Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday round-up

Due to excessive amounts of examination reading and work I didn't get the chance to update the blog yesterday, my bad. There was a lot going on in France and Switzerland though, and here's a sum-up:

Euskaltel nearly got off to the perfect start in the Tour de Suisse yesterday. Iñigo, along with Loosli and Zampieri, broke clear from the pack early on and established a significant advantage. They were expected to be reeled back in as it was a mainly flat stage, but the trio almost pulled it off. They were caught with just 3 kilometres to go, and a sprint would decide the winner from a 51-man strong peloton. Koldo was not in this peloton sadly, but Igor, Gorka and Iñigo rolled in mid-pack. Jorge came in 1:35 adrift, Aitor H 3:21, Dioni ended up 9:52 back, while Andoni and Koldo came in with the last big group a massive 14:52 in arrears. Due to bonuses accumulated during the stage, Iñigo is 5th overall going into today's massive mountain stage. Igor is expected at the front, so keep an eye on him today.

In the Dauphiné the team was once again on the offensive. Juanjo got into the break of the day with an eye on helping Mikel and Haimar if they were to attack and bridge up to the break. Attack they did, as Mikel jumped off the front and joined the remnants of the break. Juanjo assisted Mikel for a while, only for Mikel to jump on the attack once again and leave his breakaway companions trailing in his wake. Sadly he couldn't keep the pace up and faded backwards. He did finish a creditable 15th though, good enough to occupate 7th place overall with one stage to go. Haimar once again showed impressive climbing form, sticking with Valverde, Evans & co. all the way to the top of the Toussuire. He eventually came in 7th on the stage, and is thus 5th overall. Samu finally showed his form is coming along nicely with a 19th place finish, only 2 minutes 48 seconds down on breakaway winner Sörensen. It was a great performance from the team, a performance which made them win the teams classification for the day and lead it overall as well. Going into the last and hilly stage, Euskaltel hold a 6:40 lead over number 2, Caisse d'Epargne.

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