The Euskaltel-Euskadi team is proud of its Basque status and up until this season only accepted riders from the Basque Country or those who had close links to the region. The team’s bike sponsor is also Basque and this is the Orbea Orca of Igor Anton.
Euskaltel-Euskadi is one of the longest-standing teams in the peloton having been established in 1994 and the squad has become known infiltrating breakaways and long-range attacks, as well as its talented climbers.
The team has enjoyed a relatively low winning rate but notable victories have come and the team’s leader, Samuel Sanchez, won gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and has been riding around on a blinged-out Orbea Orca since then, while the 35-year-old also won the King of the Mountains classification at the 2011 Tour de France.
Anton, meanwhile, has recorded four stage wins at the Vuelta a Espana – but his crowning glory came on stage 14 of the 2011 Giro d’Italia, when the 29-year-old tamed one of the hardest climbs in cycling, the Monte Zoncolan.
But what about the bike? The Orca is Orbea’s flagship model and was updated back in 2010 to become more aerodynamic and more comfortable. Orca say they dropped 64g of drag compared to the previous Orca, which translates to a gain of around six watts when riding at 30mph. Still, the Orca is not an aero bike like we’ve come to expect in recent years, but more of an all-rounder.
In this Euskaltel-Euskadi guise the Orbea Orca is also one of the most distinctive in the peloton, thanks to an orange paintjob to match the team’s Basque kit.
We’re so used to seeing slammed stems in the pro peloton that Anton’s positively upright position, with two full spacers between the stem and headset, immediately jumped out at us. Also note the Orca’s hourglass headtube, which Orbea say is more aerodynamic. The downtube, seatpost, seattube and rear stays all also have an aero profile
This mount is designed to hold a Polar sports watch. Interestingly, in this age of data-driven training, Anton only rides with heart rate and not power
This slick integrated seat clamp also helps the Orca cut through the wind – and it looks very nice, too. The black stripe of electrical tape marks Anton’s saddle height, while the carbon fibre mount is design to hold his race number
The proprietary aero-profiled seatpost has been designed to accept Selle Italia’s Monolink single-rail saddle clamp, which is said to offer low weight and more fore-aft adjustment than a twin-rail setup
Anton sits on a Selle Italia SLR Monolink Team Edition Flow saddle
Orbea’s Attitude rear triangle design see the chainstays and seatstays hug the wheel to improve aerodynamics, before kicking out in a design which is also said to isolate the rider from road vibrations without affecting power transfer
Anton is using the same setup as last season, with his Orbea Orca equipped with 10-speed Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Dura-Ace C50 wheels wrapped in Vittoria Corsa Evo SC tyres and FSA finishing kit
RoadCyclingUK attended Challenge Majorca as a guest of race sponsor Iberostar, staying at the Iberostar Playa de Muro hotel in Alcudia. For more information visit www.iberostar.com