Saturday, April 09, 2011

VPV 6: Samu off the podium

The Vuelta al País Vasco ended on a disappointing note for Samu and Euskaltel today. Going into the deciding ITT, Samu was tied on time with leader Rodríguez and nr. 2 Klöden. While Rodríguez was never likely to pose a real threat, Klöden most certainly was. Samu just didn't seem to have the legs, pushing a (too?) heavy gear on the climb up to the first check-point, and at the halfway point in was already obvious that it wasn't going to work out for him this year either. Samu proceeded to lose even more time on the way to the line, finally ending up 13th at 1:17 down on winner Martin and, more importantly, 1:08 down on overall winner Klöden. Most of the other GC candidates also posted better times than Samu, resulting in a sixth place overall for the man ranked as the big favourite pre-race. While most likely being heartbroken at the result, the Olympic champion put on a brave face to the media afterwards. "In general I'm very pleased with the Vuelta al País Vasco", he told the team's website. "We've won the queen-stage and been in the fight for the win 'till the last minute. Obviously I'd have loved to finish on the podium. But like with Menchov at the Tour last year we failed at the last hurdle. But I don't want to dwell on this result too much as there are important races coming up. We gave it our all 'till the last day and take home with us the win on the queen-stage". While taking out the biggest stage in a WorldTour stage-race is not to be sniffed at, there's no hiding Samu, Galdeano et al. will be very disappointed with the final outcome. A course not selective enough and a rather weak squad compared to his rivals' have to take some of the blame, but in the end it's about having the legs on the day and sadly that wasn't the case this year either. Still 'only' 33, Samu still has a few years to put it right though and finally grab that elusive win in his and the team's home race. Here's to next year!

Stage results:

  • 13th, Samuel Sánchez, 1:17
  • 29th, Gorka Verdugo, 2:03
  • 65th, Egoi Martínez, 3:00
  • 73rd, Amets Txurruka, 3:14
  • 101st, Juan José Oroz, 4:05
  • 106th, Iván Velasco, 4:18
  • 130th, Pablo Urtasun, 6:48

Pablo Urtasun took a tumble 1500 metres from the line. Reportedly it's not thought to be too serious though, but he's pretty bruised up at the time being. Iñaki Isasi doesn't figure on the results sheet, so I assume he wasn't feeling too good this morning and decided to skip it.

Final results:

  • 6, Samuel Sánchez
  • 15, Gorka Verdugo
  • 49, Amets Turruka
  • 54, Egoi Martínez
  • 58, Iván Velasco
  • 108, Juan José Oroz
  • 110, Pablo Urtasun

No comments:


web site counter
ISP Internet Providers