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Euskaltel-Euskadi continues to solidify its team as it looks ahead to the future.
Igor Antón and Romain Sicard, two promising Basque riders, have signed deals that will keep them in the distinctive orange jerseys through 2012.
“They both received important offers from other teams, but decided to stay with us,” said team manager Igor González de Galdeano on the team site. “We have solid confidence between the team and the riders. It’s big news for the fans of the team because these two are great riders.”
Antón, 27, is entering the best years of his career. A promising climber, Antón beat Alberto Contador (Astana) in a climbing stage at the Vuelta a Castilla y León earlier this season. Antón skipped the Tour de France and will make a run at the overall at the Vuelta a España later this month.
“This is my team of my entire career and they’ve always really backed me,” Antón said. “I am comfortable on the team and they appreciate me and have confidence in my possibilities.”
Sicard, meanwhile, is one of the most highly touted French riders in a generation. The U23 world champion and winner at the 2009 Tour de l’Avenir ahead of American in Tejay Van Garderen confirmed his potential.
Sicard has enjoyed a solid rookie pro season, riding well in Paris-Nice and Criterium du Dauphiné earlier this year and attacking on one of the key summit finishes.
“I can keep progressing and maturing as a cyclist here,” Sicard said. “They’ve supported from my amateur days at Orbea and I feel very comfortable on this team. It’s one of the best teams in the world and they have confidence in me.”
The team also announced it has signed a contract extension with Egoi Martínez, 31, through the 2012 season. Martínez is an aggressive rider who hunts stages in breakaways.
Last week, the Basque-based team penned a deal that will keep Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sánchez in orange.