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. 
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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."

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
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
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 87 pts

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

1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 15 pts

1 Movistar Team 107:27:19

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