2 September 2013

Vuelta a España Stage 10: Torredelcampo to Güéjar Sierra. Alto Hazallanas

Yesterday started with a break of three including debutant Luke Rowe (SKY), Johnny Hoogerland ( Lloyd Mondory (ALM), Anthony Roux (FDJ) and the man who seems to be in a lot of escapes Javier Aramendia (CJR). However, within the last 30km they started to get captured by the peleton, Aramendia lasted teh longest only being caught with 25km to go, as the peleton were preparing for 2nd Category climb of the Alto de los Frailes.

But on the climb Robert Kiserlovski (RLT) tried a solo attack. But nearer the summit Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY) went after him and zoomed past, Nicolas Edet (COF) tired to go after the Norwegian but didn't close the gap but was second over the summit. But Edat was caught soon after on the descent, on the descent Luis Leon Sanchez (BEL) made his own bid, but he too didn't stay away long.

Moreno launches his attack
Boasson Hagen was finally caught with 1.7km remaining but 1km of that was up the incredibly steep final ascent. At the km banner Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Rigoberto Uran (SKY) had been dropped by the lead group. But Daniel Moreno (KAT) , who lives nearby, went about 700m from the finish, Alejandro Valverde (MOV) tried to go with him but couldn't and the race leader Nicolas Roche (TST) looked dead in the water.

But Moreno struggled in the final 50m and lost some of his advantage, but he did cross the line first picking up the 10 second time bonus. Followed by Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez completing a Spanish 1-2-3 Roche had started the day with a 17 second advantage on the local man, and was fighting to prevent the gap costing him his lead. However, coming in 4th some 8 seconds down meant he lost two of his jerseys the red by 1 second and although tied on points the all around as Moreno leads both the GC and Points.

Today sees the first Especial Category climb of La Vuelta 2013 as the race enters the Sierra Nevada range. It comes at the end after the race has negotiated the 1st Category Alto de Monachil which is 8.5km with an average gradient of 7.7%, with a maximum of 15% and gain of 665m.

However, it is the Alto de Hazallanas that is making its debut that will prove a test in what is already a tight head of the race.

It comes in two stages, the foothills are relatively gentle and then there is a section of descent before the final 7km that are the killer. There are two sections that the road reaches 18% and there are three other ramps of 15% or greater. So although the average over the 15.8km of the climb is only 5% that is an illusion that will become clear to the riders in that final section.

With only one second in the first two spots and the top five Vincenzo Nibali (AST), Alejandro Valverde and Chris Horner (RLT) all within 28 seconds you can expect there to be a shift in the top of the field once again as we head into the rest day on Tuesday.

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