Lost Races: Basque Country

We’re all familiar with the ‘Orange tide’ which lines the upper slopes of the Tours of France and Spain each year. These Basque fans hail largely from the lush emerald green regions of northern Spain and south-western France (coloured yellow on the map) where the mild climate and roads empty of traffic make it ideal for riding all year round. And cycling is a way of life here. Known as Euskadi in Basque and Pais Vasco in Spanish, this region is home to some 1,500 cycling clubs and thousands of cyclists. Both Spanish WorldTour teams are based in the region: Euskaltel-Euskadi in Bilbao and Movistar in Navarra (green on map: Nafarroa). Continue reading

GP Miguel Indurain review

Moreno with Miguel indurain (image courtesy of Susi Goetze CyclingInside)

Moreno with Miguel Indurain (image courtesy of Susi Goetze CyclingInside)

Daniel Moreno (Katusha) surged at just the right moment on the final testing climb [Sheree would know, she rode up it twice – Ed] to the Basilica del Puy to claim his second victory of the season in yesterday’s GP Miguel Indurain, in Estella, Navarra in northern Spain. Mikel Landa (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was two seconds back in second while Angel Madrazo (Movistar) rounded out the podium some seven seconds back.

The 179.3km race started in the town’s Plaza de los Fueros, under a gloriously blue sky, watched by every man, woman, child and dog from the town and surrounding area. Continue reading

GP Miguel Indurain preview

The GP Miguel Indurain is a one-day road race in the  Spanish region of Navarra. It started back in 1951 as a Navarran hill-climbing competition limited to local riders. In 1968 it was reborn as the GP Navarra and rebranded again in 1989 as the Trofeo Communidad de Navarra. Finally, in 1998 the race was rechristened Gran Premio Miguel Indurain after the five-time Tour de France winner.

In 2005, with the introduction of the UCI Europe Tour, the race was classified a 1.1 event and then upgraded to a 1.HC event in 2007. These higher grades have attracted an increasingly competitive and international field of racers..

What kind of race is it?

Initially, the race’s organiser, the Estella Cycling Club, was having problems finding sufficient funds to stage the race. Finally, a private sponsor came forward. While the budget remains at €100,000 (€7,515 for the winner) the number of teams taking part has been restricted to 11, albeit each with ten members: seven ProTour teams along with four Spanish ProContinental and Continental teams.  Continue reading