Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano is to step down as manger of Euskaltel-Euskadi at the end of this year, citing personal reasons and the desire to take his career in a new direction. The 37-year-old has been part of the management set-up at the Basque squad since 2006 and stepped up to the role of manager in 2009.
“I need new challenges and that has brought about my decision,” Gonzalez de Galdeano said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. “The six years at the team have provided me with unique professional and personal development. I’m convinced of the ability of the coaches who worked with me to bring this sporting project forward.”
Gonzalez de Galdeano will officially continue in his role until December 31. Euskaltel-Euskadi president Miguel Madariaga was described as “worried” by his departure in a statement issued by the team.
“The only thing I asked of Igor was to stay in his role until the end of this season,” Madariaga said. “The reasons for leaving are Igor’s and it’s up to him to explain them if he thinks it is necessary.”
Gonzalez de Galdeano began his career as a rider with Euskadi in 1995, before switching to Vitalicio Seguros, where he finished 2nd in the 1999 Vuelta a España behind Jan Ullrich. A spell under Manolo Saiz at ONCE followed, where he twice finished 5th in the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey in 2002, but also returned a positive test for salbutamol and missed the 2003 Tour. He retired from racing in 2005 and initially combined his role at Euskaltel-Euskadi with studies at the Basque Institute of Physical Education (IVEF) in Vitoria.