It was an eventful day ten for Euskaltel in the Giro d'Italia today, but it wasn't all for the right reasons. Cazaux and Velasco both crashed, Minguez was in the break of the day (again) and Nieve stayed with the favourites on the climb to the line.
First things first. Cazaux and Velasco are both reported to be okay considering the circumstances, says the team's website. The former got off relatively easy and is ready to go tomorrow, but Velasco wasn't that lucky. The climber hit the deck some 25 kilometres from the line on the 189km stage from Civitavecchia to Assisi while trying to chase back on after a flat tire. Ever brave, Velasco got up and finished the stage, but was later taken to a nearby hospital for check-ups on his shoulder. Fortunately, the team's Twitter account reports that he's not suffered a fracture nor a fissure to his collarbone, but he's pretty banged up. "Let's see how he recovers overnight", is the latest message. Interpret that as you like.
On a positive note, Miguel Minguez continues to impress with his gung-ho approach to the race and formed part of the stage's main break - his third so far in this Giro. The 23-year-old left the peloton behind after some ten kilometres along with Ag2r's Bonnafond, NetApp's Brändle, Farnese's Failli and Vacansoleil's Keizer, and was not to be seen again until only eight kilometres were left to race. There was never any chance of the break actually going the distance, but at least he's now leading the "Premio della Fuga"-competition, having spent 475 clicks off the front (18 more than number two, Keizer).
Approaching the brutal climb to Assisi, Nieve was (unnecessarily) badly placed, but showed his guile by sneaking his way towards the front and just managed to stay with the group of favourites that came in six seconds back on winner and new pink jersey Rodríguez. Nieve distanced the likes of Cunego, Rujano and Schleck, and is now 35th on GC. Jon Izagirre wasn't far back in 25th place, nine seconds further off the pace, while Oroz placed a decent 36th at 42 seconds. This strong all-round team performance secured Euskaltel fourth in the team rankings for the day.
Stage ten results:
- (1, Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha), 4:25:05)
- 20, Mikel Nieve, 0:06
- 25, Jon Izagirre, 0:15
- 36, Mikel Nieve, 0:42
- 62, Amets Txurruka, 2:17
- 169, Pierre Cazaux, 7:32
- 170, Iván Velasco, s.t.
- 178, Adrián Sáez, 7:49
- 189, Miguel Mínguez, 11:36
- 190, Víctor Cabedo, s.t.
Please note that the photo of an injury-stricken Iván Velasco is not from today's stage.