Igor Anton to head Euskaltel Euskadi team in Vuelta a España
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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Igor Anton to head Euskaltel Euskadi team in Vuelta a España

by Shane Stokes at 8:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Basque rider crashed out while leading last year’s race

Igor AntonAlmost a year after crashing out of the Vuelta a España while in the leader’s jersey, Igor Anton will return to the Spanish Tour at the helm of the Euskaltel Euskadi team, determined to succeed.

The Basque squad today released its lineup for the 2011 edition of the race, and Anton will, as expected, be a major part of the team. He will be joined by Mikel Nieve, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo, Amets Txurruka, Juanjo Oroz, Iñaki Isasi, Jorge Azanza and Pierre Cazaux.

Anton showed his form in the lead up to last year’s race when he placed second overall in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, beating Alberto Contador to take the stage to the Alto del Morredero. He was also fourth in Flèche Wallonne, sixth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and won a stage in the Tour de Romandie.

His strong Vuelta push began when he won stage four to Valdepeñas de Jaen, beating Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and Peter Velits (HTC Colombia) to the line. He then took over the race lead on stage 8 to Xorret del Cati, and while he conceded it to Joaquim Rodriguez on stage 10, he grabbed it back when he won the following stage.

Anton and his team remained in control and at the end of stage 12, he held a 45 second lead over Nibali. His chances of winning the race evaporated the following day when he crashed out less than ten kilometres from the line at Peña Cabarga.

Ever since then, returning to the race and winning it has become a major goal. The 28 year old has had another strong early season, taking third in the Vuelta Castilla y Leon, fifth in Flèche Wallonne and then winning the Monte Zoncolan stage of the Giro d’Italia. More recently, he was eighth in the Vuelta a Burgos and will aim to step things up a level in time for the start of the Vuelta a España on August 20th.

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