Friday, March 08, 2013

Bravo: King of the mountains

Garikoitz Bravo showed he's feeling more and more at ease at the WorldTour level by getting hold of the climber's jersey in Thursday's second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

The former Caja Rural rider has taken to the highest level of the sport like a duck to water and is already making a name for himself only a couple of months into his new surroundings.

On the second leg of the Italian stage race he successfully infiltrated the break of the day alongside NetApp-Endura's Cesare Benedetti and Belgian veteran Kevin Hulsmans of Vini Fantini-Selle Italia. While the trio were never close to going all the way, Bravo did enough to be able to don the green jersey in Friday's third stage. The 23-year-old of Lazkao, Gipuzkoa, took maximum points on the first categorized climb, the Massa Marittima, and second place on the following one, the Montebello.

That was only enough to tie him on points with Benedetti, but the Euskaltel rider got to step onto the podium post-race because of his higher placing on GC.

Once he had achieved his goal and it became clear the break was never going to go anywhere, he eased off and let himself be caught by the peloton while the two others, in vane, pushed on ahead.

The anticipated bunch sprint materialized in Indicatore, with Australian Matt Goss taking the spoils. None of the Euskaltel riders got in on the fight, but the vast majority came in with the pack. That included team captain Samuel Sánchez, who's making his first WorldTour appearance of the year.

The affable 34-year-old - as expected - had no trouble staying with the pack, but his choice of equipment during the stage was somewhat more surprising. The 2008 Olympic champion was seen aboard a non-team issue standard white and blue Orbea Orca with what looked to be O'Symetrics's classic oval chainrings. Not that the choice of gear seems to have any effect on his performances - he's started off the 2013 season just as solidly as he tends to do.

Speaking of 'Samu', if you feel like watching some top class descending from a few years back, take a look at this new video:

 Results (full results here):
  • (1, Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), 5:48:41)
  • 40, Ioannis Tamouridis, s.t.
  • 68, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
  • 81, Egoi Martínez, s.t.
  • 83, Jorge Azanza, s.t.
  • 131, Robert Vrecer, s.t.
  • 156, Miguel Mínguez, s.t.
  • 172, Ricardo García, 0:39
  • 173, Garikoitz Bravo, s.t.

1 comment:

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