Oscar Rodriguezõs orbea orca omr
The Basque team’s Vuelta stage-winning green machine
Orbea was for 20 years synonymous with Euskalteleuskadi, its iconic orange bikes carrying Basque riders to countless victories, urged up the Pyrenean climbs by the ‘orange tide’ of fans until the team’s government sponsorship dried up in 2013.
Five years on, Orbea is winning again at the Vuelta with a new Basque team. Oscar Rodriguez, 23, rode this Orca to a beautiful solo victory in Vuelta stage 13 for Euskadi Murias — a first Grand Tour victory for both rider and team surely representing a new beginning for the bike brand as well as for Basque cycling.
The orange gives way to the green of the sponsor, a building firm — but the Orca name remains, the splicing of ‘Orbea’ and ‘carbon’ that has denoted the flagship model since 2003.
The team can choose between this bike, the Orca OMR, and the Orca Aero, which is the more aero option. But for winning on the extreme gradients of La Camperona, the lightweight OMR was the obvious choice.
Motivational message on the down tube