Vuelta Tipping Competition | Stage 5
I’m well and truly out of GC contention in our Vuelta tipping competition (all because of O’Grady soft pedaling it through stage three), but I’m only three points down in the Sprint Competition. Just like Stuey, I’ve always been more of a sprinter than a GC man anyway, so I’m going to suck wheels for the next two weeks and go for that Green Jersey. If my calculations are correct, $36 is up for grabs to the Green Jersey winner, which is a 80% ROI. WOOT!
Woddy’s Stage 5 Tipping And Stage Writeup
Another baking hot day on the southern roads of Spain, both in the sky and on the road. In the end it was all another massive day for the boys from Katusha. A couple of breaks were away throughout the day, some with some fairly serious firepower (Sagan (Liquigas) and Taaramae (Cofidis)) but each time Katusha pegged the group within striking distance. This one was all going to come down to the end, Spain’s answer to the Mur de Huy, and Joaquim Rodriguez was primed.
When a rider is known to be the favourite and still wins, that’s impressive, and the entire peloton knew this was Rodriguez’s to lose. With Moncoutie (Cofidis) the only man up the road as the group approached the final climb, after descending like a bowl of mashed potato to get there, the race was on. While Moncoutie can climb when required, he struggles to deal with the explosive stuff on the steep pitches.
And so it was on. Moreno (Katusha), who is flying at the moment, led Rodriguez out with only Poels (Vacansoleil) able to follow. After bridging to Moncoutie and dropping him Rodriguez dropped the hammer and attacked the climb hard, reminiscent of Gilbert in several stages of the Tour this year. In both cases breathtaking and amazing to watch. No one was going to catch the man as he drove it to the line. As Rodriguez crossed the the threshold you knew that this is a rider who is at the top of his game which is always a pleasure to watch.
In the real action at the top of the tipping ladder was ‘Tim’ being the only tipper in GC contention to select Rodriguez (Katusha). As such, he has picked up a handy buffer of 30s on ‘Ash’ and a further 18s to the Pelican. The race to lose, (the lantern rouge, or or the “Farolillo Rojo”) is really heating up with ‘Commuter’ blowing the competition out of the water with Tony Martin (HTC)! Repeat after me, “Tony Martin is ze German time trial machine, the new favourite of Jannie. Dan Martin is the cousin of Nicolas Roche, and is a leprechaun climber.” Does that sort out this confusion?
Freddo has taken the lead from ‘George Fripley’ atop the points competition, since Mollema (Rabobank) topped Zubeldia (RadioShack) at the finish.
So ‘George’ has surrendered the Merckx dream for now, though he still reigns supreme in the KOM with 13 points. There are three tippers on 9 points, and history has shown time and time again that ‘Woody’ is the man to watch in this competition!
Five people tipped ‘Rodriguez’, so the stage winnings roll over to tomorrow night, interestingly enough, a number of people who didn’t tip also got Rodriguez. CT — who forgot to tip — was given Cancellara who lost 12 minutes. Ay Caramba!
Stage 5 Results
1. Joaquim RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, (ESP) Team Katusha, 4:42:54
2. Wouter POELS, (NED) Vacansoleil-Dcm, + 0:04
3. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, (ESP) Team Katusha, + 0:05
4. Bauke MOLLEMA, (NED) Rabobank Cycling Team, + 0:07
5. Michele SCARPONI, (ITA) Lampre-Isd, + 0:07
6. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, (ESP) Team RadioShack, + 0:07
7. Jakob FUGLSANG, (DEN) Leopard-Trek, + 0:07
8. Nicolas ROCHE, (IRL) Ag2r La Mondiale, + 0:07
9. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, (BEL) Omega Pharma-Lotto, + 0:07
10. Fredrik KESSIAKOFF, (SWE) Astana, + 0:07
General Classification After Stage 5
1. Sylvain CHAVANEL, (FRA) Quick Step, in 18:02:34
2. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, (ESP) Team Katusha, + 0:09
3. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, (ESP) Team Katusha, + 0:23
4. Jakob FUGLSANG, (DEN) Leopard-Trek, + 0:25
5. Vincenzo NIBALI, (ITA) Liquigas-Cannondale, + 0:33
6. Fredrik KESSIAKOFF, (SWE) Astana, + 0:35
7. Maxime MONFORT, (BEL) Leopard-Trek, + 0:38
8. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, (BEL) Omega Pharma-Lotto, + 0:43
9. Sergio PARDILLA BELLON, (ESP) Movistar, + 0:43
10. Marzio BRUSEGHIN, (ITA) Movistar, + 0:52
Stage 6 Preview
Cordoba returns to La Vuelta after a two-year absence. The land between Úbeda, which debuts in the race, and the capital city of Cordoba seems conducive to a bunch finish as the sprinters in the peloton vie for the finish. The stage runs over 186 kilometres with a first passage through the city before the finish.
The climb to Alto de San Jerónimo at just over 10 kilometres from the finish, a mountain pass that has already proven that it is hardy enough to challenge the possibilities of sprinters, will force the sprinters to be careful not to be cut off given that later there will be no room to bridge with the leaders.