Saturday, May 28, 2011

Naturgas & Orbea recap

  • Orbea are currently taking part in the French 2.2 three-day race Tour de Gironde. A bunch of strong all-rounders are taking part - Zabalo, Sáez, Etxebarria, Urain - and speedster Aberasturi and climber García, both highly impressive so far this year. The team came close to reach it's stated target of a stage-win when Sáez posted an encouraging sixth on the opening day into Salles, while García went even closer by taking fourth on today's hilly ride into Cenon. Heading into the last stage, Sáez is 8th overall and García 12th.
  • Naturgas Energía are currently cutting their teeth at one of the more prestigious stage-races on their calendar: the six-day Vuelta a Navarra. Eduardo Ardaiz, Carlos Barbero, Álex Bilbao, Damien García, Aitor Ocampos and Rory Martínez are the riders charged with being active and getting into the breaks throughout the race. So far the race has been a big success. Barbero was second and Martínez seventh on the second stage, resulting in the team taking out the 'Best team'-award. The duo was at it again the next day, taking seventh and 11th respectively. Except for those two stages, though, it's been tough going for the youngsters. Heading into the last stage, the best-placed overall is García at a distant 33rd.
  • The red brigade did not manage to emulate Peio Bilbao's win last year in today's Torneo Lehendakari-race in Merkina. Merino looked good on the last climb, joining five other riders at the head of the race, but eventually found the going too tough and finished in sixth, 27 seconds down on winner Ruiz of Debabarrena. Efrén Carazo took an encouraging seventh at 1:05. The team consisted of the aforementioned duo along with Karl Baudron, Loïc Chetout, Alain González and Fernando Grijalba.

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