Thursday, October 18, 2012

Orbea reflect on winless season

Despite coming off a season bereft of triumphs, facing down-sizing next year and losing its most prized asset to a rival team, Orbea Continental head Aritz Arberas finds plenty of positives in the season that recently came to a close over in France at the Tour du Gevaudan. The team's Tour of Portugal performance, the now-departed Omar Fraile's overall season, Haritz Orbe's Tour de l'Avenir participation and the promise shown in glimpses by speedy all-rounder Carlos Barbero stand out as the most obvious high points of 2012. Former rider Arberas seems to agree.

"Carlos Barbero took part in the European Championships, Omar Fraile finished 16th in the Volta a Portugal and rode the World Championships time trial. What's more, Illart Zuazubiskar was Euskadi sub-23 track champion and medalled at the national champs", he said at

"We wanted to get a win in this second part of the season, but we weren't able to. However, we've shown that, despite being young, we've been able to be in the fight for the win ten times and been disputing races 'till the very last moment seven times. That's noteworthy. What's more, physically they're better (after the second part of the year). They're more ambitious, we've fought, we've been close to the win and, therefore, we have to be more than pleased with the season as a whole. For example, in Portugal we were among the ten best on mountain stages, and Carlos Barbero was second and fifth on stages in the Gran Premio Torred Vedras."

Looking to the future, Arberas highlighted the need for "better positioning, work more as a team, do better as a unit and intensify the work of formation, one of the founding objectives of the team".

As mentioned briefly above and at length in other posts over the last week, 22-year-old prodigy Omar Fraile has left the team for pastures greener, literally, over at Caja Rural. Xabier Zabalo, Aritz Etxebarria and Andoni Blázquez will all leave the team, reportedly because of their age. The latter has decided to end his career, while there's been little info on the other two.

Jon Aberasturi will, as you'll know by now, 'graduate' to Euskaltel, while Naturgas Energía's Jon Larrinaga and Debabarrena's Mikel Aristi will join the blue squad. As the team is still holding out hope of attracting more sponsors, no limit is set on the number of riders for next year as of yet.

Arberas goes on to briefly comment on each rider's respective performances throughout the year, but as they're written in Basque they don't make much sense to me - and Google Translate certainly doesn't offer much help. If you feel like taking a crack at it, click this link.

Photo: El Pedal de Frodo


Holden Caulfield said...

I got a few minutes while having breakfast, so for anybody who's really interested in knowing what they were saying in basque, here you have a quick translation:

Jon Aberasturi: he’ll ride for Euskaltel-Euskadi next year. He is quick but he still needs to improve.
Harizt Orbe: he took part in the Tour de L’Avenir but he wasn’t lucky at all. He crashed two times, but this brave rider from Gernika kept struggling till the end of the race.
Carlos Barbero: he is quick and ambitious. He is young but he learns very quick.
Illar Zuazubiskar: a great team-worker. He can improve a lot in time trials.
Igor Merino: he opened the season very well but he went through sickness and he couldn’t progress on his performance.
Omar Fraile: in the last few races he has shown a great attitude, a very important attitude.
Aritz Bagües: He has shown a great progress, slow but always improving. He is a fighter, very brave.
Mikel Bizkarra: He has completed great performances in the steepest stages and he’s been always with the best riders in these stages.
Xabier Zabalo: after last year’s dangerous crash, it’s been very difficult for him to get to his best shape. In the Volta a Portugal, he has shown up many times, taking breakaways. He won’t keep in the team next year because he has gone beyond age limit.
Aritz Etxebarria: strong, solid. He has done a great job with breakaways and team-work. He won’t be in the team next year because he has exceeded age limit.
Andoni Blázquez: Because of his suffering many crashes and problems, he couldn’t show his real value. He won the climbers final classification in the Tour of Gironde. He won’t be on the team next year because he has exceeded age limit.

Magnus said...

Thanks a lot, much appreciated!

Magnus said...

Weird comment about Fraile's attitude though...

Holden Caulfield said...

It is not attitude in fact what they said, it's kind of "character" or "personality". My bad, but, in any case, it still sounds weird. Too short and too flimsy, I don't know

Josh Buehner said...

Eskerrik asko!


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