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OVIEDO, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 07: Start / Mikel...

Basque team Euskadi-Murias to shutter

Spain loses one of its most emblematic teams as the Basque outfit will shutter at the end of 2019.

Spanish cycling suffered a blow Monday when Basque team Euskadi-Murias confirmed it would shutter at the end of 2019.

The Professional Continental team, founded five years ago, was built on developing young riders in the talent-rich Basque Country.

“Our success drove us to keep growing,” a press release said Monday. “Before the possibility of not growing according to our own means, we forced to step aside at this moment.”

Officials said the team decided to end when it could not continue on its upward trajectory.

Known for its bright yellow/green kit, the team was founded in 2016 and raced three seasons with a Continental license. It made the jump to the Pro-Conti level in 2018, earning it a bid to the past two editions of the Vuelta a España. The team performed admirably in both editions, and its riders became a regular presence in the race’s long breakaways. The team won stages in both editions it raced.

In 2018 Oscar Rodriguez attacked and dropped Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) to win the summit finish to Valle de Sabero La Camperona on the 13th stage.

Then, in 2019, Mikel Iturria sprung from a breakaway and held off a charging group to win stage 11 into Urdax.

It’s unclear if sponsors backed out, but Spanish media reported in September a deal was imminent to save the team. It appears things changed, forcing management’s hand to make a difficult decision.It appeared that deal fell through, leaving 20 riders and staffers on the street.

With the demise of the team, Spain counts with two teams at the Pro-Conti level, with Burgos-BH and Caja Rural, and Movistar in the WorldTour.