Monday, February 20, 2012

Vuelta a Andalucía stage 1

The first stage proper of the Ruta del Sol, a mainly flat 198 kilometres between Zahara de los Atunes and Benalmádena, was largely uneventful for the team. A small group of riders broke clear of the peloton early on and, to their great credit, stayed away all the way to the line - by a mere three seconds. Javier Ramírez of local team Andalucía took top honours ahead of Maté and Routley, while three-time world champ Óscar Freire led home the pack in fourth. Gorka Izagirre tried to mix it up with the speedsters and finished a decent 13th. Every rider on the team finished inside the peloton and did not ceed time.

Several of the Euskaltel riders, perhaps Astarloza and Sánchez in particular, will be looking to put their mark on tomorrow's queen-stage: a 150,7km trek from Málaga to the top of the cat.1 Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Araceli. Check back tomorrow afternoon for full results.

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