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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
Quintana soars to Vuelta a Espana lead on Alto de la Camperona - Colombian strongest GC climber on Vuelta's first major summit finish

After his disappointing Tour de France, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has bounced back with a vengeance in the Vuelta a España, dropping all his GC rivals on the Alto de la Camperona to clinch the overall lead in the Spanish Grand Tour.
It was the second time Quintana has worn the red jersey of Vuelta leader. In 2014 he followed the right wheels in a small bunch sprint to the ski station of Valdelinares and moved into the race lead, but then crashed out the following day. This time around Quintana's assault on la roja looked to be much more determined.
First Movistar cranked up the pace on the lower slopes of the Alto de la Camperona. Then with three kilometres to go, Quintana responded well to a move by Chris Froome (Team Sky), before blasting away himself, shedding both Froome and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) in the process.
Twelfth at the finish, Quintana gained 25 seconds on Contador and 33 on Froome, enough to put him into the overall lead by 19 seconds on teammate Alejandro Valverde and with 27 seconds on Froome. Former leader Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing Team) meanwhile, slumped to sixth place, 1:36 down.
Quintana not only has the overall lead, but in a very good day for Movistar, Valverde crossed the line in the same time as Froome and remains in second overall, as well as holding the lead in the 'combined' classification as well.
After a Tour where Quintana seemed a shadow of his former climbing self, the 2014 Giro d'Italia winner is now in control of the Vuelta and back to his best. And to judge by his tough-talking tone in the press conference, the Colombian has no intention of shedding the lead, either.
"I hope to defend this maillot all the way to the finish in Madrid," Quintana said categorically but with his habitual calm, "there's a long way to go, and in the short-term we've got two very difficult stages. But with the team we have, hopefully we can defend it well."
"I suffered a lot on this climb, but the objective was the lead today and to get some time on my rivals. Now, we'll try to defend it."
Quintana said that Movistar had tried to anticipate Froome's familiar policy of fading slightly in the first part of the climb and then coming back strongly in the second half, and that he had started the steepest, crucial, part of the eight kilometre ascent to the Alto de la Camperona more cautiously than usual.
"I was waiting and waiting for Froome to attack, and then when he did, I could respond. I was always keen to do something here, and I knew I was a bit stronger than before."
As for the idea that it could be too soon in the Vuelta to take the lead, Quintana was equally bullish in his response. "I have always come to the Vuelta with a good level, but I've never been able to reap the full reward. It's never too early to take the lead, it's always better to be ahead."
"The race has really started now, even though we've used up a lot of energy in this difficult first week in Galicia. For the moment, we're going to defend the lead."
Valverde was equally pleased, and given this is his third Grand Tour of 2016, it's hard not to see why.
"Froome did well, he did what he had to do, but Nairo did better," was Valverde's succinct analysis.
"As for Alberto, he never gives up, and I never thought the Vuelta was finished for him."
"And I'm still there, I'm keen not to lose my top spot overall, but if I've got to work for Nairo, then I will do that."
Asked if he could gain more time on his rivals on the much longer ascent to Covadonga, Quintana was not willing to give his game away.
"Perhaps. Every stage can be decisive," he argued in his typically cryptic style. But for now when it comes to the set piece mountain stages, round one has gone the Colombian's way.

#Vuelta #LaVuelta #VueltaEspana #Vuelta2016 #LaVuelta2016 #Froome #TeamSky #Chaves #OricaBikeExchange #Atapuma #BMC #Contador #Tinkoff #Meersman #EtixxQuickstep #Taaramäe #Katusha #Lagutin #Katusha 
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
I thought I was going to abandon the Vuelta a Espana - Spaniard turns in solid performance on first major mountain stage

Despite his injuries and considerable doubts whether he could continue in the race this morning, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) turned in a solid performance on one of the most difficult summit finishes of this year's Vuelta a España.
With brightly coloured bandages and tape on his leg and down his left side after a crash on stage 7, Contador was well-positioned at the foot of the decisive, steeper second segment of the Alto de La Camperona, moving onto the climb in sixth place in the main pack.
The Spaniard was then able to shadow Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Chris Froome (Team Sky) when the duo went clear, but seemed to sit up with around 1.3 kilometres to go when Froome broke away and Quintana then passed the Briton.
However, as Froome faded slightly, Contador massively regained momentum, and although Quintana was unreachable, the triple Vuelta winner passed Froome almost within sight of the line.
Contador, 13th on the stage, finally ceded 25 seconds to Quintana, but gained eight seconds on the Briton and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), as well as 32 seconds on Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange).
For Contador, having been apparently dropped, the turnaround was a very strong one, but his bounce-back after yesterday's crash was arguably even more remarkable.

#Vuelta #LaVuelta #VueltaEspana #Vuelta2016 #LaVuelta2016 #Froome #TeamSky #Chaves #OricaBikeExchange #Atapuma #BMC #Contador #Tinkoff #Meersman #EtixxQuickstep #Taaramäe #Katusha #Lagutin #Katusha 
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
 
Quintana makes a statement in the Vuelta's first mountaintop finish, riding into red as Lagutin nabs the stage 8 win
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
Preview: Vuelta a Espana opening week closes with trio of summit finishes - Emblematic Lagos de Covadonga finish rounds off tough first ten days

The Vuelta a Espana moves into its first serious round of mountain stages on Saturday, with three consecutive summit finishes. Rounding off will be the ultra-difficult ascent to the Lagos de Covadonga preceding a much-deserved rest day on Tuesday.
The Vuelta last tackled the Lagos de Covadonga in 2014, with Polish climber Przemyslaw Niemiec taking the win. Time differences between the favourites were minimal, with Alejandro Valverde finishing second, and taking five seconds on Alberto Contador in fourth, and 12 seconds on Chris Froome, who was sixth.
This year, though, could be a different story, as locally-born rider Samuel Sánchez (BMC Racing) tells Cyclingnews. Coming after such a tough series of opening stages in Galicia, the combination of three summit finishes - first to the ultra-steep Camperona on Saturday after a flat, long drag across the plains of northern Castille, then to Sánchez’s hometown climb of Naranco on Sunday, and finally to the Lagos de Covadonga on Monday could - he says, do much more damage
“You always have to respect any summit finish, but the ascent to Lagos is more than half an hour long, it’s a really tough climb,” says Sánchez, who is sixth overall and with BMC Racing team-mate Darwin Atapuma in the lead before stage eight. Coming on the tenth stage, that’s going to hurt a lot - and the legs are already hurting after such a difficult start to the Vuelta.”
The 12.2 kilometre Lagos de Covadonga is the Vuelta’s first 'Special Category' climb and summit finish, averaging 7.2 percent. For well over a decade, from its first ascent in 1983 when Marino Lejarreta won there, the Lagos was considered the most emblematic climb of the race, often with decisive battles for the overall, until it was upstaged by the Angliru – which was first climbed in 1999. Indeed, rather like Alpe d’Huez, there is a legend that whoever leads the Vuelta at the summit will be in atop the podium in Madrid - although rather like the Alpe d’Huez legend, it’s by no means always true. Since 1997, and a win for Pavel Tonkov, victory there has gone to breakaway specialists like double Tour stage winner Juan Miguel Mercado, Russian’s Andre Zinchenkov, or Caja Rural’s Antonio Piedra rather than really big GC hitters.
On this year’s 188-kilometre stage 10, the Lagos de Covadonga is immediately preceded by the shorter, first category, Alto del Fito climb. The Fito is famous for where Miguel Indurain dropped back and then abandoned the Vuelta, his last professional race barring one criterium, exactly 20 years ago in 1996. This year the Fito will begin the process of weeding out the main peloton, although as Sánchez points out, the ‘weeding out’ process has already started a week ago with the relentlessly undulating terrain in Galicia.
“There hasn’t been a single stage where you can say, ‘ah, it’s just a thousand metres of vertical climbing’ - no. It’s been continuously up, down, up down, in every stage right from the start of this Vuelta, with 2,000 or 2,500 metres of climbing every day.”
Sánchez prediction is for Sunday’s 164.5-kilometre stage, which concludes on the second category ascent to Naranco is that it will likely be won from a break. It is one of the Vuelta’s best-known climbs, and is likely to draw out huge crowds in support of locally-born Sánchez, but by far the easiest ascent of the three. However, “the Lakes are where the GC is really going to start to take shape.”
As for the Camperona on Saturday, an eight-kilometre climb with ramps of up to 25 percent and last tackled in 2014, Sánchez says “it’s really tough. In 2014 we went over another difficult climb beforehand, but this time, it’s straight to the foot of the climb. And you’ve got to go up it just the same.”
The other issue is, Sánchez says, that the weather is forecast to change radically, from heat to rain predicted for Sunday and Monday’s stage, “and that will change things a lot, you don’t know how your body will react, plus there’s always more risk of crashes.”
Following the interview, Sánchez hurt himself in a crash on stage seven - the same one that brought down Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) - but told Cyclingnews his injuries were only slight. As for whether having his team-mate Atapuma in the lead changes his own plans, he says that’s not the case.
“Darwin’s lead is a surprise, but he took his opportunity, and he did really well. It’s quite touching to see, we’re sharing rooms, and he’s glued to the telephone all the day. It’s nice to see how such a young rider - that’s in comparison to me because I’m 38 - is living through that experience. But it doesn’t change my own objectives, and there’s a heck of a lot of the Vuelta still to come,” he says, starting with the Camperona on Saturday.

#Vuelta #LaVuelta #VueltaEspana #Vuelta2016 #LaVuelta2016 #Froome #TeamSky #Chaves #OricaBikeExchange #Atapuma #BMC #Contador #Tinkoff #Meersman #EtixxQuickstep #Taaramäe #Katusha 
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Mens / Womens Pro News  - 
 
Chavanel wins Tour du Poitou-Charentes overall - Colbrelli sprints to final stage win

Brief Result
1 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF 4:03:42
2 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
3 Romain Feillu (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
4 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
5 Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
6 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
7 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
8 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
9 Anthony Maldonado (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
10 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie

Final General Classification
1 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie 15:31:11
2 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL - Jumbo 0:00:30
3 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
4 Primož Roglič (Slo) Team LottoNL - Jumbo 0:00:33
5 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:51
6 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ 0:00:55
7 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:56
8 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ 0:00:57
9 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNL - Jumbo 0:01:12
10 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Giant - Alpecin 0:01:20 
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Leo T
 
Time has not been kind to Chavanel. He looks horrible. 
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
The Vuelta a Espana peloton has been decimated by crashes and illness. In the first week of racing, 12 riders have abandoned the Spanish
 
What's going on with this Vuelta? After seven stages, a dozen riders have abandoned.
The Vuelta a Espana peloton has been decimated by crashes and illness. In the first week of racing, 12 riders have abandoned the Spanish
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
Froome battles through Vuelta a Espana's tough mountain finish - Sky captain: "I'm surviving"

Chris Froome (Team Sky) dug deep on the first major summit finish of the Vuelta a España, but lost time to new race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff). Still third overall, Froome gained time on everyone else except second placed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Fifteenth on the line, the Briton lost 33 seconds on the Alto de la Camperona to Quintana and eight to Contador, but crossed the line in the same time as Valverde. His teammate Leopold König also showed very strongly, and the former Vuelta mountain top stage winner is still fifth place overall.
As has often happened in the Vuelta before - and indeed, that was Froome's tactic on the summit finish at Ezaro a few days ago - the Briton ceded time on his rivals early on before regaining momentum.
He then went clear with Quintana and Contador, and whilst unable to follow the Colombian, accelerated hard and gained time on the Spaniard. However, in a remarkable late comeback, Contador then picked up his own pace and passed Froome close to the line.
Froome is third overall, 27 seconds back on Quintana and eight seconds down on Alejandro Valverde, but retains a solid 69 second advantage on Contador.
"It was a tough climb, and Nairo showed he was in good condition, so chapeau to him," Froome said at the finish "Alberto did great too, particularly after yesterday's crash, that shows he's a fighter."

"As for myself - I'm surviving."

Although losing time to Quintana - and a little to Contador - represents a setback, Froome's objective though, of riding himself into the race and hoping he can turn things around, remains more than intact.
He has gained some time on Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange), who was not able to stay with the favourites, and remains well within striking distance of the lead. Rather than the Alto de La Camperona, the Lagos de Covadonga will perhaps prove to be the really decisive day for Froome in this first segment of the Vuelta.

#Vuelta #LaVuelta #VueltaEspana #Vuelta2016 #LaVuelta2016 #Froome #TeamSky #Chaves #OricaBikeExchange #Atapuma #BMC #Contador #Tinkoff #Meersman #EtixxQuickstep #Taaramäe #Katusha #Lagutin #Katusha 
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
Lagutin wins atop Alto de la Camperona - Quintana attacks to claim race lead

Sergey Lagutin gave Katusha its first stage win of this year's Vuelta a España, attacking at the top of the Alto de la Camperona to best breakaway companions Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) and Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie) to the line.
Lagutin was incredulous at his victory, at age 35 finally taking a Grand Tour stage win.
"Finally the dream came true. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was little, to win a stage of a Grand Tour like the Vuelta, so when this happened I couldn’t believe that it happened to me," Lagutin said. "I’m 35 years old and at some point I thought that it was probably it but I still hoped that it was for me. "We don’t have our team leader (Joaquim Rodriguez) so we’re all free to do what we want and there are plenty of chances. We are still competitive and we’re looking forwards at this Vuelta."
The battle for the general classification went to Movistar on the stage, with Nairo Quintana putting in a blistering attack in the steep pitches near the end of the 8km climb to distance his rivals. A battered Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) put daylight between himself and Chris Froome (Sky) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to gain back some of the time he lost earlier in the week.
Contador has a lot of ground to make up at 1:39 from Quintana in seventh. Valverde sits second overall at 19 seconds from his teammate, with Froome third at 27 seconds.
"I wanted to stay with a cool head to day and keep my emotions together," Contador said. "It was a day that you needed to keep a calm head. I wasn’t able to follow Quintana, we have a lot of work to do. We did a lot of work with the physio this morning, I felt better and my legs were a lot better than I expected. You feel the pain but sometimes on the second day you feel worse than the first after an accident. So, we’ll see tomorrow because we still have to work. I’m ok, it’s difficult to keep a positive attitude sometimes especially with all these questions but let’s see day by day."

#Vuelta #LaVuelta #VueltaEspana #Vuelta2016 #LaVuelta2016 #Froome #TeamSky #Chaves #OricaBikeExchange #Atapuma #BMC #Contador #Tinkoff #Meersman #EtixxQuickstep #Taaramäe #Katusha #Lagutin   #Katusha  
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
 
We check out the Movistar time trial specialist's Canyon Speedmax.
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
Summary - Stage 7 (Maceda / Puebla de Sanabria) - La Vuelta a España 2016

Jonas VAN GENECHTEN (IAM CYCLING) won the Stage 7 in (Puebla de Sanabria) before Daniele BENNATI (TINKOFF) and Alejandro VALVERDE (MOVISTAR TEAM). Darwin ATAPUMA (BMC RACING TEAM) is the Red Jersey.

#Vuelta #LaVuelta #VueltaEspana #Vuelta2016 #LaVuelta2016 #Froome #TeamSky #Chaves #OricaBikeExchange #Atapuma #BMC #Contador #Tinkoff #Meersman #EtixxQuickstep #Taaramäe #Katusha 
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
La Vuelta a España 2016: Stage 7 on-board highlights

Maceda to Puebla de Sanabria and a 158.5km hilly stage was what the Vuelta a España riders faced on day seven of the race. Victory went to Jonas van Genechten and Darwin Atapuma held onto the overall leader's red jersey. Watch the action from the GoPro cameras mounted on the riders' bikes.

#Vuelta #LaVuelta #VueltaEspana #Vuelta2016 #LaVuelta2016 #Froome #TeamSky #Chaves #OricaBikeExchange #Atapuma #BMC #Contador #Tinkoff #Meersman #EtixxQuickstep #Taaramäe #Katusha 
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AUG-20 SEP-11 Vuelta a España  - 
 
The Italian Lampre – Merida team said it will carry on as a WorldTour squad in 2017, but it will take on a Chinese sponsor.
 
Looks like the WorldTour might be without a single Italian team in 2017 as Chinese group links up with Lampre.
The Italian Lampre – Merida team said it will carry on as a WorldTour squad in 2017, but it will take on a Chinese sponsor.
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Leo T
 
Yuck.
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