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Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) wins the first mountain stage in the Vuelta 2009

Added: sunday 06 September 2009 at 17:55:00
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    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) wins the first mountain stage in the Vuelta 2009Pieter Weening (Rabobank) told it several times the last few days: he was eager to get into the mountains. They finally arrived today with no less than 8 climbs and the Dutch rider showed that he was indeed waiting for it! Indeed, he was part of the leading group of the day. Finally it's Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) who wins this mountain stage.

    The description of the stage

    Right from the start several riders try to get away in small groups, but we had to wait until the 37th kilometer to get the leading group of the day. It's formed by 6 riders: the French Sébastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale), David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and William Bonnet (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), the Dutch Pieter Weening (Rabobank) and Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) and the German Paul Voss (Milram).

    15 kilometers further, in the climb of the Alto de Beniarrès (3rd category), the 6 riders already created a gap of 7'44". At the top Pieter Weening starts the descent first, ahead of David Moncoutié and Johnny Hoogerland.
    Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - © Thomas VergouwenOn the Alto de Margarida (3rd category) his compatriot, Johnny Hoogerland, who's often ahead in this Vuelta, passes the top first, ahead of David Moncoutié and Pieter Weening. The gap was up to its maximum of 14'33" between the leading group and the peloton at that time. On the Alto de Tollos (2nd category) it's again Pieter Weening who arrives first, again ahead of Moncoutié and Hoogerland.
    At that time Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) decides to abandon. Even though we knew he didn't come to the Vuelta to do such a good race as in the Tour de France (where he finished 2nd), an abandon in the 8th stage seams surprising. Apparently this was due to stomach problems.

    For the other riders the difficulties continued, starting with the Alto de Castells de Castells (3rd category) where again the other Dutch rider, Johnny Hoogerland, arrives first on the top, in front of Pieter Weening and David Moncoutié.

    The leading group - © UnipublicAnother rider decides to abandon, this time it's the French rider Vincent Jérôme (Bbox Bouygues Telecom).

    The leading riders pass the top of the Alto de Guadalest (2nd category) with a 10'29" gap on the peloton: Pieter Weening again arrives first, ahead of David Moncoutié and Johnny Hoogerland. They continue immediately afterwards with the Alto de Cofrides (3rd category) where Pieter Weening again passes the top first, ahead of Moncoutié and Hoogerland (gap: 8'18").

    In the climb of the Alto de Tudons (2nd category), the peloton accellerates under the lead of the Caisse d'Epargne team to reduce the gap to 5'03" at the top where again Weening arrives first, before Moncoutié and Hoogerland.

    While the leader of the Vuelta, Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) looses the contact with the peloton at the back of the race, in the final climb of the Alto de l'Aitana, William Bonnet and Paul Voss can no longer follow the leading group and the young Dutch rider of the Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team, Johnny Hoogerland, attacks. First it seemed that he just wanted to take the points of the final sprint (which Sébastien Hinault almost stole from him), but after the sprint he continues. Initially accompanied by Sébastien Hinault the Dutch rider really wants to get away alone and continues solo.

    David Moncoutié (Cofidis) - © Thomas VergouwenAt a bit over 10 kilometers of the finish, David Moncoutié, who was still following together with Pieter Weening, manages to close the gap on Hoogerland and a new duo is formed leading the stage: David Moncoutié and Johnny Hoogerland.
    Johnny Hoogerland clearly had more difficulties in this climb than Moncoutié but he manages to follow him during 5 kilometers anyway. At a bit less than 5 kilometers from the finish, Moncoutié continues alone.

    At 2 kilometers from the finish, Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) attacks and easily gets back on Johnny Hoogerland and continues to try to get back on David Moncoutié as well. At the sign of the last kilometer the French rider has only 12 seconds left on the Little Prince and Cunego thus easily gets back on and over Moncoutié to get the stage victory.

    At the end of the stage the third abandon of the day is communicated by the organisors: this time it's Giovanni Bernaudeau (Bbox Bouygues Telecom).

    The video of the last two kilometers and the finish of the eighth stage of the Tour of Spain 2009

    The results and the rankings

    Damiano Cunego - © UnipublicThe result of the stage
    1/ Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) - 6h04m54s
    2/ David Moncoutié (Cofidis) - +0'33"
    3/ Robert Gesink (Rabobank) - +0'36"
    4/ Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) - +0'44"
    5/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - 0'44"
    6/ Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) - +0'44"
    7/ Tadej Valjavec (AG2R La Mondiale) - 0'50"
    8/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas) - +0'50"
    9/ Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) - +0'50"
    10/ Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) - +0'50"

    Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) - not only the golden but also the combination jersey - © UnipublicGeneral classification
    1/ Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) - 31h05m02s
    2/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - +0'02"
    3/ Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) - +0'08"
    4/ Thomas Danielson (Garmin Slipstream) - +0'13"
    5/ Robert Gesink (Rabobank) - +0'29"
    6/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas) - +0'46"
    7/ Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) - +1'26"
    8/ Haimar Zubeldia (Astana) - +1'37"
    9/ Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) - +1'46"
    10/ Juan José Cobo (Fuji Servetto) - +2'03"

    Ranking by points
    1/ André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) - 88
    2/ Tom Boonen (QuickStep) - 75
    3/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream) - 67
    4/ Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - 58
    5/ Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) - 50

    David Moncoutié (Cofidis) - © UnipublicBest climber
    1/ David Moncoutié (Cofidis) - 60
    2/ Pieter Weening (Rabobank) - 48
    3/ Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - 31
    4/ Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) - 30
    5/ José Antonio Lopez Gil (Andalucia Cajasur) - 20





    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Cycling general (except Tour de France)| Vuelta a España| Vuelta a España 2009 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

Comments

Currently 1 comments!
  1. Hoi Thomas,
    Leuk verslag weer en vooral de beelden erbij zijn erg leuk!

    | Meggie | monday 07 September 2009 at 20:32:43

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