Image © Unipublic
Vuelta Stage 16: Cordoba - Puertollano, 168KM
Columbia-HTC’s André Greipel claimed his third bunch sprint victory of this year’s Vuelta this afternoon to reinforce his lead in the points competition. On a day tailor-made for the sprinters, there was no change in the general classification, and Caisse d’Epargne’s Alejandro Valverde keeps the race leader’s golden jersey.
Jesus Rosendo Prado of Andalusia-CajaSur made an early solo attack, at one point getting 11 minutes ahead of the peloton, but with the chasing pack led by Columbia-HTC, who obviously fancied the stage win, the Spaniard was gradually reeled in, eventually being caught 18 kilometres from the stage finish.
Liquigas tried to force the pace in the closing stages in an effort to launch Daniele Bennati for the sprint, but the Italian had to settle for third as Greipel came off his wheel to win. William Bonnet of BBOX Bouygues Telecom came through in second place.
A nasty-looking crash within the last three kilometres saw Britain’s Roger Hammond, riding for Cérvelo TestTeam, hit the deck, along with Quick Step’s Wouter Weylandt and Garmin-Slipstream’s Kiwi rider, Julian Dean.
Tomorrow the riders race the 194 kilometres from Ciudad Real toTalavera de la Reina, with the stage profile once again favouring a bunch sprint.
Top 20 Stage 16
1 André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) 04:50:44 2 William Bonnet (BBOX Bouygues Telecom) 00:00:00 3 Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) 00:00:00 4 Gerald Ciolek (Milram) 00:00:00 5 Fco. José Pacheco (Contentpoli-Ampo) 00:00:00 6 Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) 00:00:00 7 Jurgen Roelandts (Silence-Lotto) 00:00:00 8 Sébastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale) 00:00:00 9 Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) 00:00:00 10 Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:00:00 11 Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) 00:00:00 12 Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC) 00:00:00 13 Javier Benitez (Contentpoli-Ampo) 00:00:00 14 Mickael Delage (Silence-Lotto) 00:00:00 15 Mikael Cherel (Francaise Des Jeux) 00:00:00 16 Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo-Galicia) 00:00:00 17 Michael Schär (Astana) 00:00:00 18 Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale) 00:00:00 19 Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) 00:00:00 20 Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre-NGC) 00:00:00
Top 10 General Classification after Stage 16
1) Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) 69:59:34 2) Robert Gesink (Rabobank) 00:00:31 3) Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:01:10 4) Ivan Basso (Liquigas) 00:01:28 5) Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) 00:01:51 6) Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo-Galicia) 00:01:54 7) Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) 00:05:53 8) Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre-NGC) 00:06:28 9) Thomas Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) 00:08:28 10) Juan José Cobo (Fuji-Servetto) 00:10:45
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.