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I give up. My Vuelta tipping is hopeless. I’m now switching to a KOM strategy since it’s what I’m doing the least horrible at.
Woddy’s Stage 9 Tipping And Stage Writeup
Fantastic stage last night with the final climb seeing favourites drop like flies all over the shop. I thought the favourites might take it easy and give the little kids the playground while they had a smoke behind the bike shed but that wasn’t the case. In the end it was a ding dong battle on a climb that modulated continuously. It was listed as a 7.2% average gradient but it pitched and pulled from 3 to 12%. Add to this the buffetting winds across the ridges and there was nowhere to hide.
Look at the riders dropped before the line: Scarponi, Rodriguez, Fuglsang, Van Den Broek (who also copped the old Swiss Franc fine for “insulting” a commissaire so must have been in some strife), Anton, Brajkovic….Dirty Denny and El Tiburon even gapped towards the end. All congratulations to Wiggins who saw the writing on the wall and dropped the hammer towards the end of the stage to maximise the day he was the hammer and the rest were the nails.
The greatest thing, even though considered the weakness at times of the Vuelta, is the evenness of the competition. Once Lang was caught on the final climb it was on, with Taaramae and Seeldrayers attacking repeatedly, Martin getting away for a while with his cousin Roche and then Nibali for a time, all the while slowly dropping riders who struggled with the changes in pace. With an undefined pecking order there is always going to be tension and conflict to see who stamps their authority. I think this is what Lord of the Flies is about? sorry never read it i went to a public school, we didn’t even have power.
In the end though Daniel Martin finally showed us what we all new he had in him and that was the ability to take a Grand Tour stage win. Fantastic effort. Also a fantastic effort from Bauke Mollema who has had an amazing season so far.
Onto the tipping competition and 3 people, including your esteemed author, picked Daniel Martin. What a pick! As there are multiple selections though the stage prize money jackpots for the 3rd consecutive stage!
In the GC Ash is continually asserting his authority over the front end of this Vuelta and has now extended his lead after AJS’s pick of Brajkovic dropped his load on the final climb. Ash is now 1:13 ahead of the Mellow Johnies and 1:16 ahead of Georgio Fripley who so far is proving to be the revelation of this tipping competition. CT is still holding up the rear of the bus and is now looking like a hot favourite to take the Lanterne Rouge.
Looking mean in green is Georgio Fripley on 96 points, 14 points ahead of AJS on 82 points with Freddo back in third on 78 points.
Onto the KOM and well….WOODY has taken the lead with an amazing selection of Daniel Martin and sits cute in polka dots on 24 points, with Velodrama hot on his heels on 21 points and TooMuchPasta looking al dente on 15 points.
Tonight we have the only ITT of the Vuelta, a flat loop in and out of Salamanca, which will suit your flat lad monsters like Tony “Der Panzerwagen” Martin and big Spartacus. Look for Bradley Wiggins to also take the opportunity to take the Red Jersey.
Stage 9 Results
1. Daniel Martin, Garmin-Cervélo, at 4:52:14
2. Bauke Mollema, Rabobank Cycling Team, same time
3. Juan José Cobo, Geox-TMC, at 0:03
4. Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky, at 0:04
5. Christopher Froome, Team Sky, at 0:07
6. Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:11
7. Rein Taaramae, Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, at 0:12
8. Denis Menchov, Geox-TMC, at 0:12
9. Haimar Zubeldia, Team RadioShack, at 0:12
10. Fredrik Kessiakoff, Astana, at 0:12
General Classification After Stage 9
1. Bauke Mollema, Rabobank Cycling Team, 37:11:17
2. Joaquin Rodriguez, Team Katusha, at 0:01
3. Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:09
4. Fredrik Kessiakoff, Astana, at 0:18
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Omega Pharma-Lotto, at 0:27
6. Daniel Moreno, Team Katusha, at 0:35
7. Jakob Fuglsang, Leopard-Trek, at 0:37
8. Kevin Seeldrayers, Quick Step, at 0:42
9. Haimar Zubeldia, Team RadioShack, at 0:42
10. Juan José Cobo, Geox-TMC, at 0:46
Stage 10 Preview
First and only individual time trial stage in La Vuelta 2011. This test for specialists will start and finish in Salamanca, the third time that the city will host a stage of this type.
At the mid-point of La Vuelta, and before rest day, the time-trialists will have their only chance to shine in this edition. The stage, completely flat, will be slightly shorter than the Peñafiel stage in 2010 in which Peter Velits took the victory.