Naturgas Energía will send a big 12-man squad to Sunday's Lehendakari-race in Markina in search of overall leadership for Jon Larrinaga.
Larrinaga goes into the event tied on points at the top of the Torneo Lehendakari-standings along with Debabarrena's Aitor González, and will look to finally take the lead outright after a tense duel so far this season. If he is to claim the lead, it's not unthinkable he'll have to seal the team's first win of the season, and in the process emulate the likes of Jonathan Castroviejo and Peio Bilbao (who've both stood atop the podium, in 2007 and 2010 respectively).
Team DS Iñigo Urretxua told the team's website today that grabbing the lead is exactly what they'll aim for, and said the team will be represented by: Jon Larrinaga, Karl Baudron, Damien García, Mikel Iturria, Imanol Estévez, Loic Chetout, Pablo Comins, Víctor Etxeberria, Alain González, Oier Sánchez, Javier Francisco Martín and Alain Santamaría.
Debabarrena's Sergio Ruiz took out last year's edition of the race that's known as the Memorial Sabin Foruria in impressive fashion, besting Haritz Orbe, now with Orbea, and Raul Fernández of Caja Rural. Igor Merino, also with Orbea now, was Naturgas' top finisher in sixth.