lunedì 1 settembre 2014

Rest Day

Rest Day!
In the Vuelta... and also for me. I spent two days in Forte dei Marmi doing NOTHING, just sunbathing, reading a bit of philosophy, walking on the beach and... watching cycling. 
Af far as la Vuelta is concerned, I think we still have to see the last of it. Today Cyclingnews lists the following riders are 'favourites':
1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
2. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
4. Chris Froome (Team Sky)
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
6. Fabio Aru (Astana)
7. Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
8. Samuel Sánchez (BMC)
9. Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp)
But in the actual top 10 there are also: 
10. Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge
11. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 
12. Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:01:02 
13. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:06
La Vuelta is demonstrating once again to be a very open race and I think you can't exclude yet riders 1' down, especially when they are very good climbers AND quite good cronomen. Wilco Kelderman for exemple. Of course the first 9 are more likely to win the overall... but you never know. 
In Italy the weather is really weird this summer, in Spain it looks better but still riders have to face a big temperature excursion in mountains stage and an awful heat in the flat ones. Then there is the wind, that - we have already seen - can play a very important role. 
Tomorrow there is a crucial ITT so today riders and staff went to see it. My man in Spain said it's hard. That can be an advantage for strong cronomen and a risk for the others. Chris Froome lost 1' to Contador but he can easily get it back there if he's fit. The question is: is he fit? I think he is. We have seen it on La Zubia. Contador keeps saying he is not or at least that he doesn't know exactly how he is... He looks very good but it's true that he could suddenly crack if his condition isn't perfect: it's a long hard race.
The view from my room in the country
I think Rigoberto Uran can show all his class in the last week, don't believe that much in Quintana - maybe it's just me - and I'm curious about Fabio Aru. People don't talk much about him but he's already there: 6 overall. Don't underrate him. 
Disappointing so far TFR Arredondo, while the young Bob Jungels was once again consistent and strong: watch him tomorrow in the ITT!
As far as me... I'm back to my country home: I love this place! it's already quite cold but so beautiful!

domenica 31 agosto 2014

La Vuelta 9: The Big Breakaway


The winner Anacona
31 riders: Adam Hansen, Anacona, Arndt, Arredondo, Berhane, Bewley,  Bilbao, Boonen, Bouet, Cataldo, Coppel, Cousin, Cunego, Felline, Hesjedal, Jungels, Lang, Lutsenko, Martens, Martinez, Mas, Moreno, Nerz, Nocentini, Teklehaimanot, Thomson, Vansummeren, Verona, Vorganov, Wyss and Zingle.
It was a big break-away. Rain at the finish and some serious climbsCat. 2 alto de San Rafael (11.5km, 4.2%),and Cat. 1 summit finish at Valdelinares (8km, 6.6%). 34 km to go the gap was 7'. 
The decisive move came 25 km to go, when Sam Bewley went clean and a few riders bridged. The new front group included also Team Lampre's Anacona, virtual Red Jersey. 20 km to go they met the pourring rain and there three riders set an attack: Anacona, Jungels and J. Moreno. They got a gap. Behind Team Sky was leading the chase. 
Embedded image permalink
Pic by Antoin Plouvin
6 km to go Anacona went solo The gap still was about 4’. In the main peloton the fight for the GC had started with a move by Uran and Dan Martintrying to anticipate before the last climb. It didn't work but induced a selection: the duo was caught by a reduced peloton including Froome, Contador, Quintana and Rodriguez. 
In front Anacona won solo. Behind Contador attacked, dropped all but was joined on the line by Rodriguez and Quintana. Froome lost some seconds, like other main contenders.
Quite some stage. Really.

Winner Anacona:
“It was a great victory for me. I had tears in my eyes when I crossed the line,” admitted Anacona. “It’s a great day for me, for my team and for my country.
It’s the most important moment of my career. This is my third season and I haven’t managed to win up to now. The red jersey would have been nice, but a victory is a victory. If I had had to choose between the stage win and the race lead, then I would have preferred the stage, which is how things turned out.

Perhaps I will pay for this effort but for the moment I want to savour this victory and the knowledge that I am right in the GC battle gives me motivation to keep fighting and finish in the top 10 in this Vuelta."

Chris Froome
"Conditions were really tough out there. I think we can take a lot of good away from that stage in terms of how we rode as a team. I'm so so proud of how the guys rode today, they did such a good job. They kept me at the front throughout the stage.
In the final I didn't have the legs to follow the top guys when they went. But I think given where I've come from on the back of the Tour and the build-up into the race I'm really happy with how things have gone so far. I can definitely feel I'm starting to pick up that race rhythm back into my legs and I'm looking forward to the second half of this race."
I'm going to go and see the time trial course tomorrow and see what we're up against. It's relatively short compared to time trials elsewhere. But I enjoy time trialling and I'm hoping to make the most of it.
I think we've come to see that Contador is going extremely well. He's got over his injuries pretty quickly and he's going well, as are Nairo Quintana and Rodriguez. The usual guys we expected for the general classification. It's a huge fight here and it's going to be a big race all the way to the end. Every second here or there is going to count."

Team Tinkoff-Saxo DS Steven De Jongh:
“It was a very good day for Alberto and I think everyone saw a very strong Contador in the final. It was a bit of a nightmare in the rainy finale and we saw a lot of riders standing completely still. The first hour was very hard, we did over 47 km/h. It was never easy today, it was fast and they kept going full gas but we can be satisfied with today's result and now it's time to recover for the time trial Tuesday." 
Alberto Contador:
"I noticed that some of my rivals were in difficulties and I wanted to use the opportunity. I still lack condition to keep the pace at maximum intensity, but I'm very happy. I don't know exactly how much time I took on some of my opponents, but the important thing now is not to catch a cold and to get some rest", says Alberto Contador after crossing the finish line. 
Whenever I have the legs, I have to try. I haven’t been able to prepare properly for the Vuelta to ride for the GC as a goal. I hope to improve day-by-day, but I'm aware that there are other riders, who have been training meticulously ahead of this race. Perhaps today they didn’t have a good day, but the Vuelta has just begun", adds Alberto Contador.
It's always important to be ahead and if it’s because you’ve left your opponents further down the mountain, better, but I don’t think it’s important yet. We aren’t even halfway through the Vuelta and we still have many mountains to climb. 

In the TT I don’t know how I'll perform in the time trial. It will be a moment, where we will see which shape everybody is in. On a normal stage you’re able to hide a little more, but in the time trial, it’s just you and your shape. Let's see, I hope to do a good race, although I think there will be better riders than me”

Rigoberto Uran:
"Today I felt better compared with the first uphill finish of a few days ago. The weather was a bit crazy, we started with the hot temperature and we finished under the rain. The team today rode really well. We were present in the front with Tom and Carlos, and in the peloton the guys did a great job for me. For example, when Tony led me in the last descent to avoid risks. In general I'm OK and I feel that I'm improving. In the GC we are more or less where we were supposed to be at this time of the race. Now we have a well deserved day of rest and then the TT, where I have good expectations. I trained a lot with the my Specialized Shiv before La Vuelta and I'm looking forward to this race."

TFR DS - Josu Larrazabal
“For us in one way it was a really good day. The goal was to try and be in the break with Julian, Bob and Felline, and it was nice to see all three in the break. Even before the real break went there was another break with Bob and Julian again, so they did a good job from the beginning. 
Julian was still not looking in top shape so we asked him to work a little bit more, and then we ask Felline to try to follow the moves from afar since he is not as strong as Bob is on the climbs. On the second to last climb Bob followed the move from Anacona and Moreno from Movistar  - who was the whole day staying in the wheel since his team has the leader’s jersey – and they had 40 seconds on the last climb. From there everyone did his pace, and did his best. Bob could not hold their pace, but it was still good with two of our young guys doing 10th and 11th on the stage.  It was really good to see the team working like this.
On the other side we lost our status in the GC with Haimar when he was dropped on the second last climb. In the last days his feeling has not been so good, mostly with his respiratory system, he is coughing, and he is just not at his best. We need to see how he is going the next days and how he is feeling – especially on the next mountain.  But for the rest of the team we will continue to look for breakaways and focus on stage wins.”

BMC Samule Sanchez:
"Today I was missing a little bit to get to the finish line with Alejandro Valverde, who was the race leade. We have finished the first nine stages and have to be happy with what we have done up to now. We are close to the top 10 with a nearly two-minute gap from the leader. But our team has done a really good job in the first part of the race."

RESULTS
STAGE
1 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 4:34:14
2 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:45
3 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:50
4 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:04
5 Peio Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA 0:01:12
6 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:21
7 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 0:01:33
8 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol 0:01:45
9 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:49
10 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing 0:02:08
GC
1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 35:58:05
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:03
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:08
4 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:00:09
5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:28
6 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:30
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:06
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:19
9 Rigoberto Urán (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:26
10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano
POINTS JERSEY
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 87 pts
MOUNTAIN JERSEY

1 Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 20 pts
COMBINATION JERSEY

1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 15 pts
TEAM

1 Movistar Team 107:27:19

La Vuelta 8: Crosswind, Echelons and Unorthodox Sprint

Embedded image permalinkEventuful day yesterday in La Vuelta. A break-away of course:
Elia Favilli (Lampre-Merida) and Francisco Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA). 
But a two riders break-away is hardly successful because they can hardly oppose to the strong interests in the peloton, different maybe but convergent in chasing. 
Moreover yesterday when crosswind was espected and dreaded. Team Sky had built his stage strategy on it: they went in front and willingly split the peloton 26kms to go. Panic rose and the where-is-who game: Boonen and Uran in the 1st group, Quintana and Degenkolb not. Valverde will say he didn't know... A 15” gap, a lot of work to close it, all together again 5kms to go. 
A frantic rearranging for the sprint. A sprint. Michael Matthew ready to jump out Bouhanni's wheel... Bouhanni switch on Matthews, who had to stop pedaling. Bouhanni wins. ORICA-GE protests but finally the Jury convalidates the result. Bitter taste.
To remarke that Bouahnni lost the Points Jersey dued to Degenkolb's victorious intermediate sprint. Valverde still leader but for just 1'.

 Michael Matthew:
“The final worked out the way I wanted it to up until about 15-25metres to go. Mitch (Docker)  ave me a good lead out to string the bunch so I didn’t get swamped, then Bouhanni hit out from about 200m and I got on his wheel.  I went to come around him but unfortunately a small movement in the final when you are going that speed washes off a lot of speed. I had to stop pedaling when he gave the little flick but that’s racing. We wanted to see what the commissaires said. We thought it was a bit touch and go but it’s their opinion that counts and we can only try. Unfortunately they made the decision, I was second place and we have to go with that.”
ORICA-GE DS Neil Stephens:
“The race organisers had already asked the commissaires to review the finish when I arrived. I reviewed it with them and in my mind it confirmed our doubts. They were split two against two as to what the decision should be.  In the end they said it was a difficult decision but that they would award the stage to Bouhanni. That’s racing, it’s a difficult decision and we just have to respect the commissaires. We will just fight to win a stage another day.
As in everyday, the main objective was to look after Esteban in his general classification hopes. Albecete is famous for its crosswinds and it played up to that. It was a tricky day and for someone like Esteban it is really quite difficult.  But as he said with the full commitment of the guys around him, it made a tough job easy.”

Nacer Bouhanni:
“Everyone expected crosswinds today and that meant everyone wanted to be at the front. I stayed with Geoffroy Soupe in the final kilometres, but I was quite a way back down the line coming up the straight.
I started my sprint from 300 metres out despite the headwind because I didn't want to get boxed in. Usually, that’s too far out for me but I had good legs today. Yesterday I wasn’t far off abandoning because I had a bit of sunstroke.”

Chris Froome:
"Everyone was up front and in a good position," said Froome after the stage. "We were definitely more on the offensive today than having to react to other people. That's what we wanted. 
Everyone did a massive job out there. I'm just glad to get through that one and into the mountains tomorrow. I think it will be more about following the other favourites at the moment. We've still got a lot of racing to come and a lot of climbing to do. It's going to be a full-on race."

Team Tinkoff-Saxo DS Steven De Jongh:
"Well, to be honest - the first part of the stage was a little less than exciting but when the wind finally picked up and we started going, it turned into a rather thrilling finale. The boys were riding another fantastic stage in terms of staying in the front, being very alert and simply supporting Alberto. I'm in awe of Michael Valgren's performance. Considering this is his first pro season and his first Grand Tour, he's riding unbelievably well but all the boys worked hard and well out there. Now, we're looking forward to tomorrow's mountain challenge and we're hoping that Alberto can hang on to the favorites of the race."
Alberto Contador:
"Benna is a life insurance on a day like this. He kept me well placed at all times and I can only thank him. He’s a priceless ‘workhorse’; he almost takes you into his pocket. It’s important to stay focused and communicate with him because being apart in the peloton is useless.
These days are full of wear, stress and danger. Nothing has happened and I'm happy because I feel pretty well. I was nervous in the last 50 k of the stage. I don’t know why, but I thought I had a flat and considered that if I had to stop to change the wheel, it would have been very bad. But everything worked to perfection and the team was great. We’ve completed another stage and now we have to rest because tomorrow will also be important. 
Tomorrow is just another day, it’s not significantly hard and it’s without tough climbs. I hope to spend it in the best way possible while being able to recover and prepare for the time trial. For now I have to go day-by-day, see how I’m recovering and nothing else. For now, I'm very happy, I didn’t imagine to be third overall after eight stages, but we still have a long way to go."

BMC DS Valerio Piva:
"We were prepared for it, so all day we stayed quiet. Then I asked the guys to pull full gas. Cadel was fantastic and strong, as was Manuel Quinziato and Steve Morabito. And Philippe Gilbert did a good job in bringing Samuel Sánchez up since he was not in a good position in the beginning. Some of the GC (general classification) riders were in trouble and we tried to make them more in trouble. In the end, it was just four of us who were pulling, so the second group came back. But we tried."
Danilo Wyss:
"I fought really hard for everybody. The objective was to keep Samuel in the first group and we pulled really hard. I went for the sprint at the end, but I didn't have much energy left. I gave everything before to pull for Samuel. Tomorrow will be hard. I am hearing the final will be with rain and 16 degrees (Celsius) temperatures, compared to the 40 degrees of the past few days."

TFR DS Adriano Baffi:
“We knew the parcours today, and after yesterday where we did a lot of work and had nothing to show at the end for it, today we worked for Jasper and almost the whole team was on the front when the winds began. We recovered well after yesterday. When we have such a strong Classics’ team here we knew we could give a good hand to Jasper.
It was not a great finish for Jasper because it was a long straight and he does much better if he has some corners. Tenth is not a result for Jasper, and we hoped for more, and we know that he is capable of better. But that is what we have. Without victories you are never completely happy but at the end we are very satisfied with how Jasper is doing.
The overall GC remained unchanged at the top, and Haimar Zubeldia also maintained his 24th place despite arriving with the second peloton and losing 53 seconds. The wind was not his friend today, but tomorrow he returns to more favorable terrain with the Vuleta’s first high mountain finish.
Monday sees the first rest day of the three-week Grand Tour, a time to reflect on the opening nine days, which, has not gone as hoped explained Baffi, but there is a lot of racing to come and the team is in good morale.
What is important is that today showed all the team is good. We believe we end our first week with confidence that everything will come back to normal. Now we look to the mountain stage tomorrow and then the first rest day and after the time trial. There is a lot of racing left, and a lot of opportunities for us.”

RESULTS
STAGE
1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr 4:29:00  
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale  
4 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano  
5 Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol  
6 Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
7 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka  
8 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
9 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
10 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing  
11 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
12 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling  
13 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale  
14 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
15 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ.fr  
16 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka  
17 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky  
18 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha  
19 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team  
20 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
GC
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 31:21:20  
2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:15  
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:18  
4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:20  
5 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:41  
6 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:45  
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:55  
8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:58  
9 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:01:02  
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:06  
11 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:09  
12 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:01:11  
13 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 0:01:12  
14 Rigoberto Urán (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:18  
15 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 0:01:34  
16 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN - Qhubeka 0:02:12  
17 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:02:19  
18 Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:25  
19 Andre Fernando S Martins Cardoso (Por) Garmin Sharp 0:02:30  
20 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:02:46
POINTS JERSEY
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 87 pts
MOUNTAIN JERSEY
1 Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 18
COMBINATION JERSEY
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
TEAM
1 Belkin Pro Cycling Team

sabato 30 agosto 2014

Robert Kiserlovski goes Tinkoff-Saxo


...on a two years deal.  He said:

“I'm really happy to join a team that has so many prominent athletes. I like the teamwork and I'm looking forward to the next two seasons. I’ll be ready every time a great champion like Alberto Contador needs my help

venerdì 29 agosto 2014

La Vuelta 7: Dedicated To Alfredo Martini

Incorporato permalink immagine
A finger up, toward the sky,toward the Cyclists Heaven from where for sure Alfredo Martini was watching the race... and telling a story.
Great rider, DS and man, Alfredo Martini, died  94 few days ago. And a great sign of respect by another great rider, Alessandro De Marchi ,at the end of a great stage.
At the begining it was break-away:  Tschopp and Hesjedal ahead the peloton. They had 33'' at km 37. Dupont and  De Marchi trying to bridge while Movistar and Saxo Tinkoff were leading the chase.
Then a crash.  No clear info but Chris Froome was told dropped at the start of a climb, 1 'from the head of the race. Then it became evident that he wasn't the only one in trouble:  Orica GreenEdge reported that Ivan Santaromita had been involved in a crash, had brocken his finger and was heading to the hospital. John Degenkolb had been also involved and was back to the medical car.Then the news came that Saramotins and NAULEAU had abandoned.
Meanwhile Dupont and De Marchi had joined Hesjedal and Tschopp, the peloton was at 1 ', but the gap quickly increased till 07:18. Ryder Hesjedal was now closer to the virtual red jersey. Then  De Marchi turn the gas on... and won solo ... as he uses to do.
Froome had joined the peloton before the top of the climb and even if crashed he looked perfectly well: he  attacked in the finale and gained 3 '' on his main opponents.
Instead Warren Barguil crashed hard on the right side of his head. He was able to cross the line but still... 

Alessandro De Marchi:
“I came into this race without too much pressure on me,” said the Italian. “I was just looking to get some form and hoping for some opportunities. But my legs felt good today. This is the best memory of my career. After so many top fives, this is a great result, an almost perfect day for me.”
Incorporato permalink immagine
Chris Froome:
"I'm feeling okay but you definitely get the feeling that when bad luck comes it comes more than once. But all things considered I'm feeling all right and I think I got off relatively unscathed. It's good to have another day behind us now.
When the crash happened a Giant-Shimano rider went down in front of me just to my left. I swerved to try and avoid that and went down. Then the guys paced me back. It took us a good 15km before we got back into the peloton.
The rest of the guys did a great job looking after me, pacing me back into the race and keeping me in a good position for the rest of the day.
After a testing day Froome admitted that taking a couple of seconds on the line was a nice bonus.
I'll definitely take that after a stage like today," he added. "At the end of the race you might need all the seconds you can to defend your place. I'll keep chipping away and get closer to the time trial."


Team Tinkoff-Saxo DS Steven De Jongh:

"The stage was actually harder than the profile suggested it would be in terms of climbing. It was relentlessly up and down and even though it was slightly cooler than the previous few days, it was still hot for out there. But the boys did a fantastic job for Alberto during the stage without having to do the hard work in front of the peloton and we're ready for a similar stage and similar tactics tomorrow before Sunday's mountain top finish."

Team Giant-Shimano DS Christian Guiberteau:
“We didn’t have much luck today with both John and Warren coming down but both seem OK and we will see how they are feeling in the morning. It is not ideal coming the day before a good stage for John. 
Embedded image permalink
Adam Yates looking for... his bike?
The plan was for a couple of guys to try for the breaks early on as it was 50/50 today as to whether a break would survive or it would be controlled. We didn’t want to spend too much energy in this though and we still needed to protect Warren and John. In the end we weren’t in the move, but the guys looked after each other in the peloton.
After a week of racing now we are in a good position. The young guys are tired yes, but not overly so and they aren’t suffering like lots of riders are here with the heat we have had and the hard racing. With John’s wins and Warren’s strong result yesterday the morale is good and everyone is really motivated to keep working towards our goals."

Robert Gesink:
“In the sprint, I wanted to follow Dan Martin, but unfortunately I couldn’t. It went up and down all day, and I think that many guys suffered. The profile appeared to be flat, but I’ve learnt that you can never trust the Spanish profiles. I have miscalculated before and seriously suffered. As a GC rider you need to stay focused every day.”

Samuel  Sánchez: 
"The crash was luckily avoidable. Today's stage was made harder by the wind and crashes and I think everybody can't wait for the rest day. After seven stages, the GC (general classification) is decided a bit. But the hard part is still to come and everything is possible." 

Philippe Gilbert (5th)
"I had been suffering in the warm weather conditions like a lot of riders. Now the heat is a little less and I am feeling better. Even if it is only fifth place, it gives me confidence for next week."

ORICA-GEDS Neil Stephens:
“It was a really demanding day. The heat and the fatigue at this year’s Vuelta is starting to take its toll. Right from the start it was very difficult for all the riders and once again our main priority was Esteban in the general classification with a view to seeing how the race panned out.
It’s already a difficult race but things are going to be even more difficult with the absence of a really important man in the mountains in Ivan."

More to come


RESULTS
STAGE
1 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale 04:01:52  
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 00:01:34  
3 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:01:35  
4 Johann Tschopp (Swi) IAM Cycling  
5 della squadra Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing 00:02:17  
6 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp  
7 Christopher Froome (GBR) Team Sky 00:02:18  
8 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:02:20  
9 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte Team (Spa) Movistar  
10 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo  
11 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
12 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar della squadra  
13 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale  
14 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha  
15 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
16 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
17 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN - Qhubeka  
18 Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
19 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
20 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
GC
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar team 26:52:20  
2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar team 00:00:15  
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:00:18  
4 Christopher Froome (GBR) Team Sky 00:00:20  
5 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge 00:00:41  
6 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 00:00:45  
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:00:55  
8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:58  
9 Warren Barguil (Fra) del Team Giant-Shimano 00:01:02  
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:01:06  
11 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky 00:01:09  
12 Squadra Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing 00:01:11  
13 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 00:01:12  
14 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:01:18  
15 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN - Qhubeka 00:01:19  
16 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Soluzioni Credits 00:01:26  
17 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 00:01:34  
18 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 00:01:47  
19 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 00:01:57  
20 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:02:06  
21 Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:02:25  
22 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 00:02:29  
23 Andre S Fernando Cardoso Martins (Por) Garmin Sharp 00:02:30  
24 Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre Racing (Spa) Trek fabbrica 00:02:35  
25 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 00:02:44  
26 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol 00:02:46  
27 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:02:52  
28 Squadra Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing 00:03:10  
29 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:03:47  
30 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha 00:04:47  
POINTS JERSEY
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) del Team Giant-Shimano 
MOUNTAIN JERSEY

1 Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
COMBINATION JERSEY
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte Team (Spa) Movistar
TEAM
1 Belkin Pro Cycling Team

Andy Schleck - Ice Bucket Challenge

In Short: The Afghan Women Riding Team

There is a wonderful article here (with video):
http://blogs.bicycling.com/blogs/thehub/women-on-bikes-pedal-a-revolution-in-afghanistan?cid=socBL_20140828_30584096

In Short:
1 Shannon Galpin and her nonprofit, Mountain 2 Mountain: "She became the first woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan in 2009, discovered the women’s Afghan cycling team in 2012 and immediately began working to raise awareness and support for their efforts. She's now an ambassador for Liv, which has supplied the team with bikes, clothing, and gear."
2. Afghan Cycles: Liv and Let Media released new footage from the upcoming documentary
3. A cyclist named Miriam. “Miriam believes that this is her right, that no one can take it away from her. So when she gets on the bike and rides, knowing that she’s pushing the boundaries, she’s doing it because she loves the freedom the bike gives her. And she comes back to that all the time: the freedom that the bike gives her."
4. Get Involved! "August 30th marks the first ever Global Solidarity Ride. People around the world will take to the streets on organized rides in honor of the women cyclists in Afghanistan"