Friday, April 26, 2013

Amputated Tour of Álava to start with team crono

One of the more prestigious stage races on the sub-23 calendar will be held this weekend in Álava, the Basque Country. Formerly known as the Tres Días de Álava, the Fundación Euskadi-organized race has now been reduced to the Dos Días de Álava because of the economic crisis continuing to strangle the local cycling scene.

Uncharacteristically, the race will start off with a team time trial, a full 36,2 clicks in length, from Oion to Labastida on Saturday 27 April. Sunday's 118km road stage starting and finishing in the region's capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz, will conclude the race. The stage will be held on a 38km circuit to be completed three times by the peloton.

The complete line-up of teams and riders is yet to be released, but, like in years past, a strong field is expected for the fifth edition of the race.

Ibai Salas of Caja Rural took the spoils last year ahead of Lizarte's Rafael Márquez and Koplad-Uni2's Iñigo Ojeda, with the now on-fire Loïc Chetout taking fifth. The year prior saw Chilean Edison Bravo of Extramadura-Spiuk come away with the somewhat informal general classification.

Teams are allowed to field separate teams for each stage, and Naturgas Energía have decided to go with the following riders:

Line-up for team time trial:
Pablo Comins, Noel Gil, Alain González, Karl Baudron, Imanol Estévez, Álvaro Trueba and Víctor Etxeberría.

Line-up for road race:
Aitor Morales, Imanol Estévez, Alberto Barrón, Alain González, Éder Sáez de Ocariz and Javier Francisco Martín.

Photo: Fundación Euskadi

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