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‘Purito’ wins wild ride in Basque Country; Horner, Martin cede more time

Jensie on the march

The penultimate stage of the 54th Basque Country tour started with a cold, dark rain falling on the peloton.

Early climbs, including the day’s most difficult climb at the Cat. 2 Elosua, drew out what appeared to be the day’s main breakaway. Leading the charge was Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek), the veteran German racing in perhaps his final Basque tour.

Joining him were Volta a Catalunya winner Michael Albasini (GreenEdge), Adriano Malori (Lampre), Fabian Wegmann (Garmin), Jorge Azanza and Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), David López (Movistar), Hernani Broco (Caja Rural), Eduard Vorganov and Yuri Trofimov (Katusha), Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil), Tanel Kangert (Astana), José Sarmiento (Liquigas), Benoit Vaugrenard (FDJ), Diego Ulissi (Lampre) and Kevin De Weert (Omega).

The crowned the climb with a 4-minute lead and looked to have things under control.

Heavy rain started to hamper the breakaway’s progress and the hilly profile slowed the pace of the move. It all came back together with about 60km to go.

With 40km to go, a new nine-man attack formed at the front. Kiserlovski was joined by Astana teammate Evgeni Petrov and Sky’s Davide Appollonio  [riding without arm-warmers], Caruso and Nerz (Liquigas-Cannondale), David Arroyo (Movistar), Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing), Jesus Hernandez (Saxo Bank) and Malori once again.

Kiserlovski attacked to drop his breakaway companions and hit the top of the second-category climb with a one-minute lead with 20km to go.

He powered toward the line, forcing the GC favorites to give chase. The peloton fractured in their wake, making for another painful day on the steep, green hills of the Basque Country.