Sunday, August 05, 2012

Antón shows encouraging Vuelta form


















So much for my worries of a 2011 Vuelta repeat: Igor Antón showed his Vuelta a España preparations are bang on track with third on today's queen-stage in the Vuelta a Burgos.

Antón's performances, and those of his team-mates as well, were anything but satisfying on the first four stages in Burgos, but the Vuelta-bound riders showed they're approaching peak form by grabbing top results on the fifth and final stage to the mythical Lagunas de Neila summit finish. There was no way to distance Colombian duo Johan Esteban Chaves of Colombia Coldeportes and Sergio Henao of Sky, the duo crossing the line in that order after breaking clear of the select group of riders that formed on the early ramps of the final climb. Antón was best of the rest though by coming in third, only 11 seconds down, and ahead of ace climbers like Moreno, Pellizotti, Gesink, Arroyo and Rodríguez. Mikel Landa wasn't far back in seventh, while Romain Sicard looks to be rediscovering some of the form that propelled him to a Tour de l'Avenir and under-23 world championship title double three years ago by taking 16th on the day.

Antón's solid ride gave him ninth overall in the race, one place below the one he obtained in 2011. Gorka Verdugo, 13th going into the stage, was never really in contention and missed out on a top ten overall.

"We did a good stage", DS Álvaro González de Galdeano told www.fundacioneuskadi.com afterwards. "It was a hard day, mountainous, and the whole team worked to the max. This terrain is the best for us, and we were at a good level. I'm satisfied. It's a good sign for what's to come in the Vuelta a España. We weren't at our game yesterday, but on a significant day like today we responded. Igor Antón showed a good level of form. We're on the right track", he said.

Stage five results (Orbea riders in cursive):
  • (1, Johan Esteban Chaves (Colombia Coldeportes), 4:17:59)
  • 3, Igor Antón, 0:11
  • 7, Mikel Landa, 0:48
  • 16, Romain Sicard, 1:36
  • 27, Gorka Verdugo, 2:19
  • 28, Mikel Bizkarra, 2:25
  • 39, Iván Velasco, 3:44
  • 58, Juan José Oroz, 6:22
  • 71, Mikel Astarloza, 9:28
  • 75, Aritz Bagües, 10:53
  • 89, Carlos Barbero, 14:23
  • 90, Haritz Orbe, s.t.
  • 112, Aritz Etxebarria, 21:21
  • 113, Jon Aberasturi, 21:23
  • 119, Ricardo García, 22:19
  • DNF: Xabier Zabalo
Final general classification (Orbea riders in cursive):
  • (1, Daniel Moreno (Katusha), 18:14:12)
  • 9, Igor Antón, 1:29
  • 13, Gorka Verdugo, 2:42
  • 31, Iván Velasco, 5:52
  • 46, Juan José Oroz, 9:03
  • 52, Mikel Landa, 10:26
  • 54, Romain Sicard, 10:59
  • 55, Mikel Astarloza, 11:07
  • 75, Carlos Barbero, 16:40
  • 78, Mikel Bizkarra, 18:05
  • 102, Aritz Bagües, 27:58
  • 107, Haritz Orbe, 30:59
  • 108, Ricardo García, 31:05
  • 109, Jon Aberasturi, 31:07
  • 113, Aritz Etxebarria, 33:01
Teams classification:
  • (1, Movistar)
  • 2, Euskaltel
  • 18, Orbea
Full results can be found here

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