Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tour stage 16

Another day in the Tour de France, another strong performance by Samuel Sánchez. Along with Cadel Evans, Samu was the only one strong enough to stay with an on-fire Alberto Contador on the cat. 2 Col de Manse. The trio put time into every single one of their GC rivals at the arrival in Gap and as a result Samu climbed to a lofty fifth overall now just 23 seconds down on the younger Schleck in fourth and approximately 90 seconds down on his antipodean breakaway companion who's sitting pretty in second. It's boding well for the monstrous three days ahead in the Alps. Contador's form looks ominous, but so too does Samu's. Alan Pérez also showed his worth today with a sixth-place finish after being part of the main break of the day. The Navarran couldn't quite keep up on that last climb but still soldiered on to finish ahead of strong riders like Roy, Marcato and Devenyns. Martínez also had a good day, coming in with the second group just 21 seconds adrift of Samu and co. Verdugo finished alongside A Schleck and Zubeldia a bit further back to complete a good day overall for the team. R Pérez ended up 8:08 down, Izagirre 10:35 and Urtasun, seemingly in better shape, came home 12:30 back.

In other Euskaltel news, the team will tomorrow line-up for the Brixia Tour for the very first time in their history. The five-day race will see Fernández, Castroviejo, Azanza, Minguez, Sesma, Cazaux and Landa (making his comeback from his second collarbone fracture of the year) take part. Look out for Castroviejo on Thursday's short individual time trial. The time trial specialist, who's likely to leave the team at the end of the current season, has also revealed his upcoming races on his own website. After Brixia, he'll line-up in San Sebastián, Getxo and the ENECO Tour.


azanca02 said...

Great showing today by the whole team. I don't want to get my hopes up with Andy and Frank getting dropped today because I know they can fight back. Evans looked REALLY strong and cool. I think he is going to win the over all and hopefully it will come down to COntador and Samu in the TT to round out the podium.

Stephen said...

Samu up to 5th, three riders in the top 40, team up to 6th ahead of many big budget squads, lots of Orange jerseys in breaks and a stage win – yes, it’s been a great tour so far and could get even better.
The team have been so impressive during this tour in the way that they have looked after Samu, there always seems to be at least three Orange jerseys together in the first 20/30 riders right up to the critical 3k mark. I can’t help but wonder if this teamwork is the benefit of the splitting of the squad with Anton taking some riders for the Giro/Vuelta and Samu’s group concentrating on the tour. It was a pretty successful Giro and there is no reason to think that Anton and Nieve won’t be capable of picking up some glory in Spain. The future is indeed bright...


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