By Monika Prell
The riders of Orbea-Laukiz F.T. and Euskaltel-Euskadi will make first contact with their new team-mates in two training sessions in Derio (Bizkaia), Spain.
This meeting is particularly important for Orbea as almost all riders from 2007 have either joined other teams or advanced to the ProTour Euskaltel team; only David Martín Velasco, Iván Melero Coco and Igor Romero Etxebarria renewed their contracts. Newcomers in the team led by Álvaro González de Galdeano are Jonathan Castroviejo, Mikel Nieve, Sergio de Lis, Miguel Minguez, Daniel Sesma, Aitor Olano and Eriz Ruiz de Erentxun.
The Orbea team will meet today in Derio, where they will undergo a medical examination, a lunch for the entire team and a short training run in the afternoon. The professionals of Euskaltel will meet from November 26 to 29 in Derio. This first meeting will serve to coordinate the schedules for the 26 riders of the ProTour formation. Team leader Miguel Madariaga has planned different training sessions, discussions, medial examinations and media encounters.
The 26 riders that will wear the orange jersey in 2008 are Beñat Albizuri, Josu Agirre Aseginolaza, Igor Antón, Lander Aperribai, Javier Aramendia Lorente, Mikel Astarloza, Jorge Azanza, Jon Bru, Koldo Fernández, Aitor Galdos, Dionisio Galparsoro, Aitor Hernández, Markel Irizar, Iñaki Flores, Andoni Lafuente, Iñigo Landaluze, Antton Luengo, Egoi Martínez, Juan José Oroz, Alan Pérez, Rubén Pérez, Samuel Sánchez, Amets Txurruka, Iban Velasco Murillo, Gorka Verdugo and Haimar Zubeldia.