VUELTA:Chris Horner dances clear of his rivals


Veteran Chris Horner danced on his pedals on the summit finish to win his second stage and now leads the Tour of Spain by 43 seconds from Vincenzo Nibali

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After a slight time gap at the finish on stage 4 saw Chris Horner’s red jersey slip away, the near 42 year old made amends and then some on stage 10. The HC climb of Alto Hazallanas became the proving ground for the 41-year old American who took advantage of his strong legs and the super steep gradient to launch an attack with 4.6km to go. Whilst his rivals scrapped over who was going to be the best also ran, Horner danced on the pedals on and on up the mountain all the way to the line.


His effort resulted in a solo win and the regaining of the race lead in the 2013 Vuelta a España. “Movistar did a good job of making an initial selection and then when Nibali attacked hard he made the selection down to four riders” explained Horner. “I saw that Valverde was suffering so I said to myself it was time to go as hard as I could.”

“I thought if I could get a little gap that the others would play with some tactics behind me with none of them really wanting to work too hard. I don’t have quick acceleration, but once I get up to speed I can maintain it. So I knew if I could get a small gap I would be able to keep that speed all the way to the finish.”

With steps on the climb up to 18%, Horner was in his comfort zone on the Alto Hazallanas. Riding in a select GC group, Horner saw his chance at under 5km to go and jumped away from the others to immediately open up a gap. A solid response finally came from Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) after much scrapping between him and Basso but by then it was too late. Chris Horner won alone with 48-seconds in hand. Behind Nibali for third place was Alejandro Valverde of Movistar at 1:02.

Horner now leads the general classification by 43 seconds to Nibali.



Basso and Nibali having a dig. Photo

Horner continued, referring to the next stage on Wednesday: “I don’t expect to hold the jersey after the time trial – that isn’t my specialty and Nibali is a very good time trialist. I have a little bit of a time cushion now but I’m sure Nibali knew he could give me some time before the time trial and not worry about it. I can stay very close after that until we go to another mountain stage and that will decide this Vuelta.”

“As you can see, every top rider is alone on the last climb, so it’s going to get down to tactics every time.”

Horner, who will celebrate his 42nd birthday next month and turned professional in the mid-1990’s, became the oldest rider in cycling history to win a stage and lead a grand tour with his victory in Monday’s stage 3. Today he doubled up on that statistic, now leading the Vuelta a España by 48-seconds.

Horner “This was a very difficult climb. It was steep and hard, but so steep that there was no draft at all. So it didn’t matter if you were in a group or solo, the effort required was the same. For me it was better to attack while the others played some tactics behind me. I watched my power meter and stayed at 98% all the way to the line, never at 100%,” he said with a laugh.

“Today in the team meeting we talked about the climb. I didn’t think I’d seen it before, but once on it I remembered it from 2006 or 2007. So when we move the race north to the next climbs, it’s possible that I know none of those climbs, but perhaps I’ll know all of them.”


Nibali. Photo

After the rest day will be the 38.8km/24mi individual time trial in Tarazona. Horner “I don’t know if the time trial course suits me or not but it’s been a few years since I’ve had a good time trial, so I don’t expect to be able to keep the jersey but it is what it is. I’m a small guy, I’m a climber and sometimes I do a good time trial. Maybe that time will come again in two days.”

Horner concluded with “Fabian Cancellara was fantastic for me. Really, the entire team was unbelievable today, they have worked so much for me. I couldn’t be happier. Again, I’m the oldest rider to win a stage in a grand tour. I don’t feel real pressure in having the jersey, but once you have it, there are many things you have to do after the stage with the press so it takes up more of your time when you want to rest. But with the rest day tomorrow I feel like I can recover fine.”

“If I lose the jersey after the time trial, I will fight again on a mountain stage to get it back.”

A crashfest at the start
A massive crash in the neutral zone at the race start took down many riders and after a very active start, a breakaway consisting of Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), Georg Preidler (Team Argos-Shimano), Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Maciej Paterski (Cannondale), Tomasz Marczynski (Vacansoleil-DCM), Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team), Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Euskaltel Euskadi), Nico Sijmens (Cofidis) and Stef Clement (Belkin Procycling Team) escaped.

Katusha, Radioshack and Movistar took turns controlling of the pace of the chasing peloton and whilst as ever, there were those in the break who were never happy being caught and hung on until the final climb once the escapees were caught and the group of favourites slowly crumbled as Horner went on the rampage.

Moreno suffers in the heat

The race leader and winner of two stages did not have a great day. Dani Moreno said afterwards “To tell the truth, I had good feelings today but in the end I must have suffered too much from the length of the climb and the hot temperature even if usually I like warm weather. In fact, on the last climb, I felt empty from not eating enough. I’m disappointed but there is still a very long way to go and both Joaquim and me are in a good position in order to fight for the final victory until the end”.

Rodriguez meanwhile, a race feavourite, finished 5th on the stage. “I was in a great shape until 4 km to go” said Purito “especially on the steepest part of the climb, I felt brilliant. Then, all of a sudden, I started to feel weaker and weaker.”

“Anyways, I think my shape is growing and I’m happy about that. Unfortunately today we lost Losada from a crash: he’s a very important rider for the team, especially during the mountain stages, and I’m really sorry for him and I wish him a very quick recovery”.

Nibali doesn’t give in

The only rider able to chase Horner up the climb was Tour of Italy winner Nibali but even he wasn’t able to close the gap. “I had Jakob Fuglsang with me on the final climb” said Vincenzo Nibali “and he set a good pace to eliminate a lot of the main group. Horner attacked soon after that but I chose to wait until 2.5km to go to make my own break.”

“I think this Vuelta is still a long way from the finish, and there are so many difficult days ahead of us, starting with the time trial on Wednesday. But tomorrow is a rest day, and that’s the most important thing right now,” Nibali said.

Nicolas Roche meanwhile is now 3rd overall: “I went 100% and really dug deep within myself all the way up the final brutal climb jumping in and out of the group of favourites. But I’m content and happy with my performance. After doing my very best and going to my maximum physical ability, I can’t be disappointed”.

1 HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard 04:30:22
2 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 00:48
3 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 01:02
4 BASSO Ivan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
5 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team @ st
6 PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste @ st
7 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 01:10
8 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi 01:25
9 POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R La Mondiale @ st
10 MAJKA Rafal Team Saxo-Tinkoff 01:52
11 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 02:22
12 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team @ st
13 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
14 CAPECCHI Eros Movistar Team @ st
15 NERZ Dominik BMC Racing Team 02:48
16 ARROYO DURAN David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
17 KANGERT Tanel Astana Pro Team @ st
18 ELISSONDE Kenny Equipe Cycliste 03:07
19 PIMENTA COSTA MENDES José João Team NetApp – Endura @ st
20 KONIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura @ st
21 SANTAROMITA Ivan BMC Racing Team 03:28
22 SORENSEN Chris Anker Team Saxo-Tinkoff 03:45
23 CARDOSO André Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
24 BAGOT Yohan Cofidis Solutions Crédits 03:52
25 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 03:58
26 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Sky Procycling @ st
27 URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling 04:08
28 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team 04:28
29 SCARPONI Michele Lampre – Merida 05
30 BRAJKOVIč Janez Astana Pro Team @ st
31 MARCZYNSKI Tomasz Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
32 ZAUGG Oliver Team Saxo-Tinkoff 05:04
33 HERRADA LOPEZ Jose Movistar Team 05:26
34 KISERLOVSKI Robert RadioShack – Leopard 07:02
35 TXURRUKA Amets Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 09:07
36 OROZ UGALDE Juan Jos̩ Euskaltel РEuskadi 09:15
37 DE GREEF Francis Lotto Belisol Team 09:21
38 CARUSO Giampaolo Katusha Team 09:39
39 KOHLER Martin BMC Racing Team @ st
40 ULISSI Diego Lampre – Merida @ st
41 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO David Team NetApp – Endura 09:50
42 FLECHA Juan Antonio Vacansoleil – DCM 10:26
43 ZANDIO ECHAIDE Xabier Sky Procycling 10:38
44 PREIDLER Georg Team Argos – Shimano @ st
45 SIJMENS Nico Cofidis Solutions Crédits 11:13
46 VALLS FERRI Rafael Vacansoleil – DCM 13:37
47 SZMYD Sylwester Movistar Team @ st
48 ROUX Anthony Equipe Cycliste 13:52
49 HERMANS Ben RadioShack – Leopard 14:47
50 CLEMENT Stef Belkin Pro Cycling Team 15:39
51 MEERSMAN Gianni Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
52 MARTINEZ DE ESTEBAN Egoi Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
53 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol Team @ st
54 AZANZA SOTO Jorge Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
55 TIRALONGO Paolo Astana Pro Team @ st
56 HUZARSKI Bartosz Team NetApp – Endura 17:09
57 VANOTTI Alessandro Astana Pro Team 18:13
58 CATALDO Dario Sky Procycling 19:35
59 VERDUGO MARCOTEGUI Gorka Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
60 CANCELLARA Fabian RadioShack – Leopard @ st
61 PAUWELS Serge Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 20:27
62 GARATE Juan Manuel Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
63 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
64 IRIZAR ARANBURU Markel RadioShack – Leopard @ st
65 GUSEV Vladimir Katusha Team @ st
66 ERVITI OLLO Imanol Movistar Team @ st
67 CAMANO ORTUZAR Iker Team NetApp – Endura @ st
68 MEIER Christian Orica GreenEDGE @ st
69 WURF Cameron Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
70 ZEITS Andrey Astana Pro Team @ st
71 GRIVKO Andriy Astana Pro Team @ st
72 GASTAUER Ben AG2R La Mondiale @ st
73 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack – Leopard @ st
74 VANDEWALLE Kristof Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
75 GUTIERREZ PALACIOS Jose Iván Movistar Team @ st
76 REYNES MIMO Vicente Lotto Belisol Team @ st
77 SARMIENTO TUNARROSA Jose Cayetano Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
78 LANDA MEANA Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
79 VAN DE WALLE Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team @ st
80 CHEREL Mikael AG2R La Mondiale @ st
81 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
82 BERARD Julien AG2R La Mondiale @ st
83 GENIEZ Alexandre Equipe Cycliste @ st
84 RAST Gregory RadioShack – Leopard @ st
85 VOSS Paul Team NetApp – Endura @ st
86 LONGO BORGHINI Paolo Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
87 BUSCHE Matthew RadioShack – Leopard @ st
88 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE @ st
89 SANCHEZ GIL Luis Leon Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
90 LASTRAS GARCIA Pablo Movistar Team @ st
91 GARCIA FERNANDEZ Marcos Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
92 SøRENSEN Nicki Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
93 NOCENTINI Rinaldo AG2R La Mondiale @ st
94 VANSUMMEREN Johan Garmin – Sharp @ st
95 MORENO BAZAN Javier Movistar Team @ st
96 MORI Manuele Lampre – Merida @ st
97 COPPEL Jérome Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
98 TOSATTO Matteo Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
99 PETROV Evgeni Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
100 INTXAUSTI Benat Movistar Team 21:10
101 VICIOSO ARCOS Ángel Katusha Team @ st
102 VEIKKANEN Jussi Equipe Cycliste @ st
103 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald Sky Procycling 22:04
104 KIRYIENKA Vasil Sky Procycling @ st
105 PUCCIO Salvatore Sky Procycling @ st
106 STORTONI Simone Lampre – Merida @ st
107 WESTRA Lieuwe Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
108 HOOGERLAND Johnny Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
109 PATERSKI Maciej Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 22:38
110 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 23:31
111 POPOVYCH Yaroslav RadioShack – Leopard 23:33
112 PINEAU Cédric Equipe Cycliste 23:38
113 FERRARI Fabricio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 23:59
114 PIEDRA PEREZ Antonio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
115 DALL’ANTONIA Tiziano Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 24:15
116 PINOTTI Marco BMC Racing Team 24:27
117 SERRY Pieter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 24:29
118 VAN DER SANDE Tosh Lotto Belisol Team 25:17
119 FROHLINGER Johannes Team Argos – Shimano 25:24
120 HUPOND Thierry Team Argos – Shimano @ st
121 EDET Nicolas Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
122 BARGUIL Warren Team Argos – Shimano @ st
123 VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
124 DE WEERT Kevin Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
125 IGLINSKIY Maxim Astana Pro Team @ st
126 BARTA Jan Team NetApp – Endura 26:03
127 BESSY Cyril Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
128 BEWLEY Sam Orica GreenEDGE 26:36
129 KREDER Michel Garmin – Sharp 27:06
130 DODI Luca Lampre – Merida @ st
131 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 27:08
132 WAGNER Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
133 STYBAR Zdenek Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
134 STAMSNIJDER Tom Team Argos – Shimano @ st
135 DEMPSTER Zakkari Team NetApp – Endura @ st
136 TANNER David Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
137 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt Team Argos – Shimano @ st
138 KNEES Christian Sky Procycling @ st
139 RATTO Daniele Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 28:17
140 HAEDO Lucas Sebastian Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
141 BROWN Graeme Belkin Pro Cycling Team 29:49
142 FARRAR Tyler Garmin – Sharp @ st
143 NUYENS Nick Garmin – Sharp @ st
144 MANGEL Laurent Equipe Cycliste @ st
145 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team @ st
146 WYSS Danilo BMC Racing Team @ st
147 VANENDERT Dennis Lotto Belisol Team @ st
148 ANACONA GOMEZ Winner Lampre – Merida @ st
149 MøRKøV Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
150 LODEWYCK Klaas BMC Racing Team @ st
151 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE @ st
152 EIJSSEN Yannick BMC Racing Team @ st
153 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE @ st
154 LANDER Sebastian BMC Racing Team @ st
155 ROWE Luke Sky Procycling @ st
156 SINKELDAM Ramon Team Argos – Shimano @ st
157 KOZONTCHUK Dmitry Katusha Team @ st
158 HOWES Alex Garmin – Sharp @ st
159 ZINGLE Romain Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
160 HENDERSON Gregory Lotto Belisol Team @ st
161 VANENDERT Jelle Lotto Belisol Team @ st
162 DOCKER Mitchell Orica GreenEDGE @ st
163 HOWARD Leigh Orica GreenEDGE @ st
164 POULHIES Stéphane Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
165 LASCA Francesco Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
166 COURTEILLE Arnaud Equipe Cycliste @ st
167 ARAMENDIA LORENTE Javier Francisco Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
168 FAIRLY Caleb Garmin – Sharp @ st
169 SCHORN Daniel Team NetApp – Endura @ st
170 CHAINEL Steve AG2R La Mondiale @ st
171 COOKE Baden Orica GreenEDGE @ st
172 RASMUSSEN Alex Garmin – Sharp @ st
173 BOLE Grega Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
174 PETIT Adrien Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
175 ARNDT Nikias Team Argos – Shimano @ st
176 URTASUN PEREZ Pablo Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
177 GRAZIATO Massimo Lampre – Merida @ st
178 POELS Wout Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
179 BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos Alberto AG2R La Mondiale @ st
180 BONO Matteo Lampre – Merida @ st
181 MONDORY Lloyd AG2R La Mondiale @ st
182 SOUPE Geoffrey Equipe Cycliste @ st
183 MONTAGUTI Matteo AG2R La Mondiale @ st
184 RICHEZE Ariel Maximiliano Lampre – Merida @ st
185 PETERSON Tom Team Argos – Shimano @ st
186 ISAYCHEV Vladimir Katusha Team @ st
187 PAOLINI Luca Katusha Team @ st
188 VELASCO MURILLO Ivan Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 32:36
DNQ DE GENDT Thomas Vacansoleil – DCM 04:30:22
DNQ FENN Andrew Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
DNF DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team –
DNF LOSADA ALGUACIL Alberto Katusha Team –
DNF MARKUS Barry Vacansoleil – DCM –
DNF BOIVIN Guillaume Cannondale Pro Cycling Team

1 HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard 40:29:14
2 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 00:43
3 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:53
4 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 01:02
5 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 01:40
6 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 02:04
7 BASSO Ivan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 02:20
8 PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste 03:11
9 MAJKA Rafal Team Saxo-Tinkoff 03:16
10 POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R La Mondiale 03:28
11 KONIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura 03:58
12 CAPECCHI Eros Movistar Team 04:09
13 SANTAROMITA Ivan BMC Racing Team 04:35
14 KANGERT Tanel Astana Pro Team 04:42
15 URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling 05:12
16 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 06:05
17 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel Euskaltel – Euskadi 06:33
18 ARROYO DURAN David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
19 NERZ Dominik BMC Racing Team 06:36
20 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 06:39


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