Monday, September 02, 2013

Euskaltel Saved?! SortaKindaNotReallyMaybeButI'llTakeAnythingICanGetAtThisPoint

Aupa...Whoever You're Gonna Be!: Yes, our dear Euskaltel-Euskadi's ProTour license has been bought out by ridiculously wealthy Formula 1 auto racer/Samu' riding pal/Contador close bud Fernando Alonso. And so, our beloved squad's gonna kinda continue in the way that, well, QuickStep became I'm-still-not-calling-it-Omega-Pharma and ONCE became Liberty Seguros became Astana and--hey, you know the sponsorship dance. Except it'll be based in Asturias, not the Basque country, telecom company Euskaltel is out, no other Basque institution will take it on, and it'll be built up into a whole new squad. Big (if agonizingly temporary) saving grace--it'll remain basically still our darling little Basque carrots through next year (to the extent this year's stupid points-grabbing strategy didn't already toss Amets and the rest of 'em to other squads like last night's compost-tossed leftovers) and perhaps even a bit into 2015, with anyone having a current contract like Samuel Sanchez, Igor Anton (nice try QuickStep!), Mikel Nieve and the Izagirre brothers stayin' with the squad at least til those run out. So in the end, is this good or bad? Well, he's clearly gonna take it international, so the soul of our unique little squad'll be lost. Alonso's already paying homage to the past, firmly laying out his goals for the future, but imploring the rabid orange army fans to stick with 'im. As a modest reprieve, ex-Euskaltel rider/current DS Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano is expected to stay, and, if we're in any luck, Alonso's not planning to completely gut it yet buy a buncha totally irrelevant whogivesacrapaboutems and stuff the remaining Euskaltel talent into Team Contador domestique uber-servitude til we've had til say 2016 to digest the loss. So here's the new king's site, and the press release. Oh, either way I can't stand it--I'll take what I can get but they'll never truly be who they were--treat those twee little Basque climbers well, Alonso, or you'll *need* a freakin' racecar to outrun those fans!


Jen said...

I think it's cool, a Spanish sports star supporting his own, what better way to spend your millions! Delighted they're getting to keep on going :)Now if only Igor wasn't so Eager.. Samu needs to pull his jersey and not let him attack from quite so far out.. patience Igor, wait for the last couple of km!

racejunkie said...

Let's hope Igor hears you--but just in case, I bet Alonso is taking applications for coaches for next year!