Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sánchez approaching form in Italy

Samuel Sánchez finished fifth at a brutally hard sixth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Monday - appearing to be bang on track towards the Giro d'Italia in May.

The 209km stage in Porto Sant'Elpidio had it all: innumerable climbs, disgusting weather and top quality racing. As a result of the first two factors, some 50 riders threw in the towel underway and headed home. But those who toughed it out made sure to put on a spectacle.

A group big on both numbers and names went away early on, including Egoi Martínez, Movistar duo Beñat Intxausti and Giovanni Visconti, Damiano Cunego, Fabian Cancellara and Rinaldo Nocentini to name but a few.

While it looked promising for the breakaway early on, the climbs took their toll and eventually put paid to their ambitions. The GC favourites duly came to the fore, and Vincenzo Nibali, Joaquim Rodríguez and Peter Sagan ended up disputing the stage after proving to be strongest on the many short, but steep, ascents.

The latter naturally ousted the other two in the sprint, holding off a select four-man group by 44 seconds. In that group was the on-fire Mauro Santambrogio, Chris Horner, Alberto Contador and a certain Samuel Sánchez. The Euskaltel leader came through for fifth and as a consequence rose to 18th overall. More importantly, though, he seems to be on schedule form-wise with the Giro now approximately only two months away.

"The work we're doing with an eye on the Giro is progressing, calmly", Sánchez stated post-stage. "The efforts are building up, we're already on day six, and so far the legs have responded well.

"Nibali and Sagan were really strong and impossible to follow, but I'm pleased. We did more than 200 kilometres, the rain was pouring down, we tackled many climbs, and I ended up fifth alongside people who are in top shape right now. On the menu tomorrow is the last stage - an individual time trial. But right now I'm just happy with how the work is going. That's very important to me", he concluded.

Miguel Mínguez also showed flickers of form by finishing 28th, while Ricardo García and Robert Vrecer both formed part of a gruppetto that decided to quit en masse some 50 clicks out.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Peter Sagan (Cannondale), 5:45:17)
  • 5, Samuel Sánchez, 0:44
  • 28, Miguel Mínguez, 2:16
  • 48, Jorge Azanza, 6:12
  • 49, Egoi Martínez, s.t.
  • 86, Ioannis Tamouridis, 18:42
  • 97, Garikoitz Bravo, s.t.
General classification:
  • (1, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), 27:57:26)
  • 18, Samuel Sánchez, 5:55
  • 30, Egoi Martínez, 18:19
  • 43, Jorge Azanza, 24:21
  • 70, Miguel Mínguez, 42:04
  • 93, Ioannis Tamouridis, 58:44
  • 105, Garikoitz Bravo, 1:08:22


Anonymous said...

Well done Samuel. A very goood result in hellish conditions... Great to see your form hotting up!

Stephen said...

Good picture of Robert Vrecer walking on the Orbea facebook page....looked a brutaly hard stage even without the weather.

Good news that samu if finding his form, maybe the overall is beyond him now but a high placing and a stage win would be somthing to celebrate in the Giro.


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