... the powerful Caisse d’Epargne, whose David Arroyo
climbed his way to glory in Sunday's Subida to Urkiola, the event traditionally coming one day after better-known Clásica de San Sebastian.
The 33rd edition of this contest, held Sunday over a parcours of 161.5 kilometres in the Bizkaia province of the Basque Country of Spain, came down to a battle of two guys: race winner Arroyo as well as Juanjo Cobo of the Scott-American Beef squad, formerly known as Saunier Duval-Scott. Cantabria's own Cobo even dropped his fellow escapee with about one mile left, but his colleague from Castilla-Leon had legs still good enough to recover, made contact with him again, and launch a successful counter-attack. Arroyo in fact finished off a great teamwork, as Caisse d'Epargne got four riders in the top six places. David de la Fuente also worked a lot for teammate Cobo but the latter was unable to deliver in the end. Whereas both Caisse and Scott-American Beef had a solid team performance today, Euskaltel were disappointing, and none of their athletes was a factor on "home roads".
The race was also featured by a few earlier breakaways: the first one, coming on the very first uphill thing, contained four Spanish riders (Diego Gallego, Iker Camaño, Imanol Erviti and Eriz Ruiz de Erentxun), the second attack saw seven men go - Ivan Melero Coco, Martín, Ignacio Sarabia of Mexico, Sergio Pardilla, Oscar Pujol, Mánuel Vazquez Hueso and Fran Pérez - and get reeled in about 20 km from the finish. A third move from the aforementioned Pujol plus Enrique Salgueiro and Daniel Sesma didn't prosper either, so that, as predictable, the race outcome was determined as the top six finishers made the gap on the climb to the finish, and Arroyo and Cobo started the eventual two-man battle we already wrote about.
Caisse d’Epargne press release: Luck is keeping on smiling to the team Caisse d’Epargne thanks to David Arroyo’s victory in the 33rd edition of the Subida to Urkiola. All the team Caisse d’Epargne achieved a great race", declared the rider from de Talavera de la Reina after he crossed the finishing line 5 seconds ahead of his break-mate Juan José Cobo. "At least than three kilometers from the finish I came out a six-man group where my team-mates David López (4th) and Joaquím Rodríguez (5th) were also riding. Cobo was very strong but I had forces left to attack at 200 meters from the line so that I could win with a light advantage. Now I will take some deserved holidays with my family in Cantabria before going on preparing the Vuelta a España which is my next goal".
33rd Subida a Urkiola - Results: Top 6 Places
1. David Arroyo (Spa - Caisse d'Epargne) - 03h50'12"
2. Juan José Cobo (Spa - Scott-American Beff) - at 05"
3. Sergio Pardilla (Spa - Burgos Monumental) - at 26"
4. David López (Spa - Caisse d'Epargne) - at 54"
5. Joaquim Rodríguez (Spa - Caisse d'Epargne) - at 01'00"
6. José Rujano (Ven - Caisse d'Epargne) - at 01'10"