Saturday, October 20, 2007

Samu's 3rd place caps of great team performance

Samu stormed to a brilliant 3rd in the season-closer that is the Giro di Lombardia today. Samu was in awe-inspiring form as he closed his, and Euskaltel's, season on a high.

Alán Pérez did an awesome job today by bridging up to the break of the day to join the day's escapees. The break consisted of 7 riders, but as the going got tougher and tougher, the seven were reduced to four. Alán stood his ground and was one of four riders at the head of he race for a long time. The break was naturally reeled in not long after, but Alán had by then did more than enough for the team. A big lead-group formed, among them Samu and Igor. Out of this group Cunego and Ricco' broke clear, and the two would, barely, hang on to fight it out for the win. Samu led the chasers home only 9 seconds back to claim a very good 3rd. Igor impressed with his 12th place, while Alán claimed 38th; not bad for a breakaway member. Dioni came in 47th, while Juanjo and Iñaki grabbed 92nd and 96th respectively. This strong all-round performance saw the team finish 4th in the team rankings, and thereby finishing a much-better-than-expected 11th overall. The team rankings is not really important, but it's still a competition. Euskaltel finished ahead of strong teams like Astana, T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner, so the team has no doubt taken a step this year when it comes to team performances. In the individual rankings Samu advanced to a, once again, brilliant 9th overall. He's had an amazing year; perhaps even better than 2006. Other Euskaltels who've scored Pro Tour points are Mikel, who ended up 40th, Haimar finished 44th, Igor 48th, Iñigo 113th and Koldo finished 147th. Overall, I'm really pleased with today's performance, not to mention the year as a whole. Euskaltel have enjoyed ups-and-downs, as usual, but luckily the ups are what stand out to me. Season reviews of each rider and the team will appear on the blog shortly...

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