Saturday, June 20, 2009

Euskaltel's '09 Tour's Team

This article about Euskaltel Euskadi's line up for this year's edition of the Tour de France was published at VeloNews:

Euskaltel names Tour team

Euskaltel-Euskadi will be hoping for big performances at the Tour de France following relatively lackluster spring campaign.

The Basque Country-based Euskaltel team will ride this year without the services of consistent top-10 threat Haimar Zubeldia (who’s already punched himself a ticket back to the Tour with Astana), so the team will look to Igor Antón and Mikel Astarloza to fill the void.

Astarloza has already finished in the top-10 and rode well to a top-5 finish at the Dauphiné Libéré. He’s a steady climber who always seems to be there in the key moments.

Antón will likely forget about the GC and instead focus on trying to win a mountain stage, ideally at Arcalis, when tens of thousands of orange-clad Basque fans will be clogging the roads in the Pyrénées.

Also skipping the Tour this year is Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez, who wants to focus on winning the Vuelta a España and the world championships in the second half of the season.

Koldo Fernández will try his luck in the sprints while Egoi Martínez and Amets Txurruka, winner of the most aggressive prize in 2007, will be on the attack.

Euskaltel-Euskadi for Tour de France

* Igor Antón
* Mikel Astarloza
* Koldo Fernández
* Egoi Martínez
* Juanio Oroz
* Alan Pérez
* Rubén Pérez
* Amets Txurruka
* Gorka Verdugo

Best of lucks to all of them, we will miss Zubeldia.

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