Monday, February 21, 2011

Andalucía stage 2

Though neither team managed to get any results of note in today's second stage of the Vuelta a Andalucía, both Euskaltel and Orbea did their best to sneak away with the win by attacking the peloton a few times. Both Romain Sicard and Orbea rider Aritz Etxebarria made it into the early five-man break on the lumpy 161km stage to Adra. The break was never going to succeed, though, and it was clear Sicard is still some way from reaching top form, but nonetheless a good day out for him and young Etxebarria. Two clicks from the line, the very promising Peio Bilbao and fellow Basque Arkaitz Durán tried to upset the sprinters by launching an attack, but the peloton were having none of it and duly reeled them in within sight of the line. Jonathan Hivert prevailed in a sprint bereft of Euskaltel and Orbea representatives. In the 43-man strong lead group that distanced the remaining riders were Sánchez, Landa and the aforementioned Bilbao, while Orbea's Cabedo and Euskaltel's Urtasun came in two minutes down. Verdugo and R Pérez cruised home more than a quarter of an hour down, while Sicard and Orbea duo Etxebarria and Garcia crossed the line a further four minutes back. Fernández and Orbea riders Aberasturi and Xabalo came home with the last group more than 22 minutes in arrears.

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