Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Euskaltel rescue the day in Giro stage 11

An untimely puncture derailed Jon Izagirre's challenge in today's 243km stage 11 from Assisi to Montecatini Terme, but it was thumbs up for everyone else on the team.

Mikel Nieve stayed with the pack to stay 35th on GC, a bandaged-up Iván Velasco got through the day after yesterday's crash, and Adrián Sáez made his mark on the race with a long day up ahead in the break of the day.

It was initially thought (by myself and the commentators anyway) that the Euskaltel rider suffering a mechanical inside the final 15 kilometres was in fact Mikel Nieve, but it turned out to be Izagirre. It could hardly have happened at a worse time for him what with the final climb coming up just up the road, on a terrain that would have suited him, and the youngster (who I've picked for my Giro-manager squad) crossed the line three minutes and 28 seconds down in 123rd place. No points for me in other words, but more importantly an opportunity missed for him.

Adrián Sáez, making his debut in a three-week race, wasn't frightened by the distance of today's stage and decided to give it a go alongside FDJ's Delage, Vacansoleil's Denifl, Lotto's Kaisen and Saxo Bank's Boaro. It was the latter who held off the pack the longest, but Sáez showed his strength by holding off the peloton longer than experienced campaigners Denifl, Delage and Kaisen. A brilliant experience for him.

Stage 11 results:
  • (1, Roberto Ferrari (Androni), 6:49:05
  • 37, Juan José Oroz, s.t.
  • 41, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
  • 96, Amets Txurruka, s.t.
  • 123, Jon Izagirre, 3:28
  • 160, Víctor Cabedo, 10:02
  • 161, Iván Velasco, s.t.
  • 184, Pierre Cazaux, s.t.
  • 188, Adrián Sáez, 12:33
  • 189, Miguel Minguez, s.t.


Kristof said...

I think it was Ion Izagirre who had mechanical problems? Ion was aside the road and I haven't seen him in the peleton later. Txurruka and some others stayed in the peleton, I suppose If Nieve had problems the whole team should wait, so I don't think it was Mikel. I saw three/four Euskaltels at the back of the bunch a whole day, so I suppose Velasco suffers a lot due to his crash.

Magnus said...

You're absolutely right - it was Izagirre. Yeah, I too saw Txurruka, Cabedo and co. in the pack, so something wasn't quite right. My bad.

Magnus said...

In other words, time to modify that post...

Stephen said...

"In other words, time to modify that post..."

Hahahha......not easy to see what is going on in such a long race with the TV focus on the very front end!

I'm not convinced by the lads getting into these long breaks, everyone knows that they won't last so they use energy they might need later helping Nieve. The team did a fantastic job in staying with Samu in the tour last year, he seemed to tour France with an orange clad 'V' protecting him and it paid off with a great result.

Magnus said...

Partly agree with you Stephen. They should save their energy for the stages where breaks actually have a chance of making it, but then again these second weeks of GTs are traditionally good for breaks. But there was no real need to go in the break today, I agree. I expect them to be on the offensive today, though, interesting stage coming up!

Stephen said...

Amets in the break today and they have a decent, if he were to somehow get to the line first then that would shut me and my big mouth up forever!


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