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55th Klasika Primavera de Amorebieta - Updated
 
By Fabio
Date: 4/12/2009
55th Klasika Primavera de Amorebieta - Updated
 

World-class road racing is not over in the Basque Country of Spain (and nearby Navarra) this week. Well, in fact it never is, the Basques being one of the most "cycling nut" people on Planet Earth. But both the first and the second week-end of April are of particular significance to people from Euskadi and fans of tough cycling worldwide, because they represent the starting and finishing point of eight days of epic riding that encompass GP Miguel Indurain, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and, just to wrap up things in the best way possible, the one-day "Klasika Primavera", whose 55th edition was held today over a challenging route of 171.6 kilometers around Amorebieta-Etxano town (Biscay province), with a star-studded field - basically most of the Vuelta's peloton - in attendance.

As you can see in the profile below, the parcours was almost worthy a sprinter's stage in the opening half, but took a completely different turn in the second, with both Alto de Muniketa (aka Montecalvo, Cat. 2) and Autzagane (Cat. 3) to be climbed thrice, the final uphill challenge coming in the last five kilometers.

In spite of terrible weather - rain showed up most of the time - the race was hectic from the beginning, with Spain's serial attacker Josè Angel "El Malagueta" López Gil (Andalucía-Cajasur) getting into action soon, and fellow countryman Serafín Martínez (Xacobeo-Galicia) as his first "partner in crime". They were reeled in about ten minutes later, but El Malagueta just can't help it, there must be a voice inside him telling "venga, venga, venga, you have got to break free!!!" all the time. And so he did - once more - as he got himself into the next sixteen-strong breakaway group.

Lopez Gil and also Serafín Martínez made the gap again after one hour of racing, along with their respective teammates Antonio Piedra (Spa - Andalucía-Cajasur) and Eduard Vorganov (Rus - Xacobeo-Galicia), plus Russia's Alexandr Kolobnev and Belgium's Jurgen Van Goolen (Saxo Bank), Juan José Cobo (Spa - Fuji-Servetto), the Italians Valerio Agnoli and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), Dionisio Galparsoro (Spa - Contentpolis-Ampo), Daniel Sesma (Spa - Orbea), Samuel Caldeira (Por - Palmeiras Resort-Tavira), Angel Vallejo and Raúl García de Mateo of the Andorra Principality's only professional cycling team (Andorra-Granvalira) and an all-Spanish trio wearing the jersey of "home side" Euskaltel-Euskadi: Amets Txurruka, Igor Antón and Mikel Astarloza.

But the pack apparently had no intention to give El Malagueta green light today, at least so early, and this breakaway attempt was neutralized by km. 55. Could Lopez Gil give up the fight? Noooooo way! After a brief move starring Vuelta al Pais Vasco's recent stage winner Marco Pinotti (Team Columbia-High Road), fellow Italian Alessandro Vanotti (Liquigas), Spain's David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) and Germany's Paul Martens (Rabobank), the Andalusian hit the news for the third time 81 km. into the race. And this was apparently the good one. López Gil made the good breakaway with seven fellow fugitives: aforementioned Agnoli and Antón as well as Willian Aranzazu (Col - Boyacá), Eriz Ruiz de Erentxun (Spa - Orbea), Eddy Ratti (Ita - Amica Chips-Knauf), Aitor Aznar (Spa - Andorra-Granvalira) plus later additions Josep Jufre Pau (Spa - Fuji-Servetto) and Eduard Vorganov (Rus - Xacobeo-Galicia).

By the time they hit the first hills, the guys had built up a 75-second advantage on the peloton, which was getting thinned down on the Muniketa / Montecalvo slopes. Aznar couldn't hold the tempo for a long time but the others stayed basically together despite some skirmishes on the front - with Lopez Gil as main protagonist (strange, eh?). At least until their second passage on the same ascent, when more attacks were put in, resulting in half of the eight-strong lead group getting dropped. Only Ratti, Antón, Vorganov y Ruiz de Erentxun managed to stay up front just to be later joined by two more orange warriors of Euskaltel: Iñigo Landaluze and Amets Txurruka.

The third passage on Muniketa / Montecalvo played host to further uphill action, with Basques Landaluze and Txurruka trying to ride clear of their fellow front runners, but ending up being chased down themselves, just like the rest of the breakaway. Then other riders stormed into the limelight: Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa - Xacobeo-Galicia), Franck Schleck (Lux - Saxo Bank) and Damiano Cunego (Ita - Lampre-NGC) snatched top three spots at the summit. Vincenzo Nibali launched a solo attack that was nullified by a top-class group of eleven: Joaquin Rodriguez, Alejandro Valverde, José Herrada, Gorka Verdugo, Egoi Martínez, Mikel Astarloza, Angel Vicioso, Frank Schleck, David Blanco, Ezequiel Mosquera and Damiano Cunego.

As the finishing line was getting closer, and the last uphill thingy was coming, the battle broke out inside the "dirty dozen". Mosquera attacked, Schleck counter-attacked, Valverde struggled. But all of them were still together as they went under the red pennant marking the last kilometer. At the end of today's countless attacks and counter-attacks, moves and counter-moves, breakaways and counter-breakaways, comebacks and counter-attacks, riders getting dropped and counter-dropped, things and (counter-things) came down to a twelve-man sprint, with ...

... Alejandro Valverde as winner (for the third time in his career), and two more Spaniards on the race podium, while last year's winner Damiano Cunego snatching "only" sixth place.

55th Klasika Primavera (171.6 km): Results
1. 68 VALVERDE, Alejandro CAISSE D'EPARGNE SPA - 04h04'58"
2. 154 MARTINEZ DE ESTEBAN, Egoi EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - s.t.
3. 55 HERRADA, José CONTENTPOLIS-AMPO SPA - s.t.
4. 156 ASTARLOZA, Mikel EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - s.t.
5. 43 NIBALI, Vincenzo LIQUIGAS ITA - s.t.
6. 1 CUNEGO, Damiano LAMPRE-N.G.C. ITA - s.t.
7. 121 BLANCO, David PALMEIRAS RESORT-TAVIRA SPA - s.t.
8. 157 VERDUGO MARCOTEGUI, Gorka EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - s.t.
9. 141 MOSQUERA, Ezequiel XACOBEO GALICIA SPA - s.t.
10. 38 VICIOSO ARCOS, Angel ANDALUCIA CAJASUR SPA - s.t.
11. 14 SCHLECK, Frank TEAM SAXO BANK LUX - s.t.
12. 65 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquín CAISSE D'EPARGNE SPA - at 11"
13. 151 HERNANDEZ, Aitor EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - at 32"
14. 83 CASTROVIEJO NICOLAS, Jonathan ORBEA SPA - at 39"
15. 19 KROON, Karsten TEAM SAXO BANK NED - at 39"
16. 58 SANCHEZ PIMIENTA, Julian CONTENTPOLIS-AMPO SPA - at 39"
17. 36 PIEDRA, Antonio ANDALUCIA CAJASUR SPA - at 39"
18. 159 VELASCO, Iván EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - at 39"
19. 158 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - at 39"
20. 145 GARCIA FERNANDEZ, Marcos XACOBEO GALICIA SPA - at 41"
21. 27 SERRANO, Ricardo FUJI-SERVETTO SPA - at 41"
22. 61 ARROYO DURAN, David CAISSE D'EPARGNE SPA - at 41"
23. 113 VALLEJO DOMINGUEZ, Angel ANDORRA-GRANDVALIRA SPA - at 41"
24. 53 GALPARSORO, Dionisio CONTENTPOLIS-AMPO SPA - at 41"
25. 15 LARSSON, Gustav TEAM SAXO BANK SWE - at 47"
26. 101 ASTARLOA ASCASIBAR, Igor AMICA CHIPS-KNAUF SPA - at 47"
27. 23 DE LA FUENTE RASILLA, David FUJI-SERVETTO SPA - at 47"
28. 155 AZANZA SOTO, Jorge EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - at 47"
29. 107 SAMOILAU, Branislau AMICA CHIPS-KNAUF BLR - at 47"
30. 37 REDONDO, José Antonio ANDALUCIA CAJASUR SPA - at 47"
31. 160 LANDALUCE INTXAURRAGA, Iñigo EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - at 47"
32. 52 ECHARRI, Javier CONTENTPOLIS-AMPO SPA - at 01'04"
33. 13 SÖRENSEN, Chris TEAM SAXO BANK DEN - at 01'04"
34. 82 MINGUEZ AYALA, Miguel ORBEA SPA - at 01'04"
35. 18 SORENSEN, Nicki TEAM SAXO BANK DEN - at 01'04"
36. 143 MOURON DOLDAN, Juan XACOBEO GALICIA SPA - at 01'04"
37. 116 PRADES REVERTE, Eduard ANDORRA-GRANDVALIRA SPA - at 01'21"
38. 152 TXURRUKA, Amets EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - at 01'21"
39. 102 RATTI, Eddy AMICA CHIPS-KNAUF ITA - at 01'23"
40. 122 MARQUE PORTO, Alejandro PALMEIRAS RESORT-TAVIRA SPA - at 02'15"
41. 123 CALDEIRA RODRIGUES, Samuel PALMEIRAS RESORT-TAVIRA POR - at 02'15"
42. 134 RIABKIN, Alexander RUSSIA NATIONAL TEAM RUS - at 02'18"
43. 17 VAN GOOLEN, Jurgen TEAM SAXO BANK BEL - at 02'23"
44. 104 GIRARDI, Edoardo AMICA CHIPS-KNAUF ITA - at 02'23"
45. 149 MAYOZ, Iban XACOBEO GALICIA SPA - at 02'23"
46. 72 OLMO MENACHO, Antonio BOYACA' ES PARA VIVIRLA SPA - at 02'23"
47. 105 INFANTINO ABREU, Rafael AMICA CHIPS-KNAUF COL - at 02'23"
48. 56 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI, Gorka CONTENTPOLIS-AMPO SPA - at 02'23"
49. 57 PEREZ ARRIETA, Aitor CONTENTPOLIS-AMPO SPA - at 02'23"
50. 91 GALLEGO ARNAIZ, Diego BURGOS MONUMENTAL-CYL SPA - at 02'23"
51. 96 SANTAMARTA VALVUENA, Raul BURGOS MONUMENTAL-CYL SPA - at 02'23"
52. 95 ANTUÑA CORO, Andrés Avelino BURGOS MONUMENTAL-CYL SPA - at 02'23"
53. 59 VAZQUEZ HUESO, Manuel CONTENTPOLIS-AMPO SPA - at 02'23"
54. 71 BELDA, David BOYACA' ES PARA VIVIRLA SPA - at 02'23"
55. 111 ROVIRA PONS, Jaume ANDORRA-GRANDVALIRA SPA - at 02'40"
56. 142 MARTINEZ ACEBEDO, Serafin XACOBEO GALICIA SPA - at 02'51"
57. 131 IGNATIEV, Dmitriy RUSSIA NATIONAL TEAM RUS - at 04'18"
58. 144 PALEO MOSQUERA, Alejandro XACOBEO GALICIA SPA - at 04'18"
59. 44 NOE', Andrea LIQUIGAS ITA - at 04'18"
60. 133 ARGUELYES, Rodrigues RUSSIA NATIONAL TEAM RUS - at 04'18"
61. 127 SILVA, Luis PALMEIRAS RESORT-TAVIRA POR - at 04'18"
62. 126 CASIMIRO, Henrique PALMEIRAS RESORT-TAVIRA POR - at 04'18"
63. 128 LIVRAMENTO, David PALMEIRAS RESORT-TAVIRA POR - at 04'18"
64. 85 RUIZ DE ERENTXUN, Eriz ORBEA SPA - at 04'18"
65. 81 URAIN EPELDE, Beaat ORBEA SPA - at 04'18"
66. 147 VORGANOV, Eduard XACOBEO GALICIA RUS - at 05'53"
67. 47 VANOTTI, Alessandro LIQUIGAS ITA - at 06'22"
68. 87 GARCIA AMBROA, Ricardo ORBEA SPA - at 06'22"
69. 84 ECHEVERZ CARTE, Eneko ORBEA SPA - at 06'22"
70. 136 OVECHKIN, Artem RUSSIA NATIONAL TEAM RUS - at 06'22"
71. 21 JUFRE POU, Josep FUJI-SERVETTO SPA - at 06'22"
72. 118 GARCIA DE MATEO, Raul ANDORRA-GRANDVALIRA SPA - at 06'22"
73. 34 ORTEGA OCAÑA, Manuel ANDALUCIA CAJASUR SPA - at 06'22"
74. 33 ESTRADA RUIZ, Juan Javier ANDALUCIA CAJASUR SPA - at 06'22"
75. 63 LOPEZ, David CAISSE D'EPARGNE SPA - at 06'22"
76. 46 VANDBORG, Brian LIQUIGAS DEN - at 06'22"
77. 2 GASPAROTTO, Enrico LAMPRE-N.G.C. ITA - at 06'22"
78. 153 ANTON HERNANDEZ, Igor EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI SPA - at 10'32"
79. 112 TORRENT TARRES, Carlos ANDORRA-GRANDVALIRA SPA - at 10'32"
80. 32 PLAZA MIRA, Esteban ANDALUCIA CAJASUR SPA - at 10'32"
81. 67 ZANDIO ECHAIDE, Xabier CAISSE D'EPARGNE SPA - at 10'32"
82. 26 MEJIAS LEAL, Javier FUJI-SERVETTO SPA - at 10'32"
83. 117 GARCIA DE MATEO, Vicente ANDORRA-GRANDVALIRA SPA - at 11'09"
84. 132 KAYKOV, Valery RUSSIA NATIONAL TEAM RUS - at 11'09"
85. 51 CASAS GALLEGO, Claudio CONTENTPOLIS-AMPO SPA - at 11'09"
86. 90 OLANO ORBEGOZO, Aitor ORBEA SPA - at 11'09"
87. 76 FIORILLI, Tiago BOYACA' ES PARA VIVIRLA BRA - at 11'09"
88. 137 RYBAKOV, Alexander RUSSIA NATIONAL TEAM RUS - at 11'09"
89. 77 RINCON DIAZ, Ramiro BOYACA' ES PARA VIVIRLA COL - at 11'09"
90. 73 ARANZAZU, Willian BOYACA' ES PARA VIVIRLA COL - at 11'09"
91. 138 ERSHOV, Artur RUSSIA NATIONAL TEAM RUS - at 11'09"
92. 103 GAROFOLO, Vincenzo AMICA CHIPS-KNAUF ITA - at 11'11"

All Winners since 1955
1955 Hortensio Vidaurreta (Spa)
1956 Cosme Barrutia (Spa)
1957 Emilio Cruz (Spa)
1958 Antonio Karmany (Spa)
1959 Roberto Morales (Spa)
1960 Carmelo Morales (Spa)
1961 Julio San Emeterio (Spa)
1962 Francisco Gabica (Spa)
1963 Eusebio Vélez (Spa)
1964 Eusebio Vélez (Spa)
1965 José Pérez-Francés (Spa)
1966 Antonio Gómez Del Moral (Spa)
1967 Antonio Gómez Del Moral (Spa)
1968 Eusebio Vélez (Spa)
1969 José Manuel Lasa (Spa)
1970 Carlos Echevarría (Spa)
1971 Txomin Perurena (Spa)
1972 José Gómez Lucas (Spa)
1973 Miguel Mari Lasa (Spa)
1974 Andrés Oliva (Spa)
1975 Antonio Martos (Spa)
1976 Enrique Cima (Spa)
1977 Vicente López Carril (Spa)
1978 Txomin Perurena (Spa)
1979 Miguel Mari Lasa (Spa)
1980 Juan Fernández (Spa)
1981 José Luis López Cerrón (Spa)
1982 Jesús Suárez Cuevas (Spa)
1983 Juan Fernández (Spa)
1984 José Luis Navarro (Spa)
1985 Federico Etxabe (Spa)
1986 Federico Etxabe (Spa)
1987 Julián Gorospe (Spa)
1988 Jorg Pedersen (Den)
1989 Marino Lejarreta (Spa)
1990 Iñaki Gastón (Spa)
1991 Jesús Montoya (Spa)
1992 Federico Etxabe (Spa)
1993 Jon Unzaga (Spa)
1994 Melchor Mauri (Spa)
1995 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
1996 Mauro Gianetti (Swi)
1997 Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa)
1998 Roberto Heras (Spa)
1999 Roberto Heras (Spa)
2000 Unai Etxebarria (Ven)
2001 Igor Astarloa (Spa)
2002 Ángel Vicioso (Spa)
2003 Alejandro Valverde (Spa)
2004 Alejandro Valverde (Spa)
2005 David Etxebarría (Spa)
2006 Carlos Sastre (Spa)
2007 Joaquin Rodríguez (Spa)
2008 Damiano Cunego (Ita)
2009 Alejandro Valverde (Spa)


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