Sunday, April 21, 2013

Antón animates La Doyenne finale

Igor Antón ended his and Euskaltel's Classics season on a high with a combative ride in Liège-Bastogne-Liège that eventually netted him 12th place and sets him up nicely for the upcoming Tour de Romandie.

The little climber got into a dangerous-looking move that went clear on the Côte de Colonster approximately 18 clicks from the line, joining big guns Alberto Contador, Rui Costa, Rigoberto Urán, Giampaolo Caruso, Carlos Betancur, Ryder Hesjedal and eventual victor Daniel Martin in making a threatening sortie off the front.

Antón's move wouldn't stick, though, and another group, of which Daniel Martin proved the strongest, formed at the head of the race. Still, Antón had enough gas in the tank to stay with the first chase group and grab 12th on the line. That was not enough to emulate his best result of sixth from three years ago, but it was surely enough to erase the memories of crashing in the neutral sone last year and breaking his collarbone in the process.

"I'm pleased to be among the frontrunners again", 'Fuji' said upon crossing the line. "As in Flèche Wallonne, I was among the candidates for the win here and that's important. We tried with a surprise move in the finale and, though we knew it would be difficult, you've got to try. Now it's time to recuperate".

Next up for Antón is leadership duties at the Tour de Romandie that commences on Tuesday, and the 30-year-old doesn't hide he's looking forward to it.

"After Flèche and Liège I go to Romandie high on motivation", he enthused. "My shape is good and we'll try to grab a win. To win is always hard, but I'm motivated to fight for it".

Samuel Sánchez put in his last performance before embarking on the Giro d'Italia in two weeks' time in Liège, but the 2008 Olympic champion struggled with the pace and went on to finish 37th at more than a minute from victor Dan Martin.

In a solid all-round team performance, seven out of eight riders went on to complete the 261,5km 'Monument' in Belgium.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp), 6:38:07)
  • 12, Igor Antón, 0:18
  • 37, Samuel Sánchez, 1:14
  • 72, Mikel Astarloza, 5:16
  • 73, Egoi Martínez, s.t.
  • 87, Ion Izagirre, 8:20
  • 90, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
  • 115, Romain Sicard, 8:29
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi

1 comment:

Colin northern Ireland said...

A good try has showed well in last 2 races


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