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"The team supported me brilliantly and I'm very grateful to them all for that. Unfortunately it wasn't quite enough for the win, but I gave it my all to finish in second, because some riders were right behind me and I real...

Photo: Sirotti






01.03.2014 @ 21:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having already finished 5th in the queen stage of the Volta ao Algarve, Tiago Machado continued his strong showing in his first year with Team NetApp-Endura when he finished 2nd behind a superior Alejandro Valverde in today's Vuelta a Murcia. The Portuguese finished off excellent teamwork to get close to his team's first win of the season.


Today's 34th edition of the Vuelta a Murcia from Beniel to Lorca was right up Tiago Machado's street. With second place to follow his fifth in the queen stage of the Volta ao Algarve, Team NetApp-Endura's newcomer once again proved he can keep pace with the best climbers.   After 190 kilometers he had to concede defeat only in the last 200 meters to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Third place went to Davide Rebellin from Team CCC Polsat.


Right from the start of the race, Team NetApp-Endura appeared active and, in Cesare Benedetti, was able to immediately position a rider in the seven-man breakaway group. The lead group managed to build up a lead of up to four minutes, but was then caught by the field around 60 kilometres before the finish. 


Moments later, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Jerome Coppel (Cofidis) attacked, and a new lead group of forty riders emerged. This group included NetApp-Endura’s Tiago Machado, Jose Mendes, Erick Rowsell and Iker Camano. 


One kilometre before the finish, Machado launched a spirited attack, which only Alejandro Valverde was able to follow. It was only in the last few metres that Valverde eventually triumphed and secured the win.


"The team supported me brilliantly and I'm very grateful to them all for that. Unfortunately it wasn't quite enough for the win, but I gave it my all to finish in second, because some riders were right behind me and I really wanted to get a good result for my team", explained Tiago Machado after the race. 


Sports director Alex Sans Vega praised the team performance.


"It was a great race for us with a first-rate team performance," he said. "It was very windy during the race and Frantisek Padour, Erick Rowsell and Sam Bennett protected our climbers perfectly. On the last 25 kilometers in particular, after Valverde and Coppel had broken away, we had to close the gap. Here Erick really did an amazing job. After Tiago, Jose and Iker had been set up in a good position, the two riders supported Tiago on the last few kilometers so the good work of the team was rewarded with a second place by Tiago."


"Tomorrow we're starting with the same line-up for the Clasica Almeria. However, this race is more oriented towards the sprinters, which means we will concentrate on Sam, who was able to take it a little easier today. The biggest challenge tomorrow will be the strong wind, which was already noticeable today", says Sans Vega, looking towards tomorrow's race. 



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