Image © Unipublic
Vuelta 2009 Stage 12: Almeria – Alto de Velefique, 179KM
Ryder Hesjedal recovered when apparently beaten by Xacobeo-Galicia’s David Garcia to win his Garmin-Slipstream team their second successive stage of the Vuelta on the Alto de Velefique today. His victory was the first by a Canadian in a Grand Tour since 1998, and came only three days after his second place in Murcia.
Alejandro Valverde of Caisse d’Epargne retains the golden jersey, with the only significant change in the grand classification being Robert Gesink of Rabobank making up 18 seconds on Valverde and Silence-Lotto’s Cadel Evans. The Dutchman made an attack off the front of the golden jersey group a kilometer or so out and ended up only six seconds behind the stage winner.
Hesjedal and Garcia were the sole survivors of an 11-man breakaway group that had got away on the day’s first climb of the Velefique, which the riders negotiated twice during the stage.
Other riders in that escape group included Rabobank’s Oscar Freire and Astana’s Alexandre Vinokourov, back from his two-year suspension for doping. The Kazakh rider struggled badly on the day’s second climb, the Category 1 Calar Alto, and abandoned the race later.
With the UCI Road World Championships looming, several riders chose not to start today’s spell, including Garmin-Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar, winner of the previous stage into Caravaca de la Cruz, and Linus Gerdemann of Milram.
Tomorrow’s 172-kilometre stage from Berja to Sierra Nevada also has a summit finish, as does Sunday’s stage, and by the time the weekend is over we should have a pretty good idea of the identity of the contenders for the podium places in Madrid.
Top 20 Stage 12
1) Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream) 05:11:10 2) David García (Xacobeo Galicia) 00:00:01 3) Robert Gesink (Rabobank) 00:00:06 4) Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) 00:00:06 5) Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) 00:00:16 6) Alejandro Valverde (Caisse D'Epargne) 00:00:16 7) Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) 00:00:16 8) Ivan Basso (Liquigas) 00:00:16 9) Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) 00:00:16 10) Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:00:16 11) Juan José Cobo (Fuji-Servetto) 00:00:21 12) Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse D'Epargne) 00:00:28 13) Sylvester Szmyd (Liquigas) 00:00:33 14) Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre-NGC) 00:00:34 15) Daniel Moreno (Caisse D'Epargne) 00:00:50 16) Daniel Navarro (Astana) 00:00:53 17) Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:01:24 18) Philip Deignan (Cervelo-TestTeam) 00:01:26 19) Julián Sánchez Pimienta (Contentpoli-Ampo) 00:01:32 20) Beñat Intxausti (Fuji-Servetto) 00:01:44
Top 10 General Classification After Stage 12
1) Alejandro Valverde (Caisse D'Epargne) 51:12:38 2) Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) 00:00:07 3) Robert Gesink (Rabobank) 00:00:18 4) Thomas Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) 00:00:51 5) Ivan Basso (Liquigas) 00:00:53 6) Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:01:03 7) Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) 00:02:13 8) Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) 00:02:14 9) Daniel Navarro (Astana) 00:03:53 10) Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) 00:04:01
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.