After a couple of agonizing days without an internet connection, searching the streets and cafés of Warsaw in wane for a wireless internet hotspot, I've finally been able to locate one and will thus try to round-up all of Euskaltel and Naturgas' racing action over the weekend.
In Germany at the Bayern Rundfahrt, the individual time trial once again proved to be the team's downfall. Ricardo García was lying in tenth going into friday's 26,4km test against the clock at just 36 seconds, but he struggled to impose himself on the course and dropped down the GC ladder. The 24-year-old from Vítoria-Gasteiz could only muster 50th on the day and as a consequence ended the day in 39th overall. Gorka Izagirre was unsurprisingly the team's top finisher, placing a decent 33rd and moving up to 27th on GC.
Michael Rogers cemented his lead at the top of the standings by coming out tops in the ITT.
The final-day stage into Bamberg was an altogether uneventful one for the team. Petacchi grabbed his third win of the race from a bunch sprint, a sprint in which Rubén Pérez was the team's highest-placed rider in 17th. All Euskaltel riders finished up inside the pack, but the GC was pretty much sewn up the day before and saw no major changes. Izagirre thus finished up the German 2.HC-ranked event in 27th.
Final general classification:
- (1, Michael Rogers (Sky), 19:26:20)
- 27, Gorka Izagirre, 2:25
- 34, Ricardo García, 2:49
- 44, Alan Pérez, 3:27
- 53, Peio Bilbao, 3:54
- 55, Mikel Landa, 4:28
- 72, Rubén Pérez, 9:24
- 91, Pablo Urtasun, 12:34
For a full run-down of the results, click here.
On a good note, Alan Pérez seems to be rediscovering his form after injuries put paid to his early part of the season, while I'm slightly surprised to see strong rouleurs and sprinters Pablo Urtasun and Rubén Pérez finish so far down. A race like the Bayern Rundfahrt should normally suit the duo, but for all I know they might have struggled with sickness or something down that road.
Next up for Bilbao, A Pérez and Landa is the Dauphiné that gets going this coming Sunday, while I suspect quite a few of the others will form part of a Mikel Astarloza-led team in the Tour de Suisse.