Stage 13 – September 8: Guadalajara – Cuenca, 170 km
It wasn’t too surprising to see a big group of 30 riders jump off and extend to a nice lead of almost 7 minutes for the first part of the race, leaving Caisse d’Epargne to take their rightful place at the front of the peloton and slowly begin to reel in the group up front.
Eventually Quick Step sent a man up there, Milram offered help as well, and the sprinters teams began their assault on the lead the front group had accumulated, and it began to appear as though a bunch sprint would indeed be the result. Although the group up front had the likes of Boogerd and Rebillin on board, as Liquigas, Milram, and Quick Step ramped up the speed, the break began to lose their advantage.
As rain began to fall in Cuenca, it looked rather apparent that the break was doomed. Cycling Mathematics 101, at your service! At 20km to go, the breakaway was rubber necking to check out the hot chick behind them. Said hot chick being the peloton barreling towards them at 65km/hr!! The break was assimilated at the foot of the last climb of the day the Alto del Castillo.
Renй Haselbacher of Gerolsteiner was the first to blot, but he was quickly reeled in and Di Luca countered. Valverde emerged and dragging Bettini and Sastre with him to close down Di Luca. The erstwhile Luis Perez of Cofidis made a jump as well. The group of chasers swelled to about 15, all the big names therein. They went over the top of the climb and began the descent, with a small lead in hand, and while they swept up Perez, Samuel Sanchez of Euskatel leapt off the front. It would be the descent, and then the finish!
Sanchez powered away and held his lead, head down and teeth grinding the whole way, to take a fine finish just barely in front of the hard charging Thor Hushovd.
Tomorrow may see a shake up in the GC, so stay tuned to Pez’s coverage of the Vuelta to find out!
Vuelta 06 Stage 13 Results
1 Samuel Sбnchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 4.03.43
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears
4 Luca Paolini (Ita) Liquigas
5 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic
6 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas
7 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
8 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram
9 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team CSC
10 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Team
11 Francisco Josй Ventoso (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
12 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom
13 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC
14 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Phonak Hearing Systems
15 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
16 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC
17 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
18 Jesъs Hernбndez (Spa) Relax-Gam
19 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears
20 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
21 Luis Pйrez (Spa) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone
22 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Team
23 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
24 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Fondital
25 Thomas Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
26 Josй Ange Gomez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
27 Egoi Martinez (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
28 Aketza Peсa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
29 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
Vuelta 06 GC after stage 13
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears
2 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Team
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC
4 Josй Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
5 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Team