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"I saw the crash, it was a big one. I hope Aru recovers because it would be tough to make it a hard race without him. I don’t have the same sensations as last week."

Photo: Sirotti

JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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TIAGO MACHADO

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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11.09.2015 @ 20:39 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Team Katusha’s Tiago Machado set up a nice solo effort at 40 kilometer from the finish in Ávila. The Portuguese rider stayed some twenty kilometers in the front, first alone, then with Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) and Leonardo Duque (Colombia). In the end Machado finished 5th, 44 seconds behind the winner of the 19th stage in the Vuelta a España, French rider Alexis Gougeard. Eduard Vorganov finished 14th.

 

Machado and Vorganov were part of a 24-man break that colored the 186 km stage from Medina del Campo to Ávila. The 24 riders got a maximum gap of 17 minutes and it was soon obvious that the winner of the stage had to be found in that group. Machado opened the attacks but paid for his efforts on the last climb, the Alto La Paramera. It was there that Gougeard started his decisive attack.

 

“Today we got the freedom to go in the breakaway and I was motivated because today is my mama’s birthday. Normally, when I am in my best shape, such an attack - with 40 km to go - would be ideal for me, but honestly I am tired. It was a demanding Vuelta so far. I put all possible energy in my attack and later I tried to follow the chasing group. I absolutely wanted to finish in the front today,” said Tiago Machado.

 

As the break took all bonification seconds underway and at the finish line, the fight for the overall classification was played in the last kilometer, uphill on the cobblestones to Ávila. Surprisingly it was red jersey Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), who attacked. Only Team Katusha’s Dani Moreno was able to follow Dumoulin. Fabio Aru lost 3 seconds. Joaquim Rodriguez and all others favorites 9 seconds.

 

"Dani did a good move to follow Dumoulin. Why not? He was the only rider able to do so and he is fighting for his top ten spot in this Vuelta. I suffered on the cobblestones. It was hard to get in the right rhythm but, fortunately, I was not the only rider to suffer there. We could not close the gap any more. I miss a bit the good legs from last week, but tomorrow we have again a hard stage that suits me better. Four climbs, four descents. I hope to find back my good level and will try again something. Lots of things can happen. Look at today with Aru’s crash. Let’s hope for the race that he recovers well tonight. Many things will depend also of the weather for tomorrow. I hear they talk about rain…," said Joaquim Rodriguez.

 

"Dumoulin is fast. He has been very active in the climbs. He does not get nervous and is very strong. Tomorrow will be a difficult day. Dani Moreno is fine. He is top 10 in the GC and he was the only one who could follow Dumoulin, that means he will surely be a great help for the team. Tomorrow we have to see the weather, because it is not 100 per cent sure we will have a sunny day. It might rain, which would change everything. We have seen a very aggressive Movistar team. I saw the crash, it was a big one. I hope Aru recovers because it would be tough to make it a hard race without him. I don’t have the same sensations as last week. Tomorrow it’s going to be climb after climb, it’s what I like."

 

In general classification Tom Dumoulin has 6 seconds to Fabio Aru and 1.24 to Joaquim Rodriguez, who still leads in points and combination classification.

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