Monday, June 11, 2012

Nieve maintains top ten in Suisse

While today's third stage of the Tour de Suisse was everything but normal, it was a relatively uncomplicated one for Euskaltel as Mikel Nieve stayed ninth on GC.

The 194,7 kilometres between Martigny and Aarberg will forever be remembered for a poorly timed railway crossing and the ensuing chaos that split the peloton in two with some 55 clicks to go. Movistar, who got pretty much all of their riders across just in time, used the occasion to make fools of themselves by deciding to press on and distance the rest of the peloton instead of sitting up and wait - as it the custom. After some discussions with the race officials, and embarrassing protestations from Marzio Bruseghin, the team of overnight leader Rui Alberto Faria da Costa eventually decided to wait for the rest of the pack. The break up the road, who profited massively from the anarchy ruling behind, was reeled in inside the last kilometre and Peter Sagan went on to take the win everyone expected him to. Rubén Pérez figured near the front of the peloton in the last five clicks, seemingly intent on giving it a go in the sprint, but never really found his place and had to settle for a distant 21st.

Nieve stayed out of trouble and crossed the line among the other GC contenders, while Romain Sicard had to concede 31 seconds by stage's end. Urtasun and Antón amazingly managed to finish more than 13 minutes in arrears - the former thus not doing his chances of being picked for the Tour de France any good.

Stage three results:
  • (1, Peter Sagan (Liquigas), 4:35:32)
  • 21, Rubén Pérez, 0:03
  • 29, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 39, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
  • 45, Iván Velasco, s.t.
  • 55, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
  • 122, Romain Sicard, 0:31
  • 158, Igor Antón, 13:22
  • 159, Pablo Urtasun, s.t.

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