Vuelta a Burgos: Paul Martens takes stage four as Dani Moreno consolidates
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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Vuelta a Burgos: Paul Martens takes stage four as Dani Moreno consolidates

by Ben Atkins at 1:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Rare victory for German climber as crosswinds smash the peloton

paul martensPaul Martens (Rabobank) took his first victory in almost two years after escaping from the front group on the uphill finish of the fourth stage of the Vuelta a Burgos, between Doña Santos and Clunia. Race leader Dani Moreno (Katusha) gave chase but finished two seconds behind the German, with Australian Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) winning the small group sprint ahead of French champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ-BigMat) after five seconds.

Martens’ win was the second in two days for the Rabobank team; following Matti Breschel’s sprint victory in stage three.

"My last victory was the GP Wallonie in 2010; that is already a long time ago,” said Martens after the stage. “Also my spring was not as I wanted and at a given moment you can begin to doubt yourself immensely. You've actually needed to get to a victory to get over that, but that is so terribly difficult. That was true for Matti Breschel too. You want it so much, but there are so many factors play a role. "

A group of four riders, with Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky), Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) and Antonio Piedra (Andalucía) escaped in the first 20km, and were allowed to open up a lead that reached six minutes by Moreno’s Katusha team. Gradually though, the Russian team began to pull them back, and the break was over with 20km to go.

In the latter stages of that chase however, the pace at the front split the peloton into several pieces in crosswinds with 28km to go and the group that eventually caught the break was made up of just a dozen riders.

"A tough group with a lot of favourites for the overall," Martens explained. "We didn't actually expect it, but we were well placed with three man, among whom was our leader [Robert Gesink - ed].”

Realising that second place Sergio Henao (Team Sky) was not present in the front group, the Katusha and Rabobank teams worked hard on the front and, despite a hard chase from Team Sky and Euskaltel-Euskadi, the gap refused to close.

With just over a kilometre to go Martens countered an attack and went over the top and soloed to victory. Moreno gave chase, with the rest of the group behind him, but couldn’t catch the German, and he went on to take his first victory of the season.

"The horse that deserves oats got it this time." said Rabobank directeur sportif Erik Dekker.

With his second place, Moreno increased his lead a little over the entire field, while Henao lost 30 seconds to the Spanish rider; slipping from second to tenth.

Result stage 4
1. Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank
2. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha Team @ 2s
3. Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge @ 5s
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
5. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
6. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank @ 6s
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano
8. Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur-Sojasun @ 9s
9. Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
10. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

Standings after stage 4
1. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha Team
2. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank @ 13s
3. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone @ 14s
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano @ 19s
5. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-BigMat @ 20s
6. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale @ 22s
7. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquias-Cannondale
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank @ 27s
9. Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur-Sojasun @ 30s
10. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky @ 32s

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