They've been good at getting into breaks so far, Euskaltel, but not the ones that really matter.
After having infiltrated meaningless break after meaningless break on the flats, the team missed out on both occasions when it mattered most: in the Pyrenees. Today's 14th stage had been looking like a good one for escape artists ever since the route was unveiled in October, but Igor González de Galdeano's men were found wanting when 18 riders jumped clear.
Naturally they went to the front to try to reel the break back in, but they never got closer than 30 seconds. Eventually they had to let the break go, and gap naturally ballooned.
Then, in a most bizarre move, Juan José Oroz darted off the front in an attempt to catch up with the break when the escapees were four or five minutes ahead. It was a doomed move right from the off, and after a while he was consequently back in the pack.
It's beyond me why none of the riders tried to bridge the gap when it was down to 30 seconds instead, but then again I'm no DS.
After that they could do little more than try to save something for tomorrow's big day to the Ventoux.
- (1, Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), 4:15:11)
- 49, Rubén Pérez, 7:17
- 69, Juan José Oroz, s.t.
- 71, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
- 73, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
- 74, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
- 93, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
- 110, Igor Antón, s.t.
- 135, Romain Sicard, s.t.
- 169, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.