Wednesday, November 23, 2011


  • According to Miguel Madariaga, the team has brought telephone company Euskaltel an advertising value of approximately 120 million euro so far this year. The team has had the most exposure in Spain, France and the USA, but has also had presence in remote countries like Madagascar, Oman and Angola. The team's budget this year was 6,8 million euro - a far cry from the 27 million pesetas-budget (which corresponds to 160 000 euros) in the team's inaugural season back in 1994.
  • As was revealed yesterday, Euskaltel's 'big three' - Sánchez, Antón and Nieve - will all get their 2012 seasons underway at the Challenge Mallorca. Given that Cadel Evans and the Schlecks are also slated for the race, it'll be an interesting gauge of early-season form.
  • The disappearance of HTC and the merger of the 'Shack and Leopard have left many riders scrambling for a ride for next year. But as GARA pointed out a few days ago, Euskaltel would not have been a part of the UCI's 2012 WorldTour if it hadn't been for those developments. HTC, Leopard and the 'Shack would all have finished higher up than Euskaltel in the rankings and would have put the team outside the all-important top 20 - thus ruling Euskaltel out of contention for one of the three licences granted to teams ranked 15th to 20th.
  • Not sure if Euskaltel's 2011 season betters the legendary 2003? Or for that matter 2010? To put the season into perspective, I've compiled every victory obtained by the team (all 152 of them) into one document. Check out the full list of wins from 1994 to present here or access the overview in the right-hand menu under the 'Euskaltel section'.
  • Former Euskaltel great Haimar Zubeldia will be awarded a record-equalling fifth 'Best Basque in the Tour de France'-award this Friday by the Sociedad Urkamendi de Zirzurkil, el Diario Vasco reports. The prize is handed out annually to the highest-placed Basque rider on GC in the Tour, and the resident of Usurbil will join Indurain and Lejarreta as the only rider to have won the award five times. Euskaltel riders Nieve, Jon and Gorka Izagirre will be present at the celebration.
  • The mythical ramps of the Arrate will, for the first time since 1974, feature in the Vuelta a España. Click here for more info on stages in the Basque Country next year.
  • Euskaltel are apparently counting on support from an unusual source in 2012: the Gods. The team's website reports the team paid a visit to the Basilica of Begoña earlier today, offering the aptly-named parish priest Jesús Francisco de Garitaonandia a signed jersey and a bouquet of flowers. Chapeau!

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