Friday, March 23, 2012

Volta a Catalunya stage 4

Samuel Sánchez fired a warning shot to his rivals for the Vuelta al País Vasco with arguably his strongest ride of the year on today's fourth stage in Catalunya. The Olympic champ placed sixth on the stage and advanced to fifth overall.

After the day's early break had been caught, a select group of six formed over the last climb. Sánchez crested the summit of the cat. 2 Coll de Paumeres first, and put in several digs on the descent to the line. Despite the group holding a sizeable gap on the run-in, they were caught by the peloton inside the last 500 metres. Rigoberto Urán claimed the win, while Samu held tough to claim sixth on the stage on the same time as the Colombian. Because of his strong ride, the 34-year-old now sits fifth on GC, 1:32 down on runaway-leader Albasini. With three stages left to ride though, Samu's most definitely in contention for a final podium place. No more than 11 days before the grand kick-off in País Vasco, Samu looks to be reaching top form just in time.

Another one who had a solid day in the saddle was Miguel Mínguez. The feathery climber crossed the line inside the second group at just 44 seconds, while Mikel Nieve continues to struggle with the injuries sustained in a crash on day two.

Samu, himself a victim of a crash only yesterday, was eyeing a top three finish when speaking to Euskaltel's website post-stage.

"There are still a few tough stages to come and we're in the fight for the podium. Today's stage was hard. Yesterday's tumble affected my performance, but luckily I was still able to ride strongly and fight for the victory."

"Looking towards País Vasco, we're getting closer and closer to top form. That motivates us".

Stage results:
  • (1, Rigoberto Urán, Team Sky)
  • 6, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
  • 29, Miguel Mínguez, 0:44
  • 65, Iván Velasco, 1:56
  • 66, Victor Cabedo, s.t.
  • 83, Jorge Azanza, 6:35
  • 94, Mikel Nieve, 16:32
General classification:
  • (1, Michael Albasini, GreenEdge)
  • 5, Samuel Sánchez, 1:32
  • 24, Miguel Mínguez, 3:07
  • 37, Iván Velasco, 4:19
  • 80, Jorge Azanza, 14:58
  • 83, Victor Cabedo, 16:00
  • 125, Mikel Nieve, 28:21

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Things are looking up, signs of form from a few riders now so maybe we can all breath a little easier...just need to start getting those all important points on the board.


web site counter
ISP Internet Providers