4.11.2014

Vuelta al Pais Vasco: A Two Hands Punch for Ben Swift

Exciting day in Itzulia! Tricky final: a fast sprint after a ramping climb. A large break-away, then a three riders on the road, Bob Jungels solo 27 km to go as he dropped Mollema and Wellens in the descent. Amazing. 
All caught, all still open, Weenings attacking twice, Valverde attacking all the way Contador on his wheel, and a still solid Wout Poels
But Ben Swift won. Amazing. What a shape has got this guy! Climbing with the best climbers, beating all at the sprint. A two hands punch on the line and a big roar. It's done. Bravo.
 
What Ben Swift said: 
“Looking around it was pretty weird to be in that company," he admitted. "I felt pretty good and I’m really happy I could take the win.Movistar really ripped it on the second cat-three climb. That’s what got rid of most people and the pace was actually to my limit on the final two climbs. But then Valverde stuck it in the big ring and went and I thought here we go! But it turned out okay. Only three guys went and I think everybody was a bit on the limit at that point BMC had three riders there just to pull it back. It was a nice downhill finish actually. Looking at the profiles I saw three opportunities for wins in the race depending on how they were raced. Today was a bit of a ‘maybe’ but it worked out great.”
“Looking around it was pretty weird to be in that company," he admitted. "I felt pretty good and I’m really happy I could take the win.
“Movistar really ripped it on the second cat-three climb. That’s what got rid of most people and the pace was actually to my limit on the final two climbs. But then Valverde stuck it in the big ring and went and I thought here we go!
“But it turned out okay. Only three guys went and I think everybody was a bit on the limit at that point BMC had three riders there just to pull it back. It was a nice downhill finish actually.
“Looking at the profiles I saw three opportunities for wins in the race depending on how they were raced. Today was a bit of a ‘maybe’ but it worked out great.”

Read more at http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,30456_9260627,00.html#mTE3TK14WBtSsYyw.99

What Bob Jungels said: 
“In the beginning of the week I was in the breakaway, I did well, but I could tell there was a little bit missing. In the next days after that I was in trouble. And today I got the confidence back, I gave it my all, it was one climb too much at the end, but I am happy,” explained a relieved Jungels after the race had finished. “It was important to see that I am still okay. Today I felt really good, I am back, and that is good news for the Ardennes Classics.
All the years that I have been racing up to now I have never had a period where I was not good, I don’t want to say that this was a period, as it was just a few days, but you ask yourself questions. You want to prove to yourself that it’s wrong, so in this way it was a very good day for me.
On the first categorized climb Andy [Schleck] attacked and I think it was a little too early when he went, so I waited until the last 500m and countered. I did the downhill à bloc and then I was alone. On the flat I kept going and hoped someone would come up to me. Then Romain Sicard came after a few kilometers, and 5k later a big group joined us. We started slowly as I think behind they were still pulling. It was a really hard day.
When Sicard crashed, [Philippe] Gilbert jumped, and I think the break finally could go; they stopped pulling from behind. In the end I attacked in the last 2k of the first category climb and got away with [Bauke] Mollema and [Tim] Wellens. I made my own downhill and had 10 seconds by the bottom, but I kept a reserve in case they came back, and they did. In the final climb we gave it everything we had, but it was not that much anymore.
Tomorrow I don’t know, I had a tough day today  – if I recover well I can do a pretty good TT, but I can only say that tomorrow morning. Everybody has been suffering until now and the last two days I took it a little bit easy, so maybe I can do well, but for me the important thing was to see that I am good. If I don’t do well tomorrow, I know the reason."

What Bauke Mollema said:
“I felt strong and really wanted to fight for the stage win today. There was a big fight to get in the [16-man] break and unfortunately, the peloton didn’t allow us to build up a big gap.”
What Tim Wellens said:
"The team had asked that someone would join the breakaway. I was in front and didn't doubt any second to jump. I wasn't the strongest today, but felt I was one of the better riders. Because of a stomach bug I suffered much in the first stages. But I got better every day. Today I felt much better. Tomorrow there's a time trial to finish. With the improving condition I will do everything I can to set a good time. I always go full in a time trial. With my improving condition I have to be able to perform well in the classics that are ahead of us. The Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be important for me. After the Ardennes classics the Giro is on the menu."

ORICA-GE about today race including Weening's attacks:
http://www.greenedgecycling.com/news/in-the-break-and-on-the-attack-on-stage-five-of-pais-vasco
RESULTS
STAGE

1 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 3:56:56  
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team    
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
4 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
5 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
6 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar    
7 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
8 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo    
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team    
11 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr    
12 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr    
13 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
14 Iurii Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha    
15 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team    
16 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge    
17 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
18 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha    
19 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team    
20 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing
GC 
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 20:30:31  
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:12  
3 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:36  
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team    
5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
6 Iurii Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha    
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:41  
8 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:54  
9 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:55  
10 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:56  
11 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
12 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr    
13 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:58  
14 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha    
15 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:01:37  
16 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:46  
17 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:13  
18 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:05:59  
19 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:06:38  
20 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:06:42  

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