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Saunier suffers in Euskal Bizikleta finale

A wave from Saunier Duval

A wave from Saunier Duval (Image credit: Christine Grein)

The final stage of the Euskal Bizikleta proved to be too much for Spanish ProTour Team Saunier Duval-Prodir. The team led the race starting with Friday's stage with Alberto Fernández De La Puebla. Arkaitz Durán was the only 'red-bird' present for the team in a 20-man escape, from which Constantino Zaballa (Caisse d'Epargne) won the stage and overall.

"The truth is everything turned upside down early in the race, with the breakaway," noted Joxean 'Matxin' Fernández after the race. "We bet on Arkaitz Durán, but he punctured so we decided to withdraw him and push from behind. Actually, it was [David] De la Fuente and [Javier] Mejías who we expected would join the breakaway; they could have won the race.

"Then we did what we were supposed to do; put in a lot of effort and try all the way to the line. Unfortunately, there were other teams who performed better than us - hats off to Caisse d'Epargne and Tino [Constantino Zaballa], who developed an effective strategy. Pity... we really wanted to take this legendary summit. But we must think positive; we've claimed a stage win.

"Now we must face the Tour de Suisse craving for victory, to get our own back."

The team was satisfied with the news of Jesús Del Nero's health. He fell in Saturday morning's stage and sustained serious injuries but didn't suffer any fractures. This was checked at a nearby healthcare centre in Galdakao. The Madrid-born rider, who had very good form, will now have to recover from the accident that affected his back and hip.

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