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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

 UCI codes explained

18th Euskal Bizikleta - 2.HC

Spain, June 6-8, 2008

2007 results     Stage List     Preview    Start List     Past winners

The Stages

  • Stage 1 - June 6: Bakio - Bakio, 154.5km
  • Stage 2 - June 7: Agurain - Agurain, 162.7km
  • Stage 3 - June 8: Eibar - Arrate (Eibar), 150.7m

Less mountains, no time trial

By Monika Prell

Financial trouble continue to haunt the Euskal Bizikleta and the aim to go back to the five-stage format had to be scrapped. Instead, there will be even one stage less than last year, as the time trial was taken out of the race. There just was no guarantee that many important teams would show up so shortly after the Giro.

Besides the missing fight against the clock, there are also less mountains, but nevertheless, the organisation succeed to create a race that will not only be interesting for the riders, but also amazing to see for the public, as every one of the three stages will be held in one of the three provinces of the Basque country.

The first stage on Friday will cross the province of Bizkaia, with start and finish in the little fisherman's village of Bakio. Riding along the coast, the peloton will pass the first mountain of the race, the Alto de Gaztelugatxe of the third category, three kilometres after the start. In Gernika, they will dispute the first intermediate sprint. Once they have reached the picturesque village of Lekeitio, the riders will affront the second part of the stage, this time inland, on the way back to Bakio. After half of the stage, they will have to climb upon the Bizkaiko Begiratokia, the "Balcony of Bizkaia," a mountain from where they could enjoy a great overview over the Basque country, if they were not in such a hurry. After one passage of the finish, the peloton will do another circuit, including again the Alto de Gaztelugatxe (km 127.5) and finally the Alto de Sollube, a first category mountain From there they will affront the last descending 14.8 kilometres to the finish in Bakio.

Stage number two will pass on Saturday in the province of Álava, over 162.7 kilometres from Agurain to Agurain, at 30 kilometres from the Basque capital Vitoria. This stage could finish in a mass sprint, as the two difficulties of the day, the category one Alto de Opakua and the category three Alto de Azatzeta will be passed by the peloton after 8.4 kilometres and 50.3 kilometres. But even if the stage seems to be the easiest one, it will be difficult for the peloton to control it, as the streets are small, sinuous back roads.

The last stage on Sunday is a classical one. It will carry over 150.7 kilometres from Eibar to Arrate, in the province of Gipuzkoa. At the same time, it will be the queen stage of the Euskal Bizikleta, with four mountains, one of the third, one of the second and two of the first category. The first two thirds of the stage will be quite easy, with the Alto de Udana after 32.4 kilometres as the only difficulty. But the last 40 kilometres will surely make the final general classification. A big part of the riders will know the Alto de Ixua (category one) from the Vuelta al País Vasco. This mountain figures also in the Memorial Valenciaga, the most important amateur race in Spain, as well as the next one, the category two Alto de San Miguel. It will await the peloton only 14 kilometres after the Alto de Ixua. The last difficulty will be the Alto de Usartza,where the riders will pass the summit at 2.29 kilometres to go.

The organisers were able to invite the three Spanish ProTour teams Euskaltel-Euskadi, Saunier Duval-Scott and Caisse d'Epargne. Furthermore, the Spanish Pro Continental teams Karpin Galicia, Extremadura, Andalucia Cajasur and Contentpolis Murcia, as well as the foreign ones Acqua e Sapone, Barloworld, Ceramica Flaminia and Tinkoff Credit Systems. The two teams finishing the contingent are the two Spanish Continental teams Orbea Oreka and Burgos Monumental.

The biggest names in this peloton are for sure last year's second placed Daniel Moreno (Caisse d'Epargne) together with his team-mates José Iván Gutiérrez, José Joaquín Rojas and Luis León Sánchez, as well as John Lee Augustyn, Baden Cooke and Moises Dueñas (Barloworld), Euskaltel Euskadi's Igor Antón, Egoi Martínez and Amets Txurruka, the Italian Stefano Garzelli from Acqua e Sapone, Carlos Castaño and Iban Mayoz from Karpin Galicia and the queen stage winner of the Vuelta a Asturias, Tomasz Marczynski (Ceramica Flaminia).

Start list

Caisse d'Epargne                          Euskaltel - Euskadi
1 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa)            11 Antón Igor (Spa)
2 Mathieu Drujon (Fra)                    13 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa)
3 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa)                14 Koldo Fernández De Larrea (Spa)
4 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa)      15 Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa)
5 Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa)         16 Andoni Lafuente (Spa)
6 Daniel Moreno (Spa)                     17 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa)
7 Fabien Patanchon (Fra)                  18 Amets Txurruka (Spa)
8 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa)             
Barloworld                                Saunier Duval - Scott
21 John-Lee Augustyn (RSA)                31 Camaño Iker (Spa)
22 Diego Caccia (Ita)                     32 Raul Alarcon Garcia (Spa)
23 Baden Cooke (Aus)                      33 Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa)
25 Moises Duenas Nevado (Spa)             34 Jesus Del Nero (Spa)
26 Christopher Froome (GBr)               35 Ermanno Capelli (Ita)
27 Daryl Impey (RSA)                      36 Hector Gonzalez Baeza (Spa)
28 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita)             37 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa)
                                          38 Eros Capecchi (Ita)
Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo              Karpin Galicia
41 Stefano Garzelli (Ita)                 52 Delio Fernández Cruz (Spa)
42 Alexander Arekeev (Rus)                53 Alberto Fernandez Sainz (Spa)
43 Massimo Codol (Ita)                    54 García David (Spa)
44 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita)             56 Iban Mayoz (Spa)
46 Diego Milan (Spa)                      57 Ramón Troncoso (Spa)
47 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita)                 58 Eduard Vorganov (Rus)
48 Luca Pierfelici (Ita)                  
Tinkoff Credit Systems                    Extremadura-Ciclismo Solidario
61 Alexander Gottfried (Ger)              71 Xabat Otxotorena (Spa)
62 Daniele Contrini (Ita)                 72 Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa)
63 Nikita Eskov (Rus)                     73 Israel Perez Rodriguez (Spa)
64 Walter Fernando Pedraza (Col)          74 Jesus Ramirez Torres (Spa)
65 Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus)             75 Jaume Rovira Pous (Spa)
66 Ivan Rovny (Rus)                       76 Enrique Salgueiro (Spa)
67 Ricardo Serrano González (Spa)         77 Ignacio Sarabia Diaz (Mex)
68 Yauhen Sobal (Blr)                     78 Francisco Terciado Sacedo (Spa)
Ceramica Flaminia Bossini Doce            Andalucía - Cajasur
81 Antonio d'Aniello (Ita)                91 José Antonio Carrasco Ramirez (Spa)
82 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita)                 92 Claudio José Casas Gallego (Spa)
83 Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita)              93 Juan Javier Estrada Ruiz (Spa)
84 Hubert Krys (Pol)                      94 Francisco Jose Martinez Perez (Spa)
85 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol)                95 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa)
86 Umberto Nardecchia (Ita)               96 Juan Olmo Menacho (Spa)
87 Luigi Sestili (Ita)                    97 Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa)
88 Filippo Simeoni (Ita)                  98 Jose Antonio Redondo (Spa)
Contentpolis - Murcia                     Orbea - Oreka S.D.A
101 Manuel Calvente (Spa)                 111 Mikel Nieve (Spa)
102 Javier Etxarri Marin (Spa)            112 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa)
103 José Herrada Lopez (Spa)              113 Sergio Andres De Lis (Spa)
104 Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa)     114 Ivan Melero (Spa)
105 Julian Sanchez Pimienta (Spa)         115 Unai Uribarri (Spa)
107 Eloy Teruel Rovira (Spa)              116 Igor Romero (Spa)
108 Manuel Vazquez Hueso (Spa)            117 Eriz Ruiz De Erentxun (Spa)
Burgos Monumental                         
121 David Francisco (Spa)                 
122 Diego Gallego Arnaiz (Spa)            
123 Pedro Gutierrez Alvarez (Spa)         
124 Oscar Pujol (Spa)                     
125 Martin Mata Cabello (Spa)             
126 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa)          
127 Raul Santamarta (Spa)                 

Past winners

2007 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
2006 Koldo Gil (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
2005 Eladio Jimenez (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana
2004 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros
2003 Jose Antonio Pecharroman (Spa) Paternina-Costa de Almeria
2002 Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa) ONCE-Eroski
2001 Juan Carlos Domínguez Domínguez (Spa)
2000 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
1999 David Etxeberria Alkorta (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank
1998 Abraham Olano (Spa) Banesto
1997 Abraham Olano (Spa) Banesto
1996 Miguel Indurain (Spa) Banesto
1995 Jewgeni Berzin (Rus) Gewiss
1994 Stefano Della-Santa (Ita) Mapei
1993 Pjotr Ugrumow (Lat) Mecair
1992 Franco Chioccioli (Ita) GB-MG Boys
1991 Gianni Bugno (Ita) Château d'Ax
Past winners by Mario Stiehl,