Samuel Sánchez put in another solid ride in the Vuelta a Burgos on Friday, just missing the podium.
Like on Thursday, there was no beating Orica-GreenEdge's on-fire Jens Keukeleire. Despite the best efforts of fdj.fr and Euskaltel to set up overall leader Anthony Roux and Samuel Sánchez respectively, the Belgian had far too much in the tank for the others to easily grab back-to-back stages.
Sánchez eventually came home fourth on the same time as the victor, rising to sixth on GC in the process. Coming home three seconds further back at the top of the Ojo Guareña climb was big-hitters Rinaldo Nocentini, Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and Mikel Landa. Team Euskadi's ever-impressive Carlos Barbero led that group home for eighth, topping off a good day for the Continental-ranked team that also saw Haritz Orbe instigate a late-race move along with the likes of Ivan Basso and Sylvester Szmyd.
Heading into the last two stages, Roux leads the race two seconds ahead of stage one triumphant Simone Ponzi. Sánchez is ten seconds back in sixth place, while Barbero and Landa occupy 14th and 15th, both at 17 seconds.
Pre-race favourites Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali are in 16th and 20th respectively, 17 and 24 seconds back.
Results (Team Euskadi riders in cursive):
- (1, Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge), 4:13:33)
- 4, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
- 8, Carlos Barbero, 0:03
- 10, Mikel Landa, s.t.
- 52, Jorge Azanza, 0:36
- 56, Haritz Orbe, 0:48
- 63, Aritz Bagües, s.t.
- 68, Egoi Martínez, 0:58
- 88, Gorka Verdugo, 1:36
- 94, Mikel Bizkarra, 2:12
- 97, Ricardo García, s.t.
- 98, Peio Bilbao, 2:15
- 101, Illart Zuazubiskar, 2:25
- 102, Jon Larrinaga, s.t.
- 103, Igor Merino, s.t.
- 118, Unai Iparraguirre, 8:05
- 119, Pablo Urtasun, s.t.