Beñat Albizuri is enjoying a fantastic start to the season, as he once again has been part of a breakaway. After already being in breaks twice this year, he decided to give it a go again on the first stage of the Pro Tour stage-race Tirreno-Adriatico today. Beñat, together with Muraglia, Commesso and Priamo, broke clear after 45 kms, and stayed away almost until the end. The quartet got reeled in with less than three kms to go. That set it up for a sprint finish, and hopes were high for Koldo Fernandez as he`s been in awesome for of late. In the closing kms he could be seen all the time at the very front of the peloton, but, sadly, he punctured with less than two kms to go, and therefore couldn`t contest the sprint. Koldo had also gone to the ground earlier in the day, after a mass-crash in the pack, but seemed to be unscathed. Unai Etxebarria came in as the best placed Euskaltel rider on the stage, taking 28th place. All Euskaltel riders, with the exception of Iban Mayoz who came in 27 seconds back, came in with the peloton.
After the stage, Euskaltel director Jon Odriozola and Beñat Albizuri talked to www.fundacioneuskadi.com. First up, Jon: "The team did a great job today, and everyone have been where I expected them to be. Mayoz and Albizuri had the objective to join breaks, as today`s stage was suited to their abilities, as they`re both good rouleurs and with a good sprint. Albizuri was the one who got away today, and he gave us a lot of publicity. Though, it was painful to see them reeled in with less than three kms to go. Facing the sprint we had Koldo, who`s arrived here in excellent condition and with a spark. Though, he had bad luck and punctured with only two kms to go. He fought with the best ones, but couldn`t finish off the great work". Beñat had this to say: "It`s been a very fast stage, and as the list of good sprinters is huge, it will be difficult for a break to stay clear. We (the break) attacked early. We cooperated well, but it wasn`t to be. I admit it`s painful to make such a big effort without succeeding. This is the third unsuccessful break this season, after my breakaways in Mallorca and Andalucia both failed. But, we have to keep trying, and hope that perhaps the next break we enter succeeds".