Sunday, March 13, 2011

Almandoz & Aiztondo round-up

The hilly GP Baztán in Almandoz, part of the Torneo Lehendakari calendar, was held earlier this Sunday. The guys in red missed out on the decisive break of the day that included eventual winner Van Geffel and second-placed Domalgaski, both of the impressive Caja Rural outfit, but partly made up for it by taking third and sixth after strong showings on the last cat. 2 climb, the Alto de Izpegi. Igor Merino, captured above by photographer sobresaliente Iñaki Azanza, stormed up the hill to take third, while the seemingly indefatigable Fernando Grijalba, fresh off his second place in Lizartza yesterday, came home sixth. Strong overall performance by the team.

The guys that competed in the Aiztondo Klasikoa today, couldn't quite match the results posted in Almandoz. As far as I can see, only three Naturgas riders completed the demanding 136km race, best of those three being Jon Larrinaga in a decent 16th position. Rory Martínez finished 70th and Efrén Carazo 75th in what was, overall, a somewhat disappointing race for the 'red brigade'.

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