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“Today’s stage worked out differently than we had hoped,” Merijn Zeeman added. “Very quickly into the stage, a group of 20 riders including David took off, but Katusha had set its sights on the stage victory so the b...

Photo: Sirotti










14.09.2013 @ 08:23 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

The Belkin Pro Cycling Team believed to have a good shot at the victory in the Vuelta a España’s stage 19 on Friday but stood empty-handed at the top of the Alto de Naranco. The classification men waged war and quickly gobbled up the escape with David Tanner. Joaquím Rodriguez (Katusha) won the stage and Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard) took over the lead.


“I wanted to try something,” David Tanner explained. “I felt good and thought to try my chances in an escape. Unfortunately, the peloton didn’t allow us one inch of space. Joaquím Rodriguez fancied his chances so Katusha rode full throttle all day.”


Bauke Mollema had settled upon a plan of action for the final ascent but found himself in an unfortunate position as a gap appeared in the front group, and he was subsequently unable to bridge the gap.


“My legs were pretty good today,” he said. “They were certainly a lot better than during the previous mountain stages. I wanted to try something on the final climb, but I couldn’t. With only 2.5 kilometres remaining, a few riders in front of me gave up and suddenly there was a gap to the next rider. I wasn’t able to close it. “I'm on the right track for the World Championships, however. I believe the Vuelta is a good preparation.”


For Robert Wagner Friday’s stage was a matter of pure survival in a cycling sense.


“From start to finish, Katusha was holding a very high pace and in the peloton we certainly felt it. I was actually glad when I got dropped on the final climb. The most important thing today was to survive. I’m completely focused on Sunday. It would be great to take the team’s second stage win. I seriously believe I can do that.”


“Today’s stage worked out differently than we had hoped,” Merijn Zeeman added. “Very quickly into the stage, a group of 20 riders including David took off, but Katusha had set its sights on the stage victory so the break only got two minutes. Because the cooperation upfront wasn’t very good, the leaders were eventually reeled in easily. Afterwards, the GC men started their fight. Bauke tried to stay with them but he’s a few percentage points away from his best shape.”



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