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Martin out of contention on queen stage

Posted 04 April 2012

Dan Martin was out of contention on the queen stage of the Tour of the Basque Country where his Garmin-Barracuda team succeeded in elevating Ryder Hesjedal to fourth overall.

The stage was won by Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) who relieved Jose Joaquin Rojas (Moviestar) of the race lead after a showdown on the category one summit finish of the Alto de Usartza.
Martin was already struggling by the time the Sanchez made his race winning move with 3.8 kilometres to the finish.
He provided valuable support for teammates Hesjedal and Tom Danielson during the early part of the stage that featured no less than seven categorised climbs in 164 kilometres.
The race came back together on the final climb after an earlier five man break with Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) making the move that split the lead group with 4.4 kilometres to go.
Radioshack Nissan’s Chris Horner replied immediately with Sanchez making the junction soon afterwards.
The trio held out over the summit and made ground on the short descent to the finish where Sanchez sprinted clear to take the stage ahead of Rodriguez with Horner third.
Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) led home the chase group of sixteen riders just 12 seconds later with that group containing Hesjedal, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quickstep) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD).
Martin came home in a six man group alongside Andreas Kloden (Radioshack-Nissan) and now lies 86th in the GC with a deficit of 8’57” to Sanchez overall.
He faces another tough day on stage four with the back end of the 151 kilometre stage made up of four climbs including the summit finish on the first category Bera-Ibardin.
Vuelta Al Pais Vasco
Stage 3: Vitoria-Gasteiz - Eibar-Arrate, 164 kilometres
1.  Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 3:58:15
2.  Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
3.  Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan
4.  Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:12
5.  Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD
6.  Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
7.  Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
8.  Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
9.  Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team
10. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling
80. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda at 6 minutes, 43 seconds
General classification after stage 3
1.  Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 12:06:06
2.  Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan
3.  Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
4.  Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:12
5.  Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
6.  Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD
7.  Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team
8.  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
9.  Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team
10. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
86. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda at 8 minutes, 57 seconds

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