Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vuelta stage 6 & Poitou Cha. stage 3 & 4

Mikel Nieve advanced to 12th overall after another tough and hot day in the saddle on stage six between Úbeda and Córdoba earlier today. Nieve came home with a ten-man group 17 seconds down on...well...Liquigas. Four riders from the fluorescent green team, including Nibali, slipped off the front on the downhill leading up to the line and came home a potentially vital 17 seconds ahead of the main group of favourites. Nieve looked strong throughout and put a few seconds into overall contenders Wiggins, Zubeldia, Van Den Broeck and Menchov. That quartet, along with Martínez, Verdugo, Antón and a host of other riders, came in 23 back. Antón is looking worse every day in my opinion and deserves a lot of credit for staying in there and keep on fighting. It doesn't bode well for the remainder of the race though, but at least he's still in the race. Oroz ended up 1:18 down, an out-of-shape Txurruka a full 5:19 down, Isasi and Azanza 7:58 and Cazaux 15:49. On GC, Nieve is as mentioned 12th at just 57 seconds. If he keeps going like this, a top 5 overall is well within his grasp.

Day three in Poitou Charentes were made up of two separate stages: a 104,8km road race in the morning followed by a 20,5km ITT later on. In the former, Koldo Fernández sprinted to 11th place, while his team-mates (bar Landa and Sicard) finished mid-pack. The young duo ceded 48 seconds and 1:14 respectively. Sicard sadly didn't start the ITT, and the team's best time trialist on paper - Mikel Astarloza - failed to impress. Astarloza finished 27th, 1:2o down on the Shack's Sergent. Jon Izagirre had a decent ride to place 37th. More on Sicard's DNS later. Stage 4 results:
  • 27, Astarloza, 1:20
  • 38, J Izagirre, 1:39
  • 59, Mínguez, 2:10
  • 74, Bilbao, 2:30
  • 86, Landa, 2:42
  • 92, Fernández, 2:50
  • 122, Velasco, 3:25

1 comment:

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