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Old 09-09-2013, 08:43 AM   #16
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**SPOILERS**










Another hilly day in the Pyrenees but perhaps the easiest of the three.


As thought, a break is allowed to go, a rather large break, with about 17 riders in it including Flecha and Egoi Martinez, Niko Sorensen, Chris Anker Sorensen, and the previous stage winner Warren Barguil. None of these men pose a serious threat to GC.

There were about 10 men stuck in between the break and the main group. The main group holding all the contenders. For a while Astana tried to pull them back, then Movistar did some work, the Eusktel, but nothing was well organized and it was quite hilly the last 10 miles or so and the break stayed clear and looks like it will stay clear at this point, with a 3:00 lead.

A break has been launched off the front. The strong Warren Barguil, Juan Manuel Garate, and Mikael Cherel all go strong. These men ride for Argos-Shimano, Belkin, and Ag2r, respectively. While the peloton become better organized and pull their lead back to 2:45. The remaining breakaway riders won't have the three going up the road on them and pull them back to form one lead group again. But Barguil won't have that, either, and attacks again from the front, splintering the lead group again. Barguil gets 20 seconds on chasers. What was a large breakaway group is now shattered. This is the perfect time for the peloton to swallow wasps and drag them back while Barguil extends his lead to 36 seconds. Only 3 miles left.

One of the remaining breakaways, Rigoberto Uran from Sky takes off in attempt to chase Barguil down. A strong move, he pulls back some time on Barguil. Soon another man, Domink Nerz from BMC moves up to Uran. The two are working together to try and ride up to Barguil on a steeper section toward the finish. Uran is not interested in Nerz as company and gives it another go. These accelerations will not help Barguil who has been on his own for some time now. I can't see him cracking yet but I have doubts about whether he'll be able to hold off the BMC and Sky fellows. Unless those two muck around with each other enough to thow their pace off.

Behind, a few attacks off the leader's group, including Nico Roche and Joaquim Rodriguez. Roche is picked off early but Rodriguez stays clear and is joined by Horner. Nibali can't go!

Barguil is indeed caught by Uran at the last half mile. Uran speeds past Barguil but somehow he manages to latch back on to the rear wheel of the attacker But they are caught from behind by Nerz and Bartosz Huzarski from Net-App. Four man finish now!

Uran goes first but the savvy Barguil finds his legs and goes with him to win at the line. A second stage victory for the young Frenchman Barguil and a very well-played win at that!

Behind Rodriguez pushes hard and gains time, Valverde and Horner and Thibault Pinot from Francais de Jour have opened a gap on Nibali, who seems incapable of matching their pace. They are trying to catch Rodriguez who is just flying, but cannot. Rodriguez comes in 1:43 behind Barguil with Horner and Valverde and Pinot right beind at 1:46.

Nibali comes in maybe 20 seconds behind Horner.

Nibali is still first on the GC but Horner is only behind by 28 seconds now.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:21 AM   #17
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Rest day today.


For something important to happen on tomorrow's stage, there will need to be a very concentrated attack and a very strong team.


There are only two climbs, not terribly difficult, and they finish 30 miles from the end of the race, giving a motivated peloton a lot of time to pull back any breaks.

Look for a bunch sprint for the leaders. Sadly, this does not suit either Horner or Roche.
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"So what makes this protest different is that you're set to die, Bobby?"
--May well come to that.
"You start a hunger strike to protest for what you believe in. You don't start already determined to die or am I missing somethin' here?"
-- It's in their hands. Our message is clear. They're seeing our determination.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:00 AM   #18
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They're calling Thursday's finish to Peña Cabarga a Cat 1 climb. For Horner, I think, it's there or Angliru.

Good to see Nico hanging in there just 5 sec back of Pozo! Should be a good battle for 5th.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:20 PM   #19
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If they can jam this race at warp speed into the last mountain and Horner can take off and flat out ride Nibali off his wheel, well, that would be awesome.

I think every finish on this stage in recent memory has resulted in a bunch sprint. A flat 50k from the final climb to finish means essentially any team can bring back a breakaway if they give 'er.

I'm trying to think of ways for Horner to get some time. It isn't going to be easy. Maybe Roche is so far behind they'll allow him some time up the road?


Take away race radio and this whole thing becomes more interesting.
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"So what makes this protest different is that you're set to die, Bobby?"
--May well come to that.
"You start a hunger strike to protest for what you believe in. You don't start already determined to die or am I missing somethin' here?"
-- It's in their hands. Our message is clear. They're seeing our determination.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:29 AM   #20
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SPOILERS

There was a break, and manifestations of it held out until 2km to go. The wind was wicked today, and whenever the peloton forms echelons you know there's a possibility for a gap to form. But nearly all the leaders stayed up front in the same echelon, one of note made up some time was the 6th place Roche whose echelon ended up putting time on Pozzovivo who was in 5th. Astana did a LOT of work keeping Nibali in contact at all times in the wind.

At the end of the ride there was indeed a mass sprint, And Tyler Farrar was up there in the mix, but in the last few hundred metres the Baulke Mollema from Belkin took off a little early. But because of Farrar and Cancellara and Boasson-Hagen's presence, no one wanted to be the first to chase him down, and so he soloed 500 metres for the win.
Farrar came in 4th.

No change in the GC aside from Roche moving to 5th and Pozzovivo dropping to 6th.

Horner still behind the leader, Nibali, by :28
Belmante 3rd at 1:14
Rodriguez Oliver at 2:29
Roche 3:43
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"So what makes this protest different is that you're set to die, Bobby?"
--May well come to that.
"You start a hunger strike to protest for what you believe in. You don't start already determined to die or am I missing somethin' here?"
-- It's in their hands. Our message is clear. They're seeing our determination.

Schlug screwed with this post 09-11-2013 at 10:38 AM
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:36 AM   #21
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"So what makes this protest different is that you're set to die, Bobby?"
--May well come to that.
"You start a hunger strike to protest for what you believe in. You don't start already determined to die or am I missing somethin' here?"
-- It's in their hands. Our message is clear. They're seeing our determination.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:36 AM   #22
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Wow.

Repeat: Wow.

That is all.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:17 AM   #23
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Spoilers




Short and sweet:

A rather large break with some serious power takes off at about 30 miles in.

Break gets 10 minutes on the field. Break falls apart, Belorussian Kiryienka from Sky takes off and is chased by the stragglers from the original break. But Kiryienka stays out at the end, winning the stage. Four other riders from that original breakaway come in behind him.

But back in the pack, which was down to about 20 riders, Horner takes off, powers through and drops Nibali, who was closely marking him. On the final climb Horner takes back some 25 seconds on the Sicilian, leaving Nibali in the overall lead but only by 3 seconds.

What an amazingly strong finish for the American. Nibali is clearly in a bit of trouble now. Horner has never won a Grand Tour and doesn't have a contract for next year as far as I have heard.
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"So what makes this protest different is that you're set to die, Bobby?"
--May well come to that.
"You start a hunger strike to protest for what you believe in. You don't start already determined to die or am I missing somethin' here?"
-- It's in their hands. Our message is clear. They're seeing our determination.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:25 AM   #24
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"So what makes this protest different is that you're set to die, Bobby?"
--May well come to that.
"You start a hunger strike to protest for what you believe in. You don't start already determined to die or am I missing somethin' here?"
-- It's in their hands. Our message is clear. They're seeing our determination.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbySands View Post
Spoilers





What an amazingly strong finish for the American. Nibali is clearly in a bit of trouble now. Horner has never won a Grand Tour and doesn't have a contract for next year as far as I have heard.

Nibali has basically said if Horner doesn't have any problems or a bad day, there is nothing any of other riders can do to prevent him from winning the vuelta. Not often you hear talk like that from the GC leader 3 days from the finish.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #26
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**SPOLIER***



He did it. Horner did it. Long story short:

There was a large break about 30 miles in. Boasson-Hagen is an animal. He hasn't had much success but he has powered so many breaks. In the end Katusha inhales wasps as the make a massive effort to pull the break away back, knowing there is a final climb.

As the leaders' group swallowed up the break, Roche made an attack but could not shake Scarponi, and slightly let off. At that moment Katusha's Rodriguez makes his team proud as the wee fellow flies up the hill, takes the stage win. Followed by Diego Ullisi, a Lampre rider, Dani Moreno, another Katusha rider, and Sammy Sanchez who lives not far from this climb.

And then comes Horner in 5th, making a pace Nibali could not hold. Then came Valverde, Scarponi, and Konig. Finally Nibali came home 6 seconds behind Horner, giving away his red jersey!

Horner in the lead
Nibali is only 3 seconds back
Valverde at 1:06
Rodriguez who looked amazing and has a very strong team, is only 1:57 back.
And finally Nico Roche, at 3:49.

Last climb, Horner goes for it. The stage is won
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"So what makes this protest different is that you're set to die, Bobby?"
--May well come to that.
"You start a hunger strike to protest for what you believe in. You don't start already determined to die or am I missing somethin' here?"
-- It's in their hands. Our message is clear. They're seeing our determination.

Schlug screwed with this post 09-13-2013 at 11:33 AM
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #27
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"So what makes this protest different is that you're set to die, Bobby?"
--May well come to that.
"You start a hunger strike to protest for what you believe in. You don't start already determined to die or am I missing somethin' here?"
-- It's in their hands. Our message is clear. They're seeing our determination.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:06 PM   #28
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Wow, incredible acceleration by Purito!
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:28 PM   #29
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Congrats Mr Horner
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:56 AM   #30
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Horner looks good. No--great. But Nibs did, too, last week. Horner rode a perfect tactical race in the finale yesterday, keeping JRod in check while just sneaking into red.

There are 13 km at the end of today in which any of four riders could win the Vuelta or see it disappear up the road. I still think Rodriguez and Valverde are both real threats to the overall if Horner shows the slightest weakness, especially JRod, even tho he's 50s behind Valv. Nibali seems (and sounds) beaten, but would be fantastic to see him take up the fight--it's only three seconds, man! This is a great grand tour.
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