Former Naturgas Energía rider Fernando Grijalba gave his team Caja Rural yet another victory in yesterday's Torneo Lehendakari-race in Markina, but more importantly Jon Larrinaga moved into the overall series lead through his second place.
The race, which is officially known as the Memorial Sabin Foruria, takes place around the small town of Markina-Xemein, and was held under grueling conditions. Torrential rain forced almost half the peloton to abandon, but it was not enough to stop Fernando Grijalba continuing his impressive campaign by besting Jon Larrinaga and Lizarte's Antonio Pedrero to the line in a sprint from a small, elite group. Larrinaga's main adversary in the fight for overall honours, Debabarrena's Aitor González, could "only" claim fourth, hence Larrinaga is now in sole position of the top step having entered the race tied on points with González.
Karl Baudron, fourth last week in Natxitua, continued his strong run of form with tenth yesterday. The Frenchman said later on Twitter that he felt strong enough to win the race, but that he was obliged to work for Larrinaga - which in the end turned out great.
- 1, Fernando Grijalba (Caja Rural), 2:36:54
- 2, Jon Larrinaga (Naturgas Energía), s.t.
- 3, Antonio Pedrero (Lizarte), s.t.
- 4, Aitor González (Debabarrena), s.t.
- 5, Ibai Daboz (Bidelan Kirolgi), s.t.
- 6, Bernardo Ayuso (Seguros Bilbao), 0:12
- 7, Ramón Domene (Caja Rural), 0:17
- 8, Jorge Arcas (Lizarte), s.t.
- 9, Krzysztof Tracz (Hostal Latorre), s.t.
- 10, Karl Baudron (Naturgas Energía), s.t.