Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Charentes + Portugal round-up

A number of Euskaltel stars were on the start line today as the Tour de Poitou-Charentes commenced today with a 182km ride from Villebois Lavalette to Royan.

The likes of Samuel Sánchez, Egoi Martínez and Mikel Nieve, who's future has been the subject of much conjecture the last 24 hours, were all present as Aidis Kruopis made it a day to remember for Orica-GreenEdge by sprinting to the win an hour or so before Simon Clarke went on to win the Vuelta stage to Valdezcaray. All Euskaltel riders came in with the peloton, but none were too bothered at trying their hand in the sprint and cruised home mid-pack. Everyone except for Víctor Cabedo, who's had a rough week after crashing hard in the ENECO Tour earlier this month. The former Orbea youngster came in over three minutes down in 150th place.

As for Nieve, the latest rumours have it that the lanky climber has been negotiating with Movistar behind Euskaltel's back, but that a contract is yet to be signed. Euskaltel deny Nieve is on the move.

Stage one results:
  • (1, Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEdge), 4:41:44)
  • 45, Alan Pérez, s.t.
  • 62, Ricardo García, s.t.
  • 72, Pablo Urtasun, s.t.
  • 90, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
  • 102, Egoi Martínez, s.t.
  • 106, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
  • 119, Pierre Cazaux, s.t.
  • 150, Víctor Cabedo, 3:09
Over at the Volta a Portugal, Omar Fraile continued his strong run of form on stage six. The Santurce-native grabbed a strong tenth two days ago, and on Tuesday showed that result was no fluke by taking ninth on the rolling sixth stage from Aveiro to Viseu. Fraile made it into the break of the day, but could do nothing to stop United Healthcare's Jason McCartney soloing to the win. The Orbea rider came in ninth, 1:28 down on the Honolulu-born former Discovery Channel and Team CSC rider. Xabier Zabalo came in 15th and Jon Aberasturi 24th to complete a good day for the team.

With four stages to go, Fraile is the blue team's top man overall in 27th. Aritz Bagües is 45th, while birthday boy Mikel Bizkarra, turning 23 today, is 51st.

Check out full results here.

The pack will take a day off tomorrow, before resuming racing on Thursday with a stage to Sabugal.

Photo: www.cyclingnews.com

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