Ride the Puddles

La Vuelta a Espana 2010: Stage 9 #lavuelta #vuelta

Posted by bikezilla on September 5, 2010

Cycling News, VeloNews

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre), he of the bright red and skinless azz, dropped out of the race about 90 minutes in, citing low morale. I’m thinking that having his butt flayed was really all the reason he needed. One kind of needs a butt to ride a bike effectively.

The peloton had an intense case of Don’t-Give-A-Damn and nearly waited too long to put a little leg into the chase of near-GC-leader Jean-Christophe Péraud (Omega Pharma-Lotto).

Peraud got in with David Moncoutie’s (Cofidis) 15 man breakaway group and if that group hadn’t spent the last 40km beating the living hell out of each other, Peraud may have been able to slip into the Red (leader’s) Jersey at the end of this stage.

Moncoutie, to me, seemed interested only in the KoM (mountians) Jersey and he played that just as smart as he did yesterday’s stage win (he had intentionally lost time on a flat stage so that the GC guys wouldn’t care that he was in the break for the stage win). Today he just ate away at the KoM standings, chewing into it 3 pts (1st 5 pts, 2nd 3 pts, 3rd 1 pt) at a time early on before taking a couple of 5s later in the day.

I don’t think he ever really wanted the stage for himself, unless it would fall to him through a bit of luck. Expending that extra energy would take away from his goal of winning to final KoM.

Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and his team put in some tough riding to close the gap on Peraud, but not until that gap was nearly insurmountable. And they didn’t maintain the effort. They seemed to say, “Ok, we’re close on this thing. That’s good enough. Peraud will win it or he won’t.”

Even the closing effort by Katusha’s Joaquin Rodriquez seemed half-hearted as he couldn’t quite pull off the jump over Anton.

The real joy of the race was watching the breakaway disintegrate and reform over and over again as they repeatedly attempted to pummel each other into submission during that closing 40km. It began with littering jerk, Gonzalo Rabuñal (Xacobeo Galicia), taking off solo for 16 km before he ran out of gas and got sucked back in.

After that the group kept disintegrating . . . forward, and reforming, until a small group went with Moncoutie’s final breakaway from the breakaway, which stage winner David López (Caisse d’Epargne) jumped away from in the final km.

Lopez was suffering in a big way, but he just kept his legs churning as Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) attempted a closing sprint that quickly went flat.


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