Euskaltel Euskadi held a press conference this morning in which they revealed the future of the team. More news may come out as I’m not even sure they’ve finished the thing yet, but Biciciclismo has the main points thus far.
- They state the need to adapt to the current demands of elite cycling
- They will become the Basque Pro Cycling Team, owned by Euskaltel SA
- The budget will be around 9 million Euros
- Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano is the Director General and General Manager of the cycling team
- The Basque backbone remains with Samuel Sanchez (ok, he’s not Basque but you know what I mean), Igor Anton, Ion Izagirre and Mikel Landa. A previous article quoted at the bottom of the one linked above also states that Gorka Izagirre, Pello Bilbao, Mikel Astarloza and Mikel Nieve have renewed with the team.
- They have funding for at least three years
- The team will consist of 28 riders with ‘seven or eight’ (according to Gonzalez de Galdeano) coming from outside the Basque lands. Carlos Barredo and Dani Navarro are mentioned; both are Asturian and the Basque group has a stated aim to strengthen business ties with Asturias.
For most Basque fans, and honourary ones like me, maintaining the all-Basque policy would have been the ideal but I fully understand that in order to stay in the top flight a certain level of adaptation is needed. As long as the team retains a Basque identity and focus, which it appears that it will, the Basque fans will still turn out in their droves. Albertina will certainly be among them! But will they stay orange?! This is the question….
(photo is mine)