Oakley's Michael Roger Victorious At Tour Of Andalusia

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Oakley’s Michael Rogers successfully fended off some dangerous attacks in the final day’s racing of the Tour of Andalusia to clinch the overall victory. A long break, including overcoming overall threat Angel Vicioso of Spain, was only caught 20 kilometers from the finish line. Chasing down the move was made difficult because three HTC-Columbia riders, Konstantsin Sivtsov, Michael Albasini and Hayden Roulston, all crashed mid-stage. Rogers was delighted with his first stage race win since 2003, saying “It was a pretty tough day but the team were super and we never panicked.”

After the breakaway ended, Rogers then finished third in the final uphill sprint of a front group of 24 riders, won by Spain’s Francisco Ventoso. Overall, the former World Time Trial Champion finished with a 19-second advantage over Jurgen Van Den Broeck of Belgium, with Spain’s Sergio Pardilla in third. “The crash made things more difficult, although in the end it all worked out and I got third on the stage as well. So I’m very pleased.”

“The break was very dangerous with some strong riders out there, and we tried to keep them at two minutes but when that crash happened we had to let them have a bit more,” commented HTC-Columbia sport director Brian Holm. “It was very tense in the last part, although Mick got to the finish with enough teammates to protect him and he showed his strength by getting third, too. He did well on the first uphill finish and then again in the time trial that decided the race. It’s really nice to see him back on the podium of a stage race.”

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February 27, 2010