Monday, May 20, 2024

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 9: Andorra – Barcelona 196.3 km

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Andorra

Joaquim Rodriguez is building on the foundation of respect he laid at the Giro. The little Catalan isn’t sitting around waiting on Froome bludgeoning him in the ‘contra reloj’ on Wednesday; he’s riding like a champion, ‘la course en tete’ – at the head of the race, especially when heading ‘home’ to Andorra.

The TV camera doesn’t do the Montjuich climb justice, it’s seriously savage.

Rearing from sea level to the top of the ‘Mountain of the Jews’ – the old Jewish cemetery is on the seaward side of the mountain – and providing spectacular views over Barca and the Med in just a kilometre or two; the section where Rodriguez countered Ballan and Gilbert saw the danger is very steep.

I’ve walked it many a time when it formed the toughest part of the old ‘Escalada’ circuit – the two-stage hill climb which used to close the European season, the day after the Tour of Lombardy.

Stage one was a five lap road race and stage two a two lap time trial – originally it was a three stage event with a team time trial, too.

Eddy Merckx holds the – never to be broken – record of six wins; it must have been sore trying to hang on to Ted rampaging up there in the TTT.

The race foundered due to the ‘new way’ of cycling where the stars get paid mega bucks and don’t need to augment their earnings with start money.

Bradley Wiggins would have been able to command something like 20,000 Euros a pop for riding the post-Tour criteriums but ‘passed’ – as Vik said;

“someone’s getting paid too much!”

But enough history and Brad bashing; back to Rodriguez and his perfectly timed move.

He couldn’t have wished for a better partner in crime than Gilbert – the Spaniard desperate for seconds and to honour his home crowd, the Belgian desperate for a win.

Andorra
Phil and JR congratulate each other on a job well done.

Gilbert looks the best he has all year, light on the pedals and with little excess flesh on his face – the Worlds?

It’s possible.

The attacking racing during the Vuelta has been a delight to watch; and it’s been refreshing to listen to the plain speaking of the Spaniards.

There’s no smartass, smug or “lifted straight from Steve Peters’ notebook” quotes, just honest assessments and respect.

I had thought that Cobo may be riding himself into form – but that dream has gone and the race will be decided between the ‘big four’ of Valverde, Froome, Rodriguez and Contador.

Andorra
It’s been a great race so far, and it’s only going to get better!

Wednesday is the time trial, over 40 kilometres – a ‘25’ by jings! – but has a category three climb in there with a technical descent.

This should mean that the scales are little more balanced against the ‘pure’ time trial riders – albeit will be a surprise if Tony Martin doesn’t win.

But if Rodriguez surrenders time in the TT, there’s a golden opportunity for him to grab a chunk of it back the very next day on the 1.8 kilometres with 30% ramps of the Mirador de Ezaro on Wednesday.

As I said the other day, the Tour organisers must be thinking; ‘why can’t we have a race like this?

Hasta mañana.

Results - La Vuelta a España 2012 - Stage 9

Stage Result

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 4:45:28
2 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
3 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:07
4 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team 0:00:09
5 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
8 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:00:12
9 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
10 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
11 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
12 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre – ISD
13 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
14 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha Team
15 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
16 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team
17 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
18 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
19 Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
20 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
21 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
22 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
23 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
24 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
25 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
26 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
27 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team
28 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin – Sharp
29 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
30 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
31 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
32 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
33 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
34 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team
35 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
36 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
37 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
38 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
39 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
40 Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural
41 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
42 Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
43 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin – Sharp
44 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre – ISD
45 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
46 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
47 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
48 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team
49 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
50 Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin – Sharp
51 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team
52 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana Pro Team 0:00:28
53 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
54 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
55 David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Caja Rural
56 Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
57 Grégory Rast (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan 0:00:34
58 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:00:41
59 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
60 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre – ISD
61 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:47
62 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
63 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:49
64 Allan Davis (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge 0:00:56
65 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:58
66 Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team 0:01:04
67 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
68 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
69 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling
70 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
71 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team
72 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
73 Tiziano Dall’antonia (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
74 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
75 Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
76 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team
77 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
78 Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Liquigas-Cannondale
79 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
80 Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
81 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Radioshack-Nissan
82 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) Lampre – ISD
83 Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:33
84 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 0:01:35
85 Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
86 Egor Silin (Rus) Astana Pro Team
87 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:39
88 Gustavo Cesar Veloso (Spa) Andalucia
89 Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:51
90 Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos-Shimano 0:02:11
91 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:02:20
92 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) FDJ-Big Mat
93 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
94 Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eri) Orica – GreenEdge
95 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
96 Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre – ISD
97 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
98 John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
99 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin – Sharp
100 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
101 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Argos-Shimano
102 Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel – Euskadi
103 Hernani Broco (Por) Caja Rural
104 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:02:29
105 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team 0:02:36
106 Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
107 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:02:40
108 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:02:50
109 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural 0:02:54
110 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
111 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
112 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
113 Laurent Didier (Lux) Radioshack-Nissan
114 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Argos-Shimano
115 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team
116 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team
117 Julian Dean (NZl) Orica – GreenEdge
118 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team
119 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team
120 Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
121 Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
122 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team
123 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling
124 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge
125 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
126 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge 0:03:14
127 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:03:32
128 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team
129 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan 0:03:56
130 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Radioshack-Nissan
131 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team
132 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
133 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling
134 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha Team
135 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha Team
136 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
137 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin – Sharp
138 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin – Sharp
139 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
140 Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin – Sharp
141 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin – Sharp
142 Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
143 Danny Pate (USA) Sky Procycling
144 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Argos-Shimano
145 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat
146 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:04:11
147 Bruno Pires (Por) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 0:04:17
148 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica – GreenEdge 0:04:41
149 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:11
150 Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
151 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
152 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge
153 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
154 Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack-Nissan 0:06:29
155 Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Caja Rural 0:06:36
156 Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural
157 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:06:41
158 Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
159 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:06:49
160 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
161 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:06:59
162 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
163 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
164 Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team
165 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
166 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
167 Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
168 Javier Chacon (Spa) Andalucia
169 Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Andalucia
170 Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Andalucia
171 Jose Vicente Toribio Alcolea (Spa) Andalucia
172 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
173 Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Argos-Shimano
174 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
175 Sergio Carrasco Garcia (Spa) Andalucia
176 Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team
177 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica – GreenEdge
178 Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
179 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:08:22
180 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team
181 Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Lotto Belisol Team
182 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucia 0:08:35
183 Olivier