Sunday, July 01, 2012

Dismal opening to the Tour

The Tour de France prologue was anything but satisfactory for Euskaltel as Samu lost 40 seconds, only one rider placed inside the top 100, and Gorka Verdugo crashed.

It couldn't really have gotten off to a worse start. Samu naturally needs time to get back into top shape after his Dauphiné travails, but 147th, 40 seconds down on Cancellara and 33 on Wiggins, was probably worse than he had expected himself pre-race. When you cede time to Basso in a 6,4km crono, you're obviously not had the best of days. Surprisingly though, the 34-year-old said the legs weren't too shabby.

"I'm feeling better now than I did in the Dauphiné, and that's the biggest positive today. It was a prologue for specialists, and I felt better than what my time would suggest. But I have to stay calm, I didn't lose that much time to the other GC riders. The race has only just begun, and there's a lot of racing left to do", he told the team's website.

He ceded 33 seconds to Wiggins, 27 to Menchov, 23 to Evans, 22 to Nibali, 18 to Brajkovic, 14 to Gesink, 12 to Leipheimer, 11 to Basso, nine to Danielson, six to Horner, five to Valverde, three to Scarponi and two to Schleck. Tomorrow's stage to Seraing is likely to be a better indicator of form, though.

Mikel Astarloza was the best rider in orange today, placing a decent 43rd at 23 seconds. Astarloza tweeted the legs felt better than the result would suggest afterwards, so he seems to be in the same place as Samu. As for the other riders, none placed inside the top 100, and Gorka Verdugo topped off an already miserable day by crashing and hurting his hip. He will line up tomorrow, though.

Prologue results:

  • (1, Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack), 7:13)
  • 43, Mikel Astarloza, 0:23
  • 108, Gorka Izagirre, 0:33
  • 118, Pablo Urtasun, 0:35
  • 147, Samuel Sánchez, 0:40
  • 149, Jorge Azanza, 0:41
  • 183, Egoi Martínez, 0:50
  • 185, Amets Txurruka, 0:52
  • 192, Gorka Verdugo, 1:01
  • 193, Rubén Pérez, 1:02


Kristof said...

What a bad day, Samu did even worse then Schleck, and most important domestique Verdugo crashes (again). Hope he is able to continue.

Stephen said...

Makes you wonder why Orbea make a TT bike, the team hardly endorse it's merits!


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