Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bravo steals the show for Euskaltel

Garikoitz Bravo was once again able to pull on a King of the Mountain's jersey in a WorldTour event after Wednesday's first stage of the Tour de Romandie.

The Euskaltel newcomer took first place at two of the stage one's three categorized climbs to head up the classification with 14 points - six clear of Hubert Dupont of Ag2r.

Bravo clipped off the front early on on the first stage proper from Saint-Maurice to Renens along with Julien Bérard (Ag2r) and David Veilleux (Europcar), and, though the break never threatened to come away with the big prize, Bravo will still take considerable satisfaction from being able to wear yet another WorldTour climber's jersey after grabbing hold of the same one at Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year.

Bravo's presence in the day's main break ensured the team some visibility, and Peio Bilbao pleased the team's sponsors even more when he made a brief sojourn off the front when his team-mate's move had been reeled in. Bilbao's four-man move never got far, though, and it came down to a bunch sprint finish without the presence of a dislodged Mark Cavendish.

Juan José Lobato was Euskaltel's main main for the dash to the line, but the 24-year-old came unstuck with some 400 metres go. Lying perfectly placed on the left side of the road, the native of Trebujena, Andalucía, got too close to the fence separating the riders from the spectators, broke his left pedal and had to ease off. The recent conqueror of a stage at the Vuelta a Castilla y León eventually finished a distant 97th as Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Gianni Meersman came away triumphant.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), 4:29:09)
  • 38, Igor Antón, s.t.
  • 63, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 64, Romain Sicard, s.t.
  • 91, Peio Bilbao, s.t.
  • 97, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
  • 123, Mikel Landa, s.t.
  • 124, Adrián Sáez, s.t.
  • 129, Garikoitz Bravo, s.t.
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi

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