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"It’s not exceptional that I attacked again today after riding away yesterday. I never went full gas yesterday and I had a lot of energy and desire left.”

Photo: Sirotti






28.08.2014 @ 23:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having been on the attack two days in a row, Pim Ligthart has been one of the great animators in the first week of the Vuelta a Espana. Today he tried again as he still had lots of energy and desire after yesterday's attempt.


For the second day in a row Pim Ligthart attacked immediately after the start. The sixth Vuelta stage took the riders from Benalmádena to La Zubia, where the finish line was drawn on a first category climb.
Just like yesterday Ligthart had only one companion. This time it was Lluis Más Bonet, the leader in the mountains classification. The two got up to fourteen minutes lead on the peloton. Then Garmin decided to take action and the gap stayed stable between eleven and twelve minutes. Fifty kilometers from the end the leaders had about eight minutes, from then on the advantage kept going down.
Until the end Ligthart gave all he had and with four kilometers to go, in the first meters of the final climb, he left his companion behind. One kilometer further up the road, he was caught by the peloton. The GC riders battled for the victory. Alejandro Valverde won and takes over the leader’s jersey from Michael Matthews. Maxime Monfort finished as 28th at 1’43”. Just like yesterday Pim Ligthart was awarded the prize of most combative rider.
“The plan was to have someone in the breakaway and I was one of the riders who had to try," he said. "I jumped away with Más and it was immediately the good one. The cooperation went well.


"The first fifteen kilometers we rode really hard. There was a counterattack with strong riders (six with among other Jimmy Engoulvent and Peter Sagan), but the peloton caught them. We could stay ahead and then I knew I was away with the right companion.
“We kept our tempo all the time and at the end I tried to accelerate, but the peloton was just too fast. Still, you can only try. The combative prize is a consolation prize.


"You try to win that stage and today we were close. The last thirty kilometers I started to believe in it, but between fifteen kilometers from the end and the foot the advantage went down so quickly and we knew we didn’t stand a chance. We should have been able to start the climb with a lead of about three minutes.


“I attacked again because I was hoping to succeed. As there was no leader really for a mountain stage, I thought we had a chance that the race for GC would happen behind us. Yet, they began fighting too early.


"It’s not exceptional that I attacked again today after riding away yesterday. I never went full gas yesterday and I had a lot of energy and desire left.
“With these high temperatures we drink a lot and cool off with ice. Thanks to the advice of Energy Lab we have extra salt in our water bottles and that helps. I didn’t have any cramps yet, which I normally do have. Each ten kilometers I drink about one water bottle, but I didn’t count them today.”



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