Sunday, August 07, 2011

Landa lands Burgos queen-stage

Mikel Landa danced his way to a spectacular win atop the Lagunas de Neila in Vuelta a Burgos' last stage earlier today and thus secured his first professional win in his maiden season in the pro ranks. And it was nothing less than Landa and Euskaltel deserved. Right from the off the team took control of proceedings and set a furious pace at the head of the pack to make life as hard as possible for overall leader Rodríguez. Astarloza, Oroz, Isasi, Bilbao, Antón, Nieve and Landa in particular took huge pulls at the head of an ever-reducing select group to set up Samu as the tremendously hilly 155km parcours took its toll on the peloton. On the last climb only five riders were able to live with Landa's unrelentless and selfless riding: Samu, Purito, Moreno, Cobo and Pardilla. But just when you sensed it was high time for an attack from Samu, he faltered, out of the blue almost, and went out the back of the group. Landa duly went on the attack and quickly opened up a 15-second gap as Purito looked happy to ride for the overall. Inside the last kilometre he was caught by the Katusha leader and JJ Cobo though, but amazingly he attacked them both inside the last 300 metres to take a commanding win ahead of Cobo in second and a fist-pumping Purito, the overall winner, in third. Samu conceded a full 1:14 by stage's end and came home seventh, while Nieve was a solid 8th at 1:28 and Antón 10th at 1:58. As a result Samu finished just outside the podium in fourth, while Antón finished eighth and Nieve tenth. Astarloza came home 26th at 5:54, Oroz was 42nd at 8:40, Bilbao 49th and Isasi 50th, both at 10:17. Final GC:
  • 4, Sánchez
  • 8, Antón
  • 10, Nieve
  • 19, Landa
  • 31, Astarloza
  • 34, Oroz
  • 65, Isasi
  • 67, Bilbao
Not content with just a stage-win to show for his efforts, Landa duly went on to win the King of the Mountains jersey overall to cap off a memorable day for him. Euskaltel finished first in the team rankings by a commanding margin over Movistar and Katusha.

While it was a day to remember for Landa and co., it was everything but for Orbea and Ricardo García in particular. García was lying in 10th overall going into the stage but collapsed on the last couple of climbs and ended up a full 8:09 down in 34th and dropped to a disappointing 25th overall. Bizkarra came in alongside him in 36th, while Martín was 54th at 11:46, Urain 67th, Sáez 69th and Etxebarria 73rd all at 13:52, and the aggressive and impressive Cabedo finished up 78th at 14:48. Xabier Zabalo did not finish, leading to the following GC result for Orbea:
  • 25, García
  • 64, Sáez
  • 70, Martín
  • 72, Cabedo
  • 73, Urain
  • 75, Bizkarra
  • 80, Etxebarria


azanca02 said...

Man Mikel was a BEAST TODAY!!! I was amazed when he attacked. He totally deserved the win after doing so much work and pacing through out the stage.

Stephen said...

I didn't see any of it as we were out on our bikes but what a great result, there really is some talent coming through the ranks!

Stephen said...

Nice article here about Mikel here this morning.


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