Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brief report: Almería and Sud Ardèche

Results from the Clásica Almería are just in, and an Euskaltel outfit bereft of a pure sprinter in its ranks failed to land a top results. Antipodean whizz-kid Michael Matthews sprinted to glory ahead of Bozic and Kluge, while Jorge Azanza was the team's top finisher in 15th, three seconds adrift. The guys in orange failed to animate the race as the day's break got away with no orange-clad riders in it. The race marked Nieve, Mínguez, Velasco and Txurruka's first day of competition in 2012. Full results:

  • (1, Michael Matthews, Rabobank)
  • 15, Jorge Azanza, 0:03
  • 18, Amets Txurruka, s.t.
  • 25, Iván Velasco, s.t.
  • 31, Gorka Verdugo, s.t.
  • 62, Mikel Nieve, 9:24
  • 73, Miguel Mínguez, 10:08
  • 96, Victor Cabedo, 19:37
  • DNF: Pablo Urtasun

Jon Izagirre showed plenty of promise with a third place in today's Les Boucled du Sud Ardèche - his top professional result. FDJ's Remi Pauriol won solo with half a minute or so, while his team-mate Arthur Vichot bested the youngest of the Izagirres to claim second.

"It turned into a race of elimination, and being up there among the best has motivated me for my next race: Tirreno-Adriatico", the 23-year-old told the team's website. "I'll go home happy, ready for new challenges. The season's just started and I'm feeling good!"

Everyone else on the team, as well as the whole of Caja Rural, failed to finish, as the high speed in the closing stages put paid to a lot of riders' hopes.

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