VUELTA: Horner Takes the race lead

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Rodriguez gets his stage win whilst Chris Horner gets the seconds he needs to take the race lead off Nibali

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Chris Horner turned a three second deficit into a three second advantage on a mountainous stage 19 of the Tour of Spain on Friday.


During the final kilometre of the stage, the veteran American from Radioshack-Loepard-Trek, Chris Horner, attacked race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and took the jersey to regain the lead for a third time. Horner “They say the third time’s a charm so hopefully I have good legs tomorrow and can keep the jersey.”

“It’s so close and Nibali is a very good rider. Plus Valverde is good and he’s always been one of my favorite riders to watch throughout my career. Of course he’s a little younger than me so I’ve watched his entire career and I enjoy his tactics. Plus Rodriguez and I were teammates before so I know him well and enjoy racing with him.”

The decisive climb was only a category two one, but steep enough to make a difference in tired legs after 19 stages of racing. Coming under the red kite signaling 1000 meters to go, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) opened up a gap to go for the stage win and quickly tempted the other GC contenders to follow suit. Horner was up to the task and stamped on the pedals for a few hundred metres to gain the three seconds he needed plus three more to take the lead.


It’s thes third time in the red jersey but this time there are only two stages remaining to defend it and this time the stakes are claiming the overall victory on Sunday. “Today was a game of tactics. I was never on my limit on the last climb but I didn’t want to sprint for the time bonuses. I knew I couldn’t win that. But mentally and physically I felt just fine on the last climb.”

“I wasn’t thinking of going for the red jersey. It just came on its own.” The move by Rodriguez gave the Spaniard the stage win, followed by Diego Ulissi (Lampre) and Katusha teammate Daniel Moreno for second and third. Horner was fifth, six seconds ahead of Nibali.

Horner added: “I feel good and my legs are fantastic at this moment. I didn’t expect to have the jersey today but I’m happy to have it and look forward to defending it on the stage tomorrow. I have a strong team to look after me to the base of the climb. Then it’s important to keep an eye on Nibali and Valverde who are my biggest threats, plus Purito will attack Valverde to get on the podium.”

Asked about the final stage of climbing on Saturday with only a three second margin, Horner said: “I can’t worry about tomorrow. If I have the legs tomorrow and win, that’s great, but if that doesn’t happen I can still say it’s been a great Vuelta. At my age, I don’t lose sleep about being three seconds ahead or three seconds behind. I’m used to disappointment as well as victory.”

“Clearly this would be the biggest victory of my career. I’ve had big surprises in my life and to win here would certainly be a big one.”

idn’t last long. In fact, right after that Joaquim Rodriguez made one of his powerful, well-known rushes and nobody could follow him.

Joaquim Rodriguez was understandably very pleased with the win. “Today I’m really happy because finally I took the stage win. The whole team was great: they worked from the first km to the end because they knew I could win.”

“We planned to attack in the last climb: I didn’t know very well how it was, but the Sport Directors helped me and gave me the right information. As I saw the last km, I attacked: it was very hard, but I did my best in order to win the stage. I’m really happy: I’m an ambitious rider, and I strongly wanted this victory, that gives me strong motivations.”

“Tomorrow we have the last mountain stage, which will be crucial for general classification: Angliru is much harder than today’s climb, so anything can happen. Every climber would love to win tomorrow, it’s a prestigious stage: that’s why I hope to be in this shape and fight for the victory.”

“Today I got closer to the podium, my final goal: the team and I will fight until the last meter in order to get the best possible result. If I think I can still fight for general classification? It’s very hard, but Angliru is a terrible mountain, we are all very tired after such a tough competition, so everything can happen”.

Stage 20 is the last climbing stage and it’s a big one. The wearer of the jersey at the top of the super steep L’Angliru will win the 2013 Vuelta in Madrid on Sunday. The 142.2km stage begins in Aviles and ends atop the Alto de L’Angliru with sections hitting the 23% mark. Hang on – it promises to be a wild ride

Sixth placed Valverde explained that after 78 hours of racing, there isn’t much energy left in the tank. “Purito played his cards really well, and when he jumped, all the rivals looked at me, put all pressure on me to chase and I couldn’t do much more.”

“We have gone through very hard days in this Vuelta, always full gas – we’re feeling quite tired at the moment. There’s only one decisive day left before we get to Madrid. Angliru is a demanding climb where the only strategy is riding it at your own pace and forgetting about your rivals.”

“Tomorrow’s weather won’t be what I’d have liked, but we will do the best we can. Horner is looking really strong and will be the big favourite tomorrow; despite being a short gap, Nibali lost some more terrain on us two and Purito – that makes me consider Horner the strongest. The team was phenomenal once again.”

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

1 HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard 77:56:05
2 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 00:03
3 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 01:06
4 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 01:57
5 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 03:49
6 POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R La Mondiale 06:00
7 KONIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura 06:38
8 PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste 07:02
9 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel Euskaltel – Euskadi 07:45
10 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 11:05
11 KANGERT Tanel Astana Pro Team 11:18
12 SCARPONI Michele Lampre – Merida 12:13
13 HERRADA LOPEZ Jose Movistar Team 12:53
14 ARROYO DURAN David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 15:55
15 NERZ Dominik BMC Racing Team 18:52
16 KISERLOVSKI Robert RadioShack – Leopard 20:11
17 SORENSEN Chris Anker Team Saxo-Tinkoff 21:33
18 CARDOSO André Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 24:29:00
19 CAPECCHI Eros Movistar Team 25:06:00
20 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi 26:00:00


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