Euskalnews

by Daniel

Few tidbits relating to Basque team Euskaltel-Euskadi today. Remembering Victor Cabedo, and an open letter from former Euskaltel riders.
First of all, something I should’ve posted a few days ago. 23-year old neo-pro Victor Cabedo died last Wednesday while out training after a collision with a car. The promising youngster had only signed for Euskaltel-Euskadi this year, and had finished his first Grand Tour this season, coming in a respectable 129th position in the Giro.

While not hailing from the Basque Country (he was born in the province of Castellon, on Spain’s east coast), he had risen up through the ranks of the Basque cycling structure. He rode first as an amateur for Seguros Bilbao, before moving to Orbea Continental last season. It was there where he took his first, and sadly only, professional victory – winning from the break in a rain-soaked stage at the Vuelta a Asturias.

Shortly before, he placed fifth in the one-day race Klasika Primavera, and was tenth and eighth at the Spanish national championships (time trial and road race respectively). He was regarded as a big talent for the future by many and will be sadly missed in the cycling world.

His team wrote an open letter, which can be seen here. A quote, “We who knew you will remember you as a young man who was passionate about cycling and who had the desire to keep improving. We all embrace you.”

Now, onto an open letter of a different kind. On Friday, Biciciclismo published a letter from seven former Euskaltel riders directed at their old team. The group was made up of:
Iker Camaño (Endura Racing)
Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar)
Koldo Fernández (Garmin-Sharp)
Beñat Intxausti (Movistar)
Markel Irizar (Radioshack-Nissa)
David López (Movistar)
Haimar Zubeldia (Radioshack-Nissan)

In the letter, the seven riders express regret at the way the team has changed as it searches for UCI points needed to retain its WorldTour status. They talk of the “drift the team has taken since it has fallen into the hands of new management”, citing the recent news that the contracts of Amets Txurruka and Iván Velasco as “the straw that broke the camel of our silence”.

The riders talk of how new manager Igor González de Galdeano (returning after stepping down at the end of last year) has delivered a “low-blow” to the values and spirit of the Euskaltel project by letting the two riders go, and that he will be taking the team in the wrong direction now that Miguel Madariaga is stepping down.

In addition to doing away with these two popular riders, Slovakians Jure Kocjan and Robert Vrecer have been linked with the team of late. The idea of foreigners signing for the team has been mooted for a good few months now, but will destroy the meaning of the team at the top of the pyramid of Basque cycling.

The rumours are odd, as the two riders they’ve been linked with have less points than several Basque riders at other teams, as the ever dependable ivanmayoblog points out. The article also points out that, by signing foreigners, the team will lose Euskaltel’s strongest value when applying for a place in the WorldTour.

The riders end their letter with a note about Victor Cabedo, pledging support to his family and friends in these hard times.

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