Discovering our Basque roots during this trip was not limited to cycling. On the first evening, after arriving at Bilbao airport, our guests were welcomed at a restaurant in San Sebastian, one of the cultural centres of the region. Here, they were treated to regional dishes prepared by a number of young Basque chefs. The Basque Country is known for its versatile and traditional cuisine, inspired by both the sea and the mountains, each landscape with its unique flavours and character.
After a well-deserved night’s rest, our guests were invited to the Etxeondo headquarters in Irura, where we presented our latest technical innovations and products. That was followed by a factory tour, where the production process was explained in detail, from design to development to manufacturing.
By immersing our dealers in the philosophy behind our processes, they start to understand how choices of materials and ergonomics determine the real-world performance of the clothing. Because they are in daily contact with our customers, we feel it is important they understand the background behind the products they sell.
After the tour, lunch was served, where Etxeondo owner Paco Rodrigo greeted his visitors. There was a lot of talk about cycling, and of course also about the creation of Etxeondo in 1976. The goal has remained the same over all these years, and the company is still characterized by its family atmosphere. That is why Paco believes it is vital to involve dealers in the Etxeondo family, and to introduce them to the origins of the company.
Later that afternoon, a wine tasting was scheduled. Location: winery ‘Luis Cañas’, known for the Rioja wine variety, another highlight of the region! The tasting was followed by a bodega dinner with – of course – delicious wines and a dance party, which, of course, had a positive influence on the mood of those present. During the stay, our guests enjoyed the mild Basque weather conditions. In November, the average daytime temperature is about 15 degrees Celsius. The presence of the sun, on the other hand, is not guaranteed, because thanks to the moderate maritime climate it can also rain with some regularity. Fortunately, this is good for the vegetation. Incidentally, we enjoyed mild weather conditions during this trip!
The next morning we left for Castejon (Navarra), where some of Etxeondo’s production is based. In this factory, the different fabrics that form our collections are assembled. An extensive introduction to the assembly process followed. When you bring cycling enthusiasts together, there is always a warm connection. And this time was no different. It was an absolute joy to explore together and experience Etxeondo’s origins in the Basque Country.