Sánchez battles hard for Catalunya podium spot against Taaramäe
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Sánchez battles hard for Catalunya podium spot against Taaramäe

by Bjorn Haake at 4:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta a Catalunya
 

Two days after a third place in the stage to La Seu d’Urgell, Luis León Sánchez finished on the last step of the podium again in stage five of the Volta a Catalunya, which took place between Ascó and Cabacés over 181,2 kilometers. The Spaniard gained three seconds in the overall, but stays in fourth, 45 seconds behind leader Joaquin Rodriguez. Sánchez was able to escape the peloton, but was unable to shake third-placed Rein Taaramäe.

Sánchez used a strategic place for a timely attack. "I went the first time on a false flat in order to get back some time in the overall," Sánchez said after the stage. But the others knew he was only 48 seconds behind in GC. "Unfortunately I couldn't pull it off, as the group of Joaquím Rodríguez had no intention to let me jeopardize the overall and caught me with four kilometers left to go.

Sánchez was not ready to give in just yet. "There was one more chance left in the last short and steep slope, which was really tough. It was Klöden who attacked first and two of my teammates also pulled." With eventual stage winner Davide Malacarne well out in front, Sánchez admitted the race wasn't quite the same. "Winning was not possible at this point anymore, so the motivation wasn't quite the same, as you would have trying to win the stage."

But Sánchez still had the overall in mind, as he was only two seconds behind a podium spot. "For my part, I just tried to get a couple of seconds and move up to third overall, but I had no such luck. It won't be easy to get past Taaramäe." The Estonian on the Cofidis squad is still two seconds ahead of Sánchez, after he was able to counter Sánchez's move.

The Caisse d'Epargne rider admitted that things could be different. "Yesterday we made a mistake and now we pay for it. The Estonian rides really well. He just needs to control me, which makes my task difficult. Tomorrow and the day after there is nothing to do but trying to look for an opportunity," Sánchez said.

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