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BAEZA, Spain (VN) — Garmin-Sharp is now putting all of its GC eggs in one basket in the form of Daniel Martin. The Irishman is the team’s sole survivor going into the second week of the Vuelta a España.
Andrew Talansky started the Vuelta admittedly not in fighting form in his comeback from his emotional Tour de France exit, while Ryder Hesjedal, who had hoped for a strong GC performance, lost his options in a pair of tough days in the first week.
That leaves the 28-year-old Martin to carry the team’s GC weight into the Vuelta’s second half. Speaking to VeloNews before the start of Saturday’s stage, Martin said he’s ready.
“The main thing is to try to keep the options for the GC. It would have been nice to have more cards to play, but that’s not the case. Now it’s me,” Martin said. “This position is a bit new to me, and I haven’t really led at a grand tour before. I am looking forward to it, and we’ll see how it goes in the mountains.”
Martin has had a solid opening week, punching to second in stage 3, and riding close to the top favorites to keep his GC options intact. Martin ended Saturday’s chaotic sprint stage 15th overall at 1:34 back.
Martin admitted he buckled on the short but steep climb up La Zubia in stage 5. Garmin-Sharp was driving the pace, but Martin suddenly was pedaling squares when the main players pushed forward. The searing heat in the first week of the Vuelta certainly wasn’t helping.
“It’s been a pretty good start, but we lost a bit of time when they tried to split up the bunch. It wasn’t really in the crosswinds, but in the downhill,” he said.
“Ryder losing his GC shot was a bit of a blow, but personally, it’s been a good start. I felt good on the uphill finish [La Zubia], but suddenly I just didn’t have the legs. I think it was the heat. The body stopped working with 2km to go. I was looking really good, then suddenly I wasn’t. It wasn’t like it was a slow decline. Hopefully the cooler temperatures will treat me well. I’ve felt good otherwise.”
This Vuelta is Martin’s seventh grand-tour start. A confirmed stage-hunter and one-day racer — he won the 2013 Liège-Bastogne-Liège but crashed on the final corner this year when he had another win in his sights — Martin admits he’s not sure if he’s cut out to be a contender in the three-week tours.
He struggles on longer, power-based time trial courses, and so far, his best grand tour was 13th overall in the 2011 Vuelta.
Martin crashed out in the opening team time trial at the 2014 Giro d’Italia, so this Vuelta could be a turning point in his career. If he does well, he could continue to work to develop his GC credentials. If not, he might look at focusing on winning stages, and on the prestigious one-day races, such as Liège or Giro di Lombardia, that fit him like a glove.
“I am still discovering myself as a rider,” Martin said. “Sometimes I don’t even think I like this stage-racing business. So far, it seems people are content with not losing the race, rather than winning the race.
“You saw the other day when we took control of the race, to try to win. We seemed like the only team who wanted to try to win the stage, and the other teams seemed more worried about saving energy for the next days. It’s not the style of racing I enjoy so much. I prefer the one-day races. Maybe I will change during this Vuelta. I am definitely maturing mentally as well.”
The next 72 hours could well decide much of Martin’s immediate future during this Vuelta. Sunday’s mountaintop finale is perfect for Martin’s punchy, attacking style. He can stay with the top contenders, and boasts a strong finishing kick to win stages like the Valdelinares summit finale.
And then there is the long, individual time trial at Borja on Tuesday, hardly Martin’s favored ground. If he loses too much time, he could revert into his role as a stage-hunter. Yet if he can manage to stay close, he will keep fighting into the final week.
“The Vuelta is long, and the hardest climbs are still to come,” Martin said. “I will try every day, like we’ve been doing so far. Whether that’s a stage win or a strong placing in GC, we’ll see.”
The post Garmin-Sharp puts its Vuelta eggs in Daniel Martin’s basket appeared first on VeloNews.com.
- 1. Nacer BOUHANNI, FDJ.fr, in 4:29:00
- 2. Michael MATTHEWS, Orica-GreenEdge, at :00
- 3. Peter SAGAN, Cannondale, at :00
- 4. John DEGENKOLB, Giant-Shimano, at :00
- 5. Greg HENDERSON, Lotto-Belisol, at :00
- 6. Robert WAGNER, Belkin, at :00
- 7. Kristian SBARAGLI, MTN-Qhubeka, at :00
- 8. Roberto FERRARI, Lampre-Merida, at :00
- 9. Tom BOONEN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
- 10. Jasper STUYVEN, Trek Factory Racing, at :00
- 11. Danilo WYSS, BMC Racing, at :00
- 12. Sébastien HINAULT, IAM Cycling, at :00
- 13. Damiano CARUSO, Cannondale, at :00
- 14. Michael Valgren ANDERSEN, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :00
- 15. Geoffrey SOUPE, FDJ.fr, at :00
- 16. Gerald CIOLEK, MTN-Qhubeka, at :00
- 17. Christopher FROOME, Sky, at :00
- 18. Alexandr KOLOBNEV, Katusha, at :00
- 19. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, BMC Racing, at :00
- 20. Wilco KELDERMAN, Belkin, at :00
- 21. Robert GESINK, Belkin, at :00
- 22. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at :00
- 23. Rigoberto URAN URAN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
- 24. Ivan ROVNY, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :00
- 25. Fabio ARU, Astana, at :00
- 26. Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :00
- 27. Nikolas MAES, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
- 28. Maxime MONFORT, Lotto-Belisol, at :00
- 29. Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS, Movistar, at :00
- 30. Eduard VORGANOV, Katusha, at :00
- 31. Koen DE KORT, Giant-Shimano, at :00
- 32. Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO, Orica-GreenEdge, at :00
- 33. Simon CLARKE, Orica-GreenEdge, at :00
- 34. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Katusha, at :00
- 35. Giampaolo CARUSO, Katusha, at :00
- 36. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, Sky, at :00
- 37. Daniel MARTIN, Garmin-Sharp, at :00
- 38. Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO, Garmin-Sharp, at :00
- 39. Kanstantsin SIUTSOU, Sky, at :00
- 40. Wouter POELS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
- 41. Fabio FELLINE, Trek Factory Racing, at :00
- 42. Dominik NERZ, BMC Racing, at :00
- 43. Guillaume BOIVIN, Cannondale, at :00
- 44. Warren BARGUIL, Giant-Shimano, at :00
- 45. Laurens TEN DAM, Belkin, at :00
- 46. Pieter SERRY, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
- 47. Philip DEIGNAN, Sky, at :00
- 48. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at :00
- 49. Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at :00
- 50. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC Racing, at :00
- 51. Dario CATALDO, Sky, at :00
- 52. Andrey AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA, Movistar, at :00
- 53. Jerome COPPEL, Cofidis, at :00
- 54. Steve MORABITO, BMC Racing, at :00
- 55. Daniele BENNATI, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :10
- 56. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, Lampre-Merida, at :13
- 57. Vasil KIRYIENKA, Sky, at :13
- 58. Tobias LUDVIGSSON, Giant-Shimano, at :16
- 59. Mitchell DOCKER, Orica-GreenEdge, at :18
- 60. Christian KNEES, Sky, at :20
- 61. Vegard BREEN, Lotto-Belisol, at :20
- 62. Christophe LE MEVEL, Cofidis, at :53
- 63. Patrick GRETSCH, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :53
- 64. Andrea GUARDINI, Astana, at :53
- 65. Romain SICARD, Europcar, at :53
- 66. Romain HARDY, Cofidis, at :53
- 67. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, Cofidis, at :53
- 68. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, Cofidis, at :53
- 69. Sergio PARDILLA BELLON, MTN-Qhubeka, at :53
- 70. David ARROYO DURAN, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at :53
- 71. Yauheni HUTAROVICH, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :53
- 72. Nathan HAAS, Garmin-Sharp, at :53
- 73. Maarten TJALLINGII, Belkin, at :53
- 74. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, Katusha, at :53
- 75. Lloyd MONDORY, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :53
- 76. Oliver ZAUGG, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :53
- 77. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Trek Factory Racing, at :53
- 78. Filippo POZZATO, Lampre-Merida, at :53
- 79. Paul MARTENS, Belkin, at :53
- 80. Matthias KRIZEK, Cannondale, at :53
- 81. Philippe GILBERT, BMC Racing, at :53
- 82. Jesse SERGENT, Trek Factory Racing, at :53
- 83. Paolo TIRALONGO, Astana, at :53
- 84. Adriano MALORI, Movistar, at :53
- 85. Vicente REYNES MIMO, IAM Cycling, at :53
- 86. Matteo PELUCCHI, IAM Cycling, at :53
- 87. Marcel AREGGER, IAM Cycling, at :53
- 88. Gert JOEAAR, Cofidis, at :53
- 89. Koldo FERNANDEZ, Garmin-Sharp, at :53
- 90. Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT, MTN-Qhubeka, at :53
- 91. Imanol ERVITI, Movistar, at :53
- 92. Johan LE BON, FDJ.fr, at :53
- 93. Tanel KANGERT, Astana, at :53
- 94. Adam HANSEN, Lotto-Belisol, at :53
- 95. Oscar GATTO, Cannondale, at :53
- 96. Jimmy ENGOULVENT, Europcar, at :53
- 97. Winner ANACONA GOMEZ, Lampre-Merida, at :53
- 98. Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL, Katusha, at :53
- 99. Gianluca BRAMBILLA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :53
- 100. Sébastien TURGOT, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :53
- 101. Martin VELITS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :53
- 102. Johan VAN SUMMEREN, Garmin-Sharp, at :53
- 103. Maciej BODNAR, Cannondale, at :53
- 104. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, Lampre-Merida, at :53
- 105. Valerio CONTI, Lampre-Merida, at :53
- 106. Chad HAGA, Giant-Shimano, at :53
- 107. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at :53
- 108. José HERRADA LOPEZ, Movistar, at 1:08
- 109. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, Lotto-Belisol, at 1:08
- 110. Murilo Antonio FISCHER, FDJ.fr, at 1:08
- 111. Ramon SINKELDAM, Giant-Shimano, at 1:08
- 112. Romain ZINGLE, Cofidis, at 1:08
- 113. Dmitry KOZONTCHUK, Katusha, at 1:08
- 114. Yaroslav POPOVYCH, Trek Factory Racing, at 1:08
- 115. Luke ROWE, Sky, at 1:08
- 116. Jacopo GUARNIERI, Astana, at 1:13
- 117. Jerome COUSIN, Europcar, at 1:13
- 118. Rohan DENNIS, BMC Racing, at 1:13
- 119. Matteo TOSATTO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 1:16
- 120. Vincent JEROME, Europcar, at 1:26
- 121. Jaco VENTER, MTN-Qhubeka, at 1:52
- 122. Tony MARTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 1:52
- 123. Fabian CANCELLARA, Trek Factory Racing, at 1:55
- 124. Karol DOMAGALSKI, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 1:55
- 125. Stef CLEMENT, Belkin, at 2:23
- 126. Moreno HOFLAND, Belkin, at 2:23
- 127. Martijn KEIZER, Belkin, at 2:23
- 128. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, Giant-Shimano, at 2:23
- 129. Nikias ARNDT, Giant-Shimano, at 2:23
- 130. Lawrence WARBASSE, BMC Racing, at 2:23
- 131. Kenny ELISSONDE, FDJ.fr, at 2:23
- 132. Damiano CUNEGO, Lampre-Merida, at 2:23
- 133. Chris Anker SÖRENSEN, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2:23
- 134. Kristof VANDEWALLE, Trek Factory Racing, at 2:23
- 135. Mikel LANDA MEANA, Astana, at 2:23
- 136. Javier Francisco ARAMENDIA LORENTE, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 2:23
- 137. Maxime BOUET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:23
- 138. Carlos VERONA QUINTANILLA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 2:23
- 139. Adam YATES, Orica-GreenEdge, at 2:23
- 140. Nathan BROWN, Garmin-Sharp, at 2:23
- 141. Przemyslaw NIEMIEC, Lampre-Merida, at 2:23
- 142. Bart DE CLERCQ, Lotto-Belisol, at 2:23
- 143. Amets TXURRUKA, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 2:23
- 144. Francesco LASCA, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 2:23
- 145. Guillaume LEVARLET, Cofidis, at 2:23
- 146. Hubert DUPONT, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:23
- 147. Gorka IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Movistar, at 2:23
- 148. Yury TROFIMOV, Katusha, at 2:23
- 149. Paolo LONGO BORGHINI, Cannondale, at 2:23
- 150. Sergei CHERNETSKI, Katusha, at 2:23
- 151. Natnael BERHANE, Europcar, at 2:23
- 152. Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, MTN-Qhubeka, at 2:23
- 153. Rinaldo NOCENTINI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:23
- 154. Peio BILBAO, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 2:23
- 155. Brett LANCASTER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 2:23
- 156. Jacques JANSE VAN RENSBURG, MTN-Qhubeka, at 2:23
- 157. Cédric PINEAU, FDJ.fr, at 2:23
- 158. Luis MAS BONET, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 2:23
- 159. Damien GAUDIN, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:23
- 160. Maxime MEDEREL, Europcar, at 2:23
- 161. Yannick MARTINEZ, Europcar, at 2:23
- 162. Pirmin LANG, IAM Cycling, at 2:23
- 163. Louis MEINTJES, MTN-Qhubeka, at 2:23
- 164. Yohan BAGOT, Cofidis, at 2:23
- 165. Sam BEWLEY, Orica-GreenEdge, at 2:30
- 166. Dan CRAVEN, Europcar, at 2:30
- 167. Ryder HESJEDAL, Garmin-Sharp, at 3:00
- 168. David MILLAR, Garmin-Sharp, at 3:00
- 169. Peter KENNAUGH, Sky, at 3:00
- 170. Andrew TALANSKY, Garmin-Sharp, at 3:00
- 171. Alexey LUTSENKO, Astana, at 3:51
- 172. Sander ARMEE, Lotto-Belisol, at 5:52
- 173. Jay Robert THOMSON, MTN-Qhubeka, at 6:47
- 174. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 6:47
- 175. Johann TSCHOPP, IAM Cycling, at 6:47
- 176. Andrey ZEITS, Astana, at 6:47
- 177. Jonathan FUMEAUX, IAM Cycling, at 6:47
- 178. Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 6:47
- 179. Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 6:47
- 180. Javier MORENO BAZAN, Movistar, at 6:47
- 181. Julian David ARREDONDO MORENO, Trek Factory Racing, at 6:47
- 182. Daniil FOMINYKH, Astana, at 6:47
- 183. Cameron MEYER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 6:47
- 184. Lawson CRADDOCK, Giant-Shimano, at 6:47
- 185. Elia FAVILLI, Lampre-Merida, at 6:47
- 186. George BENNETT, Cannondale, at 6:47
- 187. Alessandro DE MARCHI, Cannondale, at 6:47
- 188. Pim LIGTHART, Lotto-Belisol, at 8:59
- 189. Bob JUNGELS, Trek Factory Racing, at 8:59
- 190. Laurent MANGEL, FDJ.fr, at 8:59
- 191. Dominic KLEMME, IAM Cycling, at 8:59
- 192. Jonathan CASTROVIEJO NICOLAS, Movistar, at 8:59
Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) out-kicked Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) and a resurgent Peter Sagan (Cannondale)on Saturday, winning stage 8 of the Vuelta a España in a bunch dash to the line.
Bouhanni, who had protested Giant-Shimano sprinter John Degenkolb’s tactics in stage 5, didn’t mind changing his own line considerably to take victory on Saturday.
“I had good legs today. I was a bit surprised I could win. I went early, because I did not want to get boxed in,” he said.
“It was a hard stage, very nervous when the bunch started to split up. My team did a great job to help me stay in good position.”
The 207km stage from Baeza to Albacete saw a two-man break go clear: Elia Favilli (Lampre-Merida) and Francisco Javier Aramendia Llorente (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
The escapees took six minutes at one point before being retrieved with less than 40km remaining.
Then, with 25km to go, the bunch split into echelons. The front two groups came back together, and up front were Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Cadel Evans and Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing), Sagan, and Chris Froome (Sky), among others.
Another group was chasing a half-minute down, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and Degenkolb.
“It was a crazy end. The wind was causing problems, but in the end we managed to save the day,” said Valverde, who added that he knew Quintana had been caught out.
“I was aware of it. I didn’t know exactly if Quintana was closing or not, but I couldn’t look back. I just had to keep going at the front.”
BMC was driving the pace in the lead group, with Manuel Quinziato and Steve Morabito. But inch by inch, more riders fought their way up to the leaders and it was a sizable group that formed up to contest the finale.
Giant took up the pace going into the final left-hander and through a roundabout with 2.5km to go. Then Orica-GreenEdge and Cannondale moved forward for Matthews and Sagan, with Orica on the point coming out of the final turn.
Degenkolb, Matthews, Sagan and Bouhanni battled for the win at the end, with the FDJ rider edging his Orica rival at the line. Sagan crossed third.
“I’ve won twice in a week, so I am happy,” said Bouhanni. “I was close to abandoning a few days ago, and I am happy that I made it to this stage.”
Despite all the action in the wind, when the overall was tallied, Valverde retained the red leader’s jersey by 15 seconds over teammate Quintana, with Contador third at 18 seconds.
The post Nacer Bouhanni wins stage 8; Alejandro Valverde leads Vuelta appeared first on VeloNews.com.
BRUSSELS (AFP) — Belgium cycling lost one of its budding stars on Saturday as the local media reported the death of junior world time-trial champion Igor Decraene.
He was 18.
The cause of death was not divulged although the RTBF Sport website said he had been involved in an accident.
Decraens won the time-trial title in Florence last year, having also collected the national crown. He was in line to ride for Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s development squad.
“Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Igor Decraene,” the team said via Twitter.
His cycling club, De Tieltse Rennersclub, said via Facebook: “Our thoughts are with his parents, his brothers and his family, to whom we wish a lot of strength and courage in this terrible ordeal.”