Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tour Down Under stage 2

Today's 148km trek from Lobethal to Stirling was the scene of one of the most spectacular solo breaks witnessed on the WorldTour circuit. Will Clarke decided to give it a go after a mere 1,5km of riding and extraordinarily stayed away all the way to the end. The sprinters' teams somehow totally miscalculated and were left to fight for second place. Matthews eventually brought home the peloton by a bike's length 1:02 in arrears ahead of Boasson Hagen in third and an impressive Alejandro Valverde in fourth.

Euskaltel joined in on the pace-setting at the head of the pack with some 30km left to ride, probably to set up fast-finisher Gorka Izagirre for a tilt at the win. As there was no win to sprint for, Izagirre rolled in mid-pack in 20th place. The native of Ormaiztegi was accompanied in that 65-man first group by team-mates Rubén Pérez and Romain Sicard, while the rest of the guys finished some way down the standings.

Stage results:
  • 20, Gorka Izagirre, 1:02
  • 47, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
  • 57, Romain Sicard, s.t.
  • 86, Adrián Sáez, 4:43
  • 115, Ricardo García, 13:27
  • 126, Pablo Urtasun, 16:17
  • 127, Victor Cabedo, s.t.
On GC, Izagirre occupies 11th - incidentally the exact same placing he finished up in last year's edition. In the strangely-named 'Cycle Instead Young Rider Classification', the 24-year-old is third at eight seconds, closely followed by his French companion in fifth.


Stephen said...

It shows his growing maturity as a rider, pay attention and stay in the front group, you can destroy your chances of a good GC finish by getting caught in a split and loosing time on the flat stages.

With a hilly day to come he can finish top ten if he keeps focused.

Nick said...

Im glad to see sicard finishing with the main group. Even though its nothing special, it's reassuring to see him lose 0 time this earlyto in thethe campaign after coming off an unforgettable year

Magnus said...

Agree with you, Nick. He's looking pretty sharp


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