Posted by Editoress on 08/25/12
Valverde doubles up, Rodriguez shines at home
Already a stage winner in Eibar on the third day of the Vuelta, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has made it to in Andorra in the climb of La Gallina. A Spanish trio sprinted for victory with Joaquim Rodriguez coming second again and Alberto Contador regaining fifteen seconds plus four of time bonus over arch-rival Chris Froome who lost contact at the very end of the steep hill.
Team Sky didn't get paid back for the huge amount of work they did chasing the breakaway formed of Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural), Javier Ramirez (Andalucia), Amaël Moinard (BMC), Mickaël Buffaz (Cofidis), Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) after 75 kilometres of racing. Meyer was the last man caught by Froome and Contador who had dropped Valverde and Rodriguez off. Contador chose to not contribute to Froome's big coup and the royal quartet was reunited. Froome suffered the final accelerations of Valverde and Rodriguez who came across to lone attacker Contador.
The final kilometer was a celebration of ‘Purito' (literally a small cigar) by his fans on home soil. The Andorran resident was offered a big cigar on stage for his fourth day with the red jersey but Valverde proved once again to being the fastest.
Alejandro Valverde wins stage eight of the 2012 Vuelta España - Photo: Graham Watson
Alejandro Valverde: "We couldn't climb any faster"
Have you been impressed by this climb: La Gallina?
Yes, it made a very fast uphill finish. Team Sky rode very strongly in the last 30 or 40 kilometres. Once we started climbing, many people were suffering, Robert Gesink for example, so I've tried to make differences and the four strongest riders of the Vuelta have gone clear again. To win here is a great result. I'm very happy.
Do you think that Froome and Contador have missed an opportunity when Contador refused to take a turn after creating a gap over you and Joaquim Rodriguez?
I don't think so. If Alberto didn't cooperate with Froome, it means that he couldn't do it because we were climbing too fast. ‘Purito' told me that it was not possible for them to go clear. I wasn't worried. There was no way to climb faster than we did.
Considering the quality of the riders you were with today, what is your favourite stage victory: this one or the one you got at the Tour de France?
I don't know how to compare. The Tour de France contenders like Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins were extremely strong but here, the overall classification is contested by more riders. Today it was a man-to-man fight with the strongest riders. On the other hand, I was far down on GC at the Tour and I won at Peyragudes through a breakaway from far. I enjoy both victories.
|Stage 8: Lleida to Andorra. Collada de la Gallina 174.7 km|
|1 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team||4:06:39|
|2 Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha Team|
|3 Alberto Contador (Esp) Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank||both s.t.|
|4 Christopher Froome (GBr) SKY Procycling||0:15|
|5 Daniel Moreno (Esp) Katusha Team||0:23|
|6 Benat Intxausti (Esp) Movistar Team||0:33|
|7 Igor Anton (Esp) Euskaltel - Euskadi||s.t.|
|8 Winner Anacona (Col) Lampre - ISD||0:39|
|9 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team||s.t.|
|10 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD||0:42|
|11 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Sharp||0:44|
|12 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale||1:02|
|13 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale||s.t.|
|14 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team||1:05|
|15 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale||1:06|
|16 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team||1:24|
|17 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||1:25|
|18 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan||1:30|
|19 Steve Morabito (Sui) BMC Racing Team||1:34|
|20 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE||1:37|
|133 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat||15:41|
|1 Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha Team||29:59:35|
|2 Christopher Froome (GBr) SKY Procycling||0:33|
|3 Alberto Contador (Esp) Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank||0:40|
|4 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team||0:50|
|5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team||1:41|
|6 Daniel Moreno (Esp) Katusha Team||1:48|
|7 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale||2:14|
|8 Igor Anton (Esp) Euskaltel - Euskadi||2:47|
|9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team||2:58|
|10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team||3:07|
|11 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD||3:20|
|12 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale||s.t.|
|13 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team||3:26|
|14 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) SKY Procycling||3:34|
|15 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre - ISD||3:38|
|16 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Sharp||3:40|
|17 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale||3:42|
|18 Steve Morabito (Sui) BMC Racing Team||4:09|
|19 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan||4:12|
|20 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team||5:04|
|145 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat||59:09|
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