Monday, October 22, 2012

"This is the best motor for Basque cycling"

Clearly intent on defending his much-criticized new philosophy, or lack thereof perhaps, Igor González de Galdeano put on a brave defence for the way Euskaltel Euskadi are headed on a press conference today. As well as saying that the foreign signings were vital for the team to remain competitive, he said the "new Euskaltel" is the best way to promote cycling in the Euskal Herria.

"We've all been through the fight of getting into the WorldTour before", he said, according to BiciCiclismo. "That has made me think that it'll be increasingly difficult to be a part of this league if we can't improve and perform at a higher level - and to deserve it, not based on the value. We have to be there. And there's no use wasting time criticizing the situation, the team, its decision and the sport's governing bodies.

"The goal was clear from the beginning: to be a Basque team in the best league in the world. Honestly, we think it's the best motor for Basque cycling. To be competitive at the top level is what motivates us each day to give more, to strive to improve, to be role models. We don't think getting too comfortable and complacent is the right way to go if you want to be at the top in any way of life. Out of respect for our own history and our sponsors, we want to be a project of a leading country", he stated.

If you want to hear it on audio and watch a few photos from the rueda de prensa, click this link provided by BiciCiclismo. 

With many seeing the hiring of non-Basques, not to mention the Fundación Euskadi's sub-23 outfit Naturgas Energía's increasing reliance on riders from outside País Vasco, as a serious threat to the regional youth scene, Galdeano wants to see a strengthening of the work in the cantera.

"It's important that we're able to make internal reflections, be self-critical and to build, without a break", he said. "If we want to be in the WorldTour we need to work with the base (...). We have to work together, help and encourage cycling at the grassroots level. We make public this commitment, just as we have done the last two decades. But we all have to pull in the same direction. It's a grassroots sport that has been the referring point not only in Spain, but also worldwide. This is the secret. Without this work, our project will encounter tougher and tougher times. To be critical and to build - that's the only way that this team, in a short space of time, can be back at the elite level again with only Basques. I'm committed to that, we all are".

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