Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Euskaltel miss out in Getxo

It wasn't for the lack of trying, but Euskaltel, the big favourites, failed to put the finishing touches to their excellent team work early on in the Circuito de Getxo as Movistar's Giovanni Visconti came out tops.

With the Izagirre brothers, Igor Antón and Mikel Landa in their line-up, Euskaltel were red-hot favourites after last week's convincing triumph over in Ordizia. The team duly assumed control of the pack as a five-man group went off the front on the first of the ten 17km laps. Orbea's Mikel Bizkarra featured in the break alongside Caja Rural's Karol Domagalski, Androni's 23-year-old Spaniard Francisco Moreno, Luis Mas of Burgos BH - Castilla y León and South African Johann Rabie of Team Bonitas, but they were never really given a look-in as Euskaltel, and after a while Movistar and Andalucía too, kept the break on a tight leash. Bizkarra and Domagalski were the last ones standing, but were reeled in on the penultimate lap.

Peio Bilbao, 13th last year, tried his hand with a late-race move with five others a few clicks out, but a crash in the lead group disrupted their rhythm and they were brought back inside the last three kilometres. Miguel Minguez crashed inside the last k and hindered team captain Gorka Izagirre's chances, leaving Alan Pérez, who did a lot of work at the head of the pack early on, to fight for a result. The veteran came across in a decent 15th - by far his best performance of the year. There was no stopping Movistar's Visconti though, who claimed the big prize at the top of the Txomintxu-Arkotxa ahead of compatriot Di Luca and team-mate Enrique Sanz.

"I was well placed at the base of the final climb, but it was a bit too long, and it's not really a finish suited to me", Pérez told www.fundacioneuskadi.com post-race. "Anyway, I'm pleased to have been near the front. My legs were feeling good in what's so far been a hard season, with injuries at the start of the season... it's motivating to have been up there."

Gorka Izagirre had this to say: "I didn't feel good in the first few laps, but in the latter three I improved and I felt ready to fight for the win. The fall at the start of the climb happened right in front of me and I thus lost the opportunity to grab a good result and fight for the victory".

Results (Orbea riders in cursive):
  • (1, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), 3:56:11)
  • 15, Alan Pérez, 0:09
  • 28, Igor Antón, 0:27
  • 29, Haritz Orbe, s.t.
  • 32, Juan José Oroz, 0:36
  • 37, Iván Velasco, 0:50
  • 47, Aritz Bagües, 1:14
  • 52, Carlos Barbero, s.t.
  • 53, Omar Fraile, s.t.
  • 67, Xabier Zabalo, 1:32
  • 68, Peio Bilbao, s.t.
  • 72, Mikel Landa, s.t.
  • 74, Illart Zuazubiskar, s.t.
  • 80, Miguel Minguez, 1:54
  • 81, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
  • 83, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
  • 100, Mikel Bizkarra, 3:41
  • 106, Igor Merino, 6:01
  • 108, Aritz Etxebarria, 6:30
  • 109, Jon Aberasturi, s.t.
Photo: Fundación Euskadi Ciclista

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