Thursday, May 23, 2013

Time trial heartbrake for Samuel Sánchez

Samuel Sánchez put on his best performance of the year in Thursday's cronoescalata in the Giro d'Italia, but there was no denying Vincenzo Nibali a barnstorming win.

Sánchez's time of 45:27 on the 20,6-kilometre course from Mori to the summit of the climb of Polsa was enough to lead the race for almost an hour, as one general classification contender after another fell short of the mark put down by the Euskaltel captain.

With only one rider still out on the road, 'Samu' was still holding the lead. But that last rider wasn't just any rider, though, and Vincenzo Nibali showed why he's posed to win the first Giro d'Italia of his career by crushing Sánchez's time by almost a minute to grab his first stage victory of this year's race and pad his overall lead significantly.

Unsurprisingly, Sánchez looked downbeat as the cameras zoomed in on him as Nibali came across the line. As per tradition, though, he didn't let his disappointment show when talking to the press afterwards, instead going on to praise his Italian rival.

"Nibali was very strong - he beat me by almost a minute", he said. "He's the maglia rosa, Italian, this is his race, he's in an enviable state of form... He had that little extra bit of motivation and he did a great ride. I can only congratulate him. He was the best.

"As for us, today was a chance for us to bag a win and we were in the fight right up until the end. We were close - it would have been a very nice win", he concluded.

The coveted stage win might have escaped him, but it was still a fruitful day for Sánchez: He rose from 15th to tenth overall, and is now only three minutes off the top five.

  • (1, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), 44:29)
  • 2, Samuel Sánchez, 0:58
  • 49, Jorge Azanza, 4:11
  • 55, Miguel Mínguez, 4:26
  • 59, Egoi Martínez, 4:35
  • 67, Robert Vrecer, 4:54
  • 78, Gorka Verdugo, 5:10
  • 118, Ricardo Mestre, 6:17
  • 143, Ioannis Tamouridis, 7:13
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi


Jim Short said...

Brilliant ride today 'Samu' lets hope this inspires the team to more success in the coming days.
Jim Short. England

Colin northern Ireland said...

A great effort from samu

Kristof said...

Great. Too bad that he had that one bad day in the mountains, without he would riding for the podium. It's typical for Samu, always one bad day in a GT, without that he would have won at least one Giro, Tour or Vuelta.

Stephen said...

Great effort from Samu but Chapeau Nibali, he has won this race in tremendous style and deserves full respect, who's to say he can't complete the set with the TdF next year?

Mary and Tony Zanca said...

Great today by Samu. He did the best he possibly could.
So do you think He and Benat Intxausti could try to get off the front together tomorrow. WOrk together and maybe a get a minute into the men ahead of them? I know it is kind of far fetched but it could be possible.

Magnus said...

Could have been a possibility, but not anymore as the stage has been cancelled. Having just gotten into form, Sánchez must be ruing his luck


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