Rodríguez storms to victory in GP Miguel Indurain
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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rodríguez storms to victory in GP Miguel Indurain

by Bjorn Haake at 11:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Joaquín Rodríguez continued his winning way and took the GP Miguel Indurain over 179km, after having won the Volta a Catalunya just last week. Rodríguez was the strongest in a tough final, outlasting Alejandro Valverde and Michel Kreder.

Numerous attacks in the closing kilometers made the race hard to control. Igor Antón had the most promising move, which he launched five kilometers from the finish, at the alto de Muru. Antón had 15 seconds with three kilometers to go, but was snatched up inside the final 1000 meters.

With the final few hundred meters uphill (ranked as a category three climb) the attacks came thick and fast, with Rodríguez eventually escaping the others. He had six seconds over Valverde and eight seconds over Kreder.

The finish should have suited Valverde and he felt well. "But after almost three weeks without competing it was impossible to pass Joaquím Rodríguez, who is in great form - which he demonstrated by winning the Volta a Catalunya." Valverde won't give up to try in this race. "The Gran Premio Indurain is a race  I really like and I would love to win it one day. I am certainly always very close to the top spot."

An unruly beginning

Right from the start, attacks started, with Guillermo Lana Baquedano and Mikel Ilundain taking off quickly and holding a 42-second lead after 20km. Javier Ramírez Abeja jumped after the two leaders, managed to reach them and even won the sprint in Murieta, ahead of Lana and Ilundain.

But at km 40, the gap was only 20 seconds, as the Burgos-controlled bunch kept an eye on things. Four more riders managed to bridge up. At the intermediate sprint in Estella (km 45), Adrian Sáez de Arregi was ahead of Raul Santamarta and Ilundain. Finally the gap opened up and at km 50m it was over two minutes.

At km 70, the first difficulty of the day, the alto de Arradia, was reached. Ramírez Abeja preceded Sáez de Arregi, Guillermo Lana, Santamarta and Ilundain. After 75km, the gap was 2'30, still not a whole lot, with 100km left to go.

Dominator Ramírez Abeja also won the special sprint in Villatuerta (km 82), but the gap started to drop. It was two minutes after 82km. The order over the next climb, the alto de Eraul (km 93) was Ramírez Abeja, Ilundain, Santamarta, Lana and Sáez de Arregi.

In the climb to the alto de Guirguilalno, Luca Mazzanti attacked from the bunch and passed several riders who were dropped from the break. He was third over the top, behind Raúl Santamarta and Ramírez Abeja. Santamarta and Mazzanti took off, but the peloton was now only a half minute back. At km 140, everything was back together.

At the top of the alto de Lezaun (km 142), the order was Iván Velasco, followed by Rubén Plaza, Alexandre Botcharov, David Arroyo and Christian Meier. Katusha controlled the peloton.

Riders like Alexandr Kolobnev, Arroyo, Igor Antón or Rigoberto Urán tried to escape in the final 20km, but none were allowed a large gap. Antón tried again, with the most promising move over the alto de Muru, with five kilometers to go. His gap was 15 seconds, which turned out to be too small.


1. Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) 4h52'40
2. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) at 0'06
3. Michel Kreder (Garmin) at 0'08
4. Alexandre Kolobnev (Katusha) at 0'10
5. Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel)
6. Beñat Intxausti (Euskaltel)
7. Mauro Finetto (Liquigas)
8. Maxime Bouet (Ag2R)
9. Juanjo Oroz (Euskaltel)
10. Varelio Agnoli (Liquigas)



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