7 September 2013

Vuelta a España Stage 14: Bagà to Andorra

Yesterday's stage could have been a bunch finish, even with its ramp at the end, if the bunch had decided to actually wheel in the escapees. What had been an 18 man breakaway ten of whom managed to stay away up the Alto del Rat Penat. Although Michele Scarponi (LAM) launched an attack on the final km of the climb to take the points on the day's bigger mountain.

However, he was brought back in on the descent. On the run in there was a narrowing of the road under a tunnel which caught out Beñat Intxaust (MOV) in the breakaway and then Daniel Moreno (KAT) in the peleton. But by then it looked like the break could stay away..

Attacks started Egoi Martinez (EUS) and Jerome Coppel (COF) tried and were joined by Scarponi. but the remaining six pulled them back with just over 2km to go. Then before they got to the last km Warren Barguil (ARG) who is only 21 and riding in his first Grand Tour attacked. He was given too much of a gap and stayed away on the ramp to the finish in the end leading across the line by 7 seconds. 

Today La Vuelta enters the Pyrenees far a day with four climbs as we finish outside Spain in Andorra.

The first climb of the day is the second Especial (Hors Categorie) climb of the race, the 26.7km climb of the Port de Envalira. Climbing up 1,390m to the summit at 2,410m. It only averages 5.6% but has two ramps of 15% near the summit.

However, after it there is still 68.4 km of racing to come with two second category climbs before the final climb up Collada de la Gallina it is a 7.2km climb through Andorra over 7.2km with an average gradient of 8% with a maximum of 15% about half way up. Though it has to be seen if Chris Horner (RSL) can launch another of his attacks here, or maybe Nicolas Roche (TST) will be able to get away from Vincenzo Nibali (AST) and make his own attack on the 31 second deficit. Alejandro Valverde (MOV) is another who is still looking for time and what about Joaquin Rodriguez (KAT). There will be explosive attacks among the GC contenders on that final climb it is a matter of who gains the most from them.

No comments:

Post a Comment