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After another godawful tip last night trying to get some sprint points. I’m now sitting in the ‘Farolillo Rojo’ (or Lanterne Rouge). I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a Vuelta rest day. Grand Tour tipping is hard work…
Woddy’s Stage 8 Tipping And Stage Writeup
Last night was the first stage televised for the Vuelta and the finish was cracker. Rodriguez or “Purito” (a type of cigar Spanish cigar) was always going to be the favourite and again he showed true class in being held up as the man and coming through with the goods. Katusha had the stage in a stranglehold from the start, keeping a reign on the break and then shutting down varied attacks from Cofidis riders, in particular Taaramae and Moncoutie. Me thinks Cofidis’ Director Sportif is a bit upset with the lack of wins this season?? But none of these stuck and with Lampre joining the party at the front and keeping the pace high nothing was going to get away.
As the group of about 50 hit the final climb the current leader Chavanel was dangling off the back and looking in real strife, well aware that his time in red was about to finish. Chapeau Sylvain! I have a soft spot for Sylvain. That said, I’ll never tip the bloke…Up front though Lampre were keeping it real but Scarponi and Van Den Broek looked like cats on a hot tin roof, nervously looking back, waiting for the touchpaper to be lit. VDB kept the pace up and as he dropped off and Scarponi briefly lifted the pace to take the lead, “Purito” decided the 20% ramp was the place to drop the hammer and immediately opened a gap. And so it was done and Rodriguez accelerated away to win by 9 seconds from a steady Scarponi. Rodriguez is just flying at the moment and i hope that he can replicate this next year during the Spring Classics as it will make for electrifying viewing. That said the other Vuelta GC contenders know that Rodriguez time trails almost as well as Michael “The Chicken” Rasmussen and you can lose a lot of time in a 47 km time trail, so maybe were keeping some of the powder dry for the weeks to come? Ah the mystery of the stage race, with all the subplots intermingling and conflicting!
Enough of indulging my literary whims and onto the results. Multiple tippers picked Joaquim Rodriguez so the winning’s jackpot carries across to the next stage.
In the GC Ash has extended his lead and is now 1:06 ahead of AJS with Georgio Fripley back 1:16. Ash has tipped superbly so far but has he gone too hard too early? Is he the tipping equivalent of Chavanel and only keeping the jersey warm for the true contenders?? At the other end of the table and CT is really showing us how to party it up in the Venga Bus now being over an hour down on GC!
Onto the sprint and Georgio Fripley has wrested the green jersey back and sits on top with 93 points with AJS on 82 and Ash on 71. It seems these three are commanding the competition at the moment and really making it a race amongst three.
In the KOM we dont have any changes amazingly, given it was quite a bumpy stage though it seems the break soaked up the points. So Georgio Fripley is still on top on 13 with 3 stuck back on 9 points. This competition will animate itself in the coming days.
Tonight’s stage looks fairly pedestrian until the final climb which gains over 1000 metres to a summit finish. After 8 days hard racing and a long time trial tomorrow you would think that the heavy hitters will take the chance today to call a truce and let the lesser lights fight it out for the stage win. I dont see it getting animated on the final climb so if a break doesn’t stick i would look for your climber who is no overall GC threat such as a John Gadret type rider.
Stage 8 Results
1. Joaquim Rodriguez, Team Katusha, 4:49:01
2. Michele Scarponi, Lampre-ISD, at 0:09
3. Bauke Mollema, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 0:09
4. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Omega Pharma-Lotto, at 0:09
5. Jakob Fuglsang, Leopard-Trek, at 0:12
6. Igor Anton, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:15
7. Nicolas Roche, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 0:15
8. Denis Menchov, Geox-TMC, at 0:15
9. Daniel Martin, Garmin-Cervélo, at 0:15
10. Fredrik Kessiakoff, Astana, at 0:15
General Classification After Stage 8
1. Joaquim Rodriguez, Team Katusha, 32:18:16
2. Daniel Moreno, Team Katusha, at 0:32
3. Jakob Fuglsang, Leopard-Trek, at 0:34
4. Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 0:45
5. Michele Scarponi, Lampre-ISD, at 0:51
6. Fredrik Kessiakoff, Astana, at 0:53
7. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Omega Pharma-Lotto, at 0:55
8. Bauke Mollema, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 0:59
9. Sylvain Chavanel, Quick Step, at 1:00
10. Maxime Monfort, Leopard-Trek, at 1:01
Stage 9 Preview