Beñat Intxausti has sadly decided to quit the team at the end of this season. The youngster has enjoyed a breakthrough first season at Euskaltel but has decided to pursue his goals elsewhere for the coming years. Beñat's agent, mister Antonio Vaquerizas, has a strained relationship with Miguel Madariaga and today he made that relationship even worse by informing the team that his protégé will indeed leave. The cause of Beñat's leaving is at the time being unknown, but it's been heavily rumoured in reliable Basque newspapers that it's down to money, so no surprises there. Upon joining in January, the excellent climber spoke of his dream at joining his home-team. Well, that dream is now over, but interestingly Benat didn't leave out the option of one day maybe coming back home. "I do not rule out the possibility of someday returning to Euskaltel Euskadi, the team of my country, which has totally defined me", he said after announcing the news. "But we've not reached an agreement, though, so I think it's better for me to continue my career with another team where I hope to keep improving. I want to thank the team Euskaltel Euskadi, Igor González de Galdeano and Miguel Madariaga for the confidence they have placed in me throughout the season. That allowed me to have a very good year and continue my progression." Beñat refused to be drawn on where his future lies, instead turning his attention to the Vuelta. "Right now I'm only thinking about the Vuelta a España. I hope to keep both mine and the team's momentum going there. I will decide later on where I'm headed." It seems to me a strange decision on Benat's half to leave the team if I'm being honest. He totally stagnated at Fuji, like a lot of other young, talented riders tend to do if I'm being critical, and he's really prospered this year. He's finally come in to his own. In his home team. In a team that will put their faith in him and give him freedom in the big races. In a team that are beginning to foster some big, big talents. In a team that are virtually guaranteed entry into the biggest races in the world for the next two years at least. Offers received from other team must have been huge ones. Like really huge. I bet he's going to a big-money team like Astana, Saxo or Sky. But there he'd most likely be forced to ride in the service of some big-name leader. No, this doesn't make sense. And it's hugely disappointing.