Telefónica has presented today the squad they will bring to the Vuelta al País Vasco, starting on Monday. The event counted on the presence by the squad’s general manager, Eusebio Unzué, and two from the Basque riders of the group, Beñat Intxausti and David López.
Both will be making part of the 8-man roster Movistar Team will take to the depart of the prestigious Basque race -the eight stop on the World Tour calendar-, completed by David Arroyo -2nd overall in the last edition of the Giro d’Italia-, Xavi Tondo -6th in the Vuelta a España-, Ángel Madrazo, Chente Garcia Acosta, Italy’s Marzio Bruseghin -2nd in the 2008 Giro- and Belarusian Vasil Kiryienka, 2nd placed in the Critérium International held in Corsica last weekend.
Intxausti, runner-up in the 2010 Vuelta al País Vasco, showed optimist towards the chances by Movistar Team to do well in the race: “I think we have a really balanced group. Obviously it’s a race with a very notable competitive level, but I’m sure we will be contesting it. Repeating the podium of last season will be hard, because last month I went through a flu that interrupted by preparation and I’m feeling a bit low on form, but I’m mentally OK and the support I’ll receive from the fans will give me a boost of energy I might lack.” In turn, López confessed to feel confident before the race at home: “The squad is doing well and I’m feeling strong myself. There are some favourites that might count more for the gamblers than our team, but that might do well for us because we’ll be less vigilated and the routes in the Vuelta are keen for surprises.”
Movistar Team general manager Eusebio Unzué underlined the importance of the race for the team: “This is a key race in our calendar. It will be more special than ever this time because it will be the first time we ride on Movistar kits in the Basque Country. This is a competitiion we really like due to the support by their enthusiast fans and also the beautiful routes. We may not have a strong leader, a race favourites, but we are presenting a strong, compect group that will fight with all their force to bring some spectacle to all our followers, who are strongly supporting us since the very beginning.”
Gran Premio Miguel Indurain scheduled on Saturday
On the other hand, the presence by Movistar Team in the Vuelta al País Vasco will be anticipated by the participation by the telephone squad in the 13th GP Miguel Indurain (1.HC), over 178 kilometers around the town of Estella whose finish atop the Basílica de Santa María del Puy will be challenging and spectacular. The only race for the riders in blue on Navarran soil will be covered with almost the same to team that will start in País Vasco, 48 hours later: David López, the only absent, will leave room for Pablo Lastras, Javier Iriarte and Enrique Sanz to complete a strong ten-man group across the eight climbs of the race.