Sunday, April 24, 2011

LBL and Rioja

Euskaltel had a solid if somewhat low-key performance in today's Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Samu had an anonymous ride but still mananged a very satisfying 10th at the end after going clear of the main chase group up the last incline to the line. Antón was way more aggressive and looked close to his best, pedalling efforlessly with his trademark high cadence, but eventually had to settle for 14th after never really getting away. Gorka Verdugo was the only other rider able to finish the race, ending up 60th, but the team still looked strong. Especially Martínez and Velasco played pivotal roles in setting up their leaders for a shot at glory through some unselfish riding.

In Rioja, luck was never really on the team's side. Urtasun got into the break early on and stayed out ahead for the majority of the race. When the racing got serious towards the end with Urtasun's group reeled in, the riders just didn't seem to have the legs. Azanza, Nieve and Txurruka, especially so the latter, looked in decent shape and was close to the front, but the trio eventually had to settle for 18th, 23rd and 24th, all at just eight seconds. They crossed the line inside a small group also containing the impressive Orbea duo of García (11th) and Cabedo (16th). Fernández, Aramendía and Pérez lead home the main peloton at 1:25, taking 31st through 33rd. Martín (35th) and Sáez (47th) was also in that group, while Zabalo, Aberasturi and Bagües ended up in a group three minutes fifteen seconds in arrears. Cazaux and Orbea youngster Etxebarria came in together at 7:54, both tired after being active throughout. Breakaway man Urtasun ended up 10:44 down.


azanca02 said...

What is next on schdule for Samu?

Magnus said...

He's down for a break now. I'm guessing he'll be back for Dauphiné.


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