Friday, April 26, 2013

Lobato shows prowess on the highest level

Juan José Lobato continued his recent run of fine form by sprinting to fifth place on Friday's third stage of the Tour de Romandie.

The 24-year-old grabbed Euskaltel's second win in as many days at the recently concluded Vuelta a Castilla y León, and he might have gone close to doing the same in Payerne at the end of a lumpy 181 kilometres if it wasn't for some bad positioning in the final kilometre.

The speedy finisher had to start his sprint at the far right with a massive four hundred metres to go, meaning ousting big favourite and eventual victor Gianni Meersman was always going to be a big ask. Still, though, he had enough in the tank to grab a noteworthy fifth, finishing ahead of noted speedsters like Roberto Ferrari, stage two winner Ramunas Navardauskas and Marco Marcato.

On a less positive note for the orange-clad octet, Garikoitz Bravo was forced to let go of his climber's jersey as Marcus Burghardt, part of the day's main break, edged one point ahead of him. Peio Bilbao infiltrated the move in an attempt to block the German in his quest, but was not successful.

Awaiting the riders tomorrow is four category-one climbs in what will be, unquestionably, the race's most decisive day. The team's main GC hope, Igor Antón, is 36th overall, trailing leader Chris Froome by 48 seconds.

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), 4:19:03)
  • 5, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
  • 35, Romain Sicard, s.t.
  • 43, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 74, Igor Antón, s.t.
  • 108, Garikoitz Bravo, 4:31
  • 110, Mikel Landa, s.t.
  • 115, Adrián Sáez, 5:34
  • 144, Peio Bilbao, 18:16
General classification:
  • (1, Chris Froome (Sky), 13:53:16)
  • 36, Igor Antón, 0:48
  • 39, Romain Sicard, 0:50
  • 64, Mikel Astarloza, 1:23
  • 86, Juan José Lobato, 4:49
  • 113, Garikoitz Bravo, 17:21
  • 116, Mikel Landa, 17:55
  • 121, Adrián Sáez, 18:55
  • 127, Peio Bilbao, 24:42
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi


Colin northern Ireland said...

It is good to finally have a rider who can give it a real go in the fast sprint finish stages just a little better craft in the final run in and the team could be laughing all the way to lots of tour pointS

azanca02 said...

Yeah if any of the other guys would be there to even help lead him in the final 2k he could have placed on the podium.


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