Thursday, September 02, 2010

Urtasun sprints to 8th in Murcia

In the absence of Koldo Fernández, lead-out man Pablo Urtasun today took on the role of main sprinter on the stage from Caravaca de la Cruz to Murcia. The cat.2 Cresta del Gallo, located close to the finish, eliminated a majority of the speedsters, including Koldo, but Pablo managed to stay in touch and mix it up with the likes of Hushovd and Bennati. He started his sprint off Gilbert's wheel, but hit the front too early and faded to an eighth place. Good stuff, he's had a good season Pablo. Igor, expertly guided by Mikel Nieve, Gorka Verdugo and Egoi Martínez, rolled in with the pack, while Koldo, JJ Oroz and Amets Txurruka came in with the second group at 2:09. Beñat Intxausti once again suffered badly, finishing in the very last group at 12:31. This really isn't normal. I know he might be preoccupied with all that's been going on lately, but his legs should be able to turn those crank-arms nonetheless. Monday's rest-day can't come soon enough for him... Speaking post-stage, Pablo said to the team's website: "The Cresta del Gallo proved decisive, and I managed to reach the top with the best ones. It felt good to be ahead. Koldo didn't succeed in clinging on to the pack, so I got to sprint for myself. I was well positioned on the run-in, but the last kilometre was quite slow due to the head-wind. To start sprinting from the position I was in made it even more difficult, as the riders behind got up to more speed... It's been a sprint of power and Hushovd was very strong, so there's nothing else to do than congratulate him". Igor Antón also had a few things to say about the stage: "We went up the last hill very fast, so there was no chance of doing anything there. I've already won a stage, so now I'm riding for a place on the podium. The next summit-finish I know well, Xorret del Cati on Saturday, and it suits me well. But from now on I'll only ride for that objective."

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