Results key for Basque squad in 2012
Euskaltel-Euskadi will be heading to the Tour Down Under with three of their new recruits in tow - Ricardo García, Victor Cabedo and Adrián Sáez de Arregui all joining previously from the Orbea Continental team – bound for the opening UCI WorldTour event in January.
The coming season looms as a very important one for the Basque squad, with sponsor Euskaltel due to end its arrangement with the team at the end of 2012 so results are a higher priority than ever.
"We know Romain Sicard, Gorka Izagirre, Pablo Urtasun and Ruben Perez have abandoned the bad weather in Northern Spain to optimise their training by moving to the Costa Blanca to train," explained Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur. "This is with the objective of starting the 2012 season in good form, so it will be interesting to see what impact this has."
Among those keen to get the season underway in the right fashion will be former under 23 road world champion and Tour de l'Avenir winner Sicard with troublesome leg weakness keeping him away from racing for most of the season. Sicard made his debut for Euskaltel-Euskadi at the 2011 Tour Down Under.
The team's best overall finisher in 2011 at the Adelaide event, Izagirre (12th), will be keen to improve in his second showing and Turtur tips the 24-year-old as "one to watch."
The Euskaltel-Euskadi team for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under: Romain Sicard, Gorka Izagirre, Victor Cabedo, Pablo Urtasun, Ruben Perez, Adrián Sáez de Arregui and Ricardo Garcia.