Euskaltel's bad luck in team time trials this year continued as Mikel Nieve hit the deck on the Tour de France's fourth leg on Tuesday.
In the Giro d'Italia, a flat tyre inside the last click saw a potential top 10 result turn into 22nd by the finish line. The team wasn't on course for a top ten today, but they passed the intermediate check point in 16th when ill-fortune struck again:
Team captain Mikel Nieve took a tumble on a corner, and the team was forced to sit up and wait for him.
By the finish, the team had dropped to 21st, 1:23 in arrears.
Nieve escaped serious injury and will be fit to start on Wednesday, and team boss Igor González de Galdeano was unconcerned when speaking to the team's website post-race.
"It's a shame he crashed, but it's not a big worry", he stated. "The result doesn't reflect our performance today - 16th at the intermediate point is more accurate. We didn't come to the Tour to fight for the general classification, so the time lost doesn't really make a difference".
- (1, Orica-GreenEdge, 25:56)
- 21, Euskaltel, 1:23