Friday, May 25, 2012

Just in: Nieve 8th on stage - climbs GC

Mikel Nieve put in another stout display in the Italian mountains to climb to 13th on GC - just 20 seconds off the top ten.

The 19th stage from Treviso to the top of the Alpe di Pampeago took in a myriad of climbs over 197 kilometres, and it started out well enough with Pierre Cazaux getting into the big 17-strong group that was established some 20 clicks into the stage. As the climbs came into play in the latter half of the stage, the lead group was continuously whittled down as Liquigas' strong-arm tactics put paid to a lot of riders' aspirations. Nieve stayed close to the front throughout, ably supported by a phenomenal Jon Izagirre who stayed with the lead group 'till some five kilometres were left to ride, and eventually crossed the line in eighth just 1:18 down on breakaway winner Roman Kreuziger. More importantly he distanced the likes of Gadret, De Gendt, Cunego, Henao, Moreno, Cataldo, Brambilla and a sick Beñat Intxausti, meaning he climbed to 13th on GC. Going into tomorrow's penultimate leg to the behemoth that is the Stelvio, the Euskaltel leader is only 19 seconds off Cunego in tenth overall.

Izagirre put in a ride that belied his age, persevering to grab 23rd on the day. Cazaux, who spent most of the day courageously hanging on in the break, also had a great day in the saddle and came in 37th.

Stage 19 results:
  • (1, Roman Kreuziger, 6:18:02)
  • 8, Mikel Nieve, 1:18
  • 23, Jon Izagirre, 2:53
  • 37, Pierre Cazaux, 7:27
  • 57, Juan José Oroz, 21:10
  • 58, Amets Txurruka, s.t.
  • 59, Iván Velasco, s.t.
  • 121, Miguel Minguez, 34:44
  • 130, Adrián Sáez, s.t.
  • 131, Víctor Cabedo, s.t.

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