Friday, April 26, 2013

Bravo hangs on as Astarloza makes a dash for it

Euskaltel put on a battling performance in Thursday's second stage of the Tour de Romandie that saw Garikoitz Bravo cling on to his mountains jersey and Mikel Astarloza attacking inside the last ten clicks.

The guys in orange missed the break of the day, but Bravo still managed to claim a couple of points on the first climb of the day to consolidate his lead in the classification. Europcar's Pierre Rolland grabbed maximum points on the last of the two climbs, but he's still five points off the young Euskaltel rider heading into Friday's third leg.

With Euskaltel's main hope of stage glory, Juan José Lobato, going out the back over that last climb of Plagne some 20 kilometres from the line in Granges, Mikel Astarloza tried his luck with a daring move.

The in-form veteran jumped with some seven clicks to ride alongside Chris Anker Sørensen (Saxo-Tinkoff), and the duo quickly got company in the shape of Cannondale's Cameron Wurf and Astana's Alexandr Dyachenko. The peloton wasn't about to let that quartet spoil the party, though, and they were duly caught inside the last two thousand metres.

In the sprint finish, Garmin-Sharp's Ramunas Navardauskas somewhat surprisingly held off Enrico Gasparotto and Gianni Meersman to claim the win.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp), 4:51:49)
  • 27, Igor Antón, s.t.
  • 30, Romain Sicard, s.t.
  • 43, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 90, Juan José Lobato, 3:04
  • 111, Peio Bilbao, 5:06
  • 148, Mikel Landa, 11:37
  • 149, Garikoitz Bravo, s.t.
  • 150, Adrián Sáez, s.t.
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi

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