Ride the Puddles

La Vuelta a Espana 2010: Stage 11 #lavuelta #vuelta

Posted by bikezilla on September 8, 2010


Sometimes PEZ seems rambling, pointless and simply half-azzed. Other times they’re the best and most entertaining by miles. Like today. Go PEZ guys.

Cycling News

Another absolutely fantastic day of racing than I’m sad I couldn’t watch as it unfolded.

After Stage 10 there was only 1’59” separating for first sixteen contenders for the overall GC.

After Stage 11 there is 1’57” between just the top six and many of them are not the same.

Denis Menchov (Rabobank) is now beyond redemption at 8’55” back. Boooo Denis.

Frank Schleck, of self-destructing Saxo Bank, is at 10th 2’30” back. It’d seem like he still has a realistic chance of jumping the leaders and aiming toward the podium. But, unless he’s doing a masterful job of playing possum, he’s cooked. He was barely surviving WITH his brother Andy supporting him and maybe should have followed Andy home.

At nearly ten minutes back, Phillipe Gilbert (Omega) may be dead in the water as a GC hopeful, but damn if he isn’t still fighting for what he can get. He used the day’s only intermediate sprint to jump past HTC’s Mark Cavendish in the points competition, but . . .

That lil bastage Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) stole the Green (Sprinters) Jersey off Gilbert’s back when he (Anton) blasted the field and won the stage.

I’d been thinking that Katusha’s Joaquin Rodriguez and Liquigas’ Vincenzo Nibali were the “real” riders to watch for the overall, and that Anton was a pretender. Seems I was mistaken.

It was a damned fine day to be a fan of road racing.

Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo-Galicia), who I’d never even heard of until today, would have pulled off the upset over Anton, except that Anton seemed to get stronger over the closing 4km.

I know the articles claim that Anton gave chase, then cracked, then recovered, but I don’t think that’s right.

I think he gave chase, felt himself nearing the precipice and eased back to a pace he could maintain while he let his rivals burn themselves up. It was masterful.

But, the way he screwed with poor Mosquera when he finally caught him, was simply cruel. He got on Mosquera’s wheel and sucked it till Cadel Evans had to be enraged with envy (watching from home). He was freakin’ relentless as Mosquera wasted energy trying to shake him, then zipped past Mosquera with seeming ease.

Watching Mosquera fight and gouge his way toward Anton and the finish, never quitting, never backing off, had me on the edge of my sofa cheering him on.

But damn if it didn’t suck watching Rodriguez seem entirely in charge of things, only to then watch him crumble and show himself the weaker rider.


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