Sunday, March 13, 2011

Samu goes close

Samuel Sánchez once again showed sensational early-season form by taking second on yesterday's seventh and penultimate stage of the Paris-Nice. The stage between Brignoles and Biot was 215 kilometres long and hilly. In other words: another demanding stage for an already tired peloton. Samu didn't look very tired, though, as he finished second only to a rejuvenated Rémy Di Grégorio, who took off from the lead group and was never seen again. Samu desperately tried to catch him, but it wasn't to be. At least the lead group split due to his acceleration, so he was able to advance from 8th to 6th on GC. He's still a minute and a half down on leader and likely victor Martin ahead of today's concluding stage, so we can't expect him to fight for the win, but the podium might be a remote possibility as he's "only" 48 seconds adrift of Klöden. Verdugo wasn't too far off yesterday, finishing 35th, 1:09 down. Sprint duo Isasi and Urtasun ended up no more than 2:59 back, while Azanza was 3:46, Izagirre 6:52 and Cazaux a big 20:21.

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