Thursday, August 23, 2012

Estévez continues hot streak

Imanol Estévez grabbed yet another podium placing in a stellar season in today's Lehendakari-race in Elgoibar.

The youngster, who earlier this month won in Lemoiz and was third in Busturia, finished second to former Naturgas Energía rider 'Nano' Grijalba in the Memorial Etxaniz in Elgoibar, a small town in Gipuzkoa between San Sebastián and Bilbao.

"The team rode well", DS Iñigo Urretxua told "It's a shame we didn't win though. Imanol got away with a group, but they got caught in the last few metres. But the feeling I'm left with is positive", he said.

  • 1, Fernando Grijalba (Caja Rural), 2:44:37
  • 2, Imanol Estévez, s.t.
  • 3, Miguel Angel Benito (Caja Rural), s.t.
  • 4, Antonio Molina (Caja Rural), s.t.
  • 5, Beñat Txoperena (Bidelan-Kirolgi), s.t.
  • 6, Aitor González (Debabarrena), s.t.
  • 7, Mikel Iturria, s.t.
  • 8, Robert Lee Hassan (Ibaigane Opel), s.t.
  • 9, Dario Hernández (Caja Rural), s.t.
  • 10, Eddy Valdespino (Caja Rural), s.t.
  • 14, Jon Larrinaga, 0:35
  • 21, Loïc Chetout, s.t.
  • 37, Alain Santamaría, 3:15
  • 40, Alain González, 4:45
  • 46, Pablo Comins, 5:33
Team rankings: 
  • 1, Caja Rural
  • 2, Naturgas Energía
  • 3, Bidelan-Kirolgi
The 111km race precedes tomorrow's Lehendakari-race in Gernika. Estévez will line up there as well, alongside Alain Santamaría, Oier Sánchez, Pablo Comins and Francisco Javier Martín. According to Urretxua, the red squad will aim for the win, so be sure to check back tomorrow to see if Estévez et al. deliver.

Racing in France

While some riders will be doing the domestic races, another contingent will head over the border to France to take on the three-day Tour du Piémont Pyrénéen. The race, taken out by no less a quality rider than Euskaltel stalwart Pierre Cazaux in the inaugural edition of 2006, starts out tomorrow and carries on through Sunday.

Check out the stages here.

Naturgas will be the sole sub-23 team on the line, and will have their work cut out if they want to beat the likes of Quentin Pacher (Entente Sud Gascogne), Armée de Terre's Julien Alaphilippe and Azysa's always competitive line-up to name but a few.

Naturgas will send French duo Karl Baudron (who used to ride for organizing club Lescar Vélo Sprint) and Loïc Chetout, as well as Alain González, Jon Larrinaga, Mikel Iturria and Víctor Etxeberria.

Photo: Pascal Baudron

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