Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Low-key time trial concludes Tirreno-Adriatico

Euskaltel and Samuel Sánchez closed out the Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday with a sub-par 9,3km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Sánchez, at his best a contender in this discipline, could only finish 90th on the day, a full 1:20 in arrears on winner Tony Martin. It was enough to maintain his 18th overall placing, though, and he therefore finished as the team's top rider on GC.

"The team did a good job in this race, and now we have to continue to work with an eye on the Giro", a satisfied team captain told the team's website. "I'm tranquilo. I've showed that I'm fit, and everyday I've been feeling a little bit better".

In order to get a clue of what the Giro d'Italia will be like, 'Samu' and sports director Gorka Gerrikagoitia will stay in Italy for a few days more to recce two key stages of the race: stage 19 that finishes atop the Val Martello, and stage 20 to the top of the mythical Tre Cime Lavaredo. 

While both top stage and overall placings eluded the team in 'The Race of the two seas', Gerrikagoitia
was relatively pleased with what his charges came up with throughout the race.

"We knew that winning a stage would be a tall order", he admitted. "Stage six was the one most suited to us, and the team duly did well on that stage. Egoi Martínez got into the day's break and Samu stayed with the strongest riders 'till the end. What's positive about this race for us is that we seem to be on track for the big goal: the Giro d'Italia. There's approximately two months to go before the big kick-off, and we have to keep progressing.

"The racing was of a very high level this year, and the race will be a good experience for the new riders on our team. They have to get used to working for one leader, and in that regard this was a good race for them."

The team's top rider on the day was one of those "new riders", Greek national champion Ioannis Tamouridis. The track specialist came through for 36th place, 43 seconds down, and closed out the race in 92nd overall.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), 10:25)
  • 36, Ioannis Tamouridis, 0:43
  • 72, Jorge Azanza, 1:06
  • 74, Egoi Martínez, 1:07
  • 75, Miguel Mínguez, 1:08
  • 90, Samuel Sánchez, 1:20
  • 101, Garikoitz Bravo, 1:40
Final general classification:
  • (1, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), 28:08:17)
  • 18, Samuel Sánchez, 6:49
  • 30, Egoi Martínez, 19:00
  • 42, Jorge Azanza, 25:01
  • 69, Miguel Mínguez, 42:46
  • 92, Ioannis Tamouridis, 59:01
  • 103, Garikoitz Bravo, 1:09:36

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