Sunday, July 22, 2012

Martínez maintains 17th
















Despite a somewhat subdued performance in today's 53,5km ITT, Egoi Martínez clung onto his 17th place overall ahead of tomorrow's processional stage into Paris.

The 34-year-old, who had earlier on voiced his disenchantment at being one of the lucky few to be transported to today's start town of Bonneval by helicopter instead of by car as his team-mates were forced to, crossed the line a distant 65th, a full 6:14 in arrears. His overall placing was never troubled though, and the former Discovery Channel rider will post his best general classification result ever if he gets through tomorrow's stage unscathed.

"At the end of this race, I'm happy", he told the team's website post-race. "At 34-years-old I've been disputing a high overall placing in the final long time trial. That's never happened before, so I'm very pleased. I felt good on the bike today and finished totally empty. Gorka (Gerrikagoitia) directed me in a masterly fashion, he's a great DS. Along with Óscar Guerrero, he's the best I've come across. He's been able to motivate us throughout, and the end result has been great.

Overall it's been a difficult Tour for us. We lost four riders, including our leader. We travelled to Liège with specific targets and suddenly everything changed. We responded and fought every day for a stage victory. We're proud of our Tour performance".

Click here to read Pablo Urtasun's thoughts on the race.

None of the other riders managed to crack the top 100 today. Gorka Izagirre came through a lowly 116th, meaning he dropped to 39th overall.

Stage 19 results:
  • (1, Bradley Wiggins (Sky), 1:04:13)
  • 65, Egoi Martínez, 6:14
  • 102, Jorge Azanza, 7:57
  • 108, Rubén Pérez, 8:09
  • 109, Pablo Urtasun, 8:10
  • 116, Gorka Izagirre, 8:46
General classification:
  • (1, Bradley Wiggins (Sky), 84:26:31)
  • 17, Egoi Martínez, 31:46
  • 39, Gorka Izagirre, 1:31:44
  • 74, Jorge Azanza, 2:18:58
  • 87, Rubén Pérez, 2:38:01
  • 134, Pablo Urtasun, 3:21:34
Photo: www.fundacioneuskadi.com

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