Leopold König (NetApp) unleashed a winning acceleration in the final two kilometres of the eighth stage of the Vuelta a España. The Czech rider gave his Pro Continental team their first Grand Tour victory, upstaging overall contenders Dani Moreno (Katusha), Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff), Ivan Basso (Cannondale) and Thbaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) on Alto Peñas Blancas.
The suspense in the race for the overall continued with Vicenzo Nibali (Astana) losing time and the red leader’s jersey to Roche. The Irishman now leads Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard Trek) and Moreno by 17” in the general classification.
Christian Meier spent the day in a large breakaway that splintered on the summit finish. Meier, eager to conserve his energy for the more important objectives that lie ahead for ORICA-GreenEDGE, was one of the first of the escapees to go back to the bunch on the lower slopes of the category one climb.
"The plan today was actually to try to get Clarkey [Simon Clarke] up the road and ideally have him in the move with one teammate. It was quite a hard start today. Lots of different groups went away before mine. I was down the road in a small group and then another group bridged across to us. Just before that group went, Clarkey had made a big effort to try to go with a previous group. He hadn’t recovered enough to try again. In the end, I was in a group of 14 that eventually became 13 on my own.
"It was good for us to have someone there to represent the team given the size of the group, but having someone like Clarkey would have been a little bit better. I did a fair amount of work in the last few days, so I’m not very fresh. Clarkey would have had a better chance of taking it all the way to the finish." - Christian Meier
|1||Leopold Konig (Cze) - Team NetApp-Endura||4:09:46|
|2||Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) - Katusha||0:00:01|
|3||Nicolas Roche (Irl) - Team Saxo-Tinkoff||0:00:05|
|4||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) - FDJ.fr||ST|
|5||Ivan Basso (Ita) - Cannondale Pro Cycling||ST|
|6||Bart De Clercq (Bel) - Lotto Belisol||0:00:08|
|7||Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) - Euskaltel-Euskadi||0:00:13|
|8||Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) - Movistar Team||0:00:19|
|9||Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) - Katusha||ST|
|10||Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) - Sky Procycling||0:00:23|
|86||Christian Meier (Can) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:13:25|
|112||Simon Clarke (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:18:53|
|125||Simon Gerrans (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|126||Baden Cooke (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|133||Sam Bewley (NZl) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|169||Leigh Howard (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|170||Mitchell Docker (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|180||Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|