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My stage 4 tip was Joaquin Oliver Rodriguez which proved to be a darn good pick if I don’t say so myself. Unfortunately I didn’t gain much time on GC, but gobbled up some good sprint points and I’m back in the game. And if the truth be told, I completely forgot to put my tip in last night, so Rodriguez was my default pick. I’m much better off at this if I just leave it up to fate!
Woddy’s Stage 4 Tipping And Stage Writeup
A fantastic stage of the Vuelta last night, the climb up the Sierra Nevada is fantastic and the backside view down to Granada is amazing. If you continue all the way to the top to the Pico de Veleta you will climb 2700m over 43km of roads at 6.2%. Its the highest paved road in Europe and at the top it seems like you can almost touch the highest mountain in Spain the Mulhacen. The descent is a monster! Careful not to cook your rims! Unfortunately this year’s route won’t meander down to Ronda. The riding around there is beautiful. If you ever get a chance to do the La Sufrida Gran Fondo, get on it!
It seems the heat might be getting too hot in the Vuelta kitchen. Poor old Cav wasn’t enjoying it and can now enjoy some rays down on the Costa Blanca with millions of his country folk before getting cherry ripe for the Worlds. Up at the front the break dangled tantalisingly close to a stage victory (with Aussie expat Koen De Kort!) while there was some animation in the heavy hitter group. Anton was suffering and even with teammates dropping back lost contact and 1:10 in the end. Vincenzo “El Tiburon” Nibali fired a salvo to test the legs and looked good. He is the man to watch. In the end though it was the move by Anker Sorensen that didn’t ruffle the group and Moreno, sensing an opportunity and with the blessing of his team leader Rodriguez, followed in hot pursuit. As the breakaway group tired, Sorensen pushed on through the spent shells but Moreno still had one more left in the chamber and fired it 400 from the end to take a fantastic win.
The top tipped rider for the stage was Daniel Martin picked by ‘Georgio Fripley’. To be shure, to be shure, dat was an amazing tip Georgio! You take the winnings for stages 3 & 4!
And in the back end of the leaderboard, well…Poor ‘Abdu’ and ‘The Smackie’, who may have mixed their Martins; Tony Martin is the German TT monster who might some day get a grand tour. Daniel Martin is the Irish climber. Also commiserations to ‘Commuter’ who lost 18 min with Lastras. Now that is a convincing attack off the back! Still, the backend of the tipping peloton is a hard jersey to hold.
Onto the real competition and a few tippers were burnt by poor old Igor Anton last night but we still have a tight bunch at the top! Nothing can separate ‘Tim’, ‘Ash’ and ‘The Pelican’ at the moment, however there is an ominous contingent only a minute behind.
‘Georgio Fripley’ has his early GT legs and is ripping them off the rest of us at the moment with 42 pts. In second we have ‘Freddo’ on 40 pts and ‘CT’ showing he still has good form with 39 pts.
‘Georgio Fripley’ is also in the lead of the KOM competition with 13 pts. Is the man is trying to replicate the 1969 Merckx and take all three classements? ‘Freddo’ is bridesmaid again on 9 pts and a multitude of us are on 6.
Tonight’s stage looks like a tough one, firstly because of the expected heat which must be mounting on the riders and secondly, the ramp up to the finish. The last kilometer averages over 9% with a ramp of 27%. Tonight is night for an explosive climber to show his Fleche Wallonne form. Can Anton make amends tonight?
Stage 4 Results
1. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, (ESP) Team Katusha, in 4:51:53
2. Chris SÖRENSEN, (DEN) Saxobank-Sungard, + 0:03
3. Daniel MARTIN, (IRL) Garmin-Cervelo, + 0:11
4. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, (ESP) Team Katusha
5. Przemyslaw NIEMIEC, (POL) Lampre-Isd
6. Sergey LAGUTIN, (UZB) Vacansoleil-Dcm
7. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, (BEL) Omega Pharma-Lotto
8. Wouter POELS, (NED) Vacansoleil-Dcm
9. Michele SCARPONI, (ITA) Lampre-Isd
10. Bauke MOLLEMA, (NED) Rabobank Cycling Team
General Classification After Stage 4
1. Sylvain CHAVANEL, (FRA) Quick Step, + 13:19:09
2. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, (ESP) Team Katusha, + 0:43
3. Jakob FUGLSANG, (DEN) Leopard-Trek, + 0:49
4. Maxime MONFORT, (BEL) Leopard-Trek, + 0:49
5. Vincenzo NIBALI, (ITA) Liquigas-Cannondale, + 0:53
6. Kanstantsin SIVTSOV, (BLR) HTC-Highroad, + 0:58
7. Fredrik KESSIAKOFF, (SWE) Astana, + 0:59
8. Sergio PARDILLA BELLON, (ESP) Movistar, + 1:03
9. Marzio BRUSEGHIN, (ITA) Movistar, + 1:03
10. Kevin SEELDRAEYERS, (BEL) Quick Step, + 1:04
Stage 5 Preview