With Euskaltel Euskadi folding and Equipo Euskadi looking ever likelier to follow suit, it's time this website it put to rest.
As has been the case with the deaths of the aforementioned teams, it's been coming for a while now.
It's been more than seven years since the very first post. "Iban to Saunier Duval?", dated October 3 2006, speculated where Ibán Mayo - once the founding reason for this website - would end up after his sorry breakup with Euskaltel had been confirmed. The sport, Ibán, Euskaltel, Basque cycling and this website have come a long way since then.
Most importantly and certainly most worryingly, the state of the sport in Euskadi - the true heart of Spanish cycling - has been declining ever since. The story of the heydays of Messrs. Indurain, Olano, Beloki, Zubeldia, Mayo et al. is well known and makes the stars of today look pale in comparison, but the lack of big-name riders only serves to hide the real issue.
The biggest problem concerns the lack of interest in the sport and the sad state of the cantera. The number of teams - and the possibilities for young hopefuls to make a living of riding their bikes with it - have been diminishing for the better part of a decade now, and the Basque junior and amateur scene, once the envy of the cycling world, is not what it once was.
That's not to say Basque cycling is dying. Far from it. Journalists in the modern day and age might be tempted to use words of the kind to satisfy the tabloid and at times unreasonable demands of the internet, but don't be fooled: they're more concerned with selling their product than necessarily reflecting the truth. In time, the sport will get back on its feet. The history, the traditions, the talent and - cheeky as it may sound - the love for a life on two wheels is still there. Those are qualities built up over numerous of decades and thus, almost by nature, impossible to lose just like that.
In cycling terminology, the wheels haven't come off Basque cycling. It's merely flatted.
To keep up the cycling jargon and thus hopefully succeeding in putting a less serious spin on what is otherwise an emotional message, this website has reached the end of the road.
With the disappearance of Euskaltel Euskadi and Equipo Euskadi, it was only natural to call it quits. The time consuming nature of keeping a site like this up to date makes it a welcome, if not exactly wanted, ending. With no orange jerseys in the peloton to distinguish the Basques from the rest, I could use the extra time at my hands to learn to recognize the erstwhile Euskaltel riders in their new jerseys come 2014.
A big eskerrik asko is due to my excellent providers of photos, to the riders and journalists who've readily been at my disposal, and to all of you who've loyally checked in to read my ramblings.
See you at the races.