The Spanish One-day races of Clásica de San Sebastián and Subida Urkiola coming on the heels of the Tour de France will field strong teams from Euskaltel-Euskadi, Caisse d'Epargne and Lampre-Fondital. The Spanish Classics, August 4 and 5, are based in the Basque Country and will favour the climbers with a punch.
For San Sebastián Caisse d'Epargne will send Spanish TT Champ Iván Gutiérrez and Alejandro Valverde, both fresh from their Tour participation, along with Joan Horrach, Pablo Lastras, David López García, Aitor Pérez, Joaquím Rodríguez and José Joaquín Rojas.
The following day in Durango, 2005 Subida Urkiola winner Rodríguez will lead Joan Horrach, Pablo Lastras, David López García, Alberto Losada, Aitor Pérez, Mathieu Perget, Rubén Plaza, Sébastien Portal and Constantino Zaballa.
Euskaltel-Euskadi, essentially the home-team, will look for Tour redemption in the grand Basque cities. Although the team has not yet released its full roster, it is expected to lead with Haimar Zubeldia, Mikel Astarloza and Samuel Sánchez with Iñigo Landaluze, Dionisio Galparsoro, Jon Bru, Rubén Pérez and Gorka Verdugo playing supporting roles.
It will use Subida Urkiola to showcase some of its younger talents. Amets Txurruka and Igor Antón will lead a team that is still to be announced.
Italian formation Lampre-Fondital will head to Clásica San Sebastián with Alessandro Ballan, Fabio Baldato, Paolo Bossoni, Marzio Bruseghin, Damiano Cunego, Marco Marzano, Paolo Tiralongo and Patxi Vila.
"In the team there will be riders from Tour de France and others that took part in Brixia Tour," Directeur Sportif Fabrizio Bontempi explained. "San Sebastián is a kind of race that could end with a sprint of 30 to 40 riders, and in this case we have good chances with fast athletes such as Ballan and Baldato.
"If there will be a tougher race, Bruseghin and Vila could realize a good performance using the condition obtained in Tour de France. For Cunego it will be a good opportunity in order to improve his fitness."
The team has yet to announce its Subida Urkiola line-up.