La Vuelta 8: Superb Stuyven Survives To Sprint

Alto de la Cresta del Gallo (3rd cat, 4.2 km long, 7.5% average) to be climbed twice A rocky mountain covered in sparse trees. Sunny heat. A break-away up the road including Keisse, Engoulvent, Howes, Van Asbroeck, Cattaneo and Madrazo. A moderate gap - about 5'.
Suddenly a big crash. Boeckmans, Bouhanni, van Garderen and Schleck went down.  Boeckmans is taken to the hospital, conscious but battered. Van Garderen abandones with broken collarbone and few later also Bouhanni  and Dan Martin quit. 
Embedded image permalinkThe peloton has split and the Red Jersey gets spotted in the 2nd group, 30" behind. ORICA-GE stops everybody and they set an effective chase to bring Chaves back.
In front Howes has gone solo. Team Tinkoff is pulling, Rafal Majka in front. Howes tops the climb and flies down the descent. But he takes a bent wrong and the bike went straight against the guardrail. His bood is cold enough to allow him to pilot the crash avoiding a risky impact. Still the move is over and now Madrazo is ahead solo. 
Jasper Stuyven (Trek)The peloton is close and they are all together 33km to go. On the Alto de la Cresta del Gallo again. Team Sky rides toward the front. Niki Terpstra attacks and Brambilla goes on conter, Roosen on his wheel. Many attack, and Roosen is caught by a small group. In the descent a new front group formed, including Brambila, Durasek, Gonçalves, Henao, Losada, Rojas, Rosa. Valverde, Rodriguez and Chaves also join. 
Embedded image permalink10 km to go Losada and Gonçalves attack. They have a gap. The new comes that Sagan crashed, then that a motorbike took him down. 3 km to go they are all together. A last attack by Adam Hansen, then a bunch sprint. And Jasper Stuyven wins. Huge result from TFR that spent all its energy to keep the fast guy in front. Bravo!

Jasper Stuyven: 
“We knew it was going to be really hard today. We were well-placed together with the team and then there was the big crash and we had a few of us go down. I was also in the crash, and I hit my wrists pretty bad, they were hurting a lot, but I said to the guys I am gonna try. 
I suffered a lot the first time up the climb, and I was afraid that I would not make it a second time, but Dirk [Demol, director] was there to say to keep fighting, keep fighting.  And I was in a good position at the bottom so I could drift a little bit back on the climb; I think I was one of the last guys to make it over with the front group.
Haimar [Zubeldia] and Riccardo [Zoidl] were there to pull the guys back, they did a really, really great job. I was in a good place, in the wheel of [Tosh] van der Sande, because he was going well. Then we slowed down and they came from behind, but I felt it was a little bit of a tailwind so I thought [to myself] just go for it and I went with 350 meters to go. 
Then [Bilbao] from Caja-Rural came a little bit from the left, but I felt immediately I had more power. I was so aggressive… mad at myself, motivating myself, [telling myself] I can do this. So I kept pushing. And in the end it was not even so close. Great victory...it’s why I came to the Vuelta.
I always aim high and sometimes aiming high can give you only disappointment. After having so much bad luck this year it is finally nice to be able to do something with the good legs and it’s really nice to take the first victory in a WorldTour race. I am really, really happy. The team did well to pull everything back and even after the crash I kept fighting, kept fighting...Yeah. It pays off.”

Esteban Chaves:
“It was very stressful, everyone wanted to be at the front. Then one Lotto Soudal rider fell in front of me after a roundabout. I think this rider is really bad and I want to say to him that I hope you recover really well. After this the guys stayed with me and helped me get back to the first group. I started the climbs in the first group, the downhill was really dangerous, really small and in the final we keep the red jersey. I want to say again thank you to the boys and also to Neil (sport director), because Neil in the moment after the crash kept talking to me and when the big riders attacked he kept me calm.”

Kristian Sbaragli:

"It was a really hard stage and we weren't sure if I was able to make it over the climb the 2nd time. I had to give it everything just to stay in the first 30 positions on the climb. I was really happy with my performance on the climb. Unluckily for Sagan he crashed in the final so there was no longer any sprinters left and I was thinking I must be one of the fastest riders in the group. I thought maybe I started the sprint too early but if you look at it, for a normal sprint it wasn't too early. It was just a bit early for such a tough day like today. About 2 seconds before the finish I sat up because I was on my limit and they passed me with just 30 meters to go and that was the worst part of the day. When you feel the victory and then they pass you on the line it is not a good feeling. I am not going to give up, there are maybe still 2 or 3 chances before Madrid so I hope to take advantage them." 

Van Garderen Breaks Shoulder At Vuelta
Murcia, Spain - The BMC Racing Team lost Tejay van Garderen to a broken right shoulder Saturday at the Vuelta a España in a crash that forced the withdrawal of several others. 
Van Garderen went down in a large pile-up as the peloton was chasing a breakaway inside of 50 kilometers to go in the 182.5-km race. Teammate Peter Velits said the crash was unavoidable.
"We were all around Tejay because we were close to the climb and the final circuit," Velits said. "We were trying to move up and suddenly it happened right in front of us. We did not have a chance to avoid it. That is cycling, but it is never nice to see crashes like this." 
Three other riders saw their Vuelta come to an end due to the crash: Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) who was in third overall, Lotto Soudal team leader Kris Boeckmans and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Solutions Credits), who was runner-up on Stage 3. 
Van Garderen was riding a second grand tour for the first time in his career. At the Tour de France last month, a respiratory problem forced his withdrawal during Stage 17. 
"It is a pity. Our team has lost a fundamental man," said BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois, who directed van Garderen at both grand tours. "This Vuelta was an opportunity to do well for him and for the BMC Racing Team. I am sure he will come back stronger physically, and above all, mentally." 

Tinkoff-Saxo’s co-team leader Peter Sagan was hit by a motorbike deep into the stage 8 finale of Vuelta a España. The reckless collision caused Sagan to crash at speed effectively ending his chances on the stage, while causing extensive superficial wounds.
Tinkoff-Saxo announces after stage 8 of Vuelta a España that the team considers legal actions against the person or persons responsible for crashing into Peter Sagan with 8.2km to go on the stage. A Shimano auxiliary motorbike recklessly and dangerously drove into the peloton at high speed hitting Peter Sagan in his rear wheel. The unacceptable collision caused Peter Sagan to crash and left the rider with extensive superficial wounds on the left buttocks and leg. Sagan was fortunately able to finish the stage but a final medical examination is yet to be made. 
Tinkoff-Saxo believes that such accidents caused by reckless human error, regardless of whether they affect Tinkoff-Saxo’s riders or riders of other teams, are unacceptable at the top level of the sport of cycling. Peter Sagan was wearing the green jersey, he had won one stage, was set to target the stage win of today, while being in serious contention for later stage wins. Tinkoff-Saxo finds it intolerable that an incident like today’s can occur and potentially send the ambitions of a rider and a full season of planning astray. Meanwhile, today’s accident doesn’t only affect Sagan and Tinkoff-Saxo but the race as a whole and its fans, since Peter Sagan is one of the most popular riders drawing attention to both the race and the sport in general."

"Kris Boeckmans was taken to a hospital in Murcia, this was the diagnosis: the 28-year-old rider has a severe facial trauma with several fractures, he’ll probably need surgery. Boeckmans also has a concussion, three broken ribs and had a bleeding in his lung. The doctors will now keep him in an induced coma for a few days."

Thomas De Gendt:

"I didn't want to leave boeckie behind before i saw him awake. I was crying like a child seeing him on the ground like this."


1 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing 4:06:05
2 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3 Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ.fr
4 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
5 Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN - Qhubeka
6 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8 Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
9 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 31:12:18
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:10
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:36
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:49
5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:56
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:57
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:18
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:19
10 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:21

No comments: