We are now live for the last Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta e Espana! The poor Vuelta, forced to move around and kicked around like a mouldy sack of potatoes, I’m not sure why it doesn’t get the love. It has the most gorgeous podium girls, amazing weather and some the most beautiful riding you will ever see. Did i mention the podium girls? Okay, my idea of amazing weather is 40 odd degrees and there will be a lot of baking hot transition stages in the jaunt around the Iberian peninsula, however the line of thinking for Grand Tours these days is to make them into a multitude of one-day classics – and this Vuelta looks to fit the mould. And who can’t wait till the Angliru (Stage 15)!
Last night’s stage was a quick team chrono around Benidorm, or the British Bali as I seem to remember it from a couple of years back. From memory (and it is hazy…) there is a fair old climb out of Benidorm up to the railway line and thats where the course went, up and back down along the promenade. I bet big Spartacus’ teammates were looking forward to 16-odd minutes staring at his back wheel. It was a technical course and once you lose a bit of speed out of a corner and are already on the rivet…well it just starts getting messy! You either love or hate TTTs because you are either causing the pain or feeling the pain. I’ve hated and loved in equal parts.
On this occasion however Fabian’s boys managed to hang on and take the chocolates, putting Jakob Fuglsang in the red jersey. Congratulations to Jakob and also to Ghostrider who tipped the highest finishing rider in Fabian Cancellara!
Tomorrow the stage winds down the coast and while there are a few bergs early on these shouldn’t cause any troubles to sprinters. Big day tomorrow when we find out who has bought their sprinter legs to the Vuelta.
Stage 1 Results
1. Leopard-Trek, 16:30
2. Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
3. HTC-Highroad, at 0:09
4. Astana, at 0:10
5. Movistar, at 0:14
6. Quick Step, at 0:15
7. Skil-Shimano, at 0:18
8. Omega-Lotto, at 0:18
9. Garmin-Cervélo, at 0:25
10. Katusha, at 0:25
11. BMC Racing Team, at 0:27
12. Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:28
13. Saxo Bank-Sungard, at 0:28
14. Radioshack, at 0:29
15. Rabobank, at 0:30
16. Lampre-ISD, at 0:32
17. Cofidis, at 0:33
18. Vacansoleil, at 0:39
19. AG2R, at 0:42
20. Sky, at 0:42
21. Geox-TMC, at 0:43
22. Andalucía, at 1:03
General Classification After Stage 1
1. Jakob Fuglsang, Leopard-Trek, 16:30
2. Fabian Cancellara, Leopard-Trek, same time
3. Maxime Monfort, Leopard-Trek, s.t.
4. Thomas Rohregger, Leopard-Trek, s.t.
5. Daniele Bennati, Leopard-Trek, s.t.
6. Peter Sagan, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
7. Damiano Caruso, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
8. Eros Capecchi, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
9. Valerio Agnoli, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
10. Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:04
Stage 2 Preview