Friday, September 09, 2011

Antón lands legendary win

The script couldn't really have been written any better. The leading Basque rider on the leading Basque team winning solo on Basque territory 33 years on since last time the Vuelta paid a visit. It was the stuff of legends, a moment that will live long in the memory of those present. And it was nothing more than Igor Antón and Euskaltel deserved. Going clear early on along with team-mate Verdugo, Movistar's Bruseghin and Astana's Dyachenko, Antón dropped them one by one on his way to a commanding solo win in downtown Bilbao. Hailing from nearby Galdakao, Antón was as close to home as he'll ever be and fulfilled everyone's expectations. The fans went crazy as he put his arms aloft and shook DS Gerrikagoitia's hand in the team car before crossing the line 41 seconds clear of Bruseghin. Nerz, local hero Haimar Zubeldia and Sørensen led the pack home a minute and a half later, and the presence of Txurruka and Nieve in that reduced group of favourites secured Euskaltel the win in the team rankings as well. Perfect. Check back later tonight for full results and reactions from the main players.


kKDu said...

What a great day, I was afraid of Bruseghin all the way to the finish. But Fuji was just amazing and of course all the Basque fans.
The whole Vuelta is rescued.

Tomorrow Amets will win ;)

Kristof said...

What a victory:-) Igor deserves this victory after two weeks struggeling with his form. I said it before but like to repeat, what a great helper is Gorka Verdugo!He's the best domestic in the Euskaltel team and without a doubt one of the best domestics in the peleton. Unbelievable he hasn't even finished top 5 in a bycicle race. Congratiolations to Igor, Gorka and the whole team for this fantastic moment!

Stephen said...

Wow, that was fantastic!!!

I have never been more nervous watching a bike race in my life, I was so worried they would catch him on the last hill, god only knows what reserves of strength and courage the man has, what a season!

Yes, we all hoped for a higher position in the GC but this is a fantastic compensation, not many riders win stages in two grand tours in the same year, and two such important stages as well.

As I said after Samu won KoM in the Tdf, I'll be wearing my Orange jersey with an extra touch of pride on Sunday. I love this team!

azanca02 said...

That was awesome. I even took the day off of work so I could watch it. I really hope they can win again tomorrow since the last day will more than likely come down to a sprint.

Nick said...

I was fortunate enough to attend, and will second everything that Magnus said. The scene was fantastic, Igor was so happy I was convinced he was gonna be moves to tears id the podium ceremony went one minute longer.

Asides the annoying political protesters (some trying to covertly throw tacks in the road) the fans were fantastic, cheering passionately and politely the entire time. Great way to introduce the basque country back to the vuelta and im thrilled to have witnessed if firsthand

Stephen said...

Nick, the commentator on ITV4 said it was his 4th Vuelta and he had never seen crowds like that, it looked amazing.

If you are in the old town tonight I bet dawn comes before the party is close to over...enjoy!

Holden Caulfield said...

Hi, just wanted to say that I was lucky to be one of the fans last friday in Bilbao. We couldn't make it to the Vivero so we chose to see the race in the last kilometer. We spent the whole last half an hour coming out and in of a nearby bar to see the race on TV. I also went on thursday to Noja to see the end of the race. To me, a fan who has been supporting Euskaltel and any rider in Luz Ardiden, Vuelta al País Vasco, Bicicleta Vasca, Gran Premio de Primavera, Subida a Urkiola, Gran Premio de Llodio... this was just one of the best days ever. I'm happy that the Vuelta came back to the Basque Country, now I hope that they invest money as well in some other minor races that we people who love cycling miss that much, because they spent a lot of money for the Vuelta to come back and we lost the Bicicleta Vasca and the Subida a Urkiola and the Vuelta al País Vasco or the GP Primavera are always risky to lose their budgets. I really hope that they don't forget that we also need that side of cycling. But, again, friday, it was just amazing.


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