Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Report: Lobato, Mestre and Serebryakov to Euskaltel

The never-ending rumour mill that is Euskaltel's dealings in the transfer market keeps on turning. A host of riders, ranging from José Rujano to Robert Vrecer, have been linked to the team in the last few months, and today, a trustworthy source has it that the team have obtained the services of three non-Basque riders.

Cycling scribe Benito Urraburu at San Sebastián-based daily El Diario Vasco says the signings of Spanish sprinter Juan José Lobato, Russian speedster Alexandre Serebryakov and Portuguese all-rounder Ricardo Mestre are more or less done deals. While the same was said of the likes of Marek Rutkiewicz, André Schulze, Linus Gerdemann, Carlos Barredo, Jure Kocjan, José Rujano, Robert Vrecer et al., I would argue that there's considerable more reason to believe señor Urraburu than various other cycling websites who have gotten it wrong in the past.

According to the Basque newspaper, the trio would add 300 "sporting merit"-points to Euskaltel's current tally of 381 - and thus greatly improve the team's chances of finishing top 15 in the UCI's too-hard-to-grasp rankings at the end of the season. Whether that would be enough, though, is another matter entirely.

29-year-old Ricardo Mestre has of course been linked to the team in the past. The Carmin-Prio rider has taken out the Trofeo Joaquim Agostinho the last couple of years, not to mention a stage and the overall of last year's Volta ao Portugal. Check out his profile here.

23-year-old Juanjo Lobato, riding for home team Andalucía-Caja Granada, has not been linked to the team earlier (as far as I know anyway), and has two stages of the Vuelta a Chile and one at the Tour of Qinghai Lake to his name this year. The speed merchant, who last year triumphed in the Circuito de Getxo, would be a considerable addition alongside Jon Aberasturi to the team's sprinting department. Check out his profile here.

24-year-old emerging sprinter Alexandre Serebryakov of Team Type 1 would also add depth to Euskaltel's sprint train (that must be the first time anyone put 'Euskaltel' and 'sprint train' in the same sentence, and for good reason). The Russian has added a number of wins in lesser races to his palmarès this season. Check out his profile here.

And, of course, don't forget to voice your opinion on these new "signings" in the comment section. What do you make of them?


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