Vuelta a España 2013

August 24 - September 15, 2013, Vilanova de Arousa, Spain, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

It's another sprinter stage today at the Vuelta!

  1. 15:01:18 CEST

    We have 205 rolling kilometers on tap today. The sprinters will have another chance to do their thing before the serious climbing starts.

  2. 15:02:39 CEST

    We have a slightly larger escape group today:  Marco Pinotti (BMC), Christian Knees (Sky) and Francisco Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural). They got away 11km into the stage, and steadily built up a maximum lead of 7:12.

  3. 114km remaining from 205.9km

    15:06:37 CEST

    That was enough of a lead for the sprinter teams to get nervous, with Lampre the first to jump into the chase. Garmin-Sharp, Argo-Shimano and Orica-GreenEdge have since joined in to help, and the gap is now at 4:23.

  4. 15:11:47 CEST

    The Cyclingnews stage preview, complete with Matt White's analysis, can be found here.

  5. 15:15:17 CEST

    What a stage we had yesterday! What a performance by Tony Martin! Hard to believe that he came oh-so-close to pulling off a near-miracle.

  6. 15:17:03 CEST

    • Feed

    The peloton has just gone through the feed zone, so the gap has grown again, up to 5:14.

  7. 15:21:50 CEST

    Today's stage started in Almendralejo, also known as the International Wine anc Vine City. Sounds like our kind of place.....

  8. 15:25:14 CEST

    The stage ends in Mairna del Aljarafe, a suburb of Sevilla.

  9. 15:30:03 CEST

    There are no ranked climbs at all in today's stage. There are, however, the usual two intermediate sprints, one at km. 117 and the other at km. 174.5.

  10. 15:32:26 CEST

    The first stage of the World Ports Classic has just ended, and we will have results up in a few minutes. We will only say it is probably not the winner you would have expected.

  11. 15:34:40 CEST

    We just had the first intermediate sprint, and you will never guess which three riders got the points.

    Oh wait, you probably will. The order was Knees, Pinotti, Aramendia.

  12. 15:39:25 CEST

    Sunny and hot today,  up to 30°C, and only a light wind.

  13. 15:43:59 CEST

    • Saxo Bank Tinkoff

    We feel sorry for Michael Morkov, who took the biggest win of his career, only to be overshadowed by Tony Martin.  But Morkov was happy enough with it all. 

    “I'm so happy about this win and unbelievably proud. Winning in the Danish national jersey is special but to win in Vuelta a Espana is probably the highlight of my career. I have been waiting for this opportunity and the guys and staff have been so supportive all the way. I just stayed on the wheel of Fabian on the final few hundred meters and I was worried about opening the sprint too soon but it was just perfect.”



  14. 15:50:50 CEST

    Here the top ten in GC coming into this stage:

    1     Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team     22:38:07      
    2     Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard     0:00:03      
    3     Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff     0:00:08      
    4     Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack Leopard     0:00:16      
    5     Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team     0:00:21      
    6     Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard     0:00:26      
    7     Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling     0:00:28      
    8     Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha     0:00:31      
    9     Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff     0:00:38      
    10     Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff     0:00:42      

  15. 75km remaining from 205.9km

    15:56:09 CEST

    The sprinters are determined to have their chance today, after nearly blowing the deal yesterday. With 75 km to go, the gap has come down to 3:45.

  16. 16:01:22 CEST

    Michael “Bling” Matthews of Orica-GreenEdge has the lead in the points classificaiton.

    1     Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge     51     pts
    2     Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha     48      
    3     Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida     40      
    4     Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff     38      
    5     Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step     38      


  17. 67km remaining from 205.9km

    16:05:18 CEST

    With 67 km to go, the gap has now dropped under three minutes.

  18. 16:09:18 CEST

    Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) does not have to worry about losing the lead in the mountain ranking as there are no official climbs today.

    1     Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff     11     pts
    2     Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits     8      
    3     Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha     6      
    4     Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida     5      
    5     Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale     4    
    Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) remains in the mountains classification lead

  19. 16:09:57 CEST

    Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and Bauke Mollema (Belkin) are deep in conversation.

  20. 16:13:55 CEST

    Roche also leads the combination classification.

    1     Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff     8     pts
    2     Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha     13      
    3     Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard     18      
    4     Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team     19      
    5     Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha     39      

  21. 16:16:22 CEST

    No one team at the head of the field, but one rider each from a variety of teams: Argos-Shimano, OPQS, Garmin,Orica-GreenEdge....

  22. 16:23:17 CEST

    • RadioShack Leopard

    RadioShack Leopard is at the top of the team ranking.

    1     RadioShack Leopard     66:54:52      
    2     Team Saxo-Tinkoff     0:00:05      
    3     Belkin Pro Cycling Team     0:01:10      
    4     Team NetApp-Endura     0:01:25      
    5     Movistar Team     0:01:28      

  23. 50km remaining from 205.9km

    16:24:59 CEST

    We have exactly 50 km to go, and a gap of 2:28.

  24. 16:28:17 CEST

    • Netapp

    Team NetApp-Endura is making its debut at the Vuelta, and can boast of two riders n the top 15.  After yesterday's stage, DS Enrico Poitschke said, “Today went pretty well. We saved energy on this stage and could relax and prepare for the sprint, which unfortunately didn’t go according to plan. The final kilometres were technically demanding and we intended to protect Leopold König as
    best as possible so that he wouldn’t lose any time.

    “Tomorrow’s flat 205-kilometre stage is rather long, but it isn’t supposed to be as windy, so we should be able to recharge our energy for the upcoming days.”

  25. 16:30:23 CEST

    The Caja Rural car pulls up to the leading trio, but Aramendia doesn't seem to want anything.

  26. 16:30:54 CEST

    The gap is dropping steadily now, as we now see 1:44.

  27. 16:34:17 CEST

    Michiel Elijzen of Belkin had some nice words for Tony Martin. “I’ve seen one of the most beautiful cycling moments ever. Tony Martin isn’t just a rider, and if you let him go, you know it’s
    going to  be difficult to see him back.”

  28. 16:37:25 CEST

    A lot of people were surprised when Michael Morkov won the sprint yesterday. And he was perhaps the most surprised of anyone.

    Michael Morkov (Saxo-Tinkoff) wins in Caceres.

  29. 16:41:38 CEST

    Marco Pinotti, 37, is a five-time Italian national time trial champion. He turned pro in 1999 and has ridden with Lampre, Saunier Duval, T-Mobile and now BMC. He has won two individual stages at the Giro d'Italia and is riding the Vuelta for only the second time.
    Marco Pinotti (BMC) in his new tricolore jersey

  30. 16:45:49 CEST

    Christian Knees is 32 and has ridden professionally since 2004. He started with German teams Wiesenhof and Milram before joining Sky in 2011. He won the Bayern Rundfarht (Tour of Bavaria) in 2008 and was German national champion.

  31. 34km remaining from 205.9km

    16:47:00 CEST

    The gap is now at 1:41.

  32. 16:48:22 CEST

    Francisco Aramendia is the youngest of the group, at 26. He made his name in the Vuelta last year, when he was very active in multiple escape groups, and was four times named most combative rider.

  33. 16:51:38 CEST

    The leading trio approaches the finish line. The stage isn't yet over though, they will now take off on a circuit course of some 30km with a gap of just over 1:20.

  34. 16:54:51 CEST

    • Omega Pharma QuickStep

    Tony Martin put on an amazing display in yesterday's stage, and couldn't have lost by a smaller margin. He was philosophical about the way it ended, though.

  35. 16:55:39 CEST

    The end for the leading trio is coming closer. With 27 km to go, the gap is at one minute.

  36. 16:56:58 CEST

    Pablo Lastras of Movistar has punctured.

  37. 16:59:03 CEST

    The first crossing of the finish line was also the second intermediate sprint of the day. We are getting two differing sets of results for it, so we will wait for something official.

  38. 17:00:00 CEST

    Less than 30 seconds now, with 23.5 km to go.

  39. 17:02:19 CEST

    The riders pass by the bullfighting arena.

  40. 17:03:47 CEST

    Hot enough for you? We hear that Lotto Belisol is reporting that it is 37°C at the moment.

  41. 17:05:41 CEST

    All the sprinter teams are still working together at the head of the field. The co-operation will stop soon enough.

  42. 17:06:33 CEST

    Katusha has now taken over the lead work, as the field has the three leaders in its sights.

  43. 17:07:06 CEST

    Knees looks back to see the peloton thundering towards him.

  44. 17:08:04 CEST

    17km to go and that is it for the three leaders. Pinotto dashes out to try and stay away.

  45. 17:08:30 CEST

    Can Pinotti repeat Martin's feat from yesterday, or even stay away for the next 16.5km?

  46. 17:09:36 CEST

    As we said earlier, Pinotti is an experienced time trialist, but he doesn't have that big a lead here.

  47. 17:10:50 CEST

    The Italian is now caught too. Fabian Cancellara again led the chase.

  48. 17:12:03 CEST

    Lots of RadioShack at the head of the field, with Cannondale right up there too.

  49. 17:13:15 CEST

    They are dashing through town at 51 km/h.

  50. 17:15:31 CEST

    11.5km to go, and no changes in the situation. They are keeping the speed high to prevent any further breaks.

  51. 17:16:23 CEST

    Crassh. A Garmin riedr -- it is Daniel Martin. He is back on the bike but it has taken a long tine.

  52. 17:16:55 CEST

    Two teammates came back immediately to try and bring him back to the field.

  53. 17:17:48 CEST

    It looks like two ridres have jumped after all. One of them may be World Champion Philippe Gilbert.

  54. 17:18:24 CEST

    They are caught again.

  55. 17:19:16 CEST

    Or not? It is a bit difficult to see what is going on here.

  56. 17:19:43 CEST

    No,not caught. We still dn't know who his companion is, looks like an OPQS jersey.

  57. 17:21:01 CEST

    7.8 km to go, and they have a nice gap. The OPQS rider is Styber, who won the Eneco Tour.

  58. 17:21:26 CEST

    They have 11 seconds on the field.

  59. 17:22:17 CEST

    Orica GreenEdge is now doing the lead work, as the other teams have pulled back. Obviously OPQS won't chase their own man.

  60. 17:23:13 CEST

    Lotto Belisol has now sent a man up to the front to help.

  61. 17:23:53 CEST

    With 5 km to go, the gap is down to 6 seconds.

  62. 17:24:36 CEST

    Now MOvistar and Euskaltel are at the hea of the field, leading them all the way around a roundabout.

  63. 17:25:31 CEST

    The gap decreases and so do Gilbert's chances of actually taking a win this season.

  64. 17:25:58 CEST

    3 km and what looked like cobblestones. Gilbert is certainly not giving up!

  65. 17:26:35 CEST

    In fact it looks like the gap has increased, to 12 seconds with 2.5km to go.

  66. 17:26:59 CEST

    Dan Martin and his teammates has not yet caught the peloton.

  67. 17:27:46 CEST

    The peloton doesn't seem to be able to put a decent chase together! Will teh sprinters once again miss their chance?

  68. 17:28:43 CEST

    Yet another big roundabout.and the last km for Stybar and Gilbert!

  69. 17:29:33 CEST

    Several riders take off from the peloton in a despartea chase.

    Gilbert leads Stybar, bu will the field catch them?

  70. 17:31:00 CEST

    It couldn't be much closer! The two stayed away to the end -- just barely -- but it it is totally unclear who won. Looks like they crossed the line together!

  71. 17:31:45 CEST

    Stybar jumped first and powered his way up, but Gilbert came up behind him.  Stybar rejoiced as the winner, but it is not yet official.

  72. 17:32:10 CEST

    Stybar and his teammates certainly seem to think he won.

  73. 17:35:32 CEST

    And Stybar has won!

  74. 17:36:08 CEST

    Gilbert was second by an eyelash, and still has not won whilst World Champion.

    Robert Wagner of Belkin was third.

  75. 17:37:27 CEST

    Nibali has retained the overall lead.

  76. 17:38:00 CEST

    The top ten on the stage:

    1    Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
    2    Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    3    Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
    4    Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis
    5    Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
    6    Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
    7    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
    8    Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
    9    Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    10    Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Argos-Shimano

  77. 17:39:21 CEST

    And the top ten in GC:

    General classification after stage 7       
    1    Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team    27:29:35
    2    Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard    0:00:03
    3    Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    0:00:08
    4    Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack Leopard    0:00:16
    5    Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team    0:00:21
    6    Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard    0:00:26
    7    Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling    0:00:28
    8    Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha    0:00:31
    9    Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    0:00:38
    10    Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    0:00:42

  78. 17:40:44 CEST

    Thanks for reading along. Be sure to join us again tomorrow. There is only one ranked climb, but it is category one and happens to have the finish line atop it!

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