Sunday, February 05, 2012

Trofeo Palma

Euskaltel avoided the crashes and mishaps a flat, short, criterium-style season-opener like the Trofeo Palma normally brings with it earlier today, but failed to animate the race in any way.

The pancake flat first race of the Challenge Mallorca saw young Briton Andre Fenn come out tops with an impressive burst of speed at the end, while Urtasun - the team's designated fast-man - could only manage a distant 34th. R Pérez was 51st, while Astarloza and Azanza came home eight seconds down in 70th and 84th respectively. The rest of the team, Verdugo, Cabedo (who had a couple of punctures underway) and the Izagirres all crossed the line 15 seconds down, unscathed and, judging by their Twitter accounts, happy with their day's work.

Like their Fundación Euskadi companions, the Orbea riders racing didn't succeed in putting colour to the event. New-boys Barbero and Zuazubiskar were the only ones able to live with the peloton's frantic pace in the run-in to finish 45th and 46th at the same time as the victor, while Bagües and Fraile came home with Astarloza and Azanza's group at eight seconds. Aberasturi, who's fast-twitch muscle fibres were perfectly suited to today's course, backed off in the closing kilometres and ended up 15 seconds in arrears along with team-mated Etxebarria and Bizkarra. Merino finished up 1:12 adrift in 169th place.

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