SIERRA NEVADA, Spain (VN) – Matthew Busche (RadioShack) rode into Tuesday’s main breakaway just four days into his grand-tour debut.
The reigning U.S. national champion was part of an eight-man move that surged clear on the opening first-category climb of the challenging three-climb, 170km stage that topped out at the Vuelta’s highest point at 2,112 meters.
RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel said he expects little from Busche during this Vuelta except arriving to Madrid and learning the ropes.
The Belgian has high hopes about the 26-year-old who is only racing in his second full season among the pro ranks.
“I am very hopeful after this Vuelta he can step up another level next year, because I believe he has a lot of potential. He can become a GC rider. He’s a good climber and a good time trialist,” Bruyneel told VeloNews. “All he needs the experience first and his body needs to get adapted to the big mountains and the big tours. He needs to lose some weight, but that’s a steady process.”
Busche was happy with his performance in Tuesday’s stage. He kept the team’s interests covered in the breakaway and then tried to help his team leaders once the breakaway was caught in the closing kilometers of the Sierra Nevada climb.
Bruyneel said Busche is here to soak up the experience of racing in a grand tour and the team isn’t putting any pressure on him to perform.
“This is his first big tour. Initially, he was going to race in Colorado, but I thought having a big tour in his legs at this stage of his career would be more beneficial,” Bruyneel continued. “He’s here to learn, we do not expect anything from this Vuelta, but we would like to have him get through this Vuelta and keep his eyes open and become accustomed to racing at this level. He has a big future.”
Red: Sylvain Chavanel (Quick-Step) takes over from Pablo Lastras, who sunk to 75th, to give the Vuelta its fourth leader in four days. Mountain: Stage-winner Dani Moreno (Katusha) takes the climber’s jersey from Lastras, who held all the leader’s jerseys following his win Monday. Points: Lastras kept this one. Combined: Moreno moves into lead. Team: RadioShack
Ruslan Pydgornyy (Vacansoleil) penalized 20 seconds and fined 200CHF for an illegal feed within 3km of the finish line. Vacansoleil DS Jean-Paul Van Poppel fined 1,000CHF for same infraction.
Alan Marangoni (Liquigas-Cannondale) fined 50CHF for illegal feed; DS Mario Scirea fined 200CHF for same infraction.
Mauricio Ardila (Geox-TMC) fined 50CFH for illegal feed; DS Daniele Nardello fined 200CHF for same infraction. Ardila also fined 100CHF for not having his race bib.
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) abandoned about 125km into the stage. HIghroad is down two riders in its final grand tour and the Vuelta’s lone two abandons so far have come from the team. 196 riders remain.
Continued warm, with temperatures from 31-34C and moderate southwesterly winds with clear skies.