Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1994-2013 #euskaltelteam

Fine, cycling teams come and go. But Euskaltel-Euskadi was a unique and glorious one, and it deserves every bit of homage it can get. So here, and in gratitude for damn near twenty years of excitement, being a major factor in my falling in love with the sport, and having the most smashing fans in fandom, a quick summary of we love Euskaltel-Euskadi's greatest hits:

Grand Tours: small budgets, big hearts, bangin' results. For all the (well-earned) hype about Iban Mayo and Haimar Zubeldia, the top finishes actually all go to 2008 Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sanchez: a third in the 2010 Tour, a third and a second in recent Vueltas. And did I mention (this week) Samu's been Tour de France King o' the Mountains? Woo-hoo!

Stage Races: 1st (Samu) and 2nd (Iban) at Tour of the Basque Country. First *twice* (Iban, Landaluze) at Dauphine-Libere. And 1st at the Tour de Suisse (Aitor Gonzalez). Not too shabby!

Stage Wins: okay, forget the 80 gazillion stages in the tours of Asturias, the Basque Country, Burgos, and Romandie--in Grand Tours alone, they've racked up 17 victories since 1999, starting with Roberto Laiseka's wins in the Tour de France and Vuelta right through Ion Izagirre's 2012 stage win in the Giro d'Italia. Eat *that*--aw, you know who you are!

Scandals: shut up! who gives! bite me! far less than most squads, so stuff it!

Lastly, The (Clearly Heartbroken) Tribute:

Thank you Euskaltel--I doff my bitchin' orange team cap to you and all your riders and staff past and present for many years of great cycling!

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

Hard to watch it through the tears.

I feel a bit like the flamenco dancer at +1:30 in this Vuelta video. http://youtu.be/wa9o05o7GoU