Egoi Martínez once again came away empty handed from a long-distance break in Friday's 13th stage of the Vuelta a España.
The Euskaltel veteran has a knack for getting into the right moves, but rarely is he rewarded for his persistence and perseverance. Friday proved to be another one of those days.
The 35-year-old made it into the decisive move on the road from Valls to Castelldefels, but his surprise move with some nine clicks to go was caught inside the final three clicks. He jumped again once eventual victor Warren Barguil had gotten a small gap, but by then it was too late.
The young Frenchman cantered to an extremely impressive win, while Martínez had to make do with eighth.
"There were a lot of strong riders in that break, so it was important to play your cards right", he told the team's website post-race. "Sometimes I regret not trying my luck from further out, so I gave it a go with nine kilometres left today. They cooperated well behind me, though, so it wasn't to be.
"It gives me a boost to be up there, fighting for the win. It's perhaps demanding more and more of me as time goes by, but still I manage to be up there. In that sense I enjoyed the stage a lot. It bodes well for what's to come in this race".
The group, containing most of the big names, came in 2:43 down.
- (1, Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano), 4:00:13)
- 8, Egoi Martínez, 0:08
- 24, Samuel Sánchez, 2:43
- 39, Igor Antón, s.t.
- 40, Mikel Landa, s.t.
- 43, Juan José Oroz, 2:54
- 45, Mikel Nieve, 2:56
- 48, Jorge Azanza, 2:58
- 78, Gorka Verdugo, 3:22
- 171, Pablo Urtasun, 15:23