Saturday, October 20, 2012

7 non-Basques confirmed
















Finally, after months of speculation, the names are here - and they're just who we expected them to be. BiciCiclismo released a list of seven riders signed by Euskaltel for 2013, with two more to be released on Monday the 22nd. Seven of the nine non-Basques are:
  • Jure Kocjan (Team Type 1)
  • Juan José Lobato (Andalucía-Caja Granada)
  • Ricardo Mestre (Carmin-Prio)
  • Steffen Radochla (Team NSP-Ghost)
  • André Schulze (Team NetApp)
  • Alexandre Serebryakov (Team Type 1)
  • Robert Vrecer (Vorarlberg)
All seven have been linked to the team for quite some time now, the only exception possibly being that of 33-year-old German Radochla. All have singed one-year deals with the team, a clear statement from the team management that they've just been brought in for the points, except for Cádiz-born 23-year-old Lobato who's been handed a two-year-deal. 

The final two riders, that will take the team's number of riders up to 29 for next season, will be revealed on Monday (as stated above), with Pole Marek Rutkiewicz highly believed to be one of them - he pretty much says as much in this interview. Carlos Barredo has long been linked, new signing Gari Bravo said he'd heard Barredo was as good as a done deal a month or so, but now that a disciplinary case has (finally) been opened against him, that's probably not going to happen. 

According to BiciCiclismo, the nine non-Basques signed have taken out 35 triumphs this year alone - albeit at quite another level. The website further states that these nine will represent the team to a great extent in Germany, Holland, Belgium and France, four of the countries the team will be doing a lot more racing in next year, as well as one-day classics.

Here's a brief sum-up of the new riders. Click on their names for profiles:

Jure Kocjan turned 28 on Thursday, and has for the last two years been riding with Team Type 1. The Slovenian is a speedy finisher and decent Classics rider, and this year has two wins to his name: stages one and three of the Tour de Limousin. UCI Europe Tour ranking: 144th - 92 points.

Juan José Lobato, born in 1988, is no mean sprinter despite his age, claiming last year's Circuito de Getxo and two stages of the Vuelta a Chile and one at the Tour of Qinghai Lake this season. So far the team's sole Spanish signing. UCI Europe Tour ranking: 594th - 18 points.

Ricardo Mestre, a 29-year-old Portuguese, is a solid climber and all-rounder - showcased in some fashion last year when he took out his home tour. Despite his rather limited palmarès and virtually non-existent top level experience, he should add debt to Euskaltel's stage-racing department. UCI Europe Tour ranking: 277th - 53 points.

Steffen Radochla is 33 years old and is well-travelled among the continent's Pro Continental/Continental teams over the last few years. He stepped down to Continental level for the 2012 season with home team NSP-Ghost, but failed to win a single race. In fact, he's won just a pair of bike races over the last four years. A decent sprinter in his pomp in his first years in the peloton with the likes of Festina, Team Coast and Banesto. UCI Europe Tour ranking: 194th - 74 points.

André Schulze is German and a whopping 38 years old. Impressively, though, he still comes up with the goods on a regular basis. Has 37 victories to his name, three of which were taken last year. Has spent the last year at Team NetApp. UCI Europe Tour ranking: 11th - 332,75 points.

Alexandre Serebryakov is a 25-year-old Russian who, in view of his successes, surprisingly never has been affiliated with the RusVelo/Katusha program. Was Kocjan's team-mate at Type 1 last year, and brought in a handy quintet of wins - four of which from the Tour of China. UCI Europe Tour ranking: 486th - 27 points.

Robert Vrecer is a 32-year-old reigning Slovenian National Time Trial champion. Clocked seven triumphs in 2012 alone, and joins from Team Vorarlberg. Has, with 26 wins to his name in all, been due a shot at the big time for a while. UCI Europe Tour ranking: 14th - 291 points.

Photo: www.veltepetter.no

24 comments:

Chris Kuntz said...

Some of those guys have more points from the Asian Tour...Serebryakov has 110 and Lobato has 33. I don't know if they are combined with Europe Tour points though.

I'm excited for this...I hope some of these guys can form a connection with the team and stick around.

Chris Kuntz said...

Also, per a velonews article on the subject, it seems that when riders transfer, they bring their last two years of UCI points with them. If this is the case, then Vrecer would have 584, Kocjan 409, Schulze 550.75 and so on

Here is the said article
http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/10/analysis/analysis-sohrabi-txurruka-highlight-uci-points-systems-unintended-consequences_261923

Josh Buehner said...

What an underwhelming crew. Coupled with the Rabobank news, this has not been a fun day to be a pro cycling fan.

Magnus said...

Yeah, Chris, as far as I understand, they bring with them the last two years.

Chris said...

Again... the ranking is about Rider-Value points and not about UCI points from any calender.
The position on the UCI rankings (World Tour ranking, Europe Tour ranking etc.) decides how many RV points a rider has. And yes, this is determined for the last two years.

For more info look on this link: http://nicosix.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/euskaltel-euskadi/ (not updated yet with all new info). For example Kocjan has 31 RV points and 409 UCI points, the latter not important.

Here you can also see the position of Euskaltel in the RV ranking: http://nicosix.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/classement-uci-pour-2013/

Chris said...

Btw.. with these riders and Rutkiewicz I'm very curious who the 29th man is! Euskaltel is coming close to 15th place in the RV rankings! Maybe the Greek could save them.. or maybe they get a 30th rider!

Then send all the foreigners to the classics so our Basques can save their powers for the hills.

Franck said...

Tamouridis and Chaoufi doubtless.

Magnus said...

Chris, it actually seems like that is the plan, i.e. send the foreigners to low-priority northern-european races and classics, and save the Basques for the normal stuff!

And, by the way, just included the Europe Tour ranking so you guys could get some kind of impression on how they've done this year.

Bolsen3 said...

Well, that's it for me really.. I'm done as an Euskaltel-fan.. Now they're just like any other team out there.

Kristof said...

Yes this is the end. But even more terrible would be if they really sign hat Polish rider. Everyone in the world of cycling knows that he's one of the worst doping riders in the peleton. He's called the dealer and could be easily compared with Massi and Riis in the nineties. Signing this man, in these times, is surely the end. But if there's only 30% true of the rumours about the italian doctor Ferrari, Euskaltel could be the only team riding clean the past years. It's sad their philosophy ends here, not only by losing Basque identity, also about the clean racing. Men as the likes of Galdeano, Riis or Bruyneel should be thrown away for good out of the world of cycling, if not it will be the death of cycling.

Nick said...

The more I think about it, these new signings could be the kick in the pants all these guys need.

A burst of new energy, a new fresh set of faces, and new personalities may be beneficial to eliminate any of the complacency that potentially could have settled in after 17 years of the same old routine.

Not saying Euskaltel riders are lazy, but when you get comfortable in the same setting year after year, it seems quite easy to just settle and do just enough to stay afloat.

I for one will be welcoming and cheering all the new guys, and feel that the new atmosphere forged will bring out the best in all these riders.

arnout said...

I'm not necessarily unhappy that the Basque only policy is abandoned (let's be frank, it is a bit old-fashioned), but it's such a pity that they have to resort to signing these names. I know it's important for the WT spot and all, but I'd much rather have they went for some young talents, like Monsalve or a young Portuguese guy (there are a few).

Serebryakov and Lobato are interesting, but those old Germans and Eastern Europeans can't excite me.

Chris said...

Ag2r strikes back. Valentin Iglinsky joins from Astana.

Magnus said...

Hate to say it, but Iglinsky, Betancur, Pozzovivo, Dumoulin, Hutarovich etc. is something altogether different from Mestre, Schulze, Radochla and Vrecer. If it comes down to an Euskaltel-Ag2r fight about the last spot, I know who I'd give the spot to if I was in the licence commission...

arnout said...

Valentin Inglinsky is not the LBL winner though, don't be fooled.

I agree though that guys like Betancur and Pozzovivo are way more exciting signings than the Euskaltel signings.

Bolsen3 said...

Yes Arnout, it was an old-fashioned way of doing things, but it was what made this team different and special.. I loved them for that. I can't see why I should love them anymore...

Bolsen3 said...

Yes Arnout, it was an old-fashioned way of doing things, but it was what made this team different and special.. I loved them for that. I can't see why I should love them anymore...

Colin northern Ireland said...

Not impressed with the way the team is going but they are my team so will support every rider in the orange

Chris said...

I think Ag2r gets in the top 15. Thats good if it means Argos is out of the top 15.
Euskaltel is gonna beat Argos in a licence commission!

Stephen said...

If I was representing Euskaltel at a commission hearing I'd be saying'look, we wanted to stay special, we wanted to stay Basque and develop riders through the youth system but you have made us change due to your stupid points system, don't blame us and don't you dare throw us out'

The new recruits don't get the pulse racing though do they? Lets hope that they are there to get some points and build the profile, increase the budget and hopefully buy some time to either find a replacement for Samu from the ranks or persuade a 'star' to join...Future and Euskaltel are not words that go happily together at the moment.

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