Kloeden wins in the Basque Country

Sat, 09 Apr 17:25:00 2011

Evergreen German Andreas Kloeden has won the Tour of the Basque Country for the second time, 11 years after his first victory.

- 0

Compatriot Tony Martin finished first in the 24-km final-stage time trial in Zalla. RadioShack rider Kloeden was second, nine seconds back, with Italian Marco Pinotti in third place.

"This shows you can never be too old to win although it was much tougher this time round," the 35-year-old veteran said.

"In 2000 I wasn't well known and I took full advantage of that. Other teams kept the race under control and finally I was able to take a surprise win in the final time trial.

"This time everybody could see I was in good shape from the way I had raced in Paris-Nice and the Criterium International. I had to be craftier," added Kloeden.

The twice Tour de France runner-up completed the Basque race 47 seconds ahead of 39-year-old RadioShack team mate Chris Horner of the United States. Dutchman Robert Gesink finished third.

"If you are in good shape and look after yourself you can go on winning until you are 40," said Kloeden. "Chris, who won this race last year, and I are the proof of that."

The German said the unseasonably hot weather, with temperatures soaring past the 30-Celsius mark midway through the week-long race, made the event much harder.

"I've raced the Tour of the Basque Country with snow on my arms and this very hot weather for this time of year was completely unexpected," said Kloeden.

"Everybody suffered. It was only today in a time trial, rather than in a full stage, that I could really go for it.

"Now I will have a long break before building up again for the Tour de France (in July)."

Tour of Basque Country 

Reuters

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account