Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The race for first win intensifies

SP Tableware rider Víctor de la Parte remains the only Basque to have won a professional bike race this season - and that was the 2.2-ranked Tour de Argelia, hardly the biggest race in the world.

With the Vuelta al País Vasco around the corner, though, most anticipate Euskaltel, the only remaining WorldTour team without a win to its name in 2013, to break their duck sooner rather than later. They'll even have quite a few chances before that: this weekend, the orange team will line up in the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain on Saturday and the Vuelta a la Rioja the following day.

For the former, run on the roads of 'Big Mig' in Navarra, the following nine riders will aim to do what Samuel Sánchez did in 2011 and get the team's victory count up and running:

GP Indurain line-up: Igor Antón, Mikel Nieve, Ion Izagirre, Gorka Izagirre, Mikel Landa, Mikel Astarloza, Gorka Verdugo, Pablo Urtasun and Jorge Azanza.

On Sunday in Rioja, a race now run as a single-day event, eight riders will line up in the hope of becoming the first Euskaltel rider to ever triumph at the event:

Vuelta a la Rioja line-up: Mikel Nieve, Miguel Mínguez, Juan José Lobato, Garikoitz Bravo, Mikel Astarloza, Gorka Verdugo, Jorge Azanza and Pablo Urtasun. 

While Igor González de Galdeano will bring his a-team to the Vuelta al País Vasco the very next day, on April Fool's Day, he'll also be sending a ten-man contingent to the 59th edition of the Klasika Primavera de Amorebieta the following Sunday (April 7.).

Klasika Primavera line-up: Igor Antón, Mikel Nieve, Pablo Urtasun, Mikel Astarloza, Gorka Verdugo, Robert Vrecer, Miguel Mínguez, Jorge Azanza, Juan José Lobato and Garikoitz Bravo.

Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi

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