Thursday, July 05, 2012

200 metres from heaven for Urtasun

Pablo Urtasun came within 200 metres of grabbing what would have been quite a sensational victory for the Euskaltel hard-man in today's fifth Tour de France stage.

Just a couple of days after suffering a concussion in a stage three-crash, the 32-year-old formed part of the break of the day on the road to Saint-Quentin. The break was seemingly doomed all along, but hesitation from the sprinters' teams, couple with an untimely crash with less than three clicks to go, gave the quartet a chance. Cofidis' Ghyselinck tried his hand as they passed under the red banner, but Urtasun timed his sprint to perfection and caught the Belgian in sight of the line. He just ran out of juice though and couldn't hold off the charging peloton, but then no one would at the pace the pack was going. He eventually finished 25th, but will no doubt look back proudly on his effort in a few days' time.

"I've got an ambiguous feeling", he told media post-stage. "On one hand, I'm happy to have been in the fight for a stage-win at the Tour. On the other, there won't be many opportunities like these ahead, so you have to take them. The cooperation in the group was good though, we only lacked five seconds. The last 20 clicks were full-on. If it had rained in the finale, with the complications that would bring, we might have stayed away. I played my cards though. I saved some energy for the finale. My legs were good, but the pack caught me with 200 metres to go".

Samu and co. once again stayed out of trouble as they were expertly placed near the front of the peloton towards the end. After the late-race pile-up, everyone was awarded the same finishing time.

Stage five results:
  • (1, André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), 4:41:30)
  • 15, Egoi Martínez, s.t.
  • 17, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
  • 23, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
  • 25, Pablo Urtasun, s.t.
  • 48, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 51, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
  • 104, Jorge Azanza, s.t.
  • 112, Gorka Verdugo, s.t. 


Anonymous said...

One of the sadest moments I have ever seen. I almost kicked my TV screen down.

Kristof said...

Fffff very sad this, he was so close! However, Pablo Urtasun, we're very proud of you and one day your big victory will be there!

arnout said...

That was exciting. It left a bad feeling too, as it looked like he threw the towel when the Cofidis rider attacked with 1.5km to go. If they'd stayed together, it would've been possible, he was very strong in the last km.

Kristof said...

Exciting... yes what a week he had. First day riding for the polka dots (he showed to be a good looser reaching Morkov a hand after the sprint), two days ago a badly crash when first it looked like it was over (very strong how he did return in the main field) and then today, so close to a legendary victory. I think he deserves some rest now, stage 12 would be very attractive to a type like Urtasun. He deserves a big victory, he's the kind of Ruben Perez; surely not the most talented guys in the peleton but riding with a big cycling heart.


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