Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Euskaltel caught napping as Martin delivers blow

Despite putting on an aggressive performance throughout the Tour of Beijing's second stage, Euskaltel's hopes of GC glory took a massive hit as defending champion Tony Martin stole a march on the rest and claimed a commanding solo win.

The powerful German stormed to the win at the end of the 126km second stage, attacking on the concluding descent some 25 clicks out and holding off a select chase group by almost 50 seconds. 'The carrots' had lit up the racing beforehand through attacks from the likes of Samu, Antón, Verdugo and Nieve, after having assumed control of the pack once the day's main break had settled, but could do little to reel in Martin as he blasted to a Samu-esque win off the descent and to the line in Mentougou.

Hopes of decent GC placings are by no means over though, as Samuel and Velasco, clearly intent on showcasing his solid form in his last outing with the team, came in with with a group of GC contenders just four seconds down on the first chase group. Antón, who looked eager but clearly lacking his top form (as has been the case all year long), got into a promising late-race move with the likes of Dan Martin, Ryder Hesjedal and Steven Kruijswijk, but faded badly in the closing stages and crossed the line a massive 2:56 in arrears alongside Nieve and Verdugo.

Stage 2 results (full results here):
  • (1, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma - QuickStep), 2:53:05)
  • 18, Iván Velasco, 0:50
  • 19, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
  • 48, Gorka Verdugo, 2:56
  • 50, Igor Antón, s.t.
  • 52, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
  • 77, Peio Bilbao, 9:06
  • 114, Mikel Landa, 13:13
  • 126, Miguel Minguez, s.t.
With three stages left to go, Velasco is placed a healthy 12th overall at just 60 seconds, five places ahead of Samu who's also just a minute behind.

1 comment:

Nick said...

What place does Velasco need to get a new contract. Im praying for a podium from him


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