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Vuelta’13 St.16: Wonderful Warren!

Race Report: It’s official, the 2013 Vuelta a España is crazy! Just when we thought Vincenzo Nibali looked to be in control; all hell lets loose and the Italian struggles to stay with his main rivals. At the same time the young Breton; Warren Barguil shows the old hands how to win Stages (again) and there is still a week to go.

The young and the French are back in cycling, one Vuelta stage win wasn’t enough for Warren Barguil and he went out today and took another for good measure. He was on the attack all day and after it looked as though Rigoberto Uran would snatch the victory from him he showed the confidence of a much older rider and edged out the Colombian on the line. The GC men had their own battle further down the mountain and one after the other they attacked Vincenzo Nibali until he could chase no more and lost time on to the top men.

The Course
Stage 16 from Graus to Sallent de Gallego-Aramón Formigal is on paper a very tough stage, but after the bad weather and hard stages so far there might not be too many fresh legs for the battle. Three categorised climbs; after 26 kilometres the Cat 3 Puerto de la Foradada (1,020 metres), at 100 kilometres the Cat 2 Puerto de Cotéfablo (1,425 metres) and then the Cat 1 Aramón Formigal (1,800 metres) to finish off the 146.8 kilometres of fun.

Vuelta A España 2013 Stage 16 Preview with Google Maps Fly Through by Global Cycling Network:

How the Race Unfolded
The weather conditions were better than the weekend with a temperature of 23ºC in Graus. Eight riders didn’t wait long before trying their luck, but as Lampre-Merida didn’t have a representative up front they started the chase, this was then taken up by Movistar.

At the start of the Puerto de le Foradada (20K) they had 42 seconds. On the climb riders were dropped from the break and more joined them and the race was in a complete state of flux.

Puerto de la Foradada
At the top of the climb Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) took more points toward his KOM jersey, Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol) 2nd and Juan Jose Oroz (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 3rd. Twenty three riders had a slight lead, but Astana put a stop to it before it got anything of a lead. The action was mostly behind the main peloton as riders were trying to get back in contention after the shake-up of the first hours racing at 46.8 kph.

The first intermediate sprint came after 53 kilometres in Boltaña and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was first, picking up a 3 second bonus, followed by Andriy Grivko (Astana) and Rinaldo Nocentino (Ag2r-La Mondiale); the bunch was still split into two large groups, but with only seconds between them.

Everything got together eventually and then the break of the day formed, including: Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), Martin Kohler & Dominik Nerz (BMC), Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo-Tinkoff), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Nico Sijmens (Cofidis), Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura) and Rigoberto Uran (Sky) they had a 1 minute lead after 65 kilometres, which slowly crept up to 1:22 after a further 10 kilometres, Movistar were not allowing it any more of gap.

Puerto de Cotéfablo
Through the feed in Sarvicé with 63 kilometres to go the leaders had one and a half minutes on the bunch and the second climb of the day started almost immediately. On the climb; Movistar lifted the speed in the peloton and dragged the break back to 27 seconds coming to the end of the second hour which was run off at 44 kph.

Beñat Intxausti and Sylvester Szmyd both Movistar attacked from the peloton to cross to the escape, soon after to be joined by Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) and Jorge Azanza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) which opened the gates for about another 10 to try join the front group and so Astana was forced chase with so many riders up the road.

The first group crossed the summit 44 seconds before the chasers and 56 seconds to the Astana led peloton. Nico Sijmens (Cofidis) was 1st, Amets Txurrua (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) 2nd and Egoi Martinez (Eusaltel-Euskadi) 3rd.

After 100 kilometres of racing all the groups were coming together on the descent from the Cotéfablo into the village of Gavin. In the valley the large escape group managed to put more than a minute between itself and the peloton as Astana eased off with their chase. Through the second intermediate it was Martin Kohler (BMC), Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Sylvester Szmyd (Movistar) in that order across the line.

The big group ahead was now made up of seventeen riders and Astana were not very interested in riding after them, but also the escape was not working well as everyone was watching out for a stage win.

The break was: Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), Dominik Nerz & Martin Kohler (BMC), Chris Anker Sorensen & Niki Sorensen (Saxo-Tinkoff), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Nico Sijmens (Cofidis), Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura), Rigoberto Uran (Sky), Sylvester Szmyd & Benat Inxtausti (Movistar), Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge), Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano), Vladimir Gusev (Katusha), Mikael Cherel (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Juan Manuel Garate (Belkin), they soon had a lead of over 3 minutes.

In front of the bunch another group of six had split off trying to cross, they were: Jose Herrada (Movistar), Dmitry Kozontchuk (Katusha), Maciej Paterski (Cannondale), Ben Gastauer (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) and Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA). Cardoso, Herrada, Mate, Kozontchuk, got across and Euskaltel-Eusadi put riders on the front of the peloton.

Before the finishing climb of the day there was a sharp uncategorised climb of the Tramacatilla de Tena, it split the leaders and it was the young Frenchman Warren Barguil who was the keenest to push on, but they all came together on a flat section before the final climb started with 14.4 kilometres to go.

The Final Climb: Aramón Formigal
Juan Manuel Garate (Belkin) wasn’t hanging about on the fast road round a small lake, Mikael Cherel (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Barguil went with him and under the 11K banner they had just under 3 minutes on the peloton. The others in the break weren’t letting the trio away and at the base of the Aramón Formigal they were together again.

Barguil was in a frisky mood and went for another solo, he had 34 seconds on the other breakaway guys at 7 kilometres out and the bunch was around 3 minutes back.

5 kilometres to go and he had 38 seconds over Cardoso, Herrada, Cherel and Chris Anker Sorensen. The young Breton had turned into a head wind, but the chase was not getting it together and riders were not working and split.

On the open climb Barguil could see the others on the lower bends and at 2K’s Uran, Huzarski and Nerz could be seen on the chase behind him.

Valverde attacked from the GC bunch, but Astana were straight on him. Next was Rodriguez to give a big jump on a sharp section, Horner was after him, Valverde and Pinot were the next to go and Vincenzo Nibali was in trouble, although he had Konig from Netapp-Endura for company.

Up front Uran caught Barguil as they passed under the 1K banner; they in turn were close to being caught by Nerz and Huzarsi. Uran could see the line and opened the sprint, but Barguil wanted another Vuelta stage and got the better of the Colombian in a desperately close sprint.


At the finish Rodriguez was the first of the GC hopefuls to cross the line, Valverde and Horner were 3 seconds later and Vincenzo Nibali was 28 seconds back. Nibali held the overall lead, but now Horner is at 28 seconds, Valverde at 1:14 and Rodriguez at 2:29 and there is still a very hard week to come.

Barguil said: “My DS told me to rest for the final week, but I had good legs and I went for it!”


Rest day tomorrow, but la Vuelta will be back on PEZ on Wednesday.

Vuelta a España Stage 16 Result:
1. Warren Barguil (Fra) Argos-Shimano in 3:43:31
2. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky
3. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp-Endura at 0:03
4. Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC at 0:08
5. José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar at 0:20
6. Mikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:37
7. Maciej Paterski (Pol) Cannondale
8. Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural- Seguros RGA AT 0:40
9. Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:42
10. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:45.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 16:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 64:06:01
2. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard Trek at 0:28
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:14
4. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 2:29
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 3:38
6. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Saxo-Tinkoff at 3:43
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 4:37
8. Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura at 6:17
9. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 7:33
10. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 9:21.

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