Thursday, October 11, 2012

Euskaltel line up for season finale

France will again play host to Euskaltel's final season outing this year, with Sunday's Tour de Vendée being the last competitive race for 'the carrots'.

The French one-day cup race will be the last chance to see Euskaltel in competition as he have come to know it ever since the team's inception back in 1994. Hoping to claim what would be a perfect ending to the outfit's unique "Basque-only"-era, will be the following seven riders according to the team's website:
  • Mikel Astarloza
  • Pierre Cazaux
  • Ricardo García
  • Rubén Pérez
  • Adrián Sáez
  • Romain Sicard
  • Pablo Urtasun
As he's competing in the Tour of Beijing as we speak, last year's runner-up, young Peio Bilbao, will not be on the start line. Euskaltel's main cards to play will thus be the speedy Pablo Urtasun and Rubén Pérez, while the likes of Pierre Cazaux and Romain Sicard might also figure in the closing kilometres.

The team has, perhaps surprisingly some would say, a relatively rich history in the 205km race: Erstwhile Euskaltel sprinter Koldo Fernández tasted triumph at Vendée both in 2008 and 2010, while Bilbao, as mentioned above, finished second to Marco Marcato in last year's edition.

Mikel Gaztañaga, another former Basque sprinter, took back-to-back wins in 2006 and 2007 in the colours of Atom and Agritubel respectively, but, despite his successes, the Itsasondo-born rider never got to don the orange of his home team. Neither did Alberto Leanizbarrutia, the victor in 1988, who went on to enjoy a solid career at ONCE.

Anyhow, if you feel like taking a look at the race's roll of honour, parcours or the participating teams and riders, click this link.

Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi

1 comment:

Josh Buehner said...

Better tune it, this is the last time we get to watch Euskaltel Euskadi as we know it!


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