Thursday, February 22, 2024

Tag: La Vuelta a España 2012

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 21: Cercedilla – Madrid 115.0 km

Degenkolb made it five; it was no surprise - we all knew the break was doomed. But it was good for the estimated 100,000 spectators around the course - and for the TV. It's never a chore to watch the best riders in the world set off from Cercedilla and hammer round the streets of a beautiful city.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 20: Faisanera Golf – Bola del Mundo 170.7 km

The rain stings past the entrance to the ski lift at 45 degrees and tries its damnedest to puncture the metal sheets on the roof; thunder roars in and echoes around the concrete walls, lightning sparks across the dark sky, the air temperature has dropped from a pleasant Spanish summer's afternoon to January on Porty Prom. Welcome to the Bola del Mundo; they say it's the toughest climb in European cycling - we believe it. We've been up to Covadonga a time or two and the Angliru, plus most of the Giro and Tour 'biggies', but this is evil.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 19: Peñafiel – The Lastrilla 178.4 km

Hola! It's a bit like being in a Vuelta sprinters' stage, this morning in Peñafiel. Dry tundra, deserted low rise blocks to the left and right and all under a cloudless high plains sky.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 18: Aguilar de Campo – Valladolid 204.5 km

Daniele Bennati saved his season and Radio Shack’s Vuelta with a perfectly timed sprint into Valladolid on Thursday afternoon. The perma-tanned fast man with the religious bent was just too quick for Sky’s Ben Swift who looked under-geared in the charge for the line. Sky got Swift’s lead out just right but ‘Benna’ was the smartest, freewheeling a few times in the finale to keep the heart rate down and then timing his bike through perfectly to pip Swift on the line.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 17: Santander – Power 187.3 km

There were no ‘pistolero’ gestures in Santander – it wasn’t a moment for playing to the photo opportunity. Just sheer joy of a man being back where he belongs – if you’ve taken the knocks and clawed back, then you’ll know that feeling.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 16: Gijón – Valgrande-Pajares Negru Cuitu 183.5 km

Dario Cataldo (QuickStep & Italy) took the biggest win of his life in Valgrande-Pajares Negru; Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM & Belgium) had his heart broken; Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha & Spain) took a huge step towards winning his first Grand Tour; Chris Froome (Sky & GB) realised you really can’t race the Tour and Vuelta to win in the same season.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 15: La Robla – Lagos de Covadonga 186.5 km

We’ve all had them, those days when the pedals just turn and the sensations are good – Antonio Piedra (Caja Rural & Spain) had one, today in the stage from La Robla.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 14: Palas de Rei – Puerto de Ancares 149.2 km

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) may well be intent on a great feat this year, as today he took his third stage into Puerto de Ancares, taking the race to the others and exploiting his amazing uphill sprinting abilities by out-kicking Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) at Puerto de Ancares, the first of three consecutive stage summit finishes.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 13: Santiago de Compostela – Ferrol, 172.8 km

It’s awfully early,’ I thought to myself when I saw Degenkolb’s Argos boys commit with 50 K to go during Stage 13 of the La Vuelta a España 2012. And so it proved, there was a lot of firepower in the seven man break.