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Tim Roe crashed midway through the race but was not seriously hurt. (BMC Racing Team photo.)
Tim Roe crashed midway through the race but was not seriously hurt. (BMC Racing Team photo.)

Pais Vasco, Stage 3: Staying Close

4. April 2012

Three riders from the BMC Racing Team – Marco Pinotti, Amaël Moinard and Ivan Santaromita – finished within a minute of the leaders Wednesday on the "queen stage" of Pais Vasco.

Another Tough Day Ahead
On the last of seven climbs in the 164-kilometer race, the trio were in the leading group when 2010 race winner Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) attacked. Only two riders – eventual stage winner Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskadi) and runner-up Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) – could stay with him. Pinotti (22nd) crossed the line 50 seconds after new race leader Sanchez and is best-placed on the BMC Racing Team in 23rd overall. "Two years ago on this climb, I was 48 seconds behind Sanchez and 11th on the stage," Pinotti said. "The level here now is maybe higher, so I'm satisfied." Moinard (32nd) and Santaromita (34th) are both 59 seconds off the lead with another hard day ahead. Parts of the finishing climb for Thursday's 151 km stage are as steep as 18 percent. "The pattern has been a breakaway and then pull it back, then attacks at the end," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said. "That could change if it rains and there's a 60 percent chance of it tomorrow."