Tuesday, May 28, 2024

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 7: Huesca – Alcaniz. Motorland Aragon 164.2 km

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La Vuelta a España 2012

Not for the first time, Vik took the words right out of my mouth when we were discussing the La Vuelta a España 2012;

“You can’t have a bike race finishing on a motor racing circuit, it just doesn’t work!”

And he’s right; too wide, too bleak, no atmosphere and almost no spectators.

Degenkolb was mightily impressive, again.

For all the talk of watts and tactics, sprinting is a mental game – if a sprinter’s head is right, then everything else drops into place.

It’s why Cav is so hard to beat – his self belief is total.

La Vuelta a España 2012
Degenkolb is the best of the ‘young guns’.

Sky did some quality work coming in to the circuit, with Ian Stannard once again demonstrating his bestial power, dragging team mates Froome and Swift clear in the last kilometre off a bend taken at an insane angle.

La Vuelta a España 2012
Team Sky are working brilliantly in the Vuelta.

But Argos hauled it all back together and Swift was again swept away as the big dogs salivated and ran for their prey.

Again, the ‘new wave’ was to the fore among the ‘golden oldies’ lunging for the line.

Liquigas’s Elia Viviani seems to be have been around a long time, but this is actually only his third season and he’s only 23 years-old.

This has been his best season to date with a stage win at San Luis, the Costa Etruschi, two stages and the GS in Reggio Calabria and a stage at Coppi-Bartali.

La Vuelta a España 2012
Another time trial win for Elia, and another bouquet, at the Grenoble Six.

Viviani was originally a track rider, with a raft of strong results on the boards as a junior and U23 – among them European junior and U23 points champion.

I first saw him in the Grenoble six day, a few years ago – he was mightily impressive, clocking times for the 200 and 500 only marginally slower than pure sprinters like Bauge and Sireau.

It’s his determination to cling to his track roots which some would say is holding him back a little on the road.

He rode the Olympic omnium championships in London – no medal and whichever way you look at it, a distraction.

He was mad at losing to Degenkolb; I’d predict a win for him, before the end as he finds road form again.

In third spot was a man who’s been around for a long time – GreenEDGE’s Alan Davis.

He was a stagiaire with Mapei in 2001 and has won in Aragon before – a stage in the Vuelta Ciclista a Aragon in 2005; he’s also stood on the podium in Paris-Tours and Milan-Sanremo.

It would be easy to say that at 32 Davis is approaching his ‘sell-by date’, but he’s been well in the hunt this season with podiums in Catalunya, Pais Vasco, Bavaria and Suisse.

He was close here, the other day – but with Degenkolb and Viviani in the mix it’ll be hard for him to win.

La Vuelta a España 2012
There was a bit of needle between Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural) in the break.

In fourth spot was ‘man of the future’ Nacer Bouhani, at only 22 years-of-age he carries the French national champion’s jersey on his back and has won at the Etoile de Besseges, Circuit de Lorraine, Region Wallonne – and significantly, in the Belgian ‘death race’ Halle-Imgooigem.

If he can avoid the pitfalls of being an over-hyped young French rider – these include a belief that talent is more important than training, fast cars, night clubs and tall, slim cuties – then he’ll go far.

Bennati and Meersman?

We’ll talk about them at the next sprint finish.

But that won’t be tomorrow – Llieda to Andorra, 175 K with a mountain top finish at 1,555 metres.

All of the men I’ve just mentioned will be buying their ticket for the autobus at the first opportunity.

Ciao, ciao.

Results - La Vuelta a España 2012 - Stage 7

Stage Result

1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano 3:48:30
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge
4 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
5 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
6 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
7 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
8 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling
11 Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre – ISD
12 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
13 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge 0:00:02
14 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
15 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
16 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
17 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
18 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
19 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
20 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin – Sharp
21 Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
22 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
23 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
24 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team
25 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
26 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team
27 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
28 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
29 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
30 Julian Dean (NZl) Orica – GreenEdge
31 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team
32 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
33 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
34 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
35 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana Pro Team
36 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
37 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
38 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre – ISD
39 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
40 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
41 Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
42 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
43 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
44 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
45 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
46 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano
47 Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
48 Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
49 Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin – Sharp
50 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
51 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat
52 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
53 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
54 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
55 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
56 Grégory Rast (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan
57 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin – Sharp 0:00:13
58 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin – Sharp
59 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
60 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge
61 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:00:18
62 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team 0:00:19
63 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:26
64 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
65 Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:33
66 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
67 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin – Sharp
68 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
69 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:36
70 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
71 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Argos-Shimano 0:00:37
72 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
73 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:41
74 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
75 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
76 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team
77 Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
78 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
79 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:45
80 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre – ISD 0:00:51
81 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
82 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
83 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
84 Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
85 Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Andalucia
86 Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos-Shimano
87 Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:00:57
88 Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural 0:01:03
89 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:01:09
90 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:11
91 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
92 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:32
93 Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team 0:01:38
94 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha Team
95 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team
96 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team
97 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
98 Gustavo Cesar Veloso (Spa) Andalucia
99 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Argos-Shimano
100 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team
101 Laurent Didier (Lux) Radioshack-Nissan
102 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling
103 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre – ISD
104 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) Lampre – ISD
105 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha Team
106 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
107 Danny Pate (USA) Sky Procycling
108 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin – Sharp
109 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
110 Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
111 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team
112 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team
113 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
114 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:01:46
115 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin – Sharp 0:01:47
116 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucia 0:02:19
117 Javier Chacon (Spa) Andalucia 0:02:21
118 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
119 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
120 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
121 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
122 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) Lampre – ISD
123 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
124 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
125 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
126 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
127 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) FDJ-Big Mat
128 Travis Meyer (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge 0:02:31
129 Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Caja Rural
130 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:02:38
131 Bruno Pires (Por) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
132 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team
133 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Radioshack-Nissan
134 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
135 Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
136 Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural
137 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge
138 Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:58
139 Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack-Nissan 0:03:20
140 Sergio Migu