As we write March the 15th, Euskaltel is still to taste success this year. Much has been made of the team's failure to land a victory in the young season, but the main players are seemingly unperturbed. On Wednesday Samuel Sánchez said a win is just around the corner. Yesterday, directeur sportif Gorka Gerrikagoitia said there's plenty of positives to take from the last couple of races.
"When it comes to Paris-Nice, I'm pleased with Romain Sicard's ride. He's improved, and showed to be in good form after having missed out on almost a year of competition. I guess you could say that was the only positive in France, but in Tirreno, Jon did well. Especially so considering the level of competition at that race. I'm really pleased with him. But also the team spirit, showcased by Urtasun and Martínez in the breaks, deserve to be highlighted", the former rider told BiciCiclismo.
He admitted though that the results haven't really been up to expectations, saying the lack of racing in February punished the riders.
"We're basically a bit short on riders. Our roster only counts 23 riders, and now that Alán Pérez is out injured, we're only 22. Last month we competed too little - the other teams were racing in San Luis, Qatar and Oman. We staged some team camps, but it's not the same as racing. The key, I think, is the lack of racing in February."
"We struggle when we have to split the team in order to compete in several races at the same time. We've got a bigger chance of success when we field our best team, like we'll do in the Vuelta al País Vasco."
Looking ahead to País Vasco and the other races coming up, the veteran DS is optimistic.
"In Catalunya we'll have a strong team with Samuel racing, and we'll be strong in the Critérium International as well with Antón and Astarloza. In short, I'm looking forward to April with País Vasco, the hilly classics and Romandie."