Vuelta diary watch: A day at the beach

There are only three Gerolsteiner riders left in the Vuelta now, so their two directeurs sportifs and a physical therapist went with them on their training ride on their day off. A two-hour ride "is really more than enough on a rest day," decided stage winner Robert Förster, and the group settled into a beach-front cafe in Almeria. "The ocean looked so tempting that I decided to go jump in," and he was joined by teammates Heinrich Haussler and Torsten Hiekmann. After eating, tidying up the suitcase and taking care of such matters, he lay down and closed his eyes for a minute - only to oversleep for his massage. "It's crazy, how quickly a rest day goes by, even though you don't really do anything productive." (

Rabobank's Grischa Niermann resisted the temptation of the beach. He and his teammates settled for a Cafe con Leche at a cafe overlooking the water. The Dutch team "trained a bit more than on the last rest day, because tomorrow it should be really hard." Niermann also noted that Sunday afternoon the peloton flew down to Almeria, getting to the hotels at about 8 p.m. The staff members, who had come down in the team buses, "had been there half an hour already. The Vuelta organizers could have spared themselves all the trouble, because the transfers in the team buses would have taken the same amount of time and would have been a lot more comfortable." (

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