Sunday, April 15, 2012

Unlucky Samu grabs 7th in Amstel

Despite being set back by a mechanical with less than 20 kilometres to go and getting his sprint interrupted by Cunego and Nordhaug's crash on the steepest ramps ofthe Cauberg, Samuel Sánchez persevered to grab a satisfactory seventh place in today's Amstel Gold Race.

The defining moment for the team came when Sánchez suffered the misfortune of a puncture/mechanical problem with approximately 20 clicks to go. The team, with the likes of Sicard and Martínez particularly prominent, dropped back instantly to help their leader bridge back up to a flying peloton. Approaching the Keutenberg some ten kilometres later he was finally back among the leaders, but naturally suffered from his exertions on the unforgiving ramps of the Cauberg. Still though, he had enough left in the tank to distance pre-race favourites like Mollema, Schleck, an off-colour Rodríguez, Henao, Valverde and Gerrans. Italian Gasparotto powered his way to a relatively surprising win ahead of Vanendert and Sagan.

Samu earned the team 14 valuable UCI WorldTour-points courtesy of his seventh place.

Another rider who enjoyed a good day in the saddle was young Peio Bilbao. The stand-out 22-year-old, impressive in the break of the day in Flanders a fortnight ago, once again made it into the main break in a big classic. The featherweight climber formed part of the early-race nine-man break and, as some of the more experienced heads in the group went out the back as the pace was upped inside the last 50 clicks, Bilbao put in a ride that belied his tender years and stayed away 'till only 27 kilometres were left to race. On this form, the native of Gernika might go on to animate Fleche Wallonne on Wednesday and Liège on Sunday.

  • (1, Enrico Gasparotto, Astana)
  • 7, Samuel Sánchez, 0:02
  • 54, Egoi Martínez, 2:03
  • 64, Romain Sicard, 2:21
  • 69, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
  • 137, Peio Bilbao, 11:31
  • DNF: Rubén Pérez, Jorge Azanza, Ricardo García.
Full results here.


arnout said...

It was a mechanical, confirmed by Dutch TV, they had a man on the motor behind the peloton. Happened just before the Kruisberg I think.

Magnus said...

Okay, thanks. Strong ride though!

Kristof said...

Yes a mechanical problem, if you see he returns and he finishes seventh... who dares to say he would not have won without this problem? Samu, with this shape you need to come to Liege, you'll ride a podium.

azanca02 said...

Yes he should race the next two races as well. WIth him and Igor they can get great results and lots of points.


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