Sanchez Wins Stage Six TT, Tour of Basque Country GC

April 7, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Samuel Sanchez won the General Classification of the 2012 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco with a brilliant performance in the Stage Six time trial. (fundacioneuskadi.com)
Samuel Sanchez won the General Classification of the 2012 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco with a brilliant performance in the Stage Six time trial. (fundacioneuskadi.com)

What he couldn’t do on the hills, Samuel Sanchez did it the time trial: the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider finished first in the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Stage Six time trial by enough of a margin to win the General Classification as well.

“This is not just a victory for me, but also one for the team,” Sanchez told velonation.com. “Euskaltel Euskadi is a small team but we have a lot of passion.”

Sanchez came into the event nine seconds behind Katusha’s Joaquin Rodriguez, who had beaten Sanchez on the steep climbs of Stages Three and Four.

The race was run under horrible conditions, rainy and chilly, making the narrow, technical 18.9-km course even more difficult. The hills, particularly the one in the final two kilometers, slowed the specialized time trialers. The course was perfect for Sanchez and Rodriguez, and of the two it was Sanchez who came with more.

Rodriguez was considered the favorite in the hilly time trial, But Sanchez turned in an exceptional performance; six seconds ahead of Rabobank’s Bauke Mollema, seven seconds ahead of Omega’s TT specialist Tony Martin, and 21 seconds ahead of Rodriguez, who finished sixth on the stage.

“I’m very happy with my performance,” Rodriguez told velonation. “I’m not a specialist of races against the clock but I think I’m improving and this result proves it it. That’s obviously good news for big stage races.

“Unfortunately, Sanchez today was really great: he knows these routes very well, he’s more used to time trials than I am, he did a great performance. Anyways, I had good feelings: I didn’t do my best in downhills, also because the road was slippery and it was not worth the risk.”

“The time trial was dangerous for everyone,” Sanchez told velonation.com. “Whether or not you pull the brakes is a question for each rider.”

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Stage Six

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Samuel Sanchez

Euskaltel-Euskadi

0:28:48

2

Bauke Mollema

Rabobank

0:00:06

3

Tony Martin

Omega Pharma-Quickstep

0:00:07

4

Marco Pinotti

BMC

0:00:15

5

Damiano Cunego

Lampre-ISD

0:00:16

6

Joaquim Rodriguez

Katusha

0:00:21

7

Stef Clement

Rabobank

0:00:22

8

Travis Meyer

GreenEdge

0:00:24

9

Moreno Moser

Liquigas-Cannondale

0:00:28

10

Jean-Christophe Peraud

AG2R

0:00:31

Final General Classification

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Samuel Sanchez

Euskaltel-Euskadi

20:58:15

2

Joaquim Rodriguez

Katusha

0:00:12

3

Bauke Mollema

Rabobank

0:00:42

4

Damiano Cunego

Lampre-ISD

0:00:47

5

Tony Martin

Omega Pharma-Quickstep

0:00:54

6

Lars Petter Nordhaug

Sky

0:01:03

7

Jean-Christophe Peraud

AG2R

0:01:07

8

Michele Scarponi

Lampre-ISD

0:01:19

9

Christopher Horner

RadioShack-Nissan

0:01:27

10

Simon Spilak

Katusha

0:01:29