Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nieve climbs with the best in Andalucía

True to his word, Mikel Nieve has reached a promising state of form early on this year. On Tuesday's stage two of the Vuelta a Andalucía, the climbing ace grabbed tenth in Ubrique at the end of a mountainous day in the saddle.

The 163,9km leg took in three categorized climbs, with the last one, the cat.1 Las Palomas climb, topping out some 30 clicks from the line. A 21-man strong group formed at the front of the race as the climbs took their toll, among them the Euskaltel rider and the likes of Valverde, Gesink, Brajkovic, Fuglsang, Mollema and eventual winner Jonathan Hivert of French outfit Sojasun.

The latter beat Valverde and Mollema to the line, with Nieve coming in seven seconds down along with Fuglsang, De Clercq and Navarro. Thanks to this ride, he's now 14th overall.

Igor Antón looked in decent shape as well on the last climb, taking fifth as the peloton crossed the KOM prize, but faded towards the end an ceded 1:33 along with Landa, Verdugo and I Izagirre.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun), 4:06:22)
  • 10, Mikel Nieve, 0:07
  • 28, Mikel Landa, 1:33
  • 31, Gorka Verdugo, s.t.
  • 36, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
  • 37, Igor Antón, s.t.
  • 64, Ioannis Tamouridis, 11:08
  • 106, Juan José Lobato, 17:42

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