Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Astarloza takes up the mantle in Paris-Nice

After seeing Romain Sicard try his luck from far out on Monday, it was Mikel Astarloza's turn to animate Tuesday's second stage of the Paris-Nice by forming part of the day's main break.

The veteran, building form for a number of big races coming up later this year, got into the day's move alongside three others, but never looked even remotely close to pulling off a coup.

The quartet were caught by a hasty peloton more than 40 clicks out, and from there on it was pretty much game over for the riders in orange as a sprint finish was looking increasingly likely to decide the outcome.

Rubén Pérez somewhat surprisingly went for the last bonus seconds on offer alongside Viviani and Chavanel in an intermediate sprint and ended up with third place, leaving Ion Izagirre to defend the team's colours in the dash for the line.

The youngster could only muster 18th, though, and is still 24 seconds down on GC.

Going into day three, Pérez is the team's top rider in 38th, 17 seconds back.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano), 5:42:18)
  • 18, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
  • 33, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
  • 63, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
  • 100, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
  • 104, Romain Sicard, s.t.
  • 133, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 154, Gorka Verdugo, 0:39
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi

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