Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mixed bag in the mountains

It was an okay day for the team today. The race's first mountain-top finish did not produce the expected fireworks, but that might have been just as well for Euskaltel. Samu looked good all day, and stayed with a chance of winning the stage until Schumacher, somehow, managed to take a tumble inside the last 1000 metres. Samu was right on his wheel at the time and just evaded hitting the deck himself. Samu had lost his chance, but still managed to finish 12th at only 12 seconds. He occupies 11th on GC. Mikel was the next Euskaltel rider to cross the line in 16th place, 23 back. He did well considering the steep final climb was not at all suited to his characteristics. He's 16th overall now. Haimar disappointed again I'm afraid. He lost contact on the last climb quite early, and had to make do with a 21st place, still, though, just 27 seconds back. He's 30th overall after today's stage. The rest of the squad did okay. Gorka looked awesome to be fair; he was on the attack several times. The same can be said of Amets and Egoi, who were both aggressive. Juanjo did really well I reckon to come home 71st, only 3:45 back. It's his first Tour, and he's finding his feet nicely. Iñaki took a tumble early on and hit his knee but, at the time of writing, it doesn't look like he's seriously injured. Speaking post-stage, Samu was a little annoyed about the fall of yellow yersey Schumacher. "The fall was a pity", he said. "It forced me to break and nearly stop, so I didn't stand a chance of getting back up to the front. I could have been fighting for the stage-win, but it didn't happen. There are several stages left to race, though, so I'll continue to give it a go." Haimar and Mikel also expressed themselves happy with their accomplishments today. Stage results:

  • 12th, Samuel Sánchez, 0:12
  • 16th, Mikel Astarloza, 0:23
  • 21st, Haimar Zubeldia, 0:27
  • 44th, Gorka Verdugo, 1:13
  • 71st, Juan José Oroz, 3:45
  • 83rd, Amets Txurruka, 4:48
  • 84th, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
  • 99th, Egoi Martínez, 8:53
  • 100th, Iñaki Isasi, s.t.


arnout said...

Egoi 8 minutes down, that is not his place I believe.

Yeah stupid fall from Schumacher. Thats a pity for Sanchez.

And I saw Haimar just before the real sprint started in the peloton, he only didnt have the explosion needed on such a finish. At least I thought I saw that...

Anonymous said...

As i said yesterday i was expecting the Piepoli/Riccò attack and it materialised. Samu has been really unlucky...i don't think he could have competed with Ricco' or Valverde but a top 5 place was well in his reach. The important thing is that he looks in great shape. Mikel was a pleasant surprise and we all know that Haimar didn't have an explosive finish. All in all "a good day at the office" and we've got 4 Euskadi in the top 36th in CG. Tomorrow getting down from the Cote de Saint-Jean-de Donne i expect an attack from Samu... a small group could escape... I think Pozzato is the favourite but Samu could do really well.

Magnus said...

Haimar was definetely there until two clicks to go or something, but then faded quite quickly...


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