Basque team comes to a close after 22 years of racing professionally
The Spanish Continental team Euskadi will line up at the Vuelta a Burgos this week for what will be the last stage race in its 22 year history.
The team is yet to confirm whether it will compete at the UCI 1.2 Grand Prix des Marbriers later this month in France and the Spanish event appears likely to mark its departure from the peloton. The Vuelta a Burgos will allow the team the opportunity to wave farewell to its fans on home soil and thank them for their support.
After the WorldTour Euskaltel Euskadi team disbanded at the end of the 2013 having been unable to secure sponsorship for 2014, team manager Miguel Madariaga set up and ran the squad at Continental level this year as a completely different entity to the WorldTour team.
The team won't be folding completely in 2015 but will instead focus on training amateurs and will no longer offer the opportunity of competing professionally.
Euskadi has competed in the Vuelta a Burgos since its inception in 1994 and its 20th appearance at the race will bring to an end a project that saw the Basque team compete in 20 countries on four different continents.
In its existence, Euskadi granted 73 Basque cyclists the the opportunity to race professionally and claimed 181 victories including grand tour stage wins and several overall podium places in the three-week races as well.
In 2014, Carlos Barbero is the only rider on the team to have claimed a victory although at the Tour de Gironde, Euskadi won the team time trial.
The 23-year-old Barbero won the overall classification at the Volta ao Alentejo/Crédito Agricola Costa Azul in March and recently won the most recent race he competed in, the Circuito de Getxo.
The eight riders who will represent the team for one final time will be looking to impress and draw attention to their characteristic from other teams so that they can continue their professional careers in 2015 and beyond.
Euskadi for the Vuelta a Burgos: Carlos Barbero, Victor Etxebarria, Mikel Iturria, Jon Larrinaga, Pablo Lechuga, Miguel Minguez, Beñat Txoperena and Illart last Zuazubiskar.
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