Saturday, March 09, 2013

These guys will aim to defend Chetout's lead

Fundación Euskadi sub-23 team Naturgas Energía will look to defend Loïc Chetout's Torneo Lehendakari lead this weekend as well as squaring up to the big guns in the Copa de España on Sunday.

Chetout's win in Ereño a week ago naturally put him in the overall lead in the race series what with it being the first race of the year, and the red and whites will be looking for similar success on Saturday in Lizartza, Gipuzkoa.

"We'll try to be ahead", DS Ion Lazkano told the foundation's website, adding "and we'll try to win".

To achieve that goal, the team will send the following riders: Loïc Chetout, Noel Gil, Francisco Javier Martín, Oier Sánchez, Alain Santamaría, Alberto Barrón, Eder Sáez de Ocariz, Álvaro Trueba, Pablo Comins, Víctor Etxeberría and Alain González.

The following day, the following septet will defend the team's honour in the Copa de España race in Aiztondo - won by last year by Caja Rural's Basque prodigy Ibai Salas: Loïc Chetout, Noel Gil, Imanol Estévez, Pablo Comins, Francisco Javier Martín, Álvaro Trueba and Víctor Etxeberría.

To prepare for the weekend's double header, the team conducted two group rides earlier this week, covering the roads along the coast of Biscay and the capital of Vitoria-Gasteiz on Thursday and Friday, the team's website reports.

In other Fundación-related news, it was revealed on Thursday that Miguel Madariaga and co. will sponsor the leader's jersey of the junior race set to be staged in the late Víctor Cabedo' honour this May, the I Trofeo Víctor Cabedo. Despite the foundation's economic woes this year, a press release reads, it was Madariaga's strong wish to sponsor the event.

On a distinctly less positive note, Madariaga's mother passed away on Monday. Basque Cycling News would like to extend its sincere condolences to Miguel and his family.

Photo: Iñaki Azanza

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