VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:09:42 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Contador takes pole position as Froome stalls in TT http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/contador-takes-pole-position-froome-stalls-tt_343670 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/contador-takes-pole-position-froome-stalls-tt_343670#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:09:42 +0000 Andrew Hood http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343670

With a near-flawless first week at the Vuelta and a convincing time trial performance in stage 10, Alberto Contador is in control and in the red jersey. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Alberto Contador surged into the overall lead on day when archrivals Chris Froome stalled and Nairo Quintana crashed

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With a near-flawless first week at the Vuelta and a convincing time trial performance in stage 10, Alberto Contador is in control and in the red jersey. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) has always been a rider who prefers to let his legs do the talking. The Spanish superstar is a humble family man who doesn’t pack the arrogance or attitude that typically accompanies a rider of his stature and success.

So it was somewhat of a surprise when Contador stood up during his rest day press conference Monday to say loud and clear he was now ready to race to win the Vuelta a España. He started the race unsure that his injured leg would hold up, but he was getting through the initial nine stages better than anyone could have imagined.

Tuesday’s race of truth saw Contador speaking once again with his legs, riding into the race leader’s jersey that many suspect will be very difficult to steal away from him with 11 days of racing still to go.

“It’s a big surprise to be wearing the red leader’s jersey,” Contador said. “To tell the truth, I couldn’t imagine wearing the leader’s jersey right now. It’s a huge surprise. The first seven days were truly difficult.”

When the dust settled in Borja, the resulting fallout was impressive. As expected, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) topped the leaderboard.

Right behind him was the surprising figure of diminutive Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), who “won” the battle between the GC favorites, stopping the clock just 15 seconds slower in another spectacular TT for the Colombian who won a similar stage at the Giro d’Italia.

Contador was fourth, just 21 seconds slower than third-place Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing). Archrival Chris Froome (Sky) could only muster 10th on a day that was critical for him to take gains.

All eyes were on Froome, and he could not deliver when he had to. The 2013 Tour de France winner said he went too hard out of the gate, and it cost him later.

“Obviously, I was hoping for a better ride today,” Froome said on Sky’s website. “I definitely started too fast. For the first 15 minutes, I felt fantastic. By the time I hit the climb, I started to really feel the effort.”

Froome is still within range of Contador, fifth at 1:18 back, and promised to keep fighting, but also seemed to bow his head a tad.

“I’m just over one minute off GC, with a lot of racing yet to come. I am going to keep fighting as best as I can every day,” Froome said. “My goal coming into this Vuelta was to get a grand tour in my legs and finish off the season in good form. I think all things considered, I’m still on track for that. I’m going to take it one day at a time.”

Contador started Tuesday’s time trial second-to-last, just ahead of overnight leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar), which meant he did not see his Colombian rival overcook a curve in an horrendous crash. Contador was hell-bent on taking time on all of his GC rivals.

“I was confident I could post a decent time trial,” Contador said. “The differences to Froome are important because he’s a specialist. I didn’t start the stage thinking I was going to lose time to him.”

As expected, the time trial juggled the overall standings going into the final, most challenging part of the Vuelta. What was unexpected was Quintana’s crash coming off the Moncayo climb. He tumbled off his bike, and plummeted out of the leader’s jersey, dropping to 11th at 3:25 back.

Without Quintana breathing down his neck, Contador will now be able to more easily handle Valverde, second at 27 seconds back, and Urán, who climbed from ninth to third, at 59 seconds back. Samuel Sánchez (BMC Racing) also posted a strong ride, climbing into podium contention, now seventh, 1:41 behind his countryman in the lead.

Perennial podium man Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) did well to limit his losses, but slotted into sixth overall at 1:37 back, likely too far back to seriously challenge Contador in the climbing stages that loom in Asturias and Galicia in the Vuelta’s final week.

Contador is clearly now in the driver’s seat. Backed by a strong and experienced Tinkoff-Saxo team, Contador won’t make silly mistakes, and he will be pressing the action, forcing the others to react to his moves.

“Contador has been the strongest in the mountains, with what he did Sunday, and then he comes back again and does it again in the time trial,” said Belkin sport director Erik Dekker. “I believe that Contador is now going to win the Vuelta. There might be some surprises behind, but only for the fight for the podium.”

Contador’s growing condition matches his ever-steady confidence. Back at the press conference, Contador repeated what he said Monday — he’s here to win the Vuelta.

“I’m in the red jersey, clearly thinking about the victory,” Contador said. “Everyone will be looking at me. If I can manage to win the Vuelta, it will be incredible after my fall at the Tour. I still want to take things easily. I had great legs at the Dauphiné, and I still didn’t win.

“My objective is to have the jersey in Santiago [where the Vuelta ends September 14],” he said. “It’s better to be ahead than behind. I had more pressure in the Tour, and here, everything that comes is a bonus. This Vuelta is just starting. Nothing is decided, and it’s still very open. Let’s not get carried away.”

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Phil Gaimon Journal: North American grand tour http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/road/phil-gaimon-journal-north-american-grand-tour_343661 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/road/phil-gaimon-journal-north-american-grand-tour_343661#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:19:35 +0000 Phil Gaimon http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343661

Phil Gaimon found a fan at the USA Pro Challenge that also likes wearing blue and eating cookies. Photo: Phil Gaimon | VeloNews.com

Phil explains how the Tour of Utah, USA Pro Challenge, Tour of Alberta, and Canadian WorldTour races end up feeling like a grand tour

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Phil Gaimon found a fan at the USA Pro Challenge that also likes wearing blue and eating cookies. Photo: Phil Gaimon | VeloNews.com

When they are in the U.S., Garmin-Sharp often benefits from the kindness of strangers — strangers who like to deliver cookies at the races. Photo: Phil Gaimon | VeloNews.com

When they are in the U.S., Garmin-Sharp often benefits from the kindness of strangers — strangers who like to deliver cookies at the races. Photo: Phil Gaimon | VeloNews.com

Gaimon enjoyed some tasty Kansas hospitality while visiting the Garmin headquarters. Photo: Phil Gaimon | VeloNews.com

Gaimon enjoyed some tasty Kansas hospitality while visiting the Garmin headquarters. Photo: Phil Gaimon | VeloNews.com

These creepy Aspen trees are always staring at you. Photo: Phil Gaimon | VeloNews.com

These creepy Aspen trees are always staring at you. Photo: Phil Gaimon | VeloNews.com

Sure, it’s no Vuelta, and we get whole weeks off instead of rest days, but if you’re one of the lucky few to go from the Tour of Utah, to the USA Pro Challenge, to the Tour of Alberta, to the one-day races in Montreal and Quebec, you get about the same number of race days as a grand tour (maybe exactly the same, but I’m not looking it up).

I already wrote about the Tour of Utah. Colorado was similar, but about 4,000 feet higher, and then throw in a few faster dudes, so slightly harder to win.

Garmin-Sharp showed up with a lofty goal of GC and stage results, but we pulled it off, with a handful of second-places, including the GC for Tommy D. [Danielson], and finally a stage win in Denver for Alex Howes. At Utah, I remember Alex joking that Kiel Reijnen thinks he’s a sprinter now, but he could totally dust him on training rides. Fast forward to stage 1 in Aspen, where Kiel beat Alex in a two-up sprint. Nobody said anything then, but Alex got him in Denver, so I can joke about it now.

I made it through Utah and Colorado without a bad day, riding the front in a few critical moments, saving the day once or twice for Tommy D., and dropping all the sprinters on Lookout Mountain to force that Alex-Kiel rematch. It was a big improvement from last year, when I signed to Garmin-Sharp in the summer, met my future teammates, and then embarrassed myself by finishing in the groupetto every day, certainly making them wonder why the hell I was on the team. I credit Vaughters forcing me to do the Tour de Phil last fall, a spring of hard races in Europe, and my coach Frank Overton of FasCat coaching, who made me do 40-minute intervals in Big Bear all of July.

From the Denver finish, we flew to Garmin’s headquarters in Olathe, Kansas. We signed some autographs, took photos, rode with Garmin employees and locals, and did hilarious video interviews with each other that you’ll eventually find on the internet.

In one of the interviews, Danielson and I asked what we’d most like to be known for in 100 years. I wasn’t even going to pretend that anyone will remember who won the first stage of the 2014 Tour of San Luis (they don’t even remember that now). Then I thought about my book, but will they have books in 100 years? I certainly don’t read any sarcastic sports books from 1914. I told Tom that I’ll be remembered for my contributions to science, and cried with laughter. Sure, I haven’t made any yet, but I’m still young! Tom then said he wants to be known for his fashion innovations, citing a bald spot with a helmet tan. I don’t know if that video will sell any Garmins, but you’ll giggle, and that’s good too.

In Olathe, Ben King met his hero, Bill Dance, a Garmin-sponsored bass fisherman. I just caught the end of it, but their interview will be good, too. Ben doesn’t have much of a southern accent around us, but after 20 minutes of bass talk, he pronounced it “bye-sickle.”

We also went bowling. I just remembered that all the riders said they’d put in $20, and some of those deadbeats never paid me (I bowled a solid 133).

We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto (you were waiting for that joke). I had four days at home in Los Angeles, and now I’m off to Calgary for the Tour of Alberta, and one-day races in Montreal and Quebec. Guys complain about the bus transfers at the Vuelta, but at least they’re not hanging around at LAX.

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UCI announces no positive doping tests in 2014 Tour de France http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/uci-announces-positive-doping-tests-2014-tour-de-france_343698 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/uci-announces-positive-doping-tests-2014-tour-de-france_343698#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:09:33 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343698

The UCI announced that no adverse analytical findings were uncovered in the hundreds of anti-doping tests conducted at the 2014 Tour de France. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

A total of 719 blood and urine samples were taken in this year's Tour, compared to 622 a year ago

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The UCI announced that no adverse analytical findings were uncovered in the hundreds of anti-doping tests conducted at the 2014 Tour de France. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PARIS (AFP) — There were no positive doping tests at this year’s Tour de France, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) announced Tuesday, on behalf of the UCI, as well as the UK and French anti-doping agencies.

“All the samples collected were systematically analyzed to detect stimulants and erythropoiesis,” said the UCI, the latter being the process which produces red blood cells.

“Isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) was also analyzed in a certain number of samples, in particular to detect testosterone abuse and its precursors.”

A total of 719 blood and urine samples were taken in this year’s Tour, compared to 622 a year ago, with the testing carried out at the WADA-accredited laboratory of Châtenay-Malabry in France.

Of these samples, 197 were collected pre-competition for the purposes of the biological passport and medical monitoring, and another 522 were taken during the race.

Additionally, all riders in the Tour were subject to a simultaneous, unannounced biological passport test during the rest day in Carcassonne.

“I would like to thank the anti-doping bodies involved in the 2014 Tour de France operations for their collaboration, in particular the French Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti-Doping, but also the World Anti-Doping Agency and the CADF,” said UCI president Brian Cookson. “This sort of collaboration is absolutely necessary. Thanks to a sharing of information, the effectiveness of the testing distribution and therefore the overall anti-doping program is improved, with the stakeholders sharing their knowledge, their know-how and the information they have available. In addition, it increases the program’s transparency while obviously respecting the confidentiality regulations in force.”

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Gallery: 2014 Vuelta a Espana, stage 10 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/gallery/gallery-2014-vuelta-espana-stage-10_343671 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/gallery/gallery-2014-vuelta-espana-stage-10_343671#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:41:51 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343671

Tony Martin wins the 36.7 kilometer time trial, while the GC picture crystalizes in Spain, with Contador in the driver's seat

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Quintana blames brakes for crash, vows to help Valverde http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/quintana-blames-brakes-crash-vows-help-valverde_343651 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/quintana-blames-brakes-crash-vows-help-valverde_343651#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:53:05 +0000 Andrew Hood http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343651

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had a dismal day in the Vuelta's stage 10 time trial. After an early crash, he fell from the race lead to 10th place overall. AFP PHOTO | JAIME REINA

Now, with his GC hopes as tattered as his torn skinsuit, Quintana vows to help teammate Alejandro Valverde at the Vuelta a España

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Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had a dismal day in the Vuelta's stage 10 time trial. After an early crash, he fell from the race lead to 10th place overall. AFP PHOTO | JAIME REINA

Things looked to be going pretty well. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was barely 20 seconds slower than archrival Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) over the top of a deceptively steep third-category Moncayo climb to open Tuesday’s 36.7km individual time trial to Borja. Not great, but not bad, either, especially considering that meant he was still ahead of most of the other GC rivals at that point of the race.

Things quickly unraveled for the Giro d’Italia champion, who started the stage last as the overnight Vuelta leader. The Colombian reached down to tighten his shoe, and came into a sweeping right-hander too hot. Quintana tried to brake, but it was too late. His real wheel skidded, then clipped a guardrail, and he went catapulting over the handlebars.

“I am f—ed,” Quintana told reporters at the line. “The bike didn’t brake.”

Quintana’s Vuelta changed in an instant. When his bike’s rear wheel hit the guardrail, he flipped once, landed on his back, and rolled to stop. His saddle snapped off, evidence of the brutality of the impact.

Team staff quickly attended to Quintana, but he stubbornly remounted the bike, eventually crossing the line 82nd, 4:07 behind winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). He sunk from first to 11th, now 3:25 behind new leader Contador.

“I felt good on the climb, but my bike wasn’t braking properly on the descent,” Quintana explained. “Before the curve, I was tightening my shoe a bit, because it was loose, but I don’t think it had anything to do with the crash. What happened is that it took too long to brake, and it wasn’t enough, and I went to the ground.”

According to Movistar officials, it doesn’t appear Quintana suffered serious injuries. He was able to finish the stage, and ride in the tucked-in time trial position, revealing that he should be able to continue in the Vuelta.

The 24-year-old was lucky to avoid more serious injury. Despite his insistence that the brakes were not fully engaged, he was able to slow his speed considerably before the impact. He was also able to change his trajectory, so when he did collide with the barrier, he went flipping back toward the road surface, rather than over the guardrail onto the exposed mountainside.

“Luckily, I was able to avoid the worst of the blow,” he said. “I don’t think I did too much damage. My left ankle hurts, and I have a few bumps and bruises, but I don’t think I’ve hurt anything too seriously.”

Before the start of the stage, Quintana was sounding confident in his bid to win a second grand tour this season. Now, with his GC hopes as tattered as his torn skinsuit, he vowed to help teammate Alejandro Valverde, who rode well to slot into second overall, now 27 seconds behind Contador.

“Cycling’s like that,” Quintana said. “I’ve lost some time, and now I will try to [help] Alejandro to try to reach the podium.”

Valverde expressed his dismay at Quintana’s misfortune. He didn’t even realize his teammate had crashed until he was told by journalists waiting at the finish line.

“I am content to be close to Contador, but it’s a bit bittersweet after Nairo’s fall,” Valverde said. “I didn’t even know. It’s a shame to fall like that, being the leader, when you’re making good time. To have both us well-positioned in the GC would have been better, but the most important thing is that Nairo is still in the race. I am sure he will bounce back, even though it must have been a hard blow. We are still going to fight to the end, and we’ll keep making a good Vuelta.”

Based on Quintana’s track record, however, if he’s not seriously hurt, he will be bounce back from this setback and go on the attack. To win a stage, or perhaps even more? The hardest part of the Vuelta is still to come.

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Results: 2014 Vuelta a Espana, stage 10 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/vuelta-a-espana/results-2014-vuelta-espana-stage-10_343644 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/vuelta-a-espana/results-2014-vuelta-espana-stage-10_343644#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:26:27 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343644

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) rode his way into the red leader's jersey in the stage 10 Vuelta time trial. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Tony Martin claims stage 10 individual time trial, while Alberto Contador assumes the overall lead

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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) rode his way into the red leader's jersey in the stage 10 Vuelta time trial. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

  • 1. Tony MARTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, in 47:02
  • 2. Rigoberto URAN URAN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :15
  • 3. Fabian CANCELLARA, Trek Factory Racing, at :18
  • 4. Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :39
  • 5. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, BMC Racing, at :48
  • 6. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at :49
  • 7. Vasil KIRYIENKA, Sky, at :58
  • 8. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at 1:01
  • 9. Jesse SERGENT, Trek Factory Racing, at 1:13
  • 10. Christopher FROOME, Sky, at 1:32
  • 11. Pieter SERRY, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 1:32
  • 12. Jerome COPPEL, Cofidis, at 1:35
  • 13. Bob JUNGELS, Trek Factory Racing, at 1:39
  • 14. Romain SICARD, Europcar, at 1:45
  • 15. Winner ANACONA GOMEZ, Lampre-Merida, at 1:45
  • 16. Tanel KANGERT, Astana, at 1:49
  • 17. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Katusha, at 1:49
  • 18. Robert GESINK, Belkin, at 2:01
  • 19. Dominik NERZ, BMC Racing, at 2:01
  • 20. Tobias LUDVIGSSON, Giant-Shimano, at 2:02
  • 21. Fabio ARU, Astana, at 2:03
  • 22. Damiano CARUSO, Cannondale, at 2:05
  • 23. Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 2:06
  • 24. Adriano MALORI, Movistar, at 2:07
  • 25. Rohan DENNIS, BMC Racing, at 2:09
  • 26. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at 2:09
  • 27. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC Racing, at 2:14
  • 28. Bart DE CLERCQ, Lotto-Belisol, at 2:15
  • 29. David MILLAR, Garmin-Sharp, at 2:16
  • 30. Przemyslaw NIEMIEC, Lampre-Merida, at 2:18
  • 31. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, Cofidis, at 2:19
  • 32. Wilco KELDERMAN, Belkin, at 2:22
  • 33. Steve MORABITO, BMC Racing, at 2:31
  • 34. Maxime BOUET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:38
  • 35. Johan LE BON, FDJ.fr, at 2:41
  • 36. Patrick GRETSCH, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:41
  • 37. Ryder HESJEDAL, Garmin-Sharp, at 2:41
  • 38. Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2:44
  • 39. Stef CLEMENT, Belkin, at 2:45
  • 40. Daniel MARTIN, Garmin-Sharp, at 2:48
  • 41. Gert JOEAAR, Cofidis, at 2:50
  • 42. Christophe LE MEVEL, Cofidis, at 2:51
  • 43. Michael Valgren ANDERSEN, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2:54
  • 44. Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT, MTN-Qhubeka, at 2:57
  • 45. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, Sky, at 2:59
  • 46. Maxime MONFORT, Lotto-Belisol, at 3:05
  • 47. Maciej BODNAR, Cannondale, at 3:05
  • 48. Danilo WYSS, BMC Racing, at 3:06
  • 49. Daniil FOMINYKH, Astana, at 3:08
  • 50. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, Katusha, at 3:14
  • 51. Philippe GILBERT, BMC Racing, at 3:19
  • 52. Martijn KEIZER, Belkin, at 3:20
  • 53. Dario CATALDO, Sky, at 3:22
  • 54. Damien GAUDIN, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 3:23
  • 55. Filippo POZZATO, Lampre-Merida, at 3:26
  • 56. Warren BARGUIL, Giant-Shimano, at 3:27
  • 57. Kanstantsin SIUTSOU, Sky, at 3:28
  • 58. Andrey ZEITS, Astana, at 3:31
  • 59. Laurens TEN DAM, Belkin, at 3:35
  • 60. Luis MAS BONET, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 3:35
  • 61. Brett LANCASTER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 3:36
  • 62. Vicente REYNES MIMO, IAM Cycling, at 3:37
  • 63. Vegard BREEN, Lotto-Belisol, at 3:37
  • 64. Paolo TIRALONGO, Astana, at 3:38
  • 65. Jerome COUSIN, Europcar, at 3:41
  • 66. Cameron MEYER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 3:44
  • 67. Sergio PARDILLA BELLON, MTN-Qhubeka, at 3:46
  • 68. Imanol ERVITI, Movistar, at 3:46
  • 69. Lawrence WARBASSE, BMC Racing, at 3:48
  • 70. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Trek Factory Racing, at 3:49
  • 71. Pirmin LANG, IAM Cycling, at 3:52
  • 72. Mikel LANDA MEANA, Astana, at 3:53
  • 73. Jaco VENTER, MTN-Qhubeka, at 3:54
  • 74. Javier MORENO BAZAN, Movistar, at 3:55
  • 75. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, Cofidis, at 3:56
  • 76. Simon CLARKE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 3:56
  • 77. Amets TXURRUKA, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 4:00
  • 78. Jacques JANSE VAN RENSBURG, MTN-Qhubeka, at 4:00
  • 79. Adam HANSEN, Lotto-Belisol, at 4:02
  • 80. Damiano CUNEGO, Lampre-Merida, at 4:03
  • 81. Sergei CHERNETSKI, Katusha, at 4:07
  • 82. Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS, Movistar, at 4:07
  • 83. Maxime MEDEREL, Europcar, at 4:09
  • 84. Yury TROFIMOV, Katusha, at 4:09
  • 85. Ivan ROVNY, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 4:10
  • 86. Gianluca BRAMBILLA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 4:10
  • 87. Tom BOONEN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 4:11
  • 88. Matthias KRIZEK, Cannondale, at 4:12
  • 89. Adam YATES, Orica-GreenEdge, at 4:13
  • 90. Yaroslav POPOVYCH, Trek Factory Racing, at 4:13
  • 91. Andrew TALANSKY, Garmin-Sharp, at 4:17
  • 92. Martin VELITS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 4:19
  • 93. Alexandr KOLOBNEV, Katusha, at 4:20
  • 94. Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL, Katusha, at 4:22
  • 95. Philip DEIGNAN, Sky, at 4:26
  • 96. Jasper STUYVEN, Trek Factory Racing, at 4:26
  • 97. Romain ZINGLE, Cofidis, at 4:27
  • 98. Wouter POELS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 4:29
  • 99. Valerio CONTI, Lampre-Merida, at 4:29
  • 100. Karol DOMAGALSKI, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 4:33
  • 101. Koldo FERNANDEZ, Garmin-Sharp, at 4:35
  • 102. Johan VAN SUMMEREN, Garmin-Sharp, at 4:36
  • 103. Murilo Antonio FISCHER, FDJ.fr, at 4:39
  • 104. Eduard VORGANOV, Katusha, at 4:39
  • 105. Dmitry KOZONTCHUK, Katusha, at 4:40
  • 106. Nathan BROWN, Garmin-Sharp, at 4:40
  • 107. José HERRADA LOPEZ, Movistar, at 4:41
  • 108. Hubert DUPONT, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 4:42
  • 109. Maarten TJALLINGII, Belkin, at 4:43
  • 110. Jay Robert THOMSON, MTN-Qhubeka, at 4:48
  • 111. Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO, Garmin-Sharp, at 4:48
  • 112. Antonio PIEDRA PEREZ, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 4:50
  • 113. David ARROYO DURAN, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 4:52
  • 114. Vincent JEROME, Europcar, at 4:58
  • 115. Koen DE KORT, Giant-Shimano, at 4:58
  • 116. Louis MEINTJES, MTN-Qhubeka, at 5:02
  • 117. Fabio FELLINE, Trek Factory Racing, at 5:02
  • 118. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, Giant-Shimano, at 5:05
  • 119. Chris Anker SÖRENSEN, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 5:06
  • 120. Kristof VANDEWALLE, Trek Factory Racing, at 5:07
  • 121. Javier Francisco ARAMENDIA LORENTE, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 5:08
  • 122. Peter SAGAN, Cannondale, at 5:10
  • 123. Ramon SINKELDAM, Giant-Shimano, at 5:10
  • 124. Nikias ARNDT, Giant-Shimano, at 5:11
  • 125. Guillaume LEVARLET, Cofidis, at 5:11
  • 126. Paul MARTENS, Belkin, at 5:12
  • 127. Lloyd MONDORY, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 5:14
  • 128. Alessandro DE MARCHI, Cannondale, at 5:14
  • 129. Yohan BAGOT, Cofidis, at 5:15
  • 130. Chad HAGA, Giant-Shimano, at 5:15
  • 131. Carlos VERONA QUINTANILLA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 5:17
  • 132. Michael MATTHEWS, Orica-GreenEdge, at 5:17
  • 133. Christian KNEES, Sky, at 5:18
  • 134. Oscar GATTO, Cannondale, at 5:19
  • 135. Sander ARMEE, Lotto-Belisol, at 5:19
  • 136. Natnael BERHANE, Europcar, at 5:21
  • 137. Matteo TOSATTO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 5:21
  • 138. Nikolas MAES, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 5:21
  • 139. Greg HENDERSON, Lotto-Belisol, at 5:21
  • 140. Peio BILBAO, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 5:22
  • 141. Jacopo GUARNIERI, Astana, at 5:23
  • 142. Geoffrey SOUPE, FDJ.fr, at 5:27
  • 143. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, Lotto-Belisol, at 5:28
  • 144. Jonathan FUMEAUX, IAM Cycling, at 5:28
  • 145. Peter KENNAUGH, Sky, at 5:33
  • 146. Romain HARDY, Cofidis, at 5:34
  • 147. Daniele BENNATI, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 5:34
  • 148. Oliver ZAUGG, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 5:35
  • 149. Elia FAVILLI, Lampre-Merida, at 5:37
  • 150. Marcel AREGGER, IAM Cycling, at 5:37
  • 151. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ.fr, at 5:37
  • 152. Paolo LONGO BORGHINI, Cannondale, at 5:40
  • 153. Giampaolo CARUSO, Katusha, at 5:41
  • 154. Alexey LUTSENKO, Astana, at 5:41
  • 155. Gorka IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Movistar, at 5:45
  • 156. Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO, Orica-GreenEdge, at 5:45
  • 157. Mitchell DOCKER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 5:46
  • 158. Luke ROWE, Sky, at 5:47
  • 159. Johann TSCHOPP, IAM Cycling, at 5:48
  • 160. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, Lampre-Merida, at 5:49
  • 161. Sam BEWLEY, Orica-GreenEdge, at 5:54
  • 162. Jonathan CASTROVIEJO NICOLAS, Movistar, at 6:01
  • 163. Rinaldo NOCENTINI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 6:02
  • 164. Robert WAGNER, Belkin, at 6:08
  • 165. Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 6:11
  • 166. Andrey AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA, Movistar, at 6:21
  • 167. Sébastien HINAULT, IAM Cycling, at 6:28
  • 168. Nacer BOUHANNI, FDJ.fr, at 6:32
  • 169. Cédric PINEAU, FDJ.fr, at 6:36
  • 170. Pim LIGTHART, Lotto-Belisol, at 6:45
  • 171. Sébastien TURGOT, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 6:47
  • 172. Kenny ELISSONDE, FDJ.fr, at 6:48
  • 173. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, Lampre-Merida, at 6:51
  • 174. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 6:56
  • 175. Guillaume BOIVIN, Cannondale, at 7:03
  • 176. Kristian SBARAGLI, MTN-Qhubeka, at 7:05
  • 177. Nathan HAAS, Garmin-Sharp, at 7:10
  • 178. Laurent MANGEL, FDJ.fr, at 7:10
  • 179. Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, MTN-Qhubeka, at 7:12
  • 180. Roberto FERRARI, Lampre-Merida, at 7:12
  • 181. John DEGENKOLB, Giant-Shimano, at 7:14
  • 182. Yauheni HUTAROVICH, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 7:14
  • 183. Dan CRAVEN, Europcar, at 7:16
  • 184. Francesco LASCA, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 7:25
  • 185. Dominic KLEMME, IAM Cycling, at 7:27
  • 186. Julian David ARREDONDO MORENO, Trek Factory Racing, at 7:29
  • 187. George BENNETT, Cannondale, at 7:33
  • 188. Yannick MARTINEZ, Europcar, at 7:36
  • 189. Gerald CIOLEK, MTN-Qhubeka, at 7:45
  • 190. Lawson CRADDOCK, Giant-Shimano, at 7:53
  • 191. Andrea GUARDINI, Astana, at 8:24
  • 192. Jimmy ENGOULVENT, Europcar, at 9:02
  • 193. Anthony ROUX, FDJ.fr, at 9:37
  • 194. Matteo PELUCCHI, IAM Cycling, at 9:45

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Technical FAQ: More on leg-length discrepancies http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/technical-faq-leg-length-discrepancies-2_343617 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/technical-faq-leg-length-discrepancies-2_343617#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:03:14 +0000 Lennard Zinn http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343617

Lennard says, "Don’t put too many of these in your shoe!" Photo: Lennard Zinn | VeloNews.com

Lennard Zinn talks more about leg-length solutions, and he gets a little help from a friend who dealt with a two-centimeter discrepancy

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Lennard says, "Don’t put too many of these in your shoe!" Photo: Lennard Zinn | VeloNews.com

Feedback about adjusting for leg-length discrepancies with mountain-bike shoes and pedals:

This is from a cross-country-ski and bike-riding buddy of mine who constantly suffered from a large (2cm) leg-length discrepancy until surgeons sawed off his right femur and surgically removed a 2cm chunk of it. He had been very fast as a competitive cross-country skier and cyclist. However, the suffering from back and leg pain related to his leg-length difference had become more debilitating as he got older.

Until the surgeons evened out his femur lengths (which worked wonders for him), he had tried just about every type of crank, pedal, and shim he could find to correct leg-length differences on the bike. He is a fount of knowledge when it comes to dealing with leg-length discrepancies.
― Lennard

Dear Lennard,
I read your recent column, and, no offense, but this is terrible advice. Putting [a thick shim] in the shoes is so uncomfortable, it’ll give you foot and leg problems. More generally though, you never want to try to adjust in one place, since that makes some things better, but others worse in a 180-degree kind of way.

Some observations:

- You can actually easily build up mountain bike shoes by carving out the sole and using the old butterfly SPD adapters (something with wings) as both the shim and the support/contact area. Carnacs are the best for this.

- It’s also pretty easy to have a shop build up the sole around the cleat. Perry’s in Boulder, Colorado has done this for many shoes.

Having said that, there is no way you’d want to make that kind of adjustment without understanding whether the [leg-length] difference was all in the femur or not. In either case, however, you want to attempt to adjust for 2-3mm in several places, not all in one spot:

- Shims for 2-3mm in the vertical direction
- 1-2mm offset to adjust for reach in the three o’clock position
- 1-2mm of shim under one seat rail (long leg — made out of beer cans)
- Twist the saddle a few degrees to bring the short leg forward in the power position and the long leg back.

The total can easily be 8-10mm without doing anything too radical.
— Ara

Dear Lennard,
I read a question to you [from a reader] regarding a leg discrepancy of 3/8 inches (9mm).

Coming from a 4.5mm difference in my left to right leg, I deal with this issue, but it is manageable compared to the 9mm that the reader deals with. [My] suggestion is to call around to shops and manufacturers and see if they have different length crank arms lying around from previous sales/warranties.

They might be willing to sell him a loose crank arm that will match his current crank. (Think 175 on the right/165 on the left, or whatever length configuration the rider needs).

The choices might not be an ideal match of arms but they will be better than altering with the insole in his shoes and/or cleat. Furthermore, it would be a secure way to ensure the power is not lost, no foot problems will arise, and the cleat is not going to get ripped off somewhere out in the woods.
— Ron

Dear Ron,
We have done this temporarily for riders in the past who had just had knee surgery and had very limited range of motion, yet wanted to ride as soon as possible. I don’t have any experience with it for the long term. I suppose one could experiment with this by trying High Sierra Cycle Center’s adjustable-length crankset. Purely Custom also has one, but it’s road, 130mm BCD only.

This conversation started regarding specifically how to accommodate a 9.5mm leg-length difference on a mountain bike. For more general leg-length-correction suggestions, here’s a tech Q&A I did 11 years ago.

And since I mentioned High Sierra Cycle Center, it specializes in dealing with leg-length discrepancies and also offers a number of interesting products to address them. It offers a “Synchronizer” crankset, which allows the user to adjust the angle of the two crankarms relative to each other so that they are no longer at 180 degrees from each other. The idea is to get one leg to fire earlier than the other. I don’t recall if the short one or the long one is supposed to fire early, and I’m not sure what that accomplishes.

Another High Sierra product to address leg-length issues is the “Equalizer” chainring — the chainrings are not centered on the bottom bracket, so one leg pedals a higher gear during the power phase than does the other leg. Finally, High Sierra has “drop pedal” spindle adaptors that drop any of a number of common pedals relative to the other one (while also increasing the stance width). I know some people who have sworn by these things and others who didn’t like them.
― Lennard

Dear Lennard,
I am currently riding a tubeless setup on my cyclocross bike and try to keep the pressure as low as possible, which means that occasionally roots or rocks will push through to the rim. I notice marks in the paint of my aluminum rim but otherwise this does not seem to be a problem.

Now I wonder whether a carbon rim would be able to take this kind of stress/abuse. Any thoughts on that?
― Philipp

Dear Philipp,
No, a carbon rim would not take impacts to the bead walls well. You can bend back minor bends in aluminum bead walls; carbon bead walls just crack.
― Lennard

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Martin wins Vuelta time trial, Quintana crashes out of lead http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/martin-wins-vuelta-time-trial-quintana-crashes-lead_343622 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/martin-wins-vuelta-time-trial-quintana-crashes-lead_343622#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:20:13 +0000 Spencer Powlison http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343622

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is the reigning time trial world champion. In the Vuelta's stage 10 test, he was again unbeatable. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

TT world champion is best in Vuelta test, as race leader Nairo Quintana crashes, ceding overall lead to Alberto Contador

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Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is the reigning time trial world champion. In the Vuelta's stage 10 test, he was again unbeatable. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won stage 10 of the Vuelta a España, a 36.7 kilometer time trial from Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela to Borja.

Tuesday was the German’s seventh TT victory this season, and it was a convincing win, despite a course that had a few tricky turns and punchy hills. Martin was unfazed by the unconventional time trial terrain.

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) set an early best time of 47:13 but was eclipsed by Martin’s effort. The world champion scorched the course, finishing in 47:02.

“It was one of the hardest time trials this year,” Martin said. “The mountain was quite hard, it was hard to find a rhythm and still keep some energy for the second part with the descent and the flat sections. It was also technical with a lot of corners. For sure it was a challenge. I also had some issues with heat at the end. I wasn’t so sure about the win. But I’m super happy I did it, as this is a race that does not suit me perfectly and there are plenty of strong time trialists here at La Vuelta. I made up some time on the second part of the parcours.”

Vuelta leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) came to grief on a downhill shortly after the first time check, dramatically flipping over his handlebars after clipping the guardrail. He carried on to finish, gingerly riding the rest of the course.

With his crash, the Movistar leader ceded over three minutes to Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), who now wears the leader’s red jersey.

Of the GC favorites, Contador had the best day. He rode a 47:41 and now looks to be the man to beat, wearing red, with Quintana out of the running.

“It’s a shame about Quintana,” said Contador. “But there was strong wind in the corners. It was a very complicated descent. If you took too long to brake, before you know it, the corner eats you up.”

Technical circuit

Parts of the course were freshly paved, but there were rough sections of concrete, and most of roads were quite narrow. Fabian Cancellara was not pleased with the course.

“It’s not just the up and down, the asphalt has nothing to do with a time trial, in my opinion,” said the former world time trial champion. “It will be even harder for the GC guys. I hope they find better roads next time. I did what I could, that was my goal today. My only doubt was my safety for myself, and I could not really find the rhythm.”

In fact, some of the streets were so narrow that a few teams with prominent GC favorites chose to put their mechanics on motorcycles with spare bikes on their shoulders.

Some riders, like Samuel Sanchez (BMC) and Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida) chose to swap bikes after the course’s early, hilly kilometers. Anacona even went so far as to ride a standard road bike early in the course, then he changed to his time trial bike for the finish.

“It’s a hard time trial,” said Laurens Ten Dam (Belkin) “I don’t like TTs, I like climbing. I think the first part was really good, but on the downhill part, I couldn’t find my rhythm. I tried to stay in position as good as possible.”

Quintana crashes out of lead

At the 10.8km checkpoint, race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was 21 seconds behind the best early time set by Sanchez at that spot.

Cancellara’s concerns ended up being quite prophetic.

Shortly after the time check, Quintana crashed heavily. The race leader reached down to adjust his left shoe on a descent. It seemed that this slight mental error set him up badly for a decreasing-radius corner.

As Quintana realized he was overshooting the bend, he braked too hard, causing his rear wheel to skid. By that point, it was all over. He clipped a stanchion on the guardrail, catapulting him over the bars, onto his back, on the pavement. The saddle was ripped from his bike on impact.

He took several minutes to compose himself, lying on his back, surrounded by team staff. He slowly got up, hopped aboard a new bike and carried on. His skinsuit looked like it had been through a cheese grater.

“I was feeling great in the uphill, but at that point of the descent my bike simply did not brake enough,” Quintana said. “Before the turn, I was tightening my shoe, which was a little bit loose, but I think that didn’t have an effect on my crash. The thing is that I kept braking for quite long, but it wasn’t enough because the bike didn’t stop, and I crashed. Fortunately, I could avoid having a bigger crash and I did not hurt myself really badly. I’m hurting in my left ankle and I also have blows all over my body, but I hope it’s nothing serious. This is cycling. I lost some time and I might be switching to help out Alejandro so we can conquer the overall podium.”

Overall favorites fight for time

Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) turned in the fastest split at the second time check. He finished a mere 15 seconds behind his teammate, Martin.

“We prepared for this time trial very well,” Uran said.”Together with the staff we analyzed all the details, and at the end I think I did very well. I took a good tempo immediately and I had good feeling. When Davide Bramati told me on the radio that at the second intermediate time I had the same time of Tony, I couldn’t believe it! It was really important to have that time gap from the team car, and to know we had a chance to go 1-2 I really went full gas. I lost some time in the last part, but to be honest the last 10 kilometers were really for big engine like Tony.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) also turned in a remarkably quick time, 48:03, to finish eighth.

“This was a time trial like the ones I used to make when I felt well,” Valverde said. “When conditions are normal, I usually keep close to the main specialists. There were two good phases for me, plus one not so good. The section before the top of the climb was really good. The first part of the descent also went well, but then, into the rest of the descent, I struggled to get back into a good pace. With 12k to go, I started to feel better; I did superb in the last 7k. Losing so few seconds to Alberto and finishing before Froome and Purito is fantastic.”

On the other hand, Chris Froome (Sky) finished 10th, 1:32 behind Martin, a disappointing result for a GC rider considered by many to be peerless in the time trial.

“Obviously I was hoping for a better ride today,” Froome told TeamSky.com “I definitely started out too fast. For the first 15 minutes I felt fantastic and I think I chased it a little much. By the time I hit the climb I started to really feel the effort of the fast start and I paid the price for the rest of the time trial. I think anyone who races and knows that feeling of starting out too fast, and how hard it is to come back from being in the red, will know what I’m talking about. It’s a horrible feeling and I had to just try to hold on to it and finish the best I could.”

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) also on the rebound from a Tour de France-ending crash, fared much better, riding to fourth place in the TT. He now leads the overall, with Valverde in second, 27 seconds behind. Uran jumped up to third position, 59 seconds in arrears. Anacona maintained his fourth-place position, but he is now 1:12 behind the leader. Froome sits fifth, 1:18 back from Contador.

“I could have never imagined that I would be in the leader’s jersey today,” said Contador. “It’s a huge surprise, even though I could tell I was doing a good ride, I thought someone would better me. It’s something to be happy with, but there’s still half the Vuelta to come. To be ahead of Valverde and Froome is something to be very happy about.”

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Defending champ Wiggins to lead Sky at Tour of Britain http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/defending-champ-wiggins-lead-sky-tour-britain_343613 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/defending-champ-wiggins-lead-sky-tour-britain_343613#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:54:33 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343613

Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour of California this year, will attempt to win his second straight Tour of Britain title next week. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Sky will bring five riders to support Wiggins' bid at winning the nine-stage race through England

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Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour of California this year, will attempt to win his second straight Tour of Britain title next week. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) will return to the Tour of Britain next weekend to defend his 2013 victory at the eight-day, nine-stage race through England.

The squad will bring five riders to help Wiggins in his title defense: Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Bernhard Eisel, David Lopez, and Sebastian Henao.

“The Tour of Britain is a special race for me so to be returning as defending champion is a real honor,” Wiggins said in a Sky press release. “It’s always been a tough race but the support we receive from the fans is incredible, and it’s our home tour so I’ve always enjoyed racing it.”

The race begins in Liverpool on September 7 and ends in London on September 14, a day that includes stages 8a and 8b — an 8.8-kilometer time trial followed by an 88.8km circuit race in London.

At last year’s race, Wiggins beat Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) by 26 seconds and Simon Yates by 1:03.

“From the start of the year it’s always been a goal of mine to race to the Tour of Britain,” said Wiggins, who was left off Sky’s Tour de France squad after winning the Amgen Tour of California this year. “The race is growing in stature year on year and it’s our chance to go there with a strong team and race in front of home fans to thank them for their support over the season.”

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Bos to ride for MTN-Qhubeka in 2015 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/bos-ride-mtn-qhubeka-2015_343606 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/bos-ride-mtn-qhubeka-2015_343606#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:18:34 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343606

Theo Bos won the third stage at the Tour de Pologne this year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Dutch rider will take his 35 career wins to the South African-based squad next season

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Theo Bos won the third stage at the Tour de Pologne this year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Multiple world champion Theo Bos has signed a contract to ride for MTN-Qhubeka next season.

Bos, who signed with then-Rabobank — the team now known as Belkin — in 2011, will represent the first African-based UCI WorldTour team in the peloton starting in 2015.

“This team has a great culture, I want to win and we will work together to win, our success is the success of Africa,” Bos said in a team press release. “I am really motivated and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead with my new team. I still have many goals I want to achieve in world cycling and I believe that Team MTN-Qhubeka is the right team for me to be able to do so.”

The Dutch rider has five track cycling world championships to his name, and at the 2004 Olympics he won a silver medal in the sprint event. On the road, Bos has racked up 35 victories — including the overall at the World Ports Classic this season, along with four stages at the Tour de Langkawi and a stage at the Tour de Pologne.

“Theo Bos is a great sprinter and a rider who has won races all over the world, his addition will add strength and depth to our sprint train in one day races and stage races,” team principal Douglas Ryder said. “As a rider he wins consistently throughout the season, which creates a positive feeling in a team and we look forward to him bringing this positive energy to Team MTN-Qhubeka.”

Added Bos: “I am really excited to be joining Team MTN-Qhubeka. It is an amazing project that I can’t wait to be a part of. The team race for a cause that is more than just winning races and that is Qhubeka, a social initiative where they aim to put children in Africa on bicycles. I really like this human element to the team.”

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American neo-pro Haga enjoying ride in Vuelta debut http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/american-neo-pro-haga-enjoying-ride-in-vuelta-debut_343597 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/american-neo-pro-haga-enjoying-ride-in-vuelta-debut_343597#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:49:11 +0000 Andrew Hood http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343597

Chad Haga, shown here at the Critérium du Dauphiné, has found himself in the spotlight at the Vuelta. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The American has raced at several events in his debut season at the WorldTour level, including the Spanish grand tour

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Chad Haga, shown here at the Critérium du Dauphiné, has found himself in the spotlight at the Vuelta. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Chad Haga (Giant-Shimano) has been getting plenty of TV time in his grand tour debut through the first half of the Vuelta a España.

Usually neo-pros getting thrown to the sharks in their first grand tours try to stay hidden away in the safety of the pack, but 26-year-old Texan has been sticking his nose to the wind, quite literally.

With German ace John Degenkolb in the hunt for stages, Haga has been “sled-dogging” at the front of the peloton to control breakaways, and then did a key pull to set up Degenkolb’s first of two stage wins in stage 4. Haga savored the win, riding slowly across the line, high-fiving the fans and raising his arms in celebration.

“Things have been going pretty good so far through the Vuelta,” Haga told VeloNews. “It’s certainly bigger and faster than any race I’ve been in. It’s been exciting.”

Haga’s arrival at the Vuelta this season caps his interesting trajectory into the pro ranks. Unlike many of his younger compatriots, most of whom have come through the successful under-23 racing program backed by USA Cycling, Haga raced collegiately, and graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Texas A&M in 2010.

After balancing racing and university studies, he turned pro with Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies in 2011. Three solid seasons there, including second overall at the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal last year, in a peloton packed with Portuguese and Spanish riders, opened the door to Giant.

“At the beginning of the season, Chad was quiet, and you could see he was looking to find his place,” said Giant sport director Lionel Marie. “Now you can see he is more comfortable, and he’s much more a part of the team. Everyone is very happy with how he’s performing. He has a big future.”

So far, Haga has been seeing plenty of race days, mixing it up with a series of one-day races and shorter stage races in the first half of the season, with the team giving him a chance to taste Europe’s different types of races.

“The team has really supported us, giving us a chance to race a lot, but without overdoing it,” he said. “The team really works well together. Everyone is excited to perform.”

After racing both the Amgen Tour of California in May and the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, Haga took a well-deserved break.

He returned to racing in Europe with a bang last month, riding to fourth in the individual time trial at the Vuelta a Burgos, stopping the clock just three seconds short of victory in a short, fast 12.5-kilometer course.

Along with fellow Texan Lawson Craddock, Haga got the call-up to the Vuelta. He’s been chronicling his Vuelta experience daily in his personal blog, “My Mind is Racing,” and have reveled his teammates with his piano skills more than a few nights.

“The good ride at Burgos gave me a lot of motivation and helped me make the Vuelta selection,” Haga said. “It’s great to be in my first grand tour. That was one of my goals in my first season in Europe.”

Tuesday’s longer, more challenging time trial course at Borja presents a different kind of challenge for Haga. At a distance of nearly 40km, it will be longest time trial he’s done as a pro. And it will be against an elite field, including three-time defending world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

Haga won’t get a chance to test his mettle on Tuesday, as the team wants to save him for the mountains to help Barguil, who is battling to try to ride into the top-10 overall. Haga, who celebrated his 26th birthday during the Vuelta, is certainly growing into the role.

Haga admits he’s just discovering his potential at the elite level of the peloton, but the team signed him because it saw potential as a stage racer. Whether that’s in one-week races with a time trial, or the longer, more demanding grand tours remains to be seen.

So far, Haga is enjoying the ride.

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Time trial critical in setting up second half of Vuelta http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/time-trial-critical-setting-second-half-vuelta_343587 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/time-trial-critical-setting-second-half-vuelta_343587#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:43:50 +0000 Andrew Hood http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343587

Nairo Quintana will start Tuesday's individual time trial wearing the red leader's jersey. Though he's improved his time trialing, it remains to be seen how he'll stand up against riders like Chris Froome and Alberto Contador. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tuesday's time trial will reshuffle the GC deck, and perhaps eliminate a few contenders, but it likely will not crown the overall winner

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Nairo Quintana will start Tuesday's individual time trial wearing the red leader's jersey. Though he's improved his time trialing, it remains to be seen how he'll stand up against riders like Chris Froome and Alberto Contador. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

In a Vuelta a España packed with climbs, Tuesday’s 36.7km race against the clock could leave a decisive mark on the final GC.

The route offers some interesting terrain for the Spanish mountain goats facing off against favored GC rider Chris Froome (Sky). With a challenging, third-category climb in the opening 11 kilometers, followed by a fast descent, and some technical roads, the time trial could determine the GC fate of more than a few overall contenders.

Time trials at the Vuelta are always a little different than at the Tour de France. The Spanish tour usually lacks longer, flatter courses, where riders like Froome can take big gains against the climbers. On a similar distance of 33km in the 2013 Tour on the windy, power course to Mont-Saint-Michel, Froome took 2:15 out of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), and a whopping 3:28 out of Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

For Tuesday, Froome is the first to admit he’s not in the same condition he was for the Tour in July, so he’s certainly not banking on hitting it out of the park.

“It’s relatively short compared to time trials elsewhere, but I enjoy time trialing, so I am hoping to make the most of it,” Froome said Sunday. “It’s a huge fight here, and it’s going to be a big race all the way to the end. Every second here or there is going to count.”

Froome lost 23 seconds to Contador, Quintana, and Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) when he couldn’t follow the surges Sunday, and will be desperate for a strong ride to revive his overall chances. At fifth overall, 28 seconds back, he’s still right in the thick of things, but any gains taken against the clock Tuesday would serve as a welcome buffer going into the Vuelta’s brutal second half that’s packed with monster climbs.

Riders such as Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), who won on a similar course last year, will be the favorites for the stage victory. Others, such as Adriano Malori (Movistar) and Kristof Vandewalle (Trek Factory Racing) could be in with a shot of the win as well.

All eyes will be on the clock, and the GC players. The difference between race leader Quintana and sixth-place Rodríguez is only 30 seconds, and as Quintana said, the race is virtually tied.

That will surely change Tuesday. The major GC candidates took a chance to preview the course during Monday’s rest day, and all agree that the course presents a stiff challenge.

“When you see it in person, you realize it’s harder than it looks on paper,” Contador said Monday. “The first part is a climb, with some sections truly steep, then a very fast descent over an irregular and difficult road. The last part, in contrast, you have to be stuck to your bike. It’s easy enough to describe it, but it will be very difficult.”

After Sunday’s cool, rainy weather at Valdelinares, forecasters are calling for a return of warm, sunny skies, with temperatures in the low 90s, with gusting winds, so conditions should be relatively equal for the main GC contenders starting at the end of the start list.

Contador, who’s made an impressive return to the Vuelta after pulling out of the Tour with a fractured leg, said Tuesday’s time trial will reveal much about the remainder of the Vuelta.

“Tomorrow is a good test to see exactly where I am physically,” he continued. “I don’t want to deceive myself, and draw the wrong conclusions from [Sunday's] stage.”

The more challenging course will be a blessing in disguise for Rodríguez, who lost the 2010 Vuelta to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) with an abysmal time trial on flat, wind-blasted roads. Rodríguez has worked to improve against the clock, and on a similar course in the 2012 Vuelta, he only lost 59 seconds to Contador and even less to Froome. Rodríguez, who crashed out of the Giro d’Italia in May, is crossing his fingers for a strong ride.

“I have to be [optimistic], because the only chance I have to keep aspiring for victory in this Vuelta is to have a great time trial, and not get too far back in the GC,” Rodríguez said Monday. “This has been a Vuelta with a lot of movement. No one has given up yet, and all the favorites and their teams are engaged in the race. [Tuesday] will be an important test, and we’ll be able to see more things, and to truly test where each and every favorite stands.”

Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), ninth at 1:26 back, will also need a superb performance to revive his GC hopes. Urán won on a similar course at Barolo at the Giro, taking 2:41 out of Quintana, who was ailing from a minor chest cold.

“I have a lot of hope,” Urán said. “I’ve worked hard this year on time trialing, and I’ve done some good ones. There’s still Cancellara, Martin, but considering the GC rivals, I hope to have a good ride.”

All eyes will be on Quintana, who will start last as the race leader, and have time checks to all of his rivals. If the Giro champ can limit his losses to the likes of Froome and Contador, he will only gain confidence going into the second half of the Vuelta.

“I’ve made improvements against the clock, and though there are specialists who will take time on me, I don’t think I will lose that much,” Quintana said Monday. “I have good legs now, and I hope to feel that way [Tuesday], and do my best ride possible.”

Tuesday’s time trial will surely reshuffle the GC deck yet again, but it’s doubtful it will be prove decisive.

Pundits say modern grand tours are won and lost against the clock, and that might well be the case in the Tour, but the Vuelta is a different kind of race, and the final winner will certainly be crowned in a brutal trio of climbing stages across Asturias.

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Contador sets sights on Vuelta victory http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/contador-sets-sights-vuelta-victory_343585 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/contador-sets-sights-vuelta-victory_343585#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:15:02 +0000 Kieran Canning http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343585

Alberto Contador has recovered remarkably well from his broken leg. He now admits that he'd like to try to win the Vuelta for a third time. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

At Monday's press conference, Contador publicly admitted for the first time that he can compete to win the race for a third time

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Alberto Contador has recovered remarkably well from his broken leg. He now admits that he'd like to try to win the Vuelta for a third time. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

MADRID (AFP) — Two-time Vuelta a España champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) has publicly admitted for the first time that he can compete to win the race for a third time just a month after suffering a broken shinbone.

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider had originally ruled himself out of even taking part in his homeland’s grand tour after complications in the healing of the wound he suffered in a crash that forced him to abandon the Tour de France.

However, he has looked in fine shape during the first week of the race and sits in second place overall, just three seconds off leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar), ahead of Tuesday’s stage 10, a 36.7km individual time trial from Real Monasterio de Santa Maria de Veruela to Borja.

“I can now confirm that I am going to try and win the Vuelta. It is another thing whether I have the legs to do it or not,” he said at a press conference on Thursday.

“So far I have been going day by day, but I have not lost time in the general classification, and that gives me a chance. We need to see how my leg continues to react and, I repeat, keep going day by day.

“The time trial in Borja will be good for my physical condition. Today I went to see it and I have to say that it perhaps suits (Chris) Froome more than me because it is quite hard.”

Sky’s Froome currently lies in fifth, 28 seconds off the lead, after he was left behind by Contador and Quintana on the climb to Aramon Valdelinares on Sunday.

However, he is expected to claw back some time on his rivals for the leader’s red jersey on Tuesday.

“Today we have been looking at the time trial and although I have improved a little in that speciality, I just hope to not lose too much time to those riders who are more specialists than I am,” said Quintana.

“I didn’t expect to be in red so early, we had thought [that] maybe [I would wear it] in the last week when I will be most in shape.

“Yesterday in Valdelinares, the real favorites showed their intentions to win the race.

“Contador is one of them and is strong despite it all. He is going much better than expected and I also though Purito (Rodriguez) looked very good. We need to be aware of him.”

The Colombian is looking to add the Vuelta to his Giro d’Italia victory earlier in the year but faces stiff competition from even within his own team as Alejandro Valverde remains well in the hunt, just eight seconds back in third.

And the 34-year-old said he is on the verge of signing a new deal with the Spanish team despite appearing to be usurped by Quintana as the team leader.

“My contract renewal is very close,” said Valverde. “It will be for three years and I would like to finish my career with Movistar. We already know each other perfectly and they know how to handle my career.

“As regards losing the red jersey to Nairo there was no problem.

“We came into the race with that in mind, and first of all I was leading, and now it is him because he is in better condition right now. Despite everything we have two chances to win.”

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Photo Essay: Blazing Saddles: The Vuelta’s hot first week http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/gallery/photo-essay-blazing-saddles-vueltas-hot-first-week_343501 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/gallery/photo-essay-blazing-saddles-vueltas-hot-first-week_343501#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:56:02 +0000 BrakeThrough Media http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343501

After only one week of racing, the Vuelta a España has tested the peloton with searing heat, fast sprints, and a few steep climbs

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Video: Tour the Lampre-Merida team bus http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/video/video-tour-lampre-merida-team-bus_343494 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/video/video-tour-lampre-merida-team-bus_343494#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:56:51 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343494

Global Cycling Network takes a tour of the Lampre-Merida team bus at the Vuelta.

On the Vuelta a España's first rest day, Global Cycling Network tours the Lampre-Merida team bus

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Global Cycling Network takes a tour of the Lampre-Merida team bus at the Vuelta.

Editor’s Note: This video is courtesy of Global Cycling Network. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily represent the opinions of VeloNews.com, Velo magazine or the editors and staff of Competitor Group, Inc.

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Omega Pharma signs de la Cruz for two years http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/omega-pharma-signs-de-la-cruz-2-years_343486 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/omega-pharma-signs-de-la-cruz-2-years_343486#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:17:06 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343486

David de la Cruz rode to 10th overall at the Tour of California this year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The 25-year-old Spaniard finished 10th in the Amgen Tour of California this year

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David de la Cruz rode to 10th overall at the Tour of California this year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

David de la Cruz has signed a two-year contract with Omega Pharma-Quick Step, the team announced Monday.

The 25-year-old Spaniard has been a professional since 2010, when he rode for Caja Rural. He switched to NetApp-Endura for the 2013 season.

A talented climber, de la Cruz will bolster Omega Pharma’s GC ambitions starting next season. He finished second in the sixth stage at the Amgen Tour of California this year en route to a 10th-place overall result.

“We think this guy has his best years in front of him,” Omega Pharma CEO Patrick Lefevere said in a team release. “He has already shown his potential the past two years, such as when he was 2nd on the queen stage at Tour of California. We knew about him and that he could be a rider that could strengthen the group of climbers we already have on the team. When I spoke with him, we came to an agreement quickly. I think he can be a factor in the climbs next year and we’re happy to have him with us at OPQS.”

Added de la Cruz: “I know a few of the guys from the team, especially Michal Kwiatkowski when we were teammates on Caja Rural. When I talked with Patrick Lefevere, he explained that my role on the team would be to help the GC guys in the mountains, but that I can also be useful in the right moments. I will do all that I can to grow as a rider. No one can understand how happy I feel right now and I will do everything 100 percent to continue to develop as a rider on this team.”

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Quintana seizes Vuelta lead as Contador picks up steam http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/quintana-takes-contador-gaining-momentum_343414 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/quintana-takes-contador-gaining-momentum_343414#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 13:09:10 +0000 Andrew Hood http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343414

Nairo Quintana holds a three-second lead over Alberto Contador in the GC standings at the Vuelta. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Nairo Quintana took command of the Spanish grand tour Sunday, but his rivals — including Alberto Contador — are right on his heels

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Nairo Quintana holds a three-second lead over Alberto Contador in the GC standings at the Vuelta. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The dynamic of the Vuelta a España changed in more ways than one in Sunday’s thrilling uphill finale to Valdelinares. The weather went from Sahara-like heat to Belgian cool as the stage put the opening week of extreme weather behind the peloton for good.

After eight stages of survival, the real race for the overall seemed to click into gear in the final, rain-soaked kilometers on twisting roads to the finish-line tape. Gone were the preambles and the testing of legs. No more hiding in the pack. The real Vuelta began Sunday.

Sensing that Chris Froome (Sky) was struggling, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) bolted like a sling-shot out of the withering GC pack, leaving overnight leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and the others choking on his rooster-tail of vapors ringing off his wheel. Giving chase was Joaquin Rodríguez (Katusha), with the help of teammate Eduard Vorganov. Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who had been melting under the Andalucían heat, also sprang to life, and the trio caught Contador on the line.

“It was another tense day, complicated by the rain, but I felt I had good legs, and I saw Froome at the back, and I went for it, even though I think I am still a little short of my best,” Contador said at the line. “I am happy, now it’s a question of recovering and already think about the time trial, which is a very important day. There is still a long way to go, and there’s never an easy day in this Vuelta.”

Quintana overtook the leader’s jersey from Valverde, but Contador reconfirmed his GC creds by slotting into second at just three seconds back to gain the momentum going into Monday’s rest day. Everyone else seemed to be hanging on for dear life.

“I was feeling better today, because I was really suffering in the heat of the first days. We kept the jersey on the team, and that was the most important,” said Quintana, who seized the leader’s jersey from Valverde. “It’s almost like we’re all tied at zero. The Vuelta is far from over.”

Eleven riders finished ahead of the attacking Contador, with Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida) winning his first grand tour stage out of a huge, 31-man breakaway, but all eyes were on the GC pack.

Under heavy rain and much cooler temperatures, an ever-confident Contador attacked, and Valverde and Froome couldn’t follow. It was an impressive acceleration that revealed just how good Contador is feeling coming into the second half of the Vuelta.

“The truth is I couldn’t follow when Contador attacked,” admitted Valverde, who slipped to third at eight seconds back. “I stayed with Froome and tried to attack at the end. We’ve always said from the beginning that Nairo is the captain, and I am keeping my options alive. The hardest part of the Vuelta is still to come.”

As expected, the 8km climb provided glimpses of who could win and who will not win this Vuelta, but it certainly didn’t serve as a race-breaker.

The differences were minimal, yet Contador gained a valuable 23 seconds on the Froome group, and the stage helped to set a more established hierarchy within the pack.

Only 30 seconds separate Quintana from sixth-place Rodríguez, who is showing signs of regaining his trademark punchiness in the climbing finales. Anacona surged into the top-10, rising from 21st to fourth at nine seconds back, but he admitted he’s more interested in chasing stages. The pack certainly won’t be giving him any more rope in breakaways following his impressive breakaway victory Sunday.

Stacked up behind Rodríguez are another 10 riders within 1:49 of the leader’s jersey. The Vuelta is still wrapped very tight, but Contador is clearly gaining steam.

“I was at my max today,” said Robert Gesink (Belkin), who slotted into eighth overall. “The last climb was really hard. I just kept fighting.”

Contador, Quintana, Valverde, and Rodríguez look to have a little more kick in their legs, but Froome and Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) are among several riders who are still hanging in there, something Froome admitted after crossing the line Sunday.

“I think we’ve come to see that Contador is going extremely well. He’s gotten over his injuries pretty quickly, and he’s going well, as are Nairo and Rodríguez,” Froome said. “The usual guys we expected for the GC. It’s a huge fight here, and it’s going to be a big race all the way to the end. Every second here or there is going to count.”

The peloton enjoys its first of two rest days Monday, followed by Tuesday’s decisive individual time trial at Borja. Riders such as Tony Martin (Omega Pharma) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) will be fighting for the stage victory, but it could prove decisive in the overall classification.

The 36.7km time trial is considered pivotal in Froome’s chances to win the Vuelta, but even he admitted before the start of Sunday’s stage, he’s still not in top form.

“In the final I didn’t have the legs to follow the top guys when they went. But I think given where I’ve come from on the back of the Tour and the build-up into the race I’m really happy with how things have gone so far. I can definitely feel I’m starting to pick up that race rhythm back into my legs and I’m looking forward to the second half of this race,” Froome said. “It’s relatively short compared to time trials elsewhere. But I enjoy time trialing, and I’m hoping to make the most of it.”

Froome or Urán, who won a similar time trial at the Giro d’Italia in May, could take big gains, while riders like Rodríguez could lose even more time. Consistent performers such as Contador and Quintana should be able to defend, even if Quintana admits he might lose the leader’s jersey.

“I am not a specialist, but I usually don’t do so badly,” Quintana said. “Today’s results confirmed that I am in good condition to lead the team, but there is no debate, we have two leaders on the team, with Alejandro and myself. What’s important is that the team wins.”

Sunday’s stage revealed the Vuelta is still packed tight, and Quintana or anyone else in the top-10 could still win this thing.

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Gallery: 2014 Vuelta a Espana, stage 9 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/08/news/gallery-2014-vuelta-espana-stage-9_343417 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/08/news/gallery-2014-vuelta-espana-stage-9_343417#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 21:27:20 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343417

Contador's late run for the line animated the finish of the ninth stage. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Photos from stage 9 of the Vuelta a España

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Contador's late run for the line animated the finish of the ninth stage. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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Results: 2014 Vuelta a Espana, stage 9 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/08/news/results-2014-vuelta-espana-stage-9_343406 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/08/news/results-2014-vuelta-espana-stage-9_343406#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:37:18 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343406

Nairo Quintana takes over the red jersey from teammate Alejandro Valverde at the Vuelta a España. Photo: AFP

Results from stage 9 of the 2014 Vuelta a España

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Nairo Quintana takes over the red jersey from teammate Alejandro Valverde at the Vuelta a España. Photo: AFP

  • 1. Winner ANACONA GOMEZ, Lampre-Merida, in 4:34:14
  • 2. Alexey LUTSENKO, Astana, at :45
  • 3. Damiano CUNEGO, Lampre-Merida, at :50
  • 4. Javier MORENO BAZAN, Movistar, at 1:04
  • 5. Peio BILBAO, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 1:12
  • 6. Jerome COPPEL, Cofidis, at 1:21
  • 7. Ryder HESJEDAL, Garmin-Sharp, at 1:33
  • 8. Adam HANSEN, Lotto-Belisol, at 1:45
  • 9. Bob JUNGELS, Trek Factory Racing, at 1:49
  • 10. Fabio FELLINE, Trek Factory Racing, at 2:08
  • 11. Jerome COUSIN, Europcar, at 2:13
  • 12. Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2:16
  • 13. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Katusha, at 2:16
  • 14. Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS, Movistar, at 2:16
  • 15. Eduard VORGANOV, Katusha, at 2:22
  • 16. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at 2:39
  • 17. Fabio ARU, Astana, at 2:39
  • 18. Christopher FROOME, Sky, at 2:39
  • 19. Rigoberto URAN URAN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 2:39
  • 20. Daniel MARTIN, Garmin-Sharp, at 2:39
  • 21. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, Cofidis, at 2:49
  • 22. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, Katusha, at 2:49
  • 23. Rinaldo NOCENTINI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:51
  • 24. Robert GESINK, Belkin, at 2:55
  • 25. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, Sky, at 2:55
  • 26. Damiano CARUSO, Cannondale, at 2:55
  • 27. Dominik NERZ, BMC Racing, at 2:55
  • 28. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, BMC Racing, at 2:55
  • 29. Carlos VERONA QUINTANILLA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 2:55
  • 30. Warren BARGUIL, Giant-Shimano, at 2:55
  • 31. Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT, MTN-Qhubeka, at 2:58
  • 32. Wilco KELDERMAN, Belkin, at 3:14
  • 33. Yannick MARTINEZ, Europcar, at 3:16
  • 34. Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO, Orica-GreenEdge, at 3:24
  • 35. Romain SICARD, Europcar, at 3:31
  • 36. Pieter SERRY, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 3:36
  • 37. Giampaolo CARUSO, Katusha, at 3:44
  • 38. Maxime MONFORT, Lotto-Belisol, at 4:01
  • 39. Maxime BOUET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 4:37
  • 40. Przemyslaw NIEMIEC, Lampre-Merida, at 4:47
  • 41. David ARROYO DURAN, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 4:47
  • 42. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, Cofidis, at 4:47
  • 43. Sergio PARDILLA BELLON, MTN-Qhubeka, at 4:52
  • 44. Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO, Garmin-Sharp, at 5:50
  • 45. Amets TXURRUKA, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 5:50
  • 46. Wouter POELS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 5:50
  • 47. Oliver ZAUGG, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 5:50
  • 48. Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 5:50
  • 49. Mikel LANDA MEANA, Astana, at 5:57
  • 50. Steve MORABITO, BMC Racing, at 6:03
  • 51. Guillaume LEVARLET, Cofidis, at 6:12
  • 52. Laurens TEN DAM, Belkin, at 6:12
  • 53. Gianluca BRAMBILLA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 6:18
  • 54. Dario CATALDO, Sky, at 6:23
  • 55. Philippe GILBERT, BMC Racing, at 6:55
  • 56. Hubert DUPONT, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 6:55
  • 57. Chris Anker SÖRENSEN, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 6:55
  • 58. Christophe LE MEVEL, Cofidis, at 6:55
  • 59. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ.fr, at 7:18
  • 60. Stef CLEMENT, Belkin, at 7:26
  • 61. Nikias ARNDT, Giant-Shimano, at 7:43
  • 62. Louis MEINTJES, MTN-Qhubeka, at 7:44
  • 63. Romain ZINGLE, Cofidis, at 7:53
  • 64. Philip DEIGNAN, Sky, at 7:55
  • 65. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at 8:22
  • 66. Jacques JANSE VAN RENSBURG, MTN-Qhubeka, at 9:31
  • 67. Tony MARTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 9:48
  • 68. Chad HAGA, Giant-Shimano, at 9:48
  • 69. Peter KENNAUGH, Sky, at 10:46
  • 70. Adam YATES, Orica-GreenEdge, at 10:46
  • 71. Tom BOONEN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 11:03
  • 72. Sam BEWLEY, Orica-GreenEdge, at 11:03
  • 73. Jonathan CASTROVIEJO NICOLAS, Movistar, at 11:07
  • 74. Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL, Katusha, at 11:07
  • 75. Danilo WYSS, BMC Racing, at 11:07
  • 76. Simon CLARKE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 11:07
  • 77. Tobias LUDVIGSSON, Giant-Shimano, at 11:07
  • 78. Johan LE BON, FDJ.fr, at 11:07
  • 79. Andrey AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA, Movistar, at 11:07
  • 80. Natnael BERHANE, Europcar, at 11:07
  • 81. Fabian CANCELLARA, Trek Factory Racing, at 11:20
  • 82. Alexandr KOLOBNEV, Katusha, at 11:30
  • 83. José HERRADA LOPEZ, Movistar, at 11:35
  • 84. Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 11:35
  • 85. Andrew TALANSKY, Garmin-Sharp, at 12:02
  • 86. Vasil KIRYIENKA, Sky, at 12:35
  • 87. Pirmin LANG, IAM Cycling, at 14:01
  • 88. Paul MARTENS, Belkin, at 14:01
  • 89. Cédric PINEAU, FDJ.fr, at 14:01
  • 90. Koldo FERNANDEZ, Garmin-Sharp, at 15:05
  • 91. Martin VELITS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 15:05
  • 92. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Trek Factory Racing, at 15:05
  • 93. Lawrence WARBASSE, BMC Racing, at 15:05
  • 94. Bart DE CLERCQ, Lotto-Belisol, at 15:05
  • 95. Kanstantsin SIUTSOU, Sky, at 15:05
  • 96. Martijn KEIZER, Belkin, at 15:05
  • 97. Sander ARMEE, Lotto-Belisol, at 15:05
  • 98. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, Giant-Shimano, at 15:05
  • 99. Vincent JEROME, Europcar, at 15:26
  • 100. Nathan BROWN, Garmin-Sharp, at 15:40
  • 101. George BENNETT, Cannondale, at 15:40
  • 102. Jay Robert THOMSON, MTN-Qhubeka, at 16:21
  • 103. Maxime MEDEREL, Europcar, at 16:21
  • 104. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at 16:30
  • 105. Alessandro DE MARCHI, Cannondale, at 16:35
  • 106. Yaroslav POPOVYCH, Trek Factory Racing, at 18:47
  • 107. Jesse SERGENT, Trek Factory Racing, at 18:47
  • 108. Luis MAS BONET, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 18:47
  • 109. Julian David ARREDONDO MORENO, Trek Factory Racing, at 18:47
  • 110. Tanel KANGERT, Astana, at 19:01
  • 111. Andrey ZEITS, Astana, at 19:01
  • 112. Vicente REYNES MIMO, IAM Cycling, at 19:01
  • 113. Marcel AREGGER, IAM Cycling, at 19:01
  • 114. Sébastien HINAULT, IAM Cycling, at 19:01
  • 115. Lloyd MONDORY, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 19:01
  • 116. Michael Valgren ANDERSEN, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 19:01
  • 117. Romain HARDY, Cofidis, at 19:01
  • 118. Patrick GRETSCH, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 19:01
  • 119. Vegard BREEN, Lotto-Belisol, at 19:01
  • 120. Filippo POZZATO, Lampre-Merida, at 19:01
  • 121. Brett LANCASTER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 19:01
  • 122. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, Lotto-Belisol, at 19:01
  • 123. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC Racing, at 19:01
  • 124. Nikolas MAES, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 19:01
  • 125. Jasper STUYVEN, Trek Factory Racing, at 19:01
  • 126. Dmitry KOZONTCHUK, Katusha, at 19:01
  • 127. Ivan ROVNY, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 19:01
  • 128. Lawson CRADDOCK, Giant-Shimano, at 19:01
  • 129. Sergei CHERNETSKI, Katusha, at 19:01
  • 130. Kristof VANDEWALLE, Trek Factory Racing, at 19:01
  • 131. Koen DE KORT, Giant-Shimano, at 19:01
  • 132. Paolo LONGO BORGHINI, Cannondale, at 19:01
  • 133. Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 19:01
  • 134. Kristian SBARAGLI, MTN-Qhubeka, at 19:01
  • 135. Johann TSCHOPP, IAM Cycling, at 19:01
  • 136. Nathan HAAS, Garmin-Sharp, at 19:01
  • 137. Daniele BENNATI, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 19:01
  • 138. Matteo TOSATTO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 19:01
  • 139. Imanol ERVITI, Movistar, at 19:01
  • 140. Gerald CIOLEK, MTN-Qhubeka, at 19:01
  • 141. Jaco VENTER, MTN-Qhubeka, at 19:01
  • 142. Johan VAN SUMMEREN, Garmin-Sharp, at 19:01
  • 143. Yury TROFIMOV, Katusha, at 19:01
  • 144. Maciej BODNAR, Cannondale, at 19:01
  • 145. Paolo TIRALONGO, Astana, at 22:42
  • 146. Gorka IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Movistar, at 23:28
  • 147. Christian KNEES, Sky, at 26:42
  • 148. Jimmy ENGOULVENT, Europcar, at 26:42
  • 149. Ramon SINKELDAM, Giant-Shimano, at 26:42
  • 150. Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, MTN-Qhubeka, at 26:42
  • 151. Rohan DENNIS, BMC Racing, at 26:42
  • 152. Francesco LASCA, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 26:42
  • 153. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 26:42
  • 154. Jacopo GUARNIERI, Astana, at 26:42
  • 155. Adriano MALORI, Movistar, at 26:42
  • 156. Matteo PELUCCHI, IAM Cycling, at 26:42
  • 157. Yauheni HUTAROVICH, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 26:42
  • 158. John DEGENKOLB, Giant-Shimano, at 26:42
  • 159. David MILLAR, Garmin-Sharp, at 26:42
  • 160. Damien GAUDIN, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 26:42
  • 161. Guillaume BOIVIN, Cannondale, at 26:42
  • 162. Valerio CONTI, Lampre-Merida, at 26:42
  • 163. Nacer BOUHANNI, FDJ.fr, at 26:42
  • 164. Yohan BAGOT, Cofidis, at 26:42
  • 165. Kenny ELISSONDE, FDJ.fr, at 26:42
  • 166. Robert WAGNER, Belkin, at 26:42
  • 167. Greg HENDERSON, Lotto-Belisol, at 26:42
  • 168. Michael MATTHEWS, Orica-GreenEdge, at 26:42
  • 169. Peter SAGAN, Cannondale, at 26:42
  • 170. Oscar GATTO, Cannondale, at 26:42
  • 171. Matthias KRIZEK, Cannondale, at 26:42
  • 172. Geoffrey SOUPE, FDJ.fr, at 26:42
  • 173. Jonathan FUMEAUX, IAM Cycling, at 26:42
  • 174. Javier Francisco ARAMENDIA LORENTE, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 26:42
  • 175. Daniil FOMINYKH, Astana, at 26:42
  • 176. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, Lampre-Merida, at 26:42
  • 177. Dan CRAVEN, Europcar, at 26:42
  • 178. Karol DOMAGALSKI, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 26:42
  • 179. Antonio PIEDRA PEREZ, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 26:42
  • 180. Luke ROWE, Sky, at 26:42
  • 181. Mitchell DOCKER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 26:42
  • 182. Laurent MANGEL, FDJ.fr, at 26:42
  • 183. Sébastien TURGOT, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 26:42
  • 184. Gert JOEAAR, Cofidis, at 26:42
  • 185. Roberto FERRARI, Lampre-Merida, at 26:42
  • 186. Maarten TJALLINGII, Belkin, at 26:42
  • 187. Murilo Antonio FISCHER, FDJ.fr, at 26:42
  • 188. Cameron MEYER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 26:42
  • 189. Elia FAVILLI, Lampre-Merida, at 26:42
  • 190. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, Lampre-Merida, at 26:42
  • 191. Pim LIGTHART, Lotto-Belisol, at 26:42
  • 192. Anthony ROUX, FDJ.fr, at 26:42
  • 193. Dominic KLEMME, IAM Cycling, at 29:37
  • 194. Andrea GUARDINI, Astana, at 32:28
  • DNF Moreno HOFLAND, Belkin

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Nairo Quintana leads 2014 Vuelta a Espana as Winner Anacona takes stage 9 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/08/news/nairo-quintana-leads-2014-vuelta-espana-winner-anacona-takes-stage-9_343396 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/08/news/nairo-quintana-leads-2014-vuelta-espana-winner-anacona-takes-stage-9_343396#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:58:51 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=343396

Winner Anacona takes stage 9 at the Vuelta and just misses the overall lead. Photo: AFP

Winner Anacona takes stage 9 and very nearly steals the overall lead at the Vuelta, but Nairo Quintana saves the red jersey for Movistar

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Winner Anacona takes stage 9 at the Vuelta and just misses the overall lead. Photo: AFP

Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida) soloed to victory in a contentious, rain-soaked stage 9 of the Vuelta a España on Sunday as Nairo Quintana (Movistar) replaced teammate Alejandro Valverde in the overall lead and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) slipped into second.

Anacona, Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing) and Javier Moreno (Movistar) had broken free of a much larger escape in the final 20km of the 185km leg from Carboneras de Guadazaón to the mountaintop finish at Aramón Valdelinares.

Jungels was first to fade, and then a quick kick from Anacona dispatched Moreno, and he set off alone after the stage win and the leader’s red jersey.

But when Contador lit it up out of the much-reduced GC group, followed by Quintana and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), all bets were off. And while Anacona hung on for the stage win, it was Quintana who rescued the leader’s jersey for Movistar.

“I’ve had some great wins, but this one is special. I’ve never won a grand-tour stage before, and I had some tears in my eyes when I was crossing the line,” said Anacona.

Valverde praised Quintana for keeping the jersey in Movistar’s grip.

“The most important is that the leader’s jersey remains on the team,” he said. “Nairo had good legs, and he was able to go. I was on the wheel of Froome, but I couldn’t follow either, in the end, I sprinted to see if I could get a few seconds. The weather wasn’t great for me, so all things considered, I am content.

“We were never hiding anything, Nairo has always been the leader, and I am there. We are there, first and third, and the hardest part of the Vuelta is still to come.”

Stage 9 gallery

The stage packed a lot of climbing into the tail end of the stage: the category-3 Puerto de Cabigordo, 61km from the finish; the Cat. 2 Alto de San Rafael, 13km out; and the finishing ascent of the Cat. 1 Aramón Valdelinares, an 8km climb that averaged 6.6 percent with stretches of 8.5 percent.

A huge break went early, containing 31 riders, among them Anacona, who was siting 21st overall, just 2:50 down on red jersey Valverde, and quickly became the race leader on the road.

With 20km remaining and the rain falling once again, the break came apart, leaving Anacona, Jungels and Moreno off the front. The trio quickly built a half-minute on a chase of a dozen or so, while Sky was on point in the bunch with 15km remaining and the gap just under six minutes.

Ten kilometers out the rain began bucketing down, but the leaders held a five-minute edge over the GC group, which had Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) on the front, trying to give Rigoberto Uran a head start on the final climb.

Ahead, Anacona and Moreno shed Jungels and soldiered on. And then the Lampre rider dropped Moreno, chasing the stage win and leader’s jersey. Behind, the peloton had closed to within four minutes and counting.

Five kilometers from the line Anacona was toughing it out in the rain as Sky drove the shrinking GC group ever closer. On the final steep ramp, 2.5km from the finish, he held 3:40 over the chase.

Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) tried a move, but Katusha quickly shut it down. Then Contador shot away, quickly prying open a huge gap over the other contenders. Quintana then followed with Rodriguez.

They would not catch Anacona, who hung on to take the win — but his overlong celebration may have cost him in the end as the GC contenders fought their way forward.

Rodriguez and Quintana closed in on Contador in their final dash to the line, slicing through the remnants of the break and the crowds lining the final ascent.

Contador rode to 12th on the stage, nearly caught at the line by Quintana and Rodriguez. Valverde finished 16th, taking a second or two on Chris Froome (Sky).

And when the overall was calculated, the Vuelta had a new leader. Quintana donned the red jersey with three seconds over Contador, while Valverde slipped to third at eight seconds. Anacona now sits fourth overall, a second behind Valverde.

“I also knew I had a chance to gain the leader’s jersey, but I regained some time, and that’s most important for me,” said Anacona. “Maybe I can stay in the top 10, but I would prefer to win stages that focus on everything on the GC.”

The new race leader, meanwhile, said he hopes the team has the jersey when it counts — at the finish.

“We’ll try to keep the jersey, but if we don’t have until the last day in Santiago, that doesn’t matter, either,” said Quintana. “I am not a [time trial] specialist. I was suffering a bit in the heat of the first days. If it’s me or Alejandro who wins, it doesn’t matter. What’s important is that the team wins. The objective is to try to reach the podium, to have a podium in all three grand tours, and next year, return to the Tour.”

Stage 9 results

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