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Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) can hardly believe he's won.
Sanchez and Anton to share lead in Tour of the Basque Country
Mikel Nieve will lead Euskaltel-Euskadi in the Giro d'Italia in May, while Samuel Sanchez and Igor Anton will share captain duties in the Tour of the Basque Country next month. Nine riders are still competing for eight spots in the latter race.
Nieve finished tenth in both the Giro and the Vuelta a Espana last year. His one victory of last season came during the Italian Grand Tour when he won the queen stage of the 2011 Giro.
Nieve will lead Amets Txurruka, Iván Velasco, Miguel Mínguez, Juan Jose Oroz, Jon Izagirre, Víctor Cabedo, Pierre Cazaux and Adrián Sáez de Arregi at this year's Giro which starts in Herning, Denmark, on May 5.
Sanchez and Anton will lead six of the following seven riders in the Basque Country: Mikel Astarloza, Gorka Izagirre, Jorge Azanza, Egoi Martinez, Gorka Verdugo, Juan Jose Oroz and Romain Sicard.
In other races Sanchez will lead the team in the Volta a Catalunya, while Anton and Astarloza will ride the Criterium International.
The team's future is in jeopardy, however. The Basque government's Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism has said that certain changes must be made to the team's jersey. If these changes are not made to coincide with the Tour of the Basque Country, the sponsorship contract “will be terminated without the right to any compensation."