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 Cycling Sport

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PostSubject: Cycling Sport   Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:10 pm

A place for people who like the sport of cycling or just riding a bicycle, to chat.

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PostSubject: Re: Cycling Sport   Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:48 am

Lastras solos to Vuelta stage win

Movistar veteran Pablo Lastras took a well-judged solo win and with it the red jersey of race leader at the stage three finish in Totana. The 35-year-old Spaniard, who has won stages in all three Grand Tours during a career that goes back to 1998, finished 15 seconds clear of Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Mikel Irizar (RadioShack) and Ruslan Pydgornyy (Vacansoleil-DCM) after attacking them on the final climb of the day, 12km from the finish.

The Spaniard made his winning attack 500 metres from the top of the Alto de la Santa. His advantage was just a handful of seconds heading over the summit, but he gave it everything on the descent into Totana and pushed out his lead out to almost 30 seconds.

The chasing trio did start to cooperate and eat into Lastras’s advantage, reducing his lead to 10 seconds with 3km remaining. But, having done most of the chasing, Chavanel then eased up and the three riders started toying with each other, leaving Lastras to enjoy a celebratory final kilometre as he claimed his first Vuelta stage win since 2002.

Lastras dedicated the victory to his former teammate Xavier Tondo and Leopard Trek’s Wouter Weylandt, who both died earlier this season, as well as to Movistar’s Mauricio Soler, who is still recovering from serious injuries sustained at the Tour of Switzerland in June.

"I think that I won today because of the expertise that I've built up as a veteran rider, I think it was a good win. I really wanted to raise my arms at the finish today and I dedicate the win to Xavi Tondo and to my teammate Soler who is very ill, as well as to all the friends who have been lost this year," said Lastras, who also went on to thank the media "for making this sport great" and his team manager Eusebio Unzué "who gave me the confidence I needed".

Chavanel, who would have taken the race lead if he had finished ahead of Lastras, was pleased with his performance. "We collaborated really well until the last climb. At 600 metres from the top of Alto de la Santa, Lastras took off. I couldn't follow him because I was starting to get cramps," said the Frenchman.

"On the slight rise towards the finish I gave it everything I had to catch up to Lastras. However there wasn't much collaboration from Pydgornyy and Irizar. When we got to within nine seconds from Lastras with only 3 kilometres to go to the finish line we started sizing each other up and Lastras gained a few seconds' advantage. It wasn't up to me to do all the work to catch up.

"I wanted to win the stage and often in order to win you have to risk losing. I gave it everything I had, I couldn't have done more. Anyway, I'm happy with my form, I feel good and I'm going to try again. Congratulations to Pablo. He was the strongest today and he's a great rider."

Most of the race favourites finished safely in the bunch that was led in by Nicolas Roche 1:43 after Lastras had taken the stage. However, two-time winner Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) failed to stay with the bunch’s pace on the final climb, coming in 3:06 down along with Rabobank’s Steven Kruijswijk, who had been marked as another rider to watch after his impressive performance at the Giro d’Italia.

The winning break takes shape

After a number of escape attempts had been thwarted in the opening five kilometres, Pydgornyy, Chavanel and Cofidis’s Nicolas Edet jumped away after 6km and were soon joined by Spaniards Lastras and Irizar. These five quickly got a good lead, which stretched to almost eight minutes with 68km covered as Liquigas-Cannondale and Leopard Trek set a steady pace on the front of bunch.

Edet asked for medical assistance having being stung on the forehead by an insect with 90km covered. Soon after the young Frenchman started to slip back from the break. Vacansoleil-DCM’s Pydgornyy claimed the sprint not long after this. The pace did increase in the bunch from this point on, although none of the teams were keen to take on too much work so early in the race and in such sapping conditions.

As Irizar led the four escapees over the 3rd-category Alto del Berro with 117km covered, back in the bunch a lot of riders were starting to struggle. HTC’s Mark Cavendish fell back, together with fellow sprinter Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano). Leopard Trek was doing most of the work, cutting the break’s lead back to 4:28 at the summit of the Berro, then trimming it down to 3:46 as the race passed through Totana for the first time with 22km remaining.

Sky prominent on final climb

The final 22km loop took the riders out of Totana and up and over the Alto de la Santa, a regular feature in the Tour of Murcia, before dropping back into the finish again. The four breakaway riders were content to cooperate all the way up the climb, until Lastras made his winning move towards the summit.

Back in the rapidly thinning bunch, Team Sky was clearly determined to keep team leader Bradley Wiggins out of trouble. Thomas Lövkvist set the pace for a good way up the climb, with Wiggins on his wheel.

However, suggestions that some of the leading contenders might attempt an attack on the climb with the aim of gaining a few seconds in Totana were unfounded. Geox-TMC’s David De La Fuente did make a dig that came to nothing. But the GC contenders were clearly happy to save themselves until the much bigger test that faces them on stage four, which brings the first summit finish at Sierra Nevada.

That stage will offer an early insight into the likely contenders for the Vuelta title and should bring an immediate end to Lastras’s hold on the red jersey.

Stage Results

1 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 3:58:00
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:15
3 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team RadioShack
4 Ruslan Podgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
5 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:43
6 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team
7 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
9 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Pro Team Astana
10 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

General Classification:

1 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 8:25:59
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:20
3 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team RadioShack 0:01:08
4 Ruslan Podgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:01:24
5 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:01:55
6 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:59
8 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
9 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) HTC-Highroad 0:02:04

Points:

1 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 28 pts
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 26
3 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling 25
4 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team 22
5 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto 20
6 Ruslan Podgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 19
7 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team RadioShack 16
8 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Pro Team Astana 16
9 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano 16
10 Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 14

Mountains:

1 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 3 pts
2 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team RadioShack 3
3 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team 3
4 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 3
5 Ruslan Podgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 3
6 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada 2
7 Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto 1

Combination classification:

1 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 3 pts
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 8
3 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team RadioShack 12
4 Ruslan Podgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 15
5 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team 125
6 Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto 164
7 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada 189

Teams classification

1 Movistar Team 24:49:13
2 Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:16
3 Team Radioshack 0:00:30
4 Liquigas - Cannondale 0:01:33
5 Pro Team Astana 0:01:39
6 Katusha Team 0:01:54
7 Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:01:57
8 Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:59
9 Lampre - ISD 0:02:21
10 Leopard Trek 0:02:52
11 Omega Pharma - Lotto 0:03:10
12 Team Garmin - Cervelo 0:03:17
13 Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:03:25
14 Vacansoleil - DCM 0:03:26
15 Sky Procycling 0:03:34
16 Geox - TMC 0:03:35
17 BMC Racing Team 0:04:42
18 Ag2R - La Mondiale 0:04:57
19 Andalucia - Caja Granada 0:07:01
20 Saxo Bank Sungard 0:10:48
21 Skil - Shimano 0:11:47
22 HTC - Highroad 0:13:50
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PostSubject: Re: Cycling Sport   Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:45 am

Shocked I'm the only one who understands.

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PostSubject: Re: Cycling Sport   Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:08 am

Vuelta, Stage 4:

Moreno climbs to stage victory in the Sierra Nevada

Daniel Moreno (Katusha) took advantage of a degree of status quo between the Vuelta’s main favourites to claim victory at the race’s first summit finish on the Sierra Nevada. The Katusha rider came up towards the line on the wheel of Saxo Bank’s Chris Anker Sorensen. Then with 400 metres remaining, the Spaniard flashed by on the Dane’s left and had plenty of time to zip up his jersey and celebrate his first grand tour stage win.

The pair had come together just four kilometres from the summit. Sorensen had already jumped across from the main group to three riders who remained from the break of the day. Sorensen pushed on past them and worked hard but had no answer when Moreno jumped hard.

“I’m so happy with this beautiful win,” said Moreno. “I felt in great shape this morning. I knew I could produce a great performance because the course suited my characteristics. Before going after Sorensen, I talked with my team leader, Joaquim Rodríguez. He thought I had good chance of winning today because I’m faster than the Danish rider and told me to go for it.”

Moreno’s win lifted him up to second place overall, 43 seconds down on new race leader Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) but he was quick to downplay his own prospects.

“Despite my move up general classification, my job is still to help our leader to win the general classification,” said the 29-year-old from Madrid. “I think ‘Purito’ and me form a great partnership, I’m sure we can gain some more brilliant results in this Vuelta.”

After the red jersey of Pablo Lastras dropped away from the main group on the early slopes of the Sierra Nevada, Chavanel knew that if he could stick with or close to that group he would take over the lead. Although he did fall back from the front group, which was eventually led home by Garmin’s Dan Martin 11 seconds behind Moreno, the French champion did enough to attain his objective for the day.

Antón cracks, Cavendish retires

While Moreno and Chavanel took the plaudits, the big loser on the day was Euskaltel’s Igor Antón. The Basque rider struggled all of the way up the final climb to the finish and in the end may not have been too disappointed to lose 1:36.

But Antón was far from the only rider to suffer on another blisteringly hot Vuelta day. Winner of the points title last year, Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) abandoned on the second of the day’s three climbs, while 2008 Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre saw his hopes of a high overall finish disappear as the race climbed to the 2112-metre summit.

Seven riders for the break of the day

After a number of attacks had been neutralised in the opening few kilometres, the break of the day formed at the 10km mark as the riders started up the slopes of the first-category climb of Alto de Filabres.

Seven riders got into it: Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Matthew Busche (RadioShack), Yohan Bagot (Cofidis), Thomas Rohregger (Leopard-Trek), Eduard Vorganov (Katusha), José Vicente Toribio (Andalucía-Caja Granada) and Koen de Kort (Skil-Shimano).

By the time De Kort led the seven over the Filabres ahead of Vorganov and Rohregger, their advantage was seven minutes on the peloton. Lastras’ Movistar team tried to keep it under control but it did edge out to more than eight minutes with less than 60km remaining.

After the third-category Blancares climb, where Cavendish became the second rider to abandon the race after HTC team-mate Matt Goss on stage two, Rabobank began to push the pursuit of the seven breakaways with a little more purpose.

Sierra Nevada’s long and winding road

Soon after the escape reached the first slopes of the 23km ascent of the Sierra Nevada, riders began to drop away as the heat hurt as much as the gradient. Bagot was the first to go, followed by De Kort and Torobio, although the Spaniard did battle back up to the four leaders at one point, only to blow apart in visibly painful fashion once he got up to them.

Rabobank were still leading the peloton as it started up the final climb, by now less than four minutes down on the break. Their pace soon saw Lastras fall out of the back. RadioShack’s Andreas Klöden was another early casualty of the Dutch team’s pace. This front group thinned down to 50-odd riders, with Antón struggling right at the back.

Up front, Bonnafond and Rohregger were doing most of the pace-making, although with 10km remaining the four leaders had little more than a minute in hand on the peloton as defending champion Vincenzo Nibali’s Liquigas team went to the front. Their efforts saw Antón finally fall away from the back of the group containing the main contenders.

Perhaps sensing that some of his other rivals might be in difficulty as the race headed towards 2000 metres, a very comfortable-looking Nibali launched a brief foray with 7.5km left. The Italian got a decent gap before easing off as the chase began behind.

As Nibali was brought back, Sorensen made his move off the front of this group, and got across to the four leaders inside the 5km mark. The Dane pressed on through the tiring escapees, with Moreno by now chasing hard behind, perhaps with a view to setting up a late attack by his team leader, Joaquim Rodríguez.

But over the closing couple of kilometres the Katusha leader and his main rivals were content to sit in behind Sky’s Chris Froome as he set the pace for Bradley Wiggins, allowing Moreno and Sorensen the chance to battle over the day’s spoils and Chavanel the chance to lead the Vuelta for the first time in his illustrious career.

This was just an early skirmish for overall victory in the Vuelta, with Antón the big loser and Moreno and Chavanel the day’s victors.

Stage Results
1 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 4:51:53
2 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:00:03
3 Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:11
4 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
5 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD
6 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
7 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
9 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team

General classification:
1 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 13:19:09
2 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:43
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:00:49
4 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:53
6 Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad 0:00:58
7 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Pro Team Astana 0:00:59
8 Sergio Pardilla Belllón (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:03
9 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team
10 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:01:04

Points:
1 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 28 pts
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 26
3 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 25
4 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling 25
5 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team 22
6 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 20
7 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto 20
8 Ruslan Pydgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 19
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo 16
10 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team RadioShack 16

Mountains:
1 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 20 pts
2 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 15
3 Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano 13
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo 10
5 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 6
6 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Leopard Trek 6
7 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team 6
8 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD 4
9 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 3
10 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team RadioShack 3

Combination:
1 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 6 pts
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 15
3 Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo 24
4 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 32
5 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 35
6 Ruslan Pydgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 50
7 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD 66
8 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 69
9 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Leopard Trek 73
10 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 85
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