Wednesday, June 19, 2024

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 3: Faustino V – Eibar (Arrate) 155.3 km

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Eibar (Arrate)

We sprinted into Eibar (Arrate) today… Sprinters? As my old work buddy, Sam Johnston used to reply, when asked what had become of his ‘hot tip’ for the 3:45 at Kempton Park; ‘they’re still out looking for it – with lanterns!

Stage three was no day for the sprinters; what VeloVeritas had failed to appreciate was that ‘Arrate’ was as in ‘Subida a Arrate’ mountain race – as won by Luis Ocana, Marino Lejarreta, Francisco Galdos, Johan de Muunck and Raymond Poulidor.

No big, bulging thighs among those names.

Running in to the finish climb the break was still clear, just – but quickly disposed off as gravity began to kick in.

Movistar did a load of work to bring it back with Sky and QuickStep becoming more active as the climb approached.

Eibar (Arrate)
Movistar worked hard for Valverde.

Sky’s ‘big beasts’ Ian Stannard and Danny Pate did their thing on the front.

And whilst I remember, here’s the latest from Viktor;

Cav is 100% to QuickStep for 2013.

“Pate is going too and they’re trying to get Stannard as well.”

You heard it here first.

QuickStep’s efforts were explained by a short lived dig by Niki Terpstra – an excellent rider but out of his depth on this terrain in this company.

Ten Dam took over for Rabobank; in Gesink and Mollema the Dutch team has two realistic contenders.

Gesink is classy – but fragile, winning the Tour of California but crashing out of the Tour de France; whilst Mollema was fourth in last year’s Vuelta.

Last year’s winner, Cobo slid out of the back – at the end the margin would be 50 seconds; not a disaster, but hard to get back from Chris and Alberto.

Valverde looked very comfortable, as did Contador and Rodriguez – with Froome it’s hard to tell because his style is so physical, all elbows, rocking shoulders and bobbing head.

Eibar (Arrate)
Contador put in more than half a dozen little stinging attacks which broke things up but didn’t dislodge the favourites.

Contador began to put in jabs, causing havoc but when he eased, the group would gel again.

But these were no Nibali ‘token’ attacks, merely the first in a serious of vicious accelerations which stripped the lead group of all the chaff.

Contador, Froome, Rodriguez and Valverde were the elite group who would contest the stage finish – prompting David Harmon to ask the question; ‘are we looking at the men who will be on the final podium?

Froome was distanced each time Contador twisted the knife, but rode back up at his own tempo.

The run to the finish is actually downhill; and Contador even continued to attack here – he’s frisky.

Accepted wisdom in the race is that whoever is round the last corner first will win; but Valverde reminded us why he’s been on the podium at the Worlds, won Classics and a Grand Tour, to pip Rodriguez by millimetres.

Eibar (Arrate)
Valverde just steals it. It’s been a fabulous start to the race for Movistar, with two out of three stage wins and the jersey on every stage.

As Movistar said in their understated press release;

“Movistar Team keep writing their history in golden letters in the 2012 Vuelta a España as they stepped once again onto the podium on Monday after the ascent towards the Santuario de Arrate, first summit finish of this year’s event after 155km and three categorized climbs from the start in Oyón.

“Alejandro Valverde is the new leader of the Spanish Grand Tour after a millimetre finish in front of Joaquim Rodríguez in the mythical Basque summit.”

Quite!

There’s still a long way to go, but we know already that the ‘big three’ of Contador, Froome and Rodriguez are all in shape.

As far as the ‘second tier’ riders go, Valverde, Gesink, Mollema and Anton are all in pretty good nick, too.

It doesn’t look for good for Cobo, but he can fall into a strong support role for Valverde.

For De Gendt and Van Den Broeck it’s now about stage wins – and such a pity that Andrew Talansky’s Garmin team had that disastrous TTT.

The young American was solid, yesterday but is down in 24th place on GC due to his team’s rendezvous with the tar on Saturday night.

Stage four sees the road drag inexorably for final 50 K to the Estacion de Valdezcaray – and that’s after the tough Orduna climb at 40 K.

The saving grace is that the final climb isn’t brutally steep.

There shouldn’t be too much carnage – unless the wind blows, that is.

Adios amigos.

Eibar (Arrate)
Valverde in the lead – but for how long?

Results - La Vuelta a España 2012 - Stage 1

Stage Result

1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 3:49:37
2 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
4 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
5 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:06
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
7 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin – Sharp
10 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
11 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
12 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
13 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre – ISD
14 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
15 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team 0:00:27
16 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:47
17 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre – ISD
18 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
19 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
20 Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team 0:00:50
21 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
22 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team
23 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
24 Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural
25 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
26 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana Pro Team
27 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
28 Yohann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
29 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:18
30 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
31 Laurent Didier (Lux) Radioshack-Nissan
32 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
33 Hernani Broco (Por) Caja Rural 0:01:28
34 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
35 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
36 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
37 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre – ISD
38 Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
39 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Argos-Shimano
40 Egor Silin (Rus) Astana Pro Team
41 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin – Sharp
42 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
43 Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel – Euskadi
44 Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
45 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
46 Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
47 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:52
48 Morris Possoni (Ita) Lampre – ISD
49 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team
50 Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural
51 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
52 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
53 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan 0:02:07
54 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
55 David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Caja Rural
56 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
57 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team
58 Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Liquigas-Cannondale
59 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
60 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:02:31
61 Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Andalucia
62 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:57
63 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
64 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:03:00
65 Pablo Lechuga Rodriguez (Spa) Andalucia 0:03:11
66 Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack-Nissan 0:03:22
67 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
68 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
69 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 0:03:23
70 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
71 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha Team
72 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling
73 Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
74 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin – Sharp 0:03:50
75 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge
76 Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
77 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
78 Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
79 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano
80 Gustavo Cesar Veloso (Spa) Andalucia 0:04:19
81 Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin – Sharp
82 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team
83 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) FDJ-Big Mat
84 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
85 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:04:58
86 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Radioshack-Nissan 0:05:00
87 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
88 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:34
89 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team
90 Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
91 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team
92 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team
93 Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
94 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team
95 Danail Andonov Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural
96 Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 0:05:36
97 Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
98 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team
99 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
100 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
101 Jose Vicente Toribio Alcolea (Spa) Andalucia
102 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
103 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
104 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team
105 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:47
106 Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Caja Rural 0:05:54
107 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha Team 0:06:42
108 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
109 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
110 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
111 Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Andalucia
112 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
113 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
114 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
115 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
116 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team
117 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
118 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
119 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
120 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) Lampre – ISD
121 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
122 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
123 Sergio Carrasco Garcia (Spa) Andalucia
124 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin – Sharp
125 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
126 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin – Sharp
127 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Argos-Shimano
128 Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eri) Orica – GreenEdge
129 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
130 Bruno Pires (Por) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
131 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
132 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling
133 Florent