Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Euskaltel stars turn out for Ruta del Sol

Euskaltel will field some of its biggest-named riders at the Vuelta a Andalucía later this month.

The four-day event, affectionately known as the Ruta del Sol, will take place from February 17-20, and will see some of the world's best riders on show. Keen to get a result for themselves, Euskaltel have decided to send the follow septet:
  • Antón, Igor
  • Izagirre, Ion
  • Landa, Mikel
  • Lobato, Juan José
  • Nieve, Mikel
  • Tamouridis, Ioannis
  • Verdugo, Gorka
It's now surprise to see Lobato included in the line-up giving he's born in Trebujena, the host city of the second stage.

The race will also see a few other Basque pros in attendance, namely Juanma Garate of Rabobank, former Euskaltel stalwart Iker Camaño (now of NetApp-Endura) and Imanol Erviti of Movistar. Former Naturgas Energía prodigy Efrén Carazo will also be riding, representing hometown team Burgos BH-Castilla y León. 

Despite its ever-presence on the cycling calendar, Euskaltel have only tasted triumph at the Vuelta a Andalucía once: in 2001, when Mikel Artetxe (now working alongside former team-mate David Etxebarria at Cafés Baqué) took one of his five wins while with the team on stage five, besting Félix Manuel García and Dave Bruylandts in Granada. 

Several Basque riders have won the event though, those being Markel Irizar (RadioShack) in 2011, Julián Gorospe in 1993 and 1984 (with Banesto and Reynolds respectively), Alan Pérez's nephew Roberto Lezaun (Banesto) in 1991, Ramóm Mendiburu (Fagor) in 1967, Jesús Aranzabal (Fagor) in 1966, Antón Barrutia (KAS-Kaskol) in 1963, José Antonio Momene (KAS) in 1962 and Hortencio Vidaurreta (Real Union-Palmera) in 1957.

This year's course:
  • 17. February: Prologue - San Fernándo, 6 kilometres
  • 18. February: Stage 1 - San Fernándo - Ubrique, 163,9 kilometres
  • 19. February: Stage 2 - Trebujena - Montilla, 190,7 kilometres
  • 20. February: Stage 3 - Lucena - Rincón de la Victoria, 182,7 kilometres.

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