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Martin moves to 6th in GC

Posted 09 April 2010

Dan Martin turned in another fine performance in stage two of the Tour of the Basque Country finishing 15th and moving up two place to 6th in GC just one second off race leader Alejandro Valverdre (Caisse d’Epargne).

Martin’s Garmin Transitions teammate Ryder Hesjedal was unlucky not to pull off the stage win and appeared to be caught out by the uphill finish as Valverdre swept to his second win in as many days.

Martin rode comfortably throughout the day as the peloton negotiated a mixture of six category two and category three climbs over the 217 kilometres from Zierbena to Viana.

His team joined Caisse d’Epargne and Rabobank in chasing an early three man break-away comprising Michael Rogers (HTC Columbia), Jose Alberto Benitez (Footoon-Servetto) and Amets Txurruka (Euskati-Euskadi) who at one point had gained 7:30 on the peloton.

Of the three riders who had launched their attack after 20 kilometres on the first climb of the day, Benitez had the most to gain having started the day just 2:40 behind Valverdre.

The Spaniard lost contact on second category Alto de la Aldea at the 156 kilometre mark but was not alone in facing difficulties as strong winds split the peloton after the descent.

Rogers and Txurruka succumbed with 30 kilometres to go and the Garmin and Radioshack teams subsequently moved to take charge of containing a number of skirmishes and attacks.

Hesjedal, Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Rigoberto Uran (Caisse d’Epargne) held an edge in the closing kilometre but it was to be Valverdre’s day while Martin kept himself to the front and avoided losing vital seconds as the fragmented bunch crossed the line.

Results

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, Spain (ProTour)

April 6, Stage 2: Zierbena – Viana, 217kms

1. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) 5 hours, 53 mins, 40 secs.
2. Oscar Freire (Rabobank) same time
3. Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) at 1 sec.

15. Daniel Martin (Garmin - Transitions) at 1 sec.

General classification after Stage 2:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) 9 hours, 51 mins, 38 secs.
2. Oscar Freire (Rabobank) same time.
3. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin - Transitions) at 1 sec.

6. Daniel Martin (Garmin - Transitions) at 1 sec.

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