Friday, September 14, 2012

Samu with step in right direction at ToB

Samuel Sánchez will have reassured Spanish national team coach José Luis De Santos by staying with the very best riders on Friday's queen-stage of the Tour of Britain.

His 11th place finish on the 189,8km leg from Welshpool to Caerphilly comes off the back of a slightly less reassuring ride on Thursday's fifth stage, in which he made the split but seemed (naturally) to be lacking his usual punch as he faded dramatically in the last click. Today's stage saw vastly underrated German Leopold König of NetApp beat soon-to-be Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke in a two-up sprint after the duo escaped on the penultimate climb of the day. Behind them, a select group of 11 riders formed, including household names like Damiano Caruso (Liquigas), Nathan Haas (Garmin), Luke Rowe (Sky) and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp). Samu was a part of that group and crossed the line in 11th place on the same time as the rest of the group (19 seconds back on the winner), catapulting him to a decent 18th overall with two stages to go.

For a moment Samu had company of an in-form Pierre Cazaux. The Frenchman was dispatched out the back though when König and Tiernan-Locke made their move, eventually coming in alongside Leigh Howard, Boy Van Poppel and David Clarke a mere 14 seconds behind Samu and co. Due to his strong performances all through the week, the former FDJ man is a healthy 14th overall.

Results stage six (full results here):
  • (1, Leopold König (NetApp), 4:38:02)
  • 11, Samuel Sánchez, 0:19
  • 18, Pierre Cazaux, 0:33
  • 58, Ricardo García, 5:18
  • 75, Adrián Sáez, 8:32
  • 76, Pablo Urtasun, s.t.
General classification:
  • (1, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing), 25:16:57)
  • 14, Pierre Cazaux, 6:15
  • 18, Samuel Sánchez, 6:37
  • 49, Adrián Sáez, 20:22
  • 54, Ricardo García, 24:03
  • 59, Pablo Urtasun, 28:37

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