Friday, March 23, 2012

Aberasturi to the fore in Portugal

Away from the grandeur of WorldTour racing in Belgium and the upcoming Vuelta al País Vasco on home soil, Orbea are taking part in the four-day Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal. Two days in, sprinter Jon Aberasturi has already notched two top 5s - and Xabier Zabalo has made his long-awaited return to competition following his potentially career-ending injury last year.

The race got underway yesterday, and the following eight riders lined up: Aberasturi, Bagües, Barbero, Orbe, Zuazubiskar, Zabalo, Fraile and Etxebarria.

On day one, a 165,8km trek from Castelo de Vide to Redondo, Aberasturi just missed out on the podium as Montenegro, Caldeira and Goncalves, in that order, proved too fast.

Stage 1 results:
  • (1, Jorge Martín Montenegro, Louletano)
  • 4, Jon Aberasturi, s.t.
  • 49, Aritz Bagües, s.t.
  • 57, Carlos Barbero, 0:48
  • 71, Haritz Orbe, 1:49
  • 81, Illart Zuazubiskar, 3:45
  • 128, Xabier Zabalo, 13:17
  • 133, Omar Fraile, 14:36
  • 134, Aritz Etxebarria, s.t.
On day two, Aberasturi placed fifth as Alexey Kunshin won the 191,3km stage from Portel to Santiago do Cacém. The young Basque is ranked tenth overall halfway through the race.

Stage 2 results:
  • (1, Alexey Kunshin, Lokosphinx)
  • 5, Jon Aberasturi, s.t.
  • 44, Aritz Etxebarria, s.t.
  • 54, Aritz Bagües, 0:18
  • 63, Carlos Barbero, 0:28
  • 110, Xabier Zabalo, 3:08
  • 119, Illar Zuazubiskar, 4:01
  • 120, Omar Fraile, s.t.
  • 131, Haritz Orbe, 6:29
Prior to the race, Zabalo talked briefly to about what it feels like to be back. Read it here.

The race concludes on Sunday.


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