Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Euskaltel hire revered sports director

Euskaltel are not only hiring and releasing riders these days, they're also in the process of making changes to the team set-up: On Wednesday, it was confirmed Óscar Guerrero will join the team next season as a directeur sportif.

Guerreo will join current directors Gorka Gerrikagoitia, Álvaro González de Galdeano, Iñaki Isasi and, to a certain extent, Álex Díaz behind the wheel of Euskaltel's cars in 2013. While he's been out of the game, so to speak, for a few years now, Guerrero will of course not be unfamiliar to those of you who have followed Spanish cycling for the last ten years.

Guerrero was the man behind the professional Kaiku team in the mid 00s, directing a team consisting of the likes of Juan José Oroz, Pablo Urtasun, Dionisio Galparsoro, Jorge Azanza, Jon Bru, Ricardo Serrano, Alberto Losada and Adrián Palomares, to name but a few. Later he went on to work with the short-lived Fuerteventura outfit (where he coached former Euskaltel riders Mikel Artetxe and Iker Flores), before he embarked on his, up until now, final directeur sportif job at Contentpolis-Ampo. At Contentpolis he oversaw Gorka Izagirre's first season among the pros, while also working with Dioni Galparsoro once again.

Before working with the pros, though, Guerreo spent time with Caja Rural's amateur outfit around the turn of the century, getting to see Egoi Martínez and Gorka Verdugo lay the foundations for their respective successful careers. As such, Guerreo won't be a new face to the majority of the Euskaltel riders, and it's hoped he can bring what made him so successful at his previous teams to the "new" Euskaltel of next year and beyond.

While Guerrero hasn't trained the very elite of cyclists at his comparatively modest previous teams, he has always enjoyed a reputation of being somewhat of a father to his charges, emphasizing unity, fostering team-work and always keeping a keen eye on the young hopefuls on the cycling scene. Speaking at the Tour this year, Egoi Martínez labelled Guerrero as "the best sports director I know of" along with Gorka Gerrikagoitia.



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