Vuelta 8: The Big Split Day

It finally came. Mountain, heat and pain. A last climb that left a mark. Glory and shame. Glory for Leopold Konig, shame for many who got dropped.  
A day for Dan Martin, but he didn't start. Alex Rasmussen ‏posted a picture of him last night: "Dan Martin walking zombie in my room. Must have been watching to much walking dead." he wrote. And Dan Martin himself: "Stunned at the UCI commisaires lack of compassion. Should concentrate more on rider safety and less on UCI fundraising."
Embedded image permalinkA day for a strong break-away, but the finish suited the GC men too much. On the road there was a large group: Cataldo, De Weert, Gastauer, Valls Ferri, De Greef, Azanza, Howes, Huzarski, Hupond, Meier, Busche, Nerz, Piedra and Intxausti. 10 to go only three remained:
Cataldo, Nerz and Valls with 1' gap. 5 to go the break-away was over
A day for GC men, but they controlled each others so long that the true race exploded just in the last steep kms of the stage. RSLT did an incredible job: Cancellara first, then Horner himself. The peloton got splitted and some big fishes remained in the net: Kreuziger, Mollema, Sanchez...
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A day for a brave and Anton is: he attacked when the break got caught and was still going in the last km. Leopold Konig has been the first one to follow. Then few chasers: Basso, Moreno, Pinot, De Clerque. Then the GC riders in a very selected group.
Konig reached Anton, passed him, resisted to all the chasers and won solo. What a big achievement for the Endura's rider!
Just behind Moreno outsprinted Roche, Pinot and a very good Basso
At their back riders were spreaded all over the road. Big gaps are the consequence. And a new GC leader: Nicolas Roche.
Horner kept his 2nd place and gained something on Vincenzo Nibali who's now 4th. 
Embedded image permalinkThis first climb, not even so hard if compared to the harder ones still to come, already made clear who can't win this race. Who will win it is still to decide.



1 KONIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura1680 4:09:46
2 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team850 0:01
3 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff435 0:05
4 PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr
25 ,,
5 BASSO Ivan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team218 ,,
6 DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team
15 0:08
7 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel - Euskadi
12 0:13
8 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team
10 0:19
9 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team
8 ,,
10 URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling
6 0:23
11 HORNER Chris RadioShack - Leopard
5 ,,
12 MAJKA Rafal Team Saxo-Tinkoff
4 ,,
13 POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R La Mondiale
3 ,,
14 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack - Leopard
2 ,,
15 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Sky Procycling
1 0:27
16 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team

17 BARGUIL Warren Team Argos - Shimano

18 SANTAROMITA Ivan BMC Racing Team

19 BAGOT Yohan Cofidis Solutions Crédits

20 ARROYO DURAN David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA


1 (3) ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 31:39:30
2 (2) HORNER Chris RadioShack - Leopard 0:17
3 (8) MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team ,,
4 (1) NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 0:18
5 (14) KONIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura 0:29
6 (4) ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack - Leopard 0:30
7 (5) VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 0:31
8 (7) URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling 0:42
9 (9) MAJKA Rafal Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:52
10 (16) RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 1:03
11 (12) SANTAROMITA Ivan BMC Racing Team 1:17
12 (27) BASSO Ivan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 1:28
13 (29) PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr 1:37
14 (15) CAPECCHI Eros Movistar Team 1:42
15 (30) POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R La Mondiale 1:59
16 (26) KANGERT Tanel Astana Pro Team 2:01
17 (20) TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 2:02
18 (21) SCARPONI Michele Lampre - Merida 2:03
19 (36) DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team 2:22
20 (35) BARGUIL Warren Team Argos - Shimano 2:25
21 (6) KISERLOVSKI Robert RadioShack - Leopard 2:31
22 (31) DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO David Team NetApp – Endura 2:40
23 (32) HERRADA LOPEZ Jose Movistar Team 2:42
24 (17) SORENSEN Chris Anker Team Saxo-Tinkoff 3:00
25 (13) MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 3:12

World Ports Classic: Tjallingii back to win

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Team Belkin said: "After a 20 kilometres solo, Maarten Tjallingii triumphed in Saturday’s second and final stage of the World Ports Classic in Antwerp. The Belkin Pro Cycling Team rider was part of a break, but decided that the best shot he had for the victory was an early attack. And he was right."
Embedded image permalinkOverall winner is  OPQS Maes who also won the Green Jersey. 
I watched nothing of it but  Tjallingii is one of my favourite riders :)

A pic from France

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Pic by


GP Plouay start list and more

Andy Schleck's next race, on 01.09.2013.  
Missing him? you can watch a vid here:
That is the race's official site:
...and here you have the Start List:

Vuelta 7: three, two...one!

Embedded image permalinkIt's not a countdown: it's today stage. They were three in the break-away: Knees, Pinotti and Aramendia. They were two in the final five kms: Gilbert and Stybar. But only one is the winner.
Hot day: 37° as the race heads to south. Hot stage, hot victory to take for sprinters or for punchers to grab attacking on the last climb to Mairena del Aljarafe. Hot day in the sadle for the three early breakers. 
Team BMC still have to confirm Marco Pinotti for 2014 and he said he's still uncertain about his future: "It might be a possibility that I can continue with the team if I want to." he wrote on his diary on Velonation "The other possibility is that I could perhaps work with the team as part of the technical staff. We will have to see what happens and how things work out. For me, it is not clear what they might want me to do in that area, and that will be part of the considerations." cfr  http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/15356/Marco-Pinottis-Vuelta-a-Espana-diary-Riding-the-second-Vuelta-of-my-career-in-preparation-for-the-worlds-TT.aspx#ixzz2dT3UbMuE
Embedded image permalinkLast rider to be caught, Pinotti did anyway some good training for next ITT Worlds.
Then a duo went out the boiling mess of the peloton already launched fo the sprint: Gilbert and Stybar. The last call maybe for a victory in the rainbow jersey so the World Champ was pulling hard. But Stybar didn't give him any help. He kept his wheel till the line and there he sprinted, while the peloton was coming. Arms up: sure to have won. Watching it wasn't that obvious. Gilbert and Stybar's bikes looked side by side. At their back Belkin's Wagner was winning the bunch sprint for 3rd.

In just one month (30 of September) there is a holy parade in Mairena del Aljarafe: this beautiful Madonna (pic) is brought around. We are in Andalusia now, Gipsies' land, and I still remember my honeymoon there, when we rode by bike till a church in Sevilla where another Madonna is venerated: it was dark inside, only the golden statue and his rich dress were shining, it was covered on banknotes and some men were praying, standing in front of it, their hat on their hands. The same day a funeral had crossed the city: majestic and bizarre. A famouse Gipsy Flamenco dancer had died and all her people had came to give her the last honour, by caravans, horses and old cars. We didn't know and respectfully watched from the sidewalk.


1 STYBAR Zdenek Omega Pharma - Quick-Step1680 4:51:27
2 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team850 ,,
3 WAGNER Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team435 0:01
4 PETIT Adrien Cofidis Solutions Crédits225 ,,
5 FLECHA Juan Antonio Vacansoleil - DCM118 ,,
6 FENN Andrew Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
15 ,,
7 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald Sky Procycling
12 ,,
8 WYSS Danilo BMC Racing Team
10 ,,
9 LODEWYCK Klaas BMC Racing Team
8 ,,
10 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt Team Argos - Shimano
6 ,,

Nothing change in the GC.

Trek adds Julián Arredondo and Riccardo Zoidl to 2014 squad

Trek signs Julián Arredondo and Riccardo Zoidl to 2014 WorldTour team
Trek's press release:
(Waterloo, WI): Today Trek is announcing the signing of two talented young riders to their 2014 WorldTour Team roster: Julián Arredondo (COL) and Riccardo Zoidl (AUT). Both riders bring massive amounts of potential to the team, and further the program’s investment in the future of cycling.
Julián David Arredondo Moreno
Colombian native Julián Arredondo comes to the program off a strong season riding primarily in Asia with Team Nippo-De Rosa. The talented 25-year-old finished 1st overall in the 2013 Tour de Kumano, and 2nd overall in the 2013 Tour of Japan where he won the young rider classification while helping his team to the overall classification.
"I'm incredibly thankful for this opportunity. Every day I wake up and I couldn't be happier,” Arredondo said. “It's very hard for young people to make a future in my country. This chance is huge for me. I'll try to make everything out of this and will show every day that Trek was right to pick me.”
"Julián did really well in the races of the Asian Tour. We tested him and his results were very good, said team General Manager Luca Guercilena. “His attitude is also very good. He'll be a strong support for our leaders in the climbs.”

Riccardo Zoidl
2013 Tour of Austria champion Riccardo Zoidl, joins the project from Team Gourmetfein-Simplon (AUT). The Austrian native and runner-turned-cyclist just three weeks younger than his new teammate Arredondo, brings versatility with a talent for climbing and timetrialing as well as an impressive resumé. “My hope is that I can keep developing as a rider with the Trek team,” said Zoidl. “I'm very excited about this. It's a dream come true. I had other possibilities, but this project looks really solid and promising to me. I'll be able to learn and accomplish a lot here.” In just two years of full-time professional racing Zoidl won the Tour of Austria, the Austrian Time Trial National Championship, the overall at Oberösterreichrundfahrt, a stage and the overall at Tour de Bretagne, and a stage and the overall at Circuti des Ardennes."
General Manager Luca Guercelina said of the two-time Austrian Time Trial National Champion, “Riccardo is a very complete rider, who performs well in many disciplines. We had him on our radar before, but after the Tour of Austria, we looked into him. We want to give them opportunities to grow here, especially in the smaller stage races.”


Vuelta 6: the long break-away

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Is Tony Martin preparing Worlds' ITT? 3 to go he was still away with 18''. Solo. Timetrialing. At his best. 25 meters from the finish he was STILL away. Umbelivable. He crossed the rocky mountains and the desert land of Estremadura - red and yellow dotted in light green - he passed solo villages and towns, the peloton not going slowly at his back but chasing and chasing like hunting dogs. They all came early to the finish in Caceres. In the peloton sprinters were eager to sprint but somehw sorry to contrast such a splendid performance. Greatness isn't something you smell, you touch, you see. You recognize. It enlarges your soul and the smile on your face. Bravo Tony Martin who even sprinted for 7th! but bravo the good sprinters who had to sprint. They have so few left in this Vuelta...


1 MøRKøV Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff
80 3:54:15
2 RICHEZE Ariel Maximiliano Lampre - Merida
50 ,,
3 CANCELLARA Fabian RadioShack - Leopard
35 ,,
4 FARRAR Tyler Garmin - Sharp
25 ,,
5 FLECHA Juan Antonio Vacansoleil - DCM
18 ,,
6 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE
15 ,,
7 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
12 ,,
8 MEERSMAN Gianni Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
10 ,,
9 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team
8 ,,
10 BROWN Graeme Belkin Pro Cycling Team
6 ,,
Nothing chaned in GC


Vuelta 5: you must try

You have to try and try again... if you have the legs. Not easy - not new - to go two days in a row in a long break-away. Today it looked good for it but no, glory must wait for Nicolas Edet who anyway seemed tired in the last kms.  Break mates were Piedra, Van de Walle, Courteille and Anacona. They was having a chance but had to stay together. Courteille attacked instead 10 to go: way too early. And Van de Walle joined just to give it a try. Quite sure, it didn't work.
Up and down all day till charming lake of Sanabria (in the pic), all day waiting and finally chasing hard. There was a right turn and a bridge, then a ramp to the finish, not so hard not so easy. A ramp is a ramp. Gilbert also decided to give it a try and dashed out the peloton. All disapeared into the trees, when it appeared again it was an empty corner waiting for the race. People screaming at the barriers watching something we couldn't watch. No Gilbert but a furious bunch sprint. A glorious win by Michael Matthews. He tried and tried, finally succeeded. A great team work. 
Very impressive also ARGOS and OMEGA's trains, a bit 'dirty' Richeze's move: lets see what the jury says but probably it changed nothing. Bravo ARGOS Nikias Arndt: 4th.
And my heart is lost "somewhere in Spain"... Lovely country of a killing beauty.

1 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE1680 4:28:22
2 RICHEZE Ariel Maximiliano Lampre - Merida850 ,,
3 MEERSMAN Gianni Omega Pharma - Quick-Step435 ,,
4 ARNDT Nikias Team Argos - Shimano225 ,,
5 FARRAR Tyler Garmin - Sharp118 ,,
6 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald Sky Procycling
15 ,,
7 ROUX Anthony Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr
12 ,,
8 HENDERSON Gregory Lotto Belisol Team
10 ,,
9 RATTO Daniele Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
8 ,,
10 BOLE Grega Vacansoleil - DCM
6 ,,
1 (1) NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 18:43:52
2 (2) HORNER Chris RadioShack - Leopard 0:03
3 (3) ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:08
4 (4) ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack - Leopard 0:16
5 (5) VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 0:21
6 (6) KISERLOVSKI Robert RadioShack - Leopard 0:26
7 (7) URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling 0:28
8 (8) MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 0:31
9 (9) MAJKA Rafal Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:38
10 (10) KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:42
11 (11) HUZARSKI Bartosz Team NetApp – Endura 0:45
12 (12) SANTAROMITA Ivan BMC Racing Team 0:46
13 (13) KONIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura 0:48
14 (14) MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:49
15 (15) CAPECCHI Eros Movistar Team 0:52
16 (16) RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 0:53
17 (17) SORENSEN Chris Anker Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:55
18 (18) EIJSSEN Yannick BMC Racing Team 0:59
19 (19) ULISSI Diego Lampre - Merida 1:10
20 (20) TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 1:12