Monday, April 05, 2010

Samu fails in País Vasco opener

What a major disappointment. Samu is without a chance to win the overall after one stage. Major letdown. All looked well until the last cat. 2 climb some 25 kilometres out. The team had taken on the responsibility of reeling in the customary break and had it all under control. Once the climb started the team looked oh so strong, with Samu, Beñat, Iván and Egoi all up there with the best. But suddenly Samu disappears. Given it was the first stage and, let's admit it, not a very hard climb, it was a big surprise to not see him up there. A 9-man lead group formed over the top, and among those nine were the impressive Iván and Beñat. But no Samu. Iván and Beñat did their utmost to slow the group down so that Samu could rejoin the group, but it wasn't to be. Despite the heroic efforts of Egoi and JJ in Samu's group, they couldn't get back up. Iván, to his great credit, even dropped back from the lead group to aid Samu in his desperate attempt to close the gap but it still wasn't enough. Eventually the JJ and Iván-led group came in a massive 1:39 down. Game over no doubt. Beñat will now, after coming home a strong 9th and looking strong throughout, be the team's man for the GC. After his excellent showing today there's no doubt in my mind he can achieve a top 10 overall, but even his brilliant ride can't take away the pain of losing out on a chance to win the race for another year. Egoi and Rubén came in 2:40 down after working relentlessly for Samu all day, while Amets and Alan came in a big 9:08 back. Speaking after the stage, Samu was trying not to sound too disappointed: "My form was good coming into the race, and the idea was to fight for the overall win. Paris-Nice and Critérium International both went well for me; I was in the top 5 in both races. But I wasn't feeling good today and I wasn't able to stay with the best on the last part of the Putxeta. I zigzagged my way to the top and, once there, did my best to diminish my loss. That's cycling. It's not maths, and sometimes it doesn't go the way you want it to. But still, we've just started and there's still objectives to reach. To blame myself doesn't help".


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bike master said...

there is still Le Tour de France to look foward to.
the sun will shine again, it will be hot in the Pyrenees, and the skinny guys in orange will climb to glory in front of their loyal fans.

i hope it goes like that...on at least one day during those three weeks in July.

arnout said...

That was a bad performance indeed. Normally Sanchez can limit the damage when he has a bad day but not this time.

Intxausti was very good though, he was climbing really well.


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