Fast race, slippery roads and “crazy” final lap at Clasico de Almeria
Almeria, February 12th – The Clasico of Almeria started very much like the hard race yesterday in Murcia, with heavy weather conditions. Just 10 minutes before the start rain shower made the road very slippery. After 10 km, at the roundabout there was a group crash and Antonio Nibali fell, but after a fast wheel change he continued the race and quickly caught the peloton.
The weather changed several times during the day and, luckily, after first 35 km the roads were dry again. From this point on the position of the riders stayed almost the same throughout the race; 3 riders broke away in an early phase with a gap of approximate 6-7 minutes. They stayed up front through both climbs (cat. 2 and cat. 3) and kept the same gap up to the last 40 km of the race, when the peloton started to get close to them and finally 25 km before the finish caught them.
After the last little climb at Alto Cuesta de Almerimar began the final part of the race, with 2 laps and finish at the Roquetas de Mar. At this point all teams formed to take the best possible position and blocks for their sprinters.
Before the final lap our riders were in a group and ready to start. Luka Pibernik was chosen for the sprint, with a huge support from his team-mates, especially experienced Ion Izaguirre and Javier Moreno. But after they saw how “crazy” the finish lap started and “exploded” they decided not to risk with such sprint.
Sports director Harald Morscher commented after the race that he is satisfied and proud of the teamwork that our riders showed all through today’s race: “It was a very flat and fast race and most important, from my point of view, is that all guys carried out what was strategically communicated between them. There was definitely good harmony of experienced and young riders in our team. I’m very happy that the team is healthy and they reacted smart in every segment and situation of such a dangerous race and on such slippery roads.
Javier Moreno is satisfied and he said that today’s race was very useful for him and his team-mates and that the experience makes them stronger for the upcoming week for Vuelta Andalusia.
Ion Izaguirre mentioned that he is satisfied with the race and also with the decision in the last “crazy” lap, where they didn’t want to risk anything.
Luka Pibernik admitted that he had big ambitions before the final lap, but that things didn’t turn out the way they anticipated. All in all he is satisfied with the race.
1. NIELSEN, Magnus Cort (ORICA – SCOTT) 4:31:22
2. SELIG, Rudiger (BORA – HANSGROHE) 0:00:00
3. DEBUSSCHERE, Jens (LOTTO SOUDAL) 0:00:00
4. BARBERO, Carlos (MOVISTAR TEAM) 0:00:00
5. CAPIOT, Amaury (SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOIS) 0:00:00
13. PIBERNIK, Luka (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) 0:00:00
44. PER, David (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) 0:00:47
63. MORENO, Javier (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) 0:01:18
68. IZAGUIRRE, Jon (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) 0:01:18
73. NOVAK, Domen (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) 0:01:18
80. NIBALI, Antonio (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) 0:01:18