Thursday, September 27, 2012

Maiden win escapes Verdugo in Piemonte

Gorka Verdugo is edging ever closer to that elusive first professional triumph, but was left to curse his luck in the Gido del Piemonte on Thursday as the most unfortunate of incidents consigned him to third place.

The Euskaltel veteran, continuing his strong end to the season that just netted him 11th overall in the Vuelta a España, broke clear with Sky's Rigoberto Urán the last time going up the Favaro climb a few kilometres from the line. The pair held a sufficient lead over a hard-chasing quartet coming under the 1km to go banner, but, just as it was about to be decided mano-a-mano, Verdugo inexplicably hit the ground with one of his pedals in the last curve. The ensuing impact almost brought the Euskaltel man to a halt and the victory was thus Urán's to cherish, but luckily for Verdugo only Katusha's ever-impressive Luca Paolini was able to come past him, meaning he salvaged his podium placing.

"The team was strong, so I'm pleased", DS Gorka Gerrikagoitia told the team's website afterwards. "Seeing as we have as demanding a race as Lombardia coming up on Saturday, today's "test result" is pleasing. (As for Verdugo), he showed he's in top form and is a very important rider for us at this late stage of the season. He was the strongest man today along with Urán. It's a shame that his pedal hit the ground at the last moment, but I'll take the strong performances he's come up with since the Vuelta and the fact that, today, he was on the podium in a very important Italian race".

As for Samuel Sánchez, who'll be eyeing to close off a roller-coaster of a season on a high in two days' time, he was conspicuously absent from the front groups. The 34-year-old came in with the third group, 1:32 in arrears, along with Amets Txurruka, over a minute down on the main chase group consisting of some 25 riders. In that group was Miguel Minguez, who came in a satisfactory 16th and continued to show he's one for the one-day classics, and Mikel Nieve, who crossed the line in 23rd.

Results Giro del Piemonte:
  • (1, Rigoberto Urán (Sky), 4:30:21)
  • 3, Gorka Verdugo, 0:06
  • 16, Miguel Mínguez, 0:27
  • 23, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
  • 42, Amets Txurruka, 1:32
  • 45, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
  • 63, Mikel Landa, 4:58
  • 68, Peio Bilbao, 6:27
  • 75, Igor Antón, 8:27

Picture: Sirotti


Kristof said...

Fantastic rider...

Anonymous said...

Good effort Gorka, well deserved!!



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