2011 UCI status: ProTeam
Sponsor: Basque telecoms and regional development agency
Team Nationality: Spain
General Manager: Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano
Directeurs sportifs: Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano, Gorka Gerrikagoitia, Josu Larrazabal
High hopes and regional pride
The Basque team, drawn exclusively from the region’s riders, will be relieved to have retained Samuel Sanchez, who almost joined Movistar in the off-season. Like seasons past, the Olympic champion is focusing on the Tour de France and will have a light schedule before it. Given the mountainous parcours he could emerge as a serious threat to Andy Schleck and Ivan Basso.
Igor Anton, who wore the leader’s red jersey at the 2010 Vuelta until he crashed out, is down as team leader at the Giro d’Italia, so expect to see him building form in his home race, the Tour of the Basque Country in April. Former U23 champion, Romain Sicard, was put on a diverse race programme in 2010 to explore his capabilities but will probably focus on the Vuelta a España in 2011. This could well be a breakthrough year for the French Basque.
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