Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tirreno stage 5 & Paris-Nice finale

Egoi Martínez embarked on a trademark long-distance break on hilly terrain in today's fifth stage in the Tirreno-Adriatico, a 199km stage from Piano Roseto to the top of Prati di Tivo.

Martínez broke clear with Jens Debusschere of Lotto and Kristof Goddaert of Ag2r early on, and the trio opened up a big gap that stretched to a huge ten minutes at one point. The peloton gradually cut back on their lead in the lead-up to the final climb under the impetus of Liquigas, and with some 20 clicks to go they'd all been reeled in. Martínez was the last man standing in the break and showed encouraging signs of form ahead of next weekend's Milano-San Remo.

Another one who impressed was young hotshot Jon Izagirre. The Ormaiztegi native followed up his 16th place from yesterday with a strong ride to 13th today, distancing the likes of Peter Velits, Danilo Di Luca, Daniel Moreno and Steven Kruijswijk. With two stages to go, the youngster is 16th overall.

Stage results:
  • (1, Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas)
  • 13, Jon Izagirre, 1:11
  • 31, Amets Txurruka, 6:10
  • 46, Juan José Oroz, 10:36
  • 56, Egoi Martínez, 12:35
  • 76, Gorka Verdugo, 16:56
  • 91, Mikel Landa, 22:06
  • 140, Pablo Urtasun, 25:38
  • 152, Rubén Pérez, 27:01
Martínez and Izagirre are ranked second in the mountains and young rider classifications respectively.

The Paris-Nice came to a close today with a concluding hill time trial up the Col d'Eze. No Euskaltel riders were in contention for a top overall placing going into the stage, and Romain Sicard finished the race as the team's top ranked rider in 39th place. Igor Antón had a low-key ride to 36th on the day and 50th overall, while Mikel Astarloza couldn't quite get his tempo legs up to speed with a 57th place.

Stage results:
  • (1, Bradley Wiggins, Sky)
  • 36, Igor Antón, 1:52
  • 43, Romain Sicard, 2:03
  • 57, Mikel Astarloza, 2:31
  • 81, Gorka Izagirre, 3:04
  • 90, Pierre Cazaux, 3:21
  • 97, Ricardo García, 3:36
  • 117, Adrián Sáez, 4:06
Final general classification:
  • (1, Bradley Wiggins, Sky)
  • 39, Romain Sicard, 9:49
  • 42, Mikel Astarloza, 11:00
  • 50, Igor Antón, 14:38
  • 72, Gorka Izagirre, 22:43
  • 108, Ricardo García, 44:49
  • 126, Pierre Cazaux, 1:00:36
  • 129, Adrián Sáez, 1:03:43
Sicard showed he's perhaps approaching the form of old with third in the young riders classification, while Izagirre finished seventh and García 14th. As a team, Euskaltel ended up in 15th place.

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