Friday, March 28, 2008

Koldo continues hot streak

Koldo sprinted to victory on today's fifth and last stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León. He beat Thomas Dekker and Francisco Ventoso with ease to take home his, and the team's, second win of the year. It was a convincing and deserved win for the whole team, and it will do Koldo's confidence the world of good.

The day started in the best possible way for Euskaltel, with Samu breaking clear early on with 5 others and creating a 4-minute gap pack to the Rabobank and Barloworld-led peloton. Samu looked awesome, and on the last climb of the day, the tough cat. 2 Puerto de las Señales, he attacked with force. Only Basque Caisse d'Epargne rider Xabier Zandion managed to keep up, but the two were sadly(?) reeled back in with some 12 clicks to go. The final 10 kilometres were a hectic affair, with riders going off the front continuosly. But it all got back together for the anticipated bunch-sprint, were the high speed proved too much for some riders. Pfannberger and Pinto both hit the deck hard inside the last 200, setting it up for a caotic finish. Koldo easily out-sprinted the rest to claim his third career win. Iñaki and Amets came in with the same group, while Markel and Dioni ended up 2:55 back on the day. Jon came in a further 4 minutes down, while Samu for the first, and hopefully last time, ended up dead last, 7:06 in arrears. Iñaki thus finished highest placed overall in a discreet 31st place. Amets was right behind in 35th, Koldo ended up 61st, Markel 66th, Dioni 73rd, Samu 76th and Jon finished 86th. Euskaltel ended up 11th in the team classification. Stay tuned for post-stage interviews.

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