Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Samu strong as crashes abound

Samuel Sánchez grabbed a noteworthy eighth on a hectic day of racing for Euskaltel in the Tour de France.

The third stage was everything but a normal first-week sprinters' stage, the 197 kilometres from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer taking in six categorized climbs en route to Franck Ribéry's place of birth. Rubén Pérez got into one of what will be quite a few breaks in this race I suspect, but the quintet up ahead was never given much leeway and was always kept at a tight leash by Cancellara's RadioShack team-mates.  Bad luck struck Euskaltel (and the rest of the peloton for that matter) when Pablo Urtasun was caught up in a crash some 50 clicks out. Initially it looked much worse than it turned out to be, as the 32-year-old lay wrapped up in a heap at the tarmac for quite a while. Suddenly he decided, it seems, that it was time to get going, and he duly went on to finish the stage some 16 minutes in arrears. Upon crossing the line, he complained of dizziness, according to the team's website, but it's not likely to keep him out of the race.

Samu ran into trouble with his derailleur at a critical time with 20 kilometres left to ride, but was quickly aided by his team-mates and brought back up. Once there, he seemed at ease on the finishing climb on his way to eighth, no doubt a good sign of what's to come.

Speaking afterwards, Samu had this to say:

"I'm happy to have gotten through the stage without ceding time. That was the aim. It was a very dangerous stage, so I'm pleased to have gotten through it without any trouble. As for Peter Sagan, he's gifted. He shows that in every race he does. In the future, we'll all be able to say that we rode with him".

Rubén Pérez looked decent in the break for quite a while, but was suddenly out the back on the penultimate climb. At first it appeared as though he might have been ordered to stop in order to wait for his captain who was having trouble with his equipment at the time, but there was no word about that when he talked to the team's website.

"It was a big effort today. We were thinking before the stage that this might be a good day for a break to stay away, what with its winding roads and the difficulty of getting the race organized on such terrain. But unfortunately there was a lot of head wind, and I paid for that at the end. But more opportunities will present themselves", he said.

Stage 3 results:
  • (1, Peter Sagan (Liquigas), 4:42:58)
  • 8, Samuel Sánchez, 0:08
  • 21, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
  • 28, Egoi Martínez, s.t.
  • 34, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 81, Amets Txurruka, 2:08
  • 98, Rubén Pérez, 3:54
  • 112, Jorge Azanza, 7:03
  • 152, Gorka Verdugo, 7:27
  • 191, Pablo Urtasun, 16:26
Photo: www.cyclingnews.com

No comments:


web site counter
ISP Internet Providers