Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vuelta a Andalucía stage 2

Star triumvirate Igor Antón, Samuel Sánchez and Mikel Astarloza all showed they've done their work in the off-season by placing sixth, ninth and 15th respectively on today's queen-stage in the Ruta del Sol.

Unsurprisingly, Alejandro Valverde proved to be the strongest on the unforgiving ramps of the cat.1 Santuario de la Virgen de Araceli de Lucia climb that that marked the finish of the hilly 150km stage two. Say what you like about that guy, but there's no denying he's class through and through. The Movistar rider easily broke clear of a select group of top stage-racers near the end of the climb after a late-race move by former Euskaltel rider Intxausti and Galdós along with Lelay and Spilak was reeled back in. Menchov showed he's going well by taking second, ten seconds in arrears, while Taaramae, Schleck and Lagutin followed in the next three places. Antón grinded his way to sixth at no more than 15 seconds, while Sánchez also looks to be in a good place by taking ninth at 23. Astarloza, who's demonstrated decent form so far this season, grabbed 15th.

All three moved up in the overall rankings after today's strong showing. Samu's now seventh, Astarloza 11th and Antón 19th.

Click this link to hear what Antón had to say post-stage.
And click here to hear Samu's evaluation of his start to 2012.
(Videos courtesy of fundacioneuskadi.com)

Full results:
  • (1, Alejandro Valverde, Movistar)
  • 6, Igor Antón, 0:15
  • 9, Samuel Sánchez, 0:23
  • 15, Mikel Astarloza, 0:32
  • 43, Gorka Izagirre, 1:00
  • 48, Egoi Martínez, 1:20
  • 49, Juan José Oroz, s.t.
  • 71, Jorge Azanza, 2:36
General classification:
  • (1, Alejandro Valverde, Movistar)
  • 7, Samuel Sánchez, 0:21
  • 11, Mikel Astarloza, 0:27
  • 19, Igor Antón, 0:35
  • 37, Gorka Izagirre, 1:04
  • 47, Juan José Oroz, 1:29
  • 51, Egoi Martínez, 1:41
  • 69, Jorge Azanza, 2:58

Up tomorrow is a 157km ride from Montemayor to Las Gabias.


Stephen said...

Good solid day from the team, I'm sure they will all have been happy with that. Gorka at 1.00 is pretty good, hope he shows some more progress this year, he certainly has the potential

Magnus said...

For sure, pretty complete rider. Should evolve into a hilly Classics rider I reckon

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