Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 13 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 13 Preview

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.

ve13After a rest day, an ITT and basically another rest day, we return to some proper action.

ve13aExpect 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.

ve13bThe kick up from 2.4km is steep, at around 11%. The uphill ramp, at 1km, is around the 4% mark. This is an extremely difficult finish and very hard to control.

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.

Prediction time…

The non-summit finish makes it an easy call…Luis Leon Sanchez!

David Hunter

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