Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Euskaltel attentive on calm day two of Vuelta al País Vasco

Samuel Sánchez, Igor Antón et al. avoided both mishaps and the limelight on Tuesday's second stage of the Vuelta al País Vasco as a former Euskaltel rider stole the show.

In what was no great shock to anyone, Caja Rural's Amets Txurruka decided to replicate Monday's breakaway heroics on the 170km ride from Elgoibar to Vitoria-Gasteiz. The diminutive climber broke away early on and, as no one seemed too keen to join him, decided to go it alone in order to beef up his lead in the mountains competition.

In no way was he a threat to the stage win, though, as the anticipated bunch sprint finish in the Basque capital materialized. Just like like last year, Orica-GreenEdge's Daryl Impey romped to the victory, ousting new overall leader Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) and Spanish veteran Ángel Vicioso (Katusha).

While team leader Sánchez and his helpers all ceded time on the opening leg, the riders in orange made sure it didn't repeat itself by staying close to the pointy end of the peloton on the run-in.

"We got through the day without any major trouble", 'Samu' told the team's website upon crossing the line in 23rd place. "We had to be very attentive, especially so in the finale, and we did just that. The team did well throughout the stage".

Heading into the race's first real test for the pretenders to the overall crown on Wednesday's leg to the top of the punishing La Lejana climb (which includes ramps of up to 20 percent), the 34-year-old took a measured view.

"On paper, the stage shouldn't be as hard as the fifth one, for example. But some of the ramps on La Lejana are very steep indeed and could cause time splits. It's an explosive finish, and we'll see where out legs take us", he concluded.

Watch the stage two finale below:

Stage results (full results here):
  • (1, Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge), 4:23:31)
  • 23, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
  • 31, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
  • 37, Igor Antón, s.t.
  • 41, Egoi Martínez, s.t.
  • 56, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
  • 77, Mikel Landa, s.t.
  • 92, Rubén Pérez, 0:23
  • 129, Romain Sicard, 0:40
Photo: Iñaki Azanza

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Nice compliment on Twitter for Amets from Jens Voigt

Jens Voigt ‏@thejensie 7h
Txurruka = Lehoi bihotza !! Izugarria Ametsek egin duena! He has a lionheart and my deepest respect!! 2 days alone in breakaway in a row!!


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