Saturday, January 26, 2008

Euskaltel in the action, as Mikel almost wins it

It was an all-action day right from the start for Euskaltel today in the penultimate stage of the Tour Down Under. Early on, Andoni was, yet again, on the attack several times. He got into a couple of breaks, but none of them managed to open up a big enough gap. Though, anyway, I must say I'm impressed with Andoni's performances in Australia, he looks like a good rider this year. Finally a break got some leeway, and in it was Aitor Galdos. Aitor looked strong all day, and took 4 intermediate points before being reeled back in by the chasing peloton some 35 kilometres out. The big climb started, but couldn't really shatter the pack, and it all came down to another mass-sprint between 41 riders. Though, Mikel didn't want it that way and escaped inside the last kilometre. Mikel proved his form is awesome by staying away with only a 100 meters left to go. A great try by Mikel, but it just wasn't to be. Iván, who's clearly on form got a good 15th, while Jon and Mikel were also in that group, getting 19th and 23rd respectively. That good team performance lead to the team now lying 4th in the team classification. There's one stage left to go in this race, so I'm pinning all my hopes on Aitor for tomorrow. Full results:

  • 15th, Iván Velasco, 0:00
  • 19th, Jon Bru, s.t.
  • 23rd, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 53rd, Amets Txurruka, 0:56
  • 82nd, Andoni Lafuente, 2:27
  • 97th, Javier Aramendia, 11:48
  • 122nd, Aitor Galdos, s.t.

General classification:

  • 19th, Iván Velasco, 0:30
  • 29th, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 30th, Jon Bru, s.t.
  • 46th, Amets Txurruka, 1:26
  • 87th, Andoni Lafuente, 7:01
  • 116th, Aitor Galdos, 16:20
  • 118th, Javier Aramendia, 16:22

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