9.06.2014

La Vuelta 14: Yeah, Chris Froome! (and Ryder Hesjedal)

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Ok, I missed some race. I got excited even just reading on twitter.  
Today breaking-away wasn't an easy job. It took a long while but finally a 23 riders group formed in front. 
They were: Przemyslaw Niemiec and Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida), Robert Wagner (Belkin), Luis Leon Sanchez and David Arroyo (Caja Rural), Guillame Laverlet (Cofidis), Romain Sicard and Yannick Martinez (Europcar), Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Koen de Kort (Giant-Shimano), Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha), Bart de Clerq and Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Louis Meintjes, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Jacobus Ventner (MTN-Qhubeka), Tom Boonen and Carlos Verona (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Luke Rowe (Sky), Sergio Paulhino and Oliver Zaugg (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabio Felline (Trek). They built a large advantage.
Embedded image permalinkFrom this group the stage winner emerged and it was Ryder Hesjedal.
Meanwhile in the peloton the fight for the overall exploded and the day winner was Chris Froome, who attacked and - slightly - dropped his main conteders, conquering the 3rd place in GC. LL Sanchez instead conquered the Mountain Jersey by a long day in the break-away.
Bravo the young Louis Meintjes (5th) and Romain Sicard (7th).
Bravo Team Sky that is racing as a team well supporting with strategy and determination a leader who isn't in his best condition. 

Ryder Hesjedal:
"To win today meant a lot to me, especially because I won my first Grand Tour stage at the 2009 Vuelta. It was an amazing day and a special one for me and the team.

We've been all in for Dan and he's still going strong, so to have that and also be able to go for the win for the team is just incredible."

Chris Froome:
"Another big day at #LaVuelta. Legs beginning to feel better, just riding my own pace & taking it day by day. Plenty of mountains ahead!"

Team Sky DS Dario Cioni:
“It was a really great ride from Chris and the whole team. We did what we were looking to do out there and everyone followed the plan well. 
Chris was able to put a second on Rodriguez, a few into Contador and quite a big chunk on Valverde and Rigo. 
We thought that today could be an opportunity. With the steep part starting 2km out we thought some people might underestimate how hard it would be. It’s a long two kilometres! We actually hoped someone would start off too fast. Our goal was to go up with our pace, not worry too much about what other people were doing and hopefully it would be enough to get a good result.
Tomorrow’s stage is completely different to today and Monday will be different again. We need to make sure we select the right tactics for each one and keep the momentum going.”

Joaquim Rodriguez:
"I am really happy. I took some time back to both Contador and Valverde. I don’t think we were really looking at each other, it was just so steep. We all had to give our maximum constantly. There was no question of tactics in play. I don’t know if this was the steepest finish ever in the Vuelta but it was very tough. Not only because of the steepness, but also because of the rough road surface. Now the Asturias stages will come and will decide the overall winner. It will go to the most regular rider. I am very regular anyway."

Rigoberto Uran:
"We tried to make the race a little bit hard, tried to pull a little bit. But in the final, on the last climb, I suffered a bit. But OK, concerning the GC and my goals here, nothing has changed. We still have two hard mountain stages in front of us. Tomorrow we have a tough summit finish in Lagos de Covadonga that I am familiar with . I will try to do my best again. The goal in these next days is to hang on, and do our best to stay with the strongest guys with the climbs." 

Oliver Zaugg:
"I feel so tired and a bit disappointed. On the one hand I am disappointed but on the other, it wasnt a bad day after all. It was a perfect situation in the breakaway, I didn't have to work, I was feeling good and I could go for a stage win. The last two kilometers were so steep, I needed one smaller gear. It was very hard and 150 meters from the finish, Hesjedal came really fast up behind me. It was impossible to respond and I just kept my rhythm."

Alexander Kolobnev:
"In the morning before the stage the sports directors asked us to follow any big break in case it goes away. Right after the intermediate sprint a massive group of riders broke away and I was able to go with them. This stage could suit Joaquim, so it was important for the team to have an additional rider in the break. In the long 1st category climb, we had a very high pace in the break and half of riders went in front together with me. With more or less 30 km we realized the peloton would not catch us. I decided to follow the best riders and to try to get the highest possible result. Team director Gennady Mikhaylov was following me in the car and helped me a lot, explaining very well the final climb, which was really hard, especially last 2 km. In the end I was able to finish 4th. It’s not bad to get this result from a such a big breakaway, but of course, I wished maybe to get more. Anyway I did all I could. I don't know if this stage could be a real indicator of my shape for the Worlds, but I am happy to be here in the Vuelta and to ride together with many favorites for the Worlds."
Robert Gesink:
"It was hard. It wasn't my best day, that's for sure. If this has been the worst, than I cannot be too sad about it. I was suffering all day. I wasn't feeling fresh, but you never feel fresh after two weeks of racing. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. If you feel this bad every day, and you keep climbing spots on GC, it's not too bad, is it?" 

Wilco Kelderman: 
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"It was OK in the end. I am satisfied with this result today. In the beginning, it was hard," Kelderman said. "When the group went away, with [Robert] Wagner, that was good to have him there. On the second-to-last climb, it already was hard for me. At the end, I rode my own tempo up the hill."

Samuel Sanchez:
"Today was a really hard stage made harder by the warm temperatures and high pace from Omega Pharma-Quick Step on the first category climb. This final uphill did not suit my strengths, so I did what I could to defend my position."

Warren Barguil:
“It was a really hard day today and I gave my max. I hit a bit of a wall in the final kilometres which was a shame but I feel that I am recovering well. This should be key to keep challenging for the overall here.”

Louis Meintjes

"Today was a really good day, my legs felt really good. The final climb was really steep, I saw so many sign boards and thought we had to be really close to finish at one stage until I saw the 1 km to go banner in the distance still (laughs). I am really happy with my result but I must say both Jacques and Jaco were just fantastic today. It was a good day for the team."

MORE TO COME

RESULTS

STAGE
1 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 5:18:10  
2 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:10  
3 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:30  
4 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:39  
5 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:00:42  
6 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:52  
7 Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar 0:01:44  
8 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:02:02  
9 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:02:15 10 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:02:36  
11 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:02:37  
12 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:43  
13 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:45  
14 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:05  
15 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 0:03:21  
16 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol 0:03:30  
17 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 0:03:37  
18 Rigoberto Urán (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:03:42  
19 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
20 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha  
21 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:03:49  
22 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:04:00  
23 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
24 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:04:02  
25 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky 0:04:07  
26 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:04:08  
27 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN - Qhubeka 0:04:16  
28 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:04:17  
29 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:04:27  
30 Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:04:31
GC
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 54:20:16  
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:42  
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:13  
4 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:29  
5 Rigoberto Urán (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:02:07  
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:15  
7 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:03:26  
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:04:14  
9 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:04:36  
10 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 0:04:37  
11 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 0:04:45  
12 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:05:10  
13 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:06:02  
14 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:06:18  
15 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:07:18  
16 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky 0:08:58  
17 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN - Qhubeka 0:10:20  
18 Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar 0:10:40  
19 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:10:43  
20 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:11:31
POINTS JERSEY
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 116 pts
MOUNTAIN JERSEY
1 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 26 pts
2 Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 20  
3 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 18  
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 18  

5 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 16  
COMBINATION JERSEY
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 8 pts
TEAM
1 Movistar Team

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