Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lobato closes in on first win

Budding sprinter Juan José Lobato snatched his best result in an Euskaltel jersey yet by taking fourth in Sunday's Clásica de Almería.

The race was largely animated by Basques right from the off, with Euskaltel's Pablo Urtasun and Euskadi's Mikel Bizkarra forming part of the day's main break along with fellow Spaniard and Catalan David de la Cruz of NetApp.

The trio, eventually joined by Lotto-Belisol's Jurgen van de Walle, were never close to staying away to the line, though, and Euskaltel duly went to the head of the pack once Urtasun and co. had been caught to set it up for their main man Lobato.

Team Blanco's Mark Renshaw proved too quick to handle in the sprint, besting Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Francesco Lasca and Lobato in that order.

Euskadi's speedy finisher Carlos Barbero also got in on the act and finished 11th, while Rubén Pérez ended up 15th. Samuel Sánchez continues to ease his way into rhythm by claiming 49th, eight seconds adrift.

Urtasun took the climber's prize, while Lobato won the 'Best regional rider'-award.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Mark Renshaw (Blanco), 4:30:14)
  • 4, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
  • 11, Carlos Barbero (Euskadi), s.t.
  • 15, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
  • 40, Igor Antón, s.t.
  • 49, Samuel Sánchez, 0:08
  • 53, Juan José Oroz, 0:19
  • 64, Ricardo Mestre, 2:51
  • 65, Pablo Urtasun, s.t.
  • 76, Mikel Bizkarra, s.t.
  • 82, Aritz Bagües, s.t.
  • 90, Unai Iparraguirre, 3:51
  • 91, Mikel Iturria, 3:52
  • 92, Igor Merino, s.t.
  • 94, Illart Zuazubiskar, 5:57
  • 101, Tarik Chaoufi, s.t.
  • 103, Jon Larrinaga, s.t.

Over in France, the Euskaltel contingent on the start line of the Les Boucles de Sud Ardèche didn't manage to better or equal Ion Izagirre's third place from last year.

It wasn't for the lack of trying, though. After doing their part of the work at the head of the peloton after missing out on the breakaway, Ion's brother Gorka was in contention for the win in the latter stages of the race. When the decisive move went clear on the Sampzon climb some 15 clicks out, Gorka missed out though and had to settle for 15th on the line. Mikel Astarloza and Miguel Minguez both showed decent form as well, making the cut towards the end and finishing up 22nd and 30th respectively.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Mathieu Drujon (BigMat), 5:08:34)
  • 15, Gorka Izagirre, 0:31
  • 22, Mikel Astarloza, 2:14
  • 30, Miguel Minguez, 2:28
  • 46, Jure Kocjan, 8:38
  • 51, Garikoitz Bravo, 10:44
  • DNF: Steffen Radochla, Jon Aberasturi
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi


Colin northern Ireland said...

A good effort and Samu back gettin race miles in the legs new riders means a new way of riding it all takes time we can just hope the team keeps improving

Anonymous said...

It seems the team is more animated this year than last. All good signs in my book.


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