By David Hunter
Stage 12 Recap
What a boring stage! Break of 1, with no chance of success. Peloton went very slow, until the final 20km. There was a crash in the final corner, denying a few sprinters the chance of a win. It left Degenkolb with an easy job and he took the stage. Boonen, was a fast finishing second place, with Guarnieri in third!
Stage 13 Belorado – Obregon 188.7km
The long road North.
Expect a very, very fast start. The reason is that every team will be trying to place riders in the break. The profile is a classic breakaway stage, with it’s easy start and difficult second half. The 3 climbs are:-
Alto Estacas de Trueba 11.1km at 3%
Puerto de la Braguia 6km at 6%
Alto del Caracol 10.5km at 5.5%
The cat 2 climb is very difficult. Within it, there are many downhill sections and double digit, uphill sections. A typical, cat 2 climb in the Vuelta!
If that’s not enough, we also have a short, steep climb, near the finish.
I would expect to see the GC riders attack each other, at the end of this stage, but will it be for victory?
The only sprinter capable of winning this stage, is Michael Matthews. Orica have a very strong team, but it will be difficult for them to control the race. The difficult finale, might encourage Katusha to help control the stage. Will Cannanodale and Peter Sagan be interested in this stage? He certainly would be capable of beating Matthews in a sprint, especially as the Aussie crashed today. Philippe Gilbert is also hitting form and is well suited to the finish, but expect BMC to put riders in the break. It really does need, at least, 3 teams to work. If this doesn’t happen, the break wins.
All the teams know this, so expect to see a huge fight to get in the break. The type of stage we have opens the door to more riders, than in a really mountainous stage.
Who are the contenders for the breakaway lottery!
Lampre – Conti
AG2R – Dupont, Nocentini
Astana – Lutsenko
Belkin – Tjallingii
BMC – Dennis, Evans, Quinziato
Caja Rural – the whole team!
Cannondale – Bennett, De Marchi
Cofidis – Coppel, Hardy
Europcar – Sicard, Berhane, Cousin
FDJ – Le Bon
Garmin – Hesjedal, Millar, Haas
Giant – x
IAM – Fumeaux, Tschopp
Katusha – Trofimov
Lotto – Hansen
Movistar – Moreno
MTN – Van Rensburg
OPQS – Verona
Orica – Clarke(crashed today), Yates
Sky – Kiryienka, Kennaugh
Trek – Felline
If Katusha and Movistar get a rider in the break, it will stay away. The finish is also good for Oliver Zaugg, if Tinkoff-Saxo want to get greedy and go for a stage win. It would also see him move closer, on GC.
The winner of the stage will have to cope with short, steep gradients, but an ability to time-trial would also come in handy. It would be possible to attack on the cat 2 climb and stay away, as long as the group look at each other.
The non-summit finish makes it an easy call…Luis Leon Sanchez!
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