Euskaltel-Euskadi joins forces for a great 2022

The headquarters of the Euskaltel telephone company in Derio (Vizcaya) served to host the official presentation of the 2022 season of the orange formation. The motto was “Indarrak Batuta” (We Join Forces). It was the launch of the Continental Pro team, the Elite and sub-23 team and the women’s squad, belonging to the UCI Women’s Continental Team. The last two will bear the surname of Laboral Kutxa for one more campaign. In fact, all the teams in the structure will already be in the middle of the competition phase starting this weekend.

The UCI Pro Team will be made up of Antonio Angulo, Mikel Aristi, Xabier Mikel Azparren, Ibai Azurmendi, Iker Ballarín, Mikel Bizkarra, Joan Bou, Carlos Canal, Unai Cuadrado, Asier Etxebarria, Peio Goikoetxea, Unai Iribar, Julen Irizar, Xabier Isasa, Mikel Iturria, Txomin Juaristi, Juanjo Lobato, Gotzon Martin, Antonio Soto and Luis Angel Maté. The latter commented that “I am delighted to be here for another year and to be able to wear this jersey. You have to be aware of what these colors represent. It can be said that I am an Andalusian txirrindulari. This is more than a team, it’s a family.”

Jesús Ezkurdia, manager of Euskaltel-Euskadi, justified the absence of the team’s ‘boss’, Mikel Landa, although he also confirmed his desire for the team to continue growing. “The main person in charge of this project is Mikel Landa, but he cannot be here because the UCI has said so, which I do not understand. But we are very proud to have the best sponsors, the best companies and also the best hobby. With those components we can go to the end of the world.”

The Sports Director, Jorge Azanza, pointed out that “what the team is looking for is a warrior identity. Every day of competition is very important and we face them as if they were the last. There are a lot of riders who are making progress day by day and we will continue to do so. We have emblematic races on the calendar such as the Itzulia or the Clásica de San Sebastián, but one of our great hopes is still to be invited to the Vuelta for another year. We work every day to convince the organizations of the big races”.

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The president of Euskaltel, Xabier Iturbe, referred to the “exciting project for yet another year and the great orange tide, the fans. We also hope to defend this jersey in big events like the Vuelta a España. We don’t forget our commitment to the quarry”. The Hafesa Group, Orbea and Etxeondo also accompany the orange family. “The Euskaltel company without the cycling team would be difficult to understand. The values ​​of the team coincide with those of this company. This is our main ambassador in the world”, added Iturbe.

Ander Olariaga is Orbea’s Marketing Director and spoke about this year’s bike. “The Orca Hero has brought out the best in us. With the passion that we put into it, the future of this project is guaranteed”, he commented. Representing Etxeondo, Patxi Rodrigo, the company’s manager, appeared. “When we presented the jersey in December we already said that the idea was to give it freshness. We all have to feel part of this philosophy and we have included colors that represent the meadows, the mountains or the sea, the hallmarks of our land. The materials, moreover, are getting better and better thanks to the innovations on the market”, said the manager.

The Elite and Sub-23 category amateur team will have the presence by Aitor Aguirre, Nicolás Alustiza, Xabier Berasategui, Daniel Casais, Asier Castilla, Iván Gómez, Jon Arakama, Iñigo González de Heredia (son of the former professional), Unai Hierro, Xabier Intxausti, Ander López, Sergio Lorenzo, Iker Mintegi, Iñaki Murua, Maxime Renaux (French from Bayonne), Ibai Ruiz de Arkaute, Unai Zubeldia and Enekoitz Azparren.

The women’s team UCI Women’s Continental Team will have in its ranks Mireia Arriazu, Irantzu Beloki, Yurani Blanco, Elena Cuenca, Idoia Eraso, Garazi Estebez, Olatz Gabilondo, Xubane Garai, Ariana Gilabert, Sandra Gutiérrez, Amaia Lartitegi, Usoa Ostolaza and Tania Calvo, who has just won two medals gold in the Spanish track cycling championships in Mallorca, in Omnium at the individual level and in Madison with Naia Amondarain representing the Basque team. Ion Lazkano will coordinate the two sets of Laboral Kutxa.

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