Sunday, March 09, 2008

Markel 2nd in Paris-Nice prologue

Markel astonishingly almost won today's Paris-Nice prologue. Only Thor Hushovd, one of the last starters, managed to surpass Markel's amazing time, meaning he had to settle for 2nd in the end. A bit disappointing to come so close, but still great stuff from him. He led the race for more than two hours, but he'll still be pleased I think. After his sensational ride, he told : "I'm pleased, I can't say that seeing myself among the best isn't satisfactory. The course was suited to me, and I felt good out there. I want to arrive in a good state of form for the Classics, so my form in this race must be good. It's a pain that the last riders got to ride without the rain today. If it had continued to rain I might have won it, as only a great rider like Hushovd was able to beat me." Markel's time was the best for more than two hours, and those two hours were long indeed he said: "The waiting was really hard. It killed me to see Hushovd beating me. I was prepared to stand atop the podium..." Speaking of tomorrow's stage, Markel seemed intent on fighting for the leader's jersey: "It's an uphill finish tomorrow, with the last climb at 9 %. I know Hushovd is a specialist in that kind of arrivals, but I'm going to give it my all in getting the leader's jersey. Normally I wouldn't try to dispute such a stage, but I have to try tomorrow in hope of a split in the field."

Besides Markel's 2nd place, there wasn't much to cheer about for the rest of the guys. Gorka was the next best Euskaltel rider in 37th place, 18 seconds back, while Igor was 72nd, 25 down. Further down we have Aitor Hernández and Haimar in 110th and 114th respectively, both at 33 seconds, Lander and Dioni at 41, and Beñat ended up 47 seconds in arrears.

1 comment:

Laiseka said...

What a pity!! Markel has never staid as close as today to a victory. And what a victory!!

Great Markel!!!


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