Horner wins Basque Tour with superior TT
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Horner wins Basque Tour with superior TT

by Ben Atkins at 11:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

chris hornerChris Horner (RadioShack) won the Vuelta al Pais Vasco after beating all his close rivals with victory in the 22km final stage time trial in Orio. Overnight race leader Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) finished second, 8 seconds behind Horner, meaning the American overturned the Spaniard’s 1-second lead to win the race by 7. Belgian Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia) was third, 13 seconds behind Horner.

This victory is Horner’s first major stage race win outside the US since taking the 2000 edition of the Tour de Langkawi, when he was a Mercury rider. When asked after the race why he had left it so long to take this win, the 38-year-old joked: "Sometimes you need the earth, the moon and the stars to align..."

A relatively early starter by virtue of his lowly overall position, Michael Rogers posted a time of 32’51”, which looked like it may be good enough to clinch the stage victory for the three-time World TT champion. His position looked all the stronger after specialists Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) finished 23 and 15 seconds slower, but Rogers’ own teammate Monfort, the Belgian TT champion, eventually bested the Australian’s time by 5 seconds.

With Valverde just one second ahead of Horner heading into the race it looked as though all the advantage lay with the American. However, at the halfway point of the stage, after 11km, the Spaniard had only lost that one second and looked to be holding his own. It was current third-placed Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) who was fastest at halfway though, 2 seconds quicker than Horner.

Both Spanish riders faded in the second half of the race though, with Valverde losing a further 7 seconds to Horner and Rodriguez coming home 20 seconds slower than current leader Monfort. The Kausha rider was overhauled in the overall classification by Beñat Intxausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi), who took the last step of the podium.

Horner’s 8 second win over Valverde saw him push the controversial Spaniard off the top step.

Result stage 6
1. Chris Horner (USA) Team RadioShack
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne @ 8s
3. Maxime Monfort (Bel) HTC-Columbia @13s
4. Michael Rogers (Aus) HTC-Columbia @ 18s
5. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 21s
6. Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 23s
7. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Columbia @ 25s
8. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha @ 33s
9. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) OmegaPharma-Lotto @ 33s
10. Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack @ 34s

Final overall standings
1. Chris Horner (USA) Team RadioShack
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne @ 7s
3. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 58s
4. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha @ 1’06”
5. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) OmegaPharma-Lotto @ 1’10”


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