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What we know almost halfway through the Vuelta

  • By Andrew Hood
  • Published Aug. 27, 2012
Alejandro Valverde was fuming after Sky, Katusha and BMC Racing left him behind after a crash. Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com

No pity for Valverde

The peloton revealed its cruel side in stage 4 when a crash with about 30km to go sent race leader Valverde down on the tarmac. In the ensuing chaos, the peloton broke into four groups and no one waved off the leaders to stop riding once it became obvious that the red jersey had crashed with about a dozen other riders at the nose of the peloton. Movistar angrily accused Sky of not only causing the crash, but also then showing an ugly hand by attacking the fallen race leader.

Many wondered why Sky didn’t sit up. The crosswinds were not that strong and there was a first-category climb waiting at the finish line, still nearly 25km away. Sky defended its action, saying the team did not cause the crash and that once the race was on, there were too many moving parts to stop the inertia of the panicking group. It was interesting that Sky got all the flack when BMC and Katusha also collaborated right at the crux. And no one else among the top GC contenders made a concerted effort to try to ease up to allow the red jersey to regain contact.

It’s clear there is no patron in the peloton right now. And no mercy. That’s too bad for Valverde, who’s won two stages and looks to be on form for at least a podium spot and maybe more. Those 50 seconds he lost on the road to Valdezcaray surely will come back to haunt him.

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FILED UNDER: Analysis / News / Road / Vuelta a España TAGS: / / / / / /

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood cut his journalistic teeth at Colorado dailies before the web boom opened the door to European cycling in the mid-1990s. Hood has covered every Tour de France since 1996 and has been VeloNews' European correspondent since 2002.

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