Euskaltel's general classification ambitions in the Critérium du Dauphiné are all but over after a low-key 32,5km individual time trial on Wednesday's fourth stage.
Tony Martin did as he pleased and racked up yet another win in Parc des Oiseaux, while Samuel Sánchez was the team's best man in 45th, more than three minutes in arrears. Mikel Astarloza, once a specialist in the discipline, had to make do with 83rd, while upcoming Tour de France captain Mikel Nieve continues to look short of his best after ending up 133rd.
That leaves 'Samu' - as usual - as the team's top dog overall, but the 35-year-old is more than two and a half minutes down on new leader Rohan Dennis.
While Wednesday's results aren't exactly reassuring with time ticking down to the Grand Départ, tomorrow's mountainous ride to the HC-ranked Valmorel climb should offer a cleared indication of the riders' state of form.
- (1, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), 36:55)
- 45, Samuel Sánchez, 3:22
- 83, Mikel Astarloza, 4:00
- 97, Ion Izagirre, 4:20
- 107, Egoi Martínez, 4:32
- 108, Romain Sicard, s.t.
- 127, Peio Bilbao, 4:58
- 133, Mikel Nieve, 5:13
- 160, Ricardo García, 6:18
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi