Friday, July 20, 2012

"We'll go home happy"

Euskaltel once again showed they're one of the most aggressive teams in this Tour de France by placing a trio of riders in the break on yesterday's Pyrenean stage from Bagnères de Luchon to the previously untested climb of Peyragudes.

Impressively, the same three riders in the break on Wednesday got into yesterday's breaks. Egoi Martínez, Gorka Izagirre and Jorge Azanza all repeated the feat from the day before, but unlike on stage 16, the break weren't keen on letting the group up the road stay ahead and divide the stage spoils between them.

Alejandro Valverde persisted and just about held off Froome, Wiggins and co., but everyone else from the original break was swept up unceremoniously. Martínez was the one in orange who held on the longest, being reeled in on the final climb as only "Piti" could ride away from him.

Martínez went on to place a creditable 25th on the stage, meaning he moved up to 17th overall ahead of the final weekend. With only four support riders for two weeks and to have been in as many breaks as he has, there's only one word for him: chapeau!

"We have to be proud of the team's ride", he told the team's website post-stage. "We've been five riders since the first weekend, so you notice the effort. We've been very active every day and you notice you're only five at the end of the stages. Just like on Wednesday, today (Thursday) we were attentive and intent on infiltrating the breaks. And we made it both days. Gorka was strong on stage 16 and today (yesterday) I had a good day. It's a shame we weren't both on good days on the same stage. But we'll head home very pleased. It's been a very difficult Tour, and I think we've performed on a high level. We've given our all, so we'll return home happy".

Stage 17 results:
  • (1, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), 4:12:11)
  • 25, Egoi Martínez, 4:10
  • 39, Gorka Izagirre, 10:42
  • 51, Jorge Azanza, 16:06
  • 52, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
  • 134, Pablo Urtasun, 30:57 
General classification:
  • (1, Bradley Wiggins (Sky), 78:28:02)
  • 17, Egoi Martínez, 25:32
  • 35, Gorka Izagirre, 1:11:07
  • 74, Jorge Azanza, 2:08:58
  • 91, Rubén Pérez, 2:29:52
  • 127, Pablo Urtasun, 3:04:34


Stephen said...

Great 3rd week for the team, I think they have done all that could be expected really.

Lets have a properly hilly 2013 course and some luck on the road!

Magnus said...

Agreed, great effort throughout by the team.

Kristof said...

Sure. Results weren't there but they did all what you can expect (and many more). Congratiulations to Jorge, Pablo, Gorka, Egoi and Ruben (allthough last one was the weakest link and totally out of shape this year). It was so nice to see yesterday two orange jerseys with one AG2R riding besides those beautiful rivers. Too bad Egoi and Gorka had each their bad day, but taht's modern cycling, I do not believe guys (as Voeckler and his Europcars) which are three weeks every day in top shape.

Kristof said...

Also want to say I'm happy for Valverde. He rides for the big concurrent, but they treated him so bad, broke his carreer without real reason, so glad to see he has partly his revenge.


web site counter
ISP Internet Providers