2009 Vuelta a España Stage 18: Talavera de la Reina - Ávila, 165km

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by steve, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Vuelta a España Stage 18: Talavera de la Reina - Ávila, 165km

     
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  2. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Apologies for this - but we had our first stage winner in a GT since 1992 today.
    Proud day.


    Philip Deignan won the latest stage of the Tour of Spain on Thursday, becoming the first Irishman to win a stage on a major tour since Stephen Roche's last-stage success at the Tour de France in 1992.


    The win takes the Letterkenny rider to ninth in the overall standings.

    Deignan outsprinted Czech Roman Kreuziger to win the 18th leg of the Tour.

    Deignan, riding for Cervelo, covered the 165 kilometre ride from Talavera de la Reina to Avila in 4 hours, 19 minutes and 14 seconds.

    Deignan finished three seconds clear of Kreuziger after the duo had mounted a late breakaway.

    Dane Jacob Fugslang was third, 16 seconds behind 25-year-old Deignan, while the main group of riders were around 10 minutes adrift of the winner.

    A group of four riders - Alejandro Valverde, Cadel Evans, David Garcia and Samuel Sanchez - stole a march on the rest of the pack to provisionally finish a second clear of the main group, meaning gold jersey wearer Valverde's lead over second-placed Robert Gesink is now set to be 32 seconds heading into the final three days of the Vuelta.

    Gesink, along with sixth-placed Ezequiel Mosquera had gone to hospital last night for tests after suffering a spill on yesterday's stage, and although both were able to race today, Gesink's hopes of pipping Valverde to glory on Sunday are getting slimmer by the day.

    Sanchez remains in third spot overall, one minute and 10 seconds behind his fellow Spaniard Valverde.

    Deignan, who moved into the top 10 with today's win, was part of nine-man group that escaped the peloton at around 40km, and that party then swelled to 16 by the 55km mark after being joined by several more breakaways.

    The advantage they held over the main group was over five minutes at one point, and although the Caisse d'Epargne and Euskaltel-Euskadi teams took turns in leading the chase, there appeared to be no great determination to reel the leaders back in.

    That meant the winner of the stage was likely to come from the breakaway group, and so it proved.

    Philippe Gilbert made an attempt at a solo escape with around 30km to go to the finishing line, but a series of riders from the remaining group of 15 set out to catch the Belgian and on the ride up Alto del Boqueron the lead pack was 12-strong - among them Deignan.

    It was on downslope from Boqueron that Deignan made his move, breaking away from the pack along with Kreuziger in an attack that ensured one of the two would be triumphant on the streets
    of Avila.

    Kreuziger was leading the charge in the final straight, but when Deignan pulled out off his back wheel the Czech rider had no response and the Irishman was able to take the victory unchallenged.

    On Friday, stage 19 sees the riders go from Avila to La Granja, a distance of around 180km
     
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