Monday, March 17, 2008

Juanjo takes mountains classification lead in T-A

Juanjo Oroz has taken the lead in the mountains classification in Tirreno-Adriatico with one stage to go. Just like he did two days ago, he got into the break of the day, accompanied by 12 others. They were all reeled back in by a hard-chasing peloton with 5 clicks to go, but at least he looked strong all day long. The most important thing for him today though, was to take the green jersey. He now leads that competition by a mere two points on Ag2r-duo Mondory and Dion, but with just one climb on the menu tomorrow, I've got my money on him to make it. Expect the French outfit to put up a fight though. "There's only one stage to go", he said afterwards, "and even though it's not a very hard climb tomorrow, they (Mondory, Dion) are both fast, so it'll be necessary to defend it with all we've got. To stand on the final podium in a race like the Tirreno-Adriatico is very important". Not only Juanjo impressed today. Egoi managed to come in with the first group today, up the steep Castelfidardo climb. 31 riders made up the front-group, so that's a sign of strength no doubt. He eventually came in 23rd. Rubén came in only 13 seconds afterwards, in 34th place, while Juanjo ended up 111th, 3 minutes 9 seconds down. Iñigo had hoped to fight for the win today, but sadly he crashed at a critical moment, and had to make do and mend with 116th, 3:17 back. Aitor and Alán came in 4:37 adrift, while Javier continues to struggle in Italy, eventually coming home a massive 8:37 back. Due to his fall today, Iñigo dropped to 31st on GC. None of the other guys are particularly well placed overall either, so expect them to risk it all for a stage-win and the mountains jersey tomorrow.

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