4.08.2015

Itzulia 3: Climbing Antigua Twice

Embedded image permalinkEpic solo try by a wonderful Westra but he couldn't descend as well as he climbs. Caught 3 km to go. Then Kirienka attacked and Henao in counter got a gap. Quintana and Rodriguez followed for a thrilling sprint. Rodriguez won.
Steep climbs. So steep and crowded that riders must walk up Antigua.
A glorious weather. 

Purito Rodriguez: 
"This win is so important to me as it has been more than a year since I won. I’ve always had the good legs but I’ve had so much bad luck. I started to be afraid that the bad dream would never end. This is a new beginning for me. Thank you Team Katusha for the support during the day."


Embedded image permalinkSergio Henao:
“I’m delighted to be back on the podium. After all the setbacks I’ve had in the last year I’m so happy to be back here. We’ll see what the next stages bring.
I’ve felt pretty strong all week. The first time over the climb I tried to cool down a little bit and sit back. But I could see that a gap opened up quite quickly so I realised for the second pass that I needed to be at the front. The team did a good job in putting me in a good position and then I just went as hard as I could. I felt strong and it was nice to be able to take the jersey.
The time trial here is usually decisive and it should come down to the final day. Quintana and Rodriguez are obviously really strong and they have strong teams to support them. Quintana won here in 2013 and I think he is still the favourite. We’ll see how the next few days go and see where we are at the end.”

Nairo Quintana:
“It was a very demanding day - riding with headwinds all day, lots of short climbs and such an explosive finish made it really hard. I was just thinking about getting over the day without any time loss; it was the only important thing for me today. The finale was pretty tense, and I really didn't stand a chance into the sprint; the other two were stronger than me and the result was obvious. Thursday's stage will be another really important one -the climb towards Arrate, following 162km with seven other categorized ascents-; we will see who takes the responsibility to lead the bunch after the chances in the GC. It's good to have gained time over Kwiatkowski and the other favourites, but it wasn't really much at all."

Michal Kwiatkowski:
"Today's stage was typical for Pais Vasco. It was not easy today, but morale is still high. It was a close moment on Alto de la Antigua. If I get over the climb with that group of three I could finish much better, but I'm happy with fourth on a difficult final like today. It was really steep and not easy to stay straight on the bike, especially with so many people on the roads. This climb might have even been steeper than Mur de Huy. I had a 32 gear in the back and it was still not enough, so you can imagine how steep it was. I'll need that kind of gearing again on Friday probably. The hardest stages are still ahead of us. Tomorrow we also have Arrate at the end, with probably 4000m of climbing. It's going to be a tough couple of days coming up, but I'm looking forward to it. I also am excited for the time trial as I'm feeling good at the moment. I also have to say I'm proud of my teammates today. We had the whole team in the front all day and I was protected well. It's a pity that Tony crashed on the descent but fortunately he did not get injured. As for how I'm feeling, considering this is a preparation for me also for the Ardennes Classics I have to say I am happy with my condition. I'll do my best day-by-day at this race as this will be important riding also for the next races."

Bauke Mollema: 
“After the first time up the steep climb there were a lot of gaps. Bob was in the first group of 20 riders and I was in the second 20 riders so he waited for me. He pulled for maybe 5-10k full gas to come back to the first group. It was a really strong effort because in the front they were pulling with several guys and he was more or less pulling alone.  He also helped put me in good position for the last climb - Bob did a really good job!
“It was a really hard day and it’s not even the queen stage! Up and down, left and right, and dangerous descents all day, especially the last 60 or 70K. 
I was close to be with the front group; I think I was seventh on the top on the last big climb and I wanted to pass a few guys in front of me, but it was so tight with all the spectators. That was a pity because maybe I could be like fourth over the top and then you go into the descent with a small advantage.
I was with Kwiatkowski and Samuel Sanchez half-way down, but then lost their wheels in the last corners and finished three seconds behind those guys.
I know the ending climb of tomorrow really well and it’s a climb that suits me better. I think I have done it five times already. It’s different than today, less steep and a little bit longer, and I think it’s good for me. But there is no doubt, the race will be hard again.”

RESULTS
STAGE
1 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 4:39:02
2 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:07
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
6 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
8 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:10
9 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha
10 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
11 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha
12 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team
13 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
14 Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana Pro Team
15 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
16 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge
17 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team
18 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha
19 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:18
20 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr
GC
1 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 13:08:41
2 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:07
5 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
7 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:10
9 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
11 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha
12 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
13 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team
14 Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana Pro Team
15 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge
16 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge
17 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha
18 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team
19 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:18
20 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr

No comments: