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[PCT 22] ZARA - Irizar | Renewals
Luis Leon Sanchez
We are back where we belong!

In Spain

In the PCT

& On the way Up

ZARA - Irizar


Team Sponsors

After 2 years being based out of the Middle East, Luis Leon Sanchez returns the team to Spain where it was formed and where it once blossomed.

All 4 of our sponsors, primary and secondary, are Spanish based companies:

ZARA is our main naming sponsor and features heavily on our 2022 team jersey. The globally known clothing brand has provided us with something truly unique (thanks to designer hillis91) which will stand out in the Peloton and be seen at the front where we belong.

Our second naming sponsor is Irizar who are a local Basque manufacturer of buses and coaches and have provided the team with multiple world class vehicles to support our efforts on and off the race course.

Our two secondary sponsors, each taking a sleeve of the jersey to provide some colour, are telecommunications company, Telefónica, and financial services company, Santander. Both companies have a rich history in cycling and return to support and promote the development of local riders.


Spain NC

Argentina NC

Team History

The team is rich in history having been formed in 2014, now having had 8 seasons with 3 of those in the CT and 5 in the PCT.

2021 Aramco DPCT27712ndPromoted
2020 Aramco DPPCT197622ndRelegated
2019 Euskaltel - EliorCT21142ndPromoted
2018 Euskaltel - EliorPCT173825thRelegated
2017 EuskaltelPCT188119th
2016 EuskaltelPCT193220th
2015 Euskaltel-Air FrancePCT141026th
2014 Euskaltel - BavariaCT15944thPromoted

An outstanding first year with some luck along the way saw promotion in 2014. We then survived the drop for 3 years in the PCT before relegating from 2nd last in the division in 2018. We bounced straight back up in 2nd place led by an old trio of Nibali, Moser and Costa.

The team then went through a change of sponsorship to Aramco DP and complications with rider development which unfortunately led to relegating in 2020 by less than 100 points.

This disappointment was, however, short lived as last season saw a Title Fight for much of the year in which we eventually lost out but came away 2nd after outstanding seasons from many of our riders. Specifically Fabio Jakobsen who won the Individual Rankings, Enric Mas, Benoit Cosnefroy, Benjamin Thomas and Andres Paez.

We return to the PCT in 2022 with a younger and much improved squad compared to our previous ventures so we have high expectations to succeed.

Luis Leon Sanchez
GM & Founder, ZARA - Irizar
Edited by Luis Leon Sanchez on 08-08-2022 13:47
Luis Leon Sanchez
Our Riders

Henry A.Sam6965656970686758666972687023

Edited by Luis Leon Sanchez on 09-08-2022 17:35
Luis Leon Sanchez
Calendar & Goals

Edited by Luis Leon Sanchez on 28-06-2022 18:22
Luis Leon Sanchez
Hopefully you can end the period of yo-yoing between divisions. And I believe you have the tools to do it.
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Posted on 19-08-2022 17:27
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As I stated in the previous season's thread, you're in a very good position to survive already based on the riders you have in your team, and with promotion you should be able to handle the wage hikes somewhat easily.
Cool team, cool Jersey
Glanbia Foods Cycling Project
Great HQ and kit.
Good luck in the off season sir Smile
Love the jersey. A lot of new Spanish additions in the CT, but they'll all be looking up to the 'big boy' in PCT, and with such a rich history of leveling up talents all those other teams will be hoping you'll be going all in on survival/promotion instead of choosing the Spanish talent card during the transfer season. Although I certainly wouldn't put it past you to be able to do well, while also leveling up another future superstar Smile
Very glad to see the team back to it's Spanish and Basque roots Grin Interested to see what you can do in transfers to break the yo-yo, but all the development work you have done will also be a huge help and so cool to see a home grown core competing Smile
24/02/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don't drink famous people."
22/07/21 - quadsas said "I admire you [jandal] so much as a manager, squad builder and a person"
15/08/22 - SotD said "Your [jandal's] humour is overrated"

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing

4x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x4
It looks like my decision to shift to the Spanish market was an opportunity many others saw. Your project in the PCT is possibly the one I'm the most excited for: plenty of young, homegrown talent fresh of a successful CT campaign. With any luck your's is a path we will be following next season.

And the jersey? Magnifico! I'm really enjoying the proliferation of strongly textured designs in the MG universe - although perhaps this is something of a reflection of real life. Although I can't quite figure out if the small glyph is an eye or not...
Really looking forward to see you back at PCT level. You have a stellar base. But can you build on-top of it - or will you fall into the talent charge? Smile - I hope you manage to find a great balance, because you have an amazing side and it would be very nice to see you challenge for promotion rather than relegation so you have to do another "great save" where you loan out half the team for a season.

Very, very well done on the season that went past in the CT, and especially managing to keep such talented riders for this season. It will be very interesting to follow your moves in the PCT, and see how you do from here.

Cool jersey as well, will be interesting to see how it looks in game, and how "clear" it is in the peloton. Fingers crossed it will be distinct and easy to spot, if so, this will be a standout jersey, I think!
Really a cool shirt! Enjoying what you did last year, may you continue like this Smile
PCM.daily Awards:
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Radsim'05: Quick-Step (since 2022) Astana (2018-2021)
Most Improved Team 2018 & 2019 // Manager of the Year 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021 // Team of the Year 2021
I don't doubt you will do fine in PCT Smile Good luck in the offseason!
ICL - Latvijas Balzams - Olainfarm
MG - Crabbe-CC Chevigny
Luis Leon Sanchez
National Champions

The end of year Nationals saw our riders disperse across the globe to compete against their countrymen in a course which changes every year.


The most important of the National Championships races for us given our team's relocation and re-focus on Spain going into the 2022 Season.

Former rider Aranburu lit up the Road Race which suited Enric Mas. Our 26yr old future star powered past his rivals and crossed the line first!!

If you think that one was a surprise then you're about to be shocked now. Motivated by his team mate's performance in the Road Race, Jaime Castrillo did the unthinkable in the TT. The performance of the season from the 25yr old saw him win by 18 seconds over Tenorio.

Both riders will wear the same amazing jersey created by The Hillis Design Co. We hope to see this one at the front throughout the season.


He may have been on his own in the RR but Andres Paez wasn't about to let that stop him as our fast finishing punchy 26yr old went through the paces up the final hill to be his country's Champion.

He will don the following jersey for the 2022 season, proudly wearing his country's colours.

Manager's Comment:
Obviously a great National Championships campaign for the team highlighted by the fact we will have the Spanish Road Race and TT Champions riding for us in 2022. We couldn't ask for better as the team relocates back to Spain and we look to bring the fans back on board the journey.

A great result also in South America for Paez.

Another noteworthy result is Henry Alberto Sam who was the fastest of the 2 Guatemala riders in their TT. We will ensure he has his own jersey in the future too.
Borisavljevic did also manage a win in the Serbia TT.

Others came close in their respective championships too with Jakobsen 3rd in the Netherlands RR and Thomas 3rd in the France TT.

Edited by Luis Leon Sanchez on 07-08-2022 04:51
Amazing double in Spain, a very memorable moment for you guys I'm sure Grin
24/02/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don't drink famous people."
22/07/21 - quadsas said "I admire you [jandal] so much as a manager, squad builder and a person"
15/08/22 - SotD said "Your [jandal's] humour is overrated"

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing

4x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x4
Luis Leon Sanchez

It was a bit of a rough one for us over Renewals which isn't too much of a surprise given the 2nd place in the Continental Tour and very strong seasons from many of our riders.

2021 Wage2022 WageChange
FabioJakobsen170,000320,000+ 150,000
EnricMas250,000275,000+ 25,000
NicolaConci80,000155,000+ 75,000
BenoitCosnefroy160,000150,000- 10,000
AndresPaez140,000125,000- 15,000
BenjaminThomas50,00085,000+ 35,000
RubenFernandez55,00060,000+ 5,000
AlexandrOvsyannikov50,00055,000+ 5,000
JaimeCastrillo50,00055,000+ 5,000
Henry AlbertoSam10,00050,000+ 40,000
JulianCardona050,000+ 50,000
MohamadAbdul Halil50,0000- 50,000
MioriKawasaki10,0000- 10,000

The obvious pain point is, of course, Jakobsen at the top of the list who sees his wage almost double to 320,000... His demands were higher still but we decided that a rider of his calibre is required going into this season in the PCT.

Our key Spanish rider Mas also had a good season but was happy to accept a smaller increase. There was never a thought of having him leave.

The other bigger increase came from young Conci off the back of finishing his development in the Pro Tour. This is fairly standard with riders like himself so there wasn't too much pushback from our side.

Great results for our other key riders with Cosnefroy and Paez accepting decreases while Borisavljevic was happy with being paid the same again.

Some will say that Thomas's wage of 50k during 2021 was far too little but they can rest a bit easier as he jumps up to 85,000.

The rest of the team accepted either the same wage as 2021 or a 5k increase.

Draft rider, Cardona, and stagiare, Sam, were also both offered full time contracts to remain at the team for the foreseeable future.


Abdul Halil picked up some strong results for us during last season but he was asking for a bit too much and we didn't see a place for him in the team next season so he was released.

Our other stagiare, Kawasaki, could have a fairly interesting future ahead of him but he's not quite what we need.

Our 2nd draft rider was Hasnaoui who isn't getting any younger and, given the move back to Spain, doesn't fit in the team either. Time will tell whether he goes into retirement.


Where does that leave us?

We have a total wage bill of 1,580,000 for 14 riders. We do therefore have a fairly large salary cap to play with but we also need quite a few riders, especially given the requirement for a few riders to go out on loan to complete their development as well.

It is likely to be a fairly busy transfer period for LLS and the Team Management but it will also be one where we will look to be smart, strategic and specific about the riders we want to bring in.
I'm sure that Jakobsen raise hurts, even though it's not an outrageous salary. Unfortunately that's the consequence of his CT domination last year. He should still be great scorer for you in PCT, and that's what matters.

Down the line, however, I think you did a great job. Mas also had a fantastic season, and you've kept him to a very manageable wage. Conci as well was always going to get a big raise when maxing, and he should have a great wage/points this year. Looking forward to his matchups with Kamna!
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
That's definitely a fantastic base for a newly promoted team! Jakobsen is easily PCT-ready, as he's already shown last year. Mas & Conci should at least be great helpers for the mountains, but probably also leaders in smaller races - with the latter a real threat in TT-heavy ones. With only one rider older than 30 and all the others at most 28, your team definitely has a bright future ahead - if you manage to bring in at least one more clear-cut leader besides Jakobsen. But your depth really looks amazing!
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