mate highly appreciated by everyone and a true icon for the supporters of his team for the team spirit he embodies and his dedication and courage; and Velasco is another one who's never stopped giving it his all for his team-mates and therefore putting his ambitions for personal results aside.

IGG's (Igor González de Galdeano) excuse for not offering them new contracts - their lack of points and progression - is a blow to the values and spirit this team has always embraced and defended since the very start with Miguel Madariaga at the head. 

We hope there's still enough time to straighten out what we're calling attention to here, and to correct the direction of this team - a direction we do not understand. It's also paradoxical that there are Basque riders with strong results out there in other teams who could have helped the team stay afloat. 

Photo: Noticias de Gipuzkoa


Bolsen3 said...

Couldn't agree more! Especially the last phrase, witch you (Magnus) has also written about, is just spot on!

kKDu said...

Great letter.
Let's hope that it can have some influence in stopping the team destroying what they had achieved in the past.

azanca02 said...

I agree, But I wonder if other Basque riders will come back with their points... and probably a smaller salary.

Gordon said...

I agree totally with this statement but its easy for them to say and a bit hypocritical.If they cared so much about this project and never abandonned the team, most probably in pursuit of a higher wage, it may never have reached this stage.

Holden Caulfield said...

I don't really get it. Not that I don't agree what half (or all) of what they are saying but... Are they saying that they'd come back whatever they get paid? I'm trying to remember what they said when they opted to go to other teams and it really doesn't fit here. Except for two of them, the other five left the team while IGG was on it. I'm starting to believe that there are some other reasons.
All this said, I still don't know what to say about all these changes going on. What it hurts me, as a basque, as a cycling fan, rather than signing riders from abroad, is that there is some feeling that you folded completely to the UCI's pattern, that you forgot what we've been praising for so long.
By the way, I don't think that even with those riders on the team they would make it to get a spot among those 15. The point is that basques climb more than they sprint, and for the UCI winning is all. And as I read somewhere today, winning the Clásica de Almería would give you more points than winning the Volta Portugal. That's just amazing and unbelievable.
And sorry for such a long talk.

Chris said...

Only 15 riders in a team make up the total team ranking. Plenty of space for riders without point (guys like Velasco who work their ass off for their leaders or neopros). Thing is you need 10 riders who do have points. If Zubeldia, Irizar (classics!), Fernandez, Lopez, Castroviejo, Inxtausti, Losada, Camano all come back to Euskaltel, I'm sure there was not a problem.

What about the Katusha boys btw. Losada and Horrach are going to leave the team. Rodriguez wants more money. Maybe Euskaltel can attract Rodriguez, Vicioso, Horrach, Losada, Dani Moreno? Or does Euskaltel not give the team enough money for that deal?

Kristof said...

True, those guys their opinion is nice but themselves turned their back to Euskaltel to gain more money, so not really relevant. I think there's more about Txurru leaving as we know. I think it's a question of money, maybe his contract is too expensive compared to his points. But this can't be an excuse, he belongs to the team and they will lose a lot of fans when keeps happening what now happens. I keep wondering what will happen??? They let all this guys go but where on earth wll they find new good riders? This makes no sense. I raise my hand when it cmes to voting Galdeano getting fired, he understands nothing of our team. And the one considering above we must buy these Katusha guys, I hope this is a joke.

Magnus said...

Chris, the Basques do love Purito and would love to have him on the team, but there's no way Euskaltel have that kind of money (or the riders to back him up either).

Galdeano knows his stuff for sure Kristoffer, I have to disagree with you on that one, but from what I hear he's kind of a tough boss; either you're in or you're out if you know what I mean. Samu loves him, so he must be doing something right.

Chris said...

What's wrong with Purito, Kristoff?

Wasn't the budget 9 mio for the coming years? Which riders are using that money? Samu, Anton, Nieve? There must be some budget left for more riders.

IGdG seems a tough boss indeed. But if riders like Kocjan, Losada, Vrecer and Barredo are the best he can do, he must be ashamed for himself with regards to Txurruka.

arnout said...

Exactly. Getting rid of Txurruka and Velasco seems to be more a display of power than anything else. Especially when the new riders turn out to be some third rate Slovak riders.

Actually, if it was to make room for Purito, I wouldn't necessarily be happy with it, but I would understand. It would make sense too, with him feeling Catalan rather than Spanish and everything.

But we'll wait and see. For now, I'm beginning to feel detached with the team at the moment. It's also a reason why I didn't send an e-mail yet, Magnus: I'll reconsider and wait a bit before committing.

Actually I'm not opposed to relaxing the Basque only policy, as long as the roots of the team are still clear. But to change riders for worse riders without any attachment to the team, that is a bridge too far to accept.

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