Sunday, July 13, 2008

Good effort; no result

The team tried today, they really did, but it was to no avail in the end. The first stage in the Pyrenees was not a big success for the team, but no disaster either. After missing the break of the day, the team set about reducing the gap at the front of the peloton. The whole team, all nine of them, were at the front for most of the stage riding tempo. It was awesome to watch, especially for all the Basques who'd come out to watch their heroes live today. And it was fruitful too; the team did a great job in keeping the break's advantage down. Especially Amets was amazing to watch, even on the climbs he was at the very front doing it for the cause. Gorka hit the deck pretty badly about halfway through, hurting his elbow, shoulder and knee. He managed to finish though, all banged up. But the team continued to pull, but sadly it didn't lead to any results. Haimar had a horrible day. He suffered already on the Peyresourde, and at the end of the day conceded more than 9 minutes. His GC aspirations no longer exists, so he'll target stages instead I'm sure. Mikel and Samu both looked pretty good in the high mountains. They both tried their luck two or three times each, but the pack wasn't about to let them go. Samu advanced to 9th overall though, Mikel to 16th, so it wasn't all for nothing luckily. They both came in with the main group of favourites 1:17 down on Ricco`. Haimar was naturally disappointed afterwards: "I came to the Tour with big aspirations", he said, "but now I'm just ashamed of myself. I felt bad already on the Peyresourde; my body didn't react well to the constant change of rhytm. At the Aspin I was distanced; I saw I couldn't keep up with the best. Now I'll change my goals and instead work for Samu and Mikel, who both came in with the first group. And, as I'm way back on GC, I might get more freedom to look for stage-wins. I've climbed well all year, but this is what it's at right now. I was a little ill after the Dauphiné, but I don't want to use that as an excuse. A different Tour is ahead of me now; I've always had my eyes on the overall, but now I've got other objectives." Samu and Mikel really didn't say anything of special interest, so I won't translate all that. Basically they both said that they were really happy with the team today, and that they're both happy with the outcome of the day. They should be, they did really well. Here's the results:

  • 24th, Mikel Astarloza, 1:17
  • 35th, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
  • 63rd, Egoi Martínez, 9:o4
  • 72nd, Haimar Zubeldia, s.t.
  • 87th, Amets Txurruka, 16:27
  • 123rd, Rubén Pérez, 24:02
  • 124th, Gorka Verdugo, 24:2o
  • 137th, Iñaki Isasi, 28:11
  • 143rd, Juan José Oroz, s.t.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm really sad for Zubeldia. I hope he can make something out of tomorrow. Samu, though, looks great. Tomorrow should be a good day.

Alez

Bolsen3 said...

I'm very disappointed by Zubeldia in this Tour! He's normally always up there on the GC, but no way he'll be there this year (unless he makes a Perreiro Sio :-) A stage win would be a good result all in all, but I just don't see him do that, but at least he'll try. But when he's not in a breakaway, he'll have to be a teammate for Samu and Mikel, no doubt about that...

Laiseka said...

Today we need to see Zubeldia in the break. I think this is the only way for winning in Hautacam.

Anonymous said...

Now it's up to Haimar to show his will to work for Mikel and especially Samu. He can be decisive in Samu and Mikel's ambitions. Today it will be a decisive day and the first one in which will really see who are the best in the pack... Cunego, F. Schleck and of course Ricco' will be up amongs the favourites.
Remo

arnout said...

I agree fully with Laiseka. If Haimer is in the breakaway today he will have a good chance. I think that is why he lost that much time. He was not very good, but it would be very strange if he could not follow riders as Millar and Schumacher (hate this rider). Maybe he lost so much time to have a chance today.

Otherwise I hope a rider like Egoi or Amets (what a ride from him yesterday) is in the break. Maybe Sanchez can attack in the steep downhill of the Tourmalet, and on the more flat road inbetween the two big mountains join Egoi / Amets. He will have a big chance of winning that way.

I was really sad yesterday. Even pissed. The team was working so hard and I counted on a stagewin for Euskaltel. I was pissed on mainly Samuel, he could have tried something in the first kilometers of the downhill of the Aspin. Mikel was doing a good job, he tried several times but always at the wrong moment. If he reacted on Monfort he had a better chance of joining Ricco. He needs some tactical insight I think.

But now I am not pissed anymore, I am proud on the team and all the riders again :P

 

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