Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lobato comes up short on home roads

It was the day he'd been looking forward to, but it wasn't to be: local rider Juan José Lobato was not on his best day when it came to decide the winner of the third stage of the Vuelta a Andalucía on Tuesday.

The host city of the 195km stage, Trebujena, is the place the young Euskaltel sprinter calls home, and the new orange recruit was naturally eyeing a tilt at a top result on the slightly lumpy ride to Montilla.

There was no coming around Jonathan Hivert on the finishing straight, though, with the Frenchman taking consecutive stage wins for his Sojasun team. The field galloping for the line was markedly short on top-level sprinters, but Euskaltel's protected man for the day had to settle for 13th. He was closely followed by Ion Izagirre in 18th, while Igor Antón, Mikel Nieve and Mikel Landa also came in with the reduced peloton.

Gorka Verdugo had a day to forget, crashing 15 clicks out and ceding a massive, yet totally insignificant, eight minutes. He was allegedly banged and bruised up, but there's so far no reports on the veteran sustaining any serious injuries.

Heading into tomorrow's deciding queen-stage, Mikel Nieve is the team's top rider in 14th overall.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun), 4:48:37)
  • 13, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
  • 18, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
  • 27, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
  • 43, Igor Antón, s.t.
  • 49, Mikel Landa, s.t.
  • 56, Ioannis Tamouridis, 0:30
  • 110, Gorka Verdugo, 8:09
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi

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