Monday, March 28, 2011

Crit. round-up

True to form, the Critérium International concluded today with two separate stages: a short, flat road stage to begin with, before an afternoon ITT brought the racing to a close. Egoi Martínez animated the first one, getting into a four-man break early on and staying away 'till only three kilometres were left to race. Though he might not be in top shape just yet, he's still as aggressive as ever. Eventually he finished 35 seconds down on the stage, but that's of minor importance. The other four guys finished inside the pack. Samu had a decent ride in the 7km time trial, grabbing 14th on the stage, 25 seconds down on an in-form Andreas Klöden. Verdugo, not yet at the level he showed in the cronos last year, placed 48th at 42 seconds, while Martínez was 75th at 1:07. Txurruka was 83rd at 1:14, while Velasco, still searching for form, finished a lowly 96th at 1:32. These results lead to the following GC:

  • 16, Samuel Sánchez
  • 35, Gorka Verdugo
  • 54, Iván Velasco
  • 65, Amets Txurruka
  • 75, Egoi Martinez

  • With the Vuelta al País Vasco right around the corner, I reckon Samu is where he should be. He's been in decent shape so far this year, and, while he's still not at the very top of his game, I trust him to once again get it just right for País Vasco. He knows what he's doing, he always does. As for some of the other guys, Verdugo, Txurruka, Martínez, Sicard, Velasco to name a few, I'm not quite as optimistic. Galdeano recently said the team he'll field this year will be the best in the team's history. While there's still a week to go, there's no doubt some of the riders' form leaves a lot to be desired. I hope they'll prove me wrong, they certainly have the ability to be classed "best ever País Vasco"-team or whatever, but I'm not overly confident they will. If Samu is to challenge and grab that elusive, but oh so richly-deserved, win, he needs a team in top shape to help him out. I say get Jonathan Castroviejo and Gorka Izagirre in there.

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