Teams & Riders Putting the fun in Fundación Euskadi: The Euskaltel and Laboral Kutxa thread


It's been nearly a decade since the untimely death of the original Euskaltel-Euskadi team. Luckily it wasn't the end for the foundation behind it and through the financial help of the Basque community and favurite sons like Mikel Landa, the revived team received PT status back in 2020. In 2021 it received its first invite to the Vuelta a España.T he dreams of winning a Vuelta stage at home last year or getting a wild card for the upcoming Basque Grand Départ did however not come true, and it finished the 2022 season as the worst placed ProTeam in the UCI standings.

Things are looking brighter from the start of 2023 though. Due to strong performances from guys like Antonio Jesús Soto and new recruit Carlos Canal, the team is currently ahead of the other three Spanish ProTeams and also both Alpecin and Astana. Of course with quite a few Spanish races at this time of year, the team always had to hit the ground running to satisfy its sponsors and fans. And although it has beem invited to the last three Vueltas, Unipublic/ASO may also have been considering to snub them this time in favour of Caja Rural, but I don't think we have worry about that anymore. Hopefully the team will continue to deliver for the rest of the season and be able to light things up in Itzulia and the Vuelta.

The foundation doesn't only run the ProTeam, it also has a development team, that includes Yeray Sastre (Carlos' son), and a UCI women's team.
The women's team has picked up Eider Merino this year. She has already established herself as one of the better pure climbers in the peloton, but after an injury plagued 2022, her current level was unknown. But she was one of the strongest on Jebel Hafeet in the UAE Tour, so it looks like we can be hopeful on her behalf. New on the team is also the German Aileen Schweikart, who finished 18th in her first Giro Donne last year and might still be able to improve.