By Martin Hardie in Hondarribia
The forces of the weather in the form of a snowed-in Basque Country saw the Fundacion Ciclista Euskadi presentation delayed a week, but it finally got under way on February 1 in the seaside border town of Hondarribia, nestled on a bay with France across the other side. The presentation took place in Hondarribia's Poli-Deportivo centre, a bit down market after last year's bash at the World Heritage listed Palacio Euskladuna. It is a community indoor and outdoor sports facility, with bars, a restaurant, auditorium-cum-basketball court and more, soccer fields and even an indoor swimming pool.
It was packed with the locals on this wet, gray Tuesday evening, with families sitting in the bar above the pool watching others doing their laps below. Mixed with them tonight were Euskadi foundation club members, the team and staff, ordinary fans, the Orbea and Etxeondo gangs, along with a veritable who's who of Basque cycling: new Orbea continental team director and ex-Kelme and Banesto pro, Jon Odriozola; five time Tour winner Miguel Indurain; and the whole Euskaltel family including a complete Iturriaga clan featuring a glamorously outfitted Eneritz Iturriaga.