Monday, October 03, 2011

Bilbao 2nd in Vendée

First-year pro Peio Bilbao took a strong second place in today's Tour de Vendée. The 21-year-old formed part of the 23-man break - along with team-mate Iñaki Isasi - that was allowed to go all the way in this last round of the French cup. The break was whittled down in the closing stages as the parcours took its toll, and approaching the line only Bilbao, Levarlet, Pichon, Bouet and Mercato were left to duke it out. The latter unsurprisingly beat the others to take a deserved win. Bilbao showed he's more than a pure climber though by coming home second. Isasi grabbed ninth to complete a good day out for the team.

"I was really unsure what my form was like going into this race", the youngster told the team's website post-race. "But I felt good right from the off, and I felt even better once I got into the break along with Isasi. To start with my task was to help out Isasi, but the break splintered and I ended up in the front group. Marcato is a good sprinter so I knew it'd be hard, but still it felt good just to be there at the front, fighting for the win. This boosts my morale going into the 2012 season."

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