Aitor close to Euskaltel deal

Aitor Gonzalez is just a flourish of the pen away from completing a move to Euskaltel, after turning

Aitor Gonzalez is just a flourish of the pen away from completing a move to Euskaltel, after turning
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Aitor Gonzalez is almost certain to put his signature to a deal with the Euskaltel team in Madrid today (Thurs). The rider and his representatives met with Euskaltel team manager Miguel Madariaga yesterday and reached what Madariaga referred to as "an agreement between gentlemen". "We knew that he was going to be released by his team and we have been in contact with him since the Vuelta stage that finished at La Covatilla," Madariaga told El Diario Vasco. "We told him what our terms were and all that remained was for him him to respond them, and that process has been drawn out somewhat. Our offer is the same as it was then: a contract of a year and a signing-on fee of 120,000 euros. "We've got a few details to iron out, specifically five points that are a priority for me. The two most important, and the only ones I can make public, are the calendar he will ride next year and his conduct while he is with the team." Although associated most often with Alicante in southern Spain, which has been his home and base for most of his life, Gonzalez was born in the Basque Country, and is thereby qualified for the 100% Basque Euskaltel team. The article in El Diario Vasco referred to him as the last Basque rider to win the Vuelta, which he did in 2002. Gonzalez has turned down offers from two Italian teams to return to Spain after two disappointing seasons with Fassa Bortolo. Madariaga once again denied any link between his team and former Banesto team doctor Sabino Padilla, who now works with the Atletic Bilbao football team. "I went to their training ground to speak with my good friend Sabino about mountain bike training. I was seen there and this whole affair blew up from that. At the moment we are talking to four potential new team doctors, and Padilla is not among them." Madariaga also confirmed that veteran riders Roberto Laiseka and Alberto Lopez de Munain have re-signed for another season. Dionisio Galparsoro, however, has been released and is set to join a new Navarran team backed by the Caja Rural in the town of Alsasua.
This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
  • Discipline: Road, Mountain, Urban, Womens
  • Location: UK, USA, Australia
Back to top