Thursday, April 04, 2013

Sánchez finally fails at Arrate

He's won in Eibar the previous three years, but Samuel Sánchez was forced to see Movistar's Nairo Quintane come away with the spoils on Thursday's stage four of the Vuelta al País Vasco.

The young Colombian escaped from a select group on the descent off of the Arrate to claim a blistering win on another rain-hit stage in the north of Spain. Sergio Henao (Sky) followed in second at only two seconds to hang on to his overall lead, while Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) closed out the podium.

Meanwhile, Euskaltel's general classification hopes took a major hit. Team captain Samuel Sánchez quickly went out the back once the favourites upped the pace on the last climb. He recovered somewhat, though, near the top and descended like in the old days to finish ninth on the stage. Overall he's now tenth, almost a minute down on Henao.

Igor Antón drifted out of contention completely by finishing almost four minutes down on the stage. Heading into the last pair of stages, the native of Galdakao is a distant 33rd overall.

"It was a bad day", Antón said post-stage. "I wasn't feeling well at all, and I was worse than I expected.  I knew I was a little bit off top form despite finishing ninth on Tuesday, but I lost too much today. The rain and the cold affected me and I didn't get my pulse up. That made it hard to save the day. I've been training hard and I want to be at my best, but it's just not happening. This is tough".

'Samu', for his part, was more pleased with his performance, preferring to look ahead to his season's main goal: the Giro d'Italia.

"It was a hard stage. I was at my game on the Arrate considering the way I hope my form evolves", he commented. "I know that I lack that little bit extra, but I'm close to the best. There's still two stages to go, so we have to keep fighting".

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Nairo Quintana (Movistar), 3:58:52)
  • 9, Samuel Sánchez, 0:23
  • 44, Igor Antón, 3:38
  • 46, Egoi Martínez, s.t.
  • 64, Ion Izagirre, 7:12
  • 100, Romain Sicard, 13:32
  • 101, Mikel Landa, s.t.
  • 106, Gorka Izagirre, 15:34
  • 115, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
General classification:
  • (1, Sergio Henao (Sky), 16:23:20)
  • 10, Samuel Sánchez, 0:47
  • 33, Igor Antón, 4:04
  • 44, Ion Izagirre, 8:59
  • 49, Egoi Martínez, 11:22
  • 87, Gorka Izagirre, 22:20
  • 104, Romain Sicard, 30:36
  • 106, Mikel Landa, 31:00
  • 121, Rubén Pérez, 35:23
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi

1 comment:

azanca02 said...

Does Samu intend on doing any of the classics? He should be getting into good form for them.


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