Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Euskaltel everywhere in Australia

Euskaltel were omnipresent in today's first stage proper of the Tour Down Under; a rather flat 138km trek from Mawson Lakes to Angaston. Jon Izagirre and Miguel Minguez were both on the attack early on, and they both succeeded in making up part of the five-man breakaway group that stayed off the front for the majority of the race. With two riders in a break of five the team was perfectly placed, but naturally the break was doomed due to the amazing list of sprinters present. Simon Clarke jumped out of the group inside the last 20 clicks and was accompanied by Minguez, but the brave duo were swalloped up inside the last seven. Due to picking up bonus seconds throughout the stage, Minguez is now a solid seventh overall. Gorka Izagirre grabbed second place and with it 12 points on the day's only climb, meaning he's naturally second in that particular competition. Awesome. In the dash for the line Iñaki Isasi grabbed a very impressive eighth place. Considering the aforementioned host of sprinters at the race, that's not bad. All in all a good day for the team I reckon. So too does DS Josu Larrazabal apparantly, who gave the following endorsement of the squad post-stage: "I'm very happy with the whole team. We were combative and active. It's very difficult to surprise anyone in this race, so all we can do is do what we do best and show our fighting spirit". All riders ended up with the same time as victor Matt Goss.

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