Friday, October 11, 2013

Euskaltel caught out in Paris-Bourges and Beijing

Euskaltel were left to rue their missing sprinting prowess in Paris-Bourges on Thursday and again in the Tour of Beijing on Friday.

In the former race, John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) bested Arnaud Démare ( to take the sprinter-friendly one-day semi classic. Euskaltel's best bet for the day, young Jon Aberasturi, struggled with flu-like symptoms and abandoned, leaving the team short on options.

Eventually Ioannis Tamouridis - coming in 43rd - was the team's top rider.

Post-race, sports director Óscar Guerrero summed it up succinctly.

"It was a race controlled by three teams who wanted a sprint finish, and we felt powerless without a designated finisher", he told the team's website. "It was a sleepy race".

  • (1, John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano), 4:38:00)
  • 43, Ioannis Tamouridis, s.t.
  • 45, Miguel Mínguez, s.t.
  • 48, Adrián Sáez, s.t.
  • 54, Peio Bilbao, s.t.
  • 109, Robert Vrecer, 0:25
  • DNF: Ricardo Mestre, Jon Aberasturi
In Beijing, Euskaltel actually had a more than decent sprinter amidst their ranks, but Juan José Lobato - by now a noted finisher after his Tour de France heroics - lost his way in the closing stages on stage one of the Tour of Beijing on Friday.

The 190km leg from Shunyi to Huairou was taken out by Norwegian power sprinter Thor Hushovd, with Lobato forced to make do with 20th. All the team's riders came in with the pack, though, meaning hopes of a decent performance on GC are still intact.

  • (1, Thor Hushovd (BMC), 4:20:34)
  • 20, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
  • 21, Garikoitz Bravo, s.t.
  • 55, Mikel Landa, s.t.
  • 69, Juan José Oroz, s.t.
  • 112, Gorka Verdugo, s.t.
  • 114, Pablo Urtasun, s.t.
  • 116, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 127, Ricardo García, s.t.
Photo: Iñaki Azanza


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