Monday, August 13, 2012

Estévez sprints to sensational win

Imanol Estévez showed what a quality rider he is in the making by sprinting to victory in today's Klasika Lemoiz.

The first-year Naturgas Energía rider, who joined up from Alimco ahead of this season, has quickly adapted to the sub-23 category and has numerous top ten placings on his palmarès already. Today's victory in Lemoiz, Bizkaia was as such just reward for a noteworthy debut campaign at this level, and secured Naturgas Energía its second triumph of the year.

Vitoria-native Estévez bested no less a figure than former Naturgas Energía prodigy and current Caja Rural rider Fernando Grijalba to the line at the end of five nine-kilometre circuits in the Torneo Lehendakari-ranked race, while Frenchman Loïc Chetout made it a day to remember for the riders in red and white by edging out Azysa's Antonio Angulo for third.

The team lined up with the following riders: Jon Larrinaga, Imanol Estévez, Alain Santamaría, Javier Francisco Martín, Karl Baudron, Loïc Chetout, Mikel Iturria, Víctor Etxeberria, Oier Sánchez and Pablo Comins.

Results (courtesy of BiciCiclismo):
  • 1, Imanol Estévez (Naturgas Energía), 2:37:59
  • 2, Fernando Grijalba (Caja Rural), s.t.
  • 3, Loïc Chetout (Naturgas Energía), s.t.
  • 4, Antonio Angulo (Azysa-Telco'm-Conor WRC), s.t.
  • 5, Sergio Rodríguez (Seguros Bilbao), s.t.
  • 6, Unai Intziarte (Bidelan-Kirolgi), s.t.
  • 7, Cristóbal Sánchez (Seguros Bilbao), s.t.
  • 8, Ibai Salas (Caja Rural), s.t.
  • 9, Iñigo Ojeda (Koplad Uni2), s.t.
  • 10, David Dalmau (Mopesa), s.t.
Estévez was lying in ninth overall in the Lehendakari-series going into today's event, and will likely make a big leap up the standings once results come in. Team-mate Jon Larrinaga was leading the overall, holding an 11-point lead over Debabarrena's Aitor González.

Photo: El Correo. The photo is three years old, and depicts a fresh-eyed Estévez lifting the Vuelta a Álava overall trophy after grabbing the race's third and last stage en route to glory in his home region's big stage-race. Third overall that year was none other than current team-mate at Naturgas, Oier Sánchez.

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