The Euskadi Foundation has been writing its own pages in the Basque cycling book for decades. Stories that have taken place outside of the Basque Country, as often as from within; sagas that start when races do, and some that start long after they end. History that’s been made from a modest but ambitious project since it began in 1994.
At Orbea, we’ve believed in the Euskadi Foundation and its pioneers from the beginning. Our commitment to the program led us to experience the miracle of the “Orange Tide,” a milestone in cycling’s history that we hope to revive again. These were the famous years of Euskaltel-Euskadi, of Laiseka, May, Zubeldia and Samuel Sánchez. And today, just like every day, we work with sponsors like Etxeondo and Laboral Kutxa to honor our history and keep the legacy alive.
SETTING THE GROUNDWORK
The Euskadi Foundation has always pushed for the evolution of sports and community. Setting this groundwork has been at the root of our mission. Take, for instance, the Foundation’s Pedagogical Classroom, a school that blends sports and leadership and has impacted thousands of children. For many students, it’s the first contact they’ve had with a bike. Some have even graduated onto professional teams, racing for Euskaltel-Euskadi itself or other UCI World Tour teams.
The sub23 team and the women’s team will continue racing. Support and development have been at the core of both teams’ progression, with Fundación Euskadi supporting some of the best racers in the Basque Country so they can develop as competitive cyclists in events around the world.
But the most recent, and perhaps the most celebrated, moment in the organization’s history is its transition to a new racing category next season. In 2020, the Euskadi Foundation will premiere its ProTeam license, allowing us to compete in the silver division of world cycling.
This revival in racing is due, in part, to the passion for cycling that’s felt throughout the Basque Country, a region that’s marked by rough geography and gifted cyclists who develop strong skills in relentless terrain. We’ve always believed that it’s not just cycling that’s defined our identity: it’s the values learned from cycling, like determination, enthusiasm, perseverance and solidarity.
A HISTORIC FILM
Below, we’re pleased to share a short film that brings our life and sport together in one place.
You’ll hear about Sergio Higuita. A brilliant Columbian who attended the foundation and claimed victory in the 18th stage at the most recent Tour of Spain. It’s nice to think that, possibly, we had something to do with his incredible cycling future.
You’ll hear about Ibai Azurmendi and Txomin Juaristi, two local talents who forged a friendship since childhood, bound by Basque mountain roads. Together, as friends and now teammates, they’re surrounded by encouragement as they pedal into the most rigorous stops on the UCI calendar.
You’ll hear about Jorge Azanza, the sports director of the Euskadi Foundation. The captain of a ship that he sailed for seven of his nine years as a professional cyclist during the Euskaltel-Euskadi era.
And you’ll hear about the technology that’s born from the place where we live, sharing how we’ve adapted our bikes to meet the demands for lightweight, rigid designs. In 2020, Orca will take the spotlight in the race for technology, where every watt counts on the climb.
Climbing is what we’re made of in every way. That’s why we’re excited to share Stories About Climbers, celebrating the cyclists who aspire to reach the top — on the road and in life — and surround themselves with the best. These are cyclists who are joined by a common thread known as the Euskadi Foundation, which you can also join right here.