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Gustavo Veloso wins the 9th stage of the Vuelta, Alejandro Valverde brings the golden jersey home!

Added: monday 07 September 2009 at 22:52:00
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    Gustavo Veloso wins the 9th stage of the Vuelta, Alejandro Valverde brings the golden jersey home!This second mountain stage almost seemed to become a carbon copy of yesterday's stage ... except that today one of the riders of the leading group, Gustavo Veloso (Xacobeo Galicia), continued till the end for the stage win and that it was not Damiano Cunego but Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) who started the pursuit in the last few kilometers. Thanks to his third place in this stage he takes over the golden leader's jersery which he gets to wear tomorrow during the stage in Murcia ... close to his home!

    The 9th stage of the Vuelta a España 2009 was again a difficult mountain stage. After yesterday's stage the riders didn't get must rest because today's stage again proposed 7 mountains to climb: right from the start they started the climb to the top of the Alto de Onil, a third category mountain (altitude: 1000 m) which had never been part of a Vuelta stage before. After a long descent they continued with the climb of the Alto de Tibi, short but steep, of the 3rd category (altitude: 710 m) and the Puerto de la Carrasqueta (2nd category, altitude: 1020 m).
    In a repeated cycle of descents and climbs we found the Alto de Tudons (2nd category, altitude: 995 m) which was already part of the final climb to the finish yesterday, the Puerto de Torre Manzana (2nd, 906 m) and again the Puerto de la Carrasqueta (2nd, 1020 m). After a slow but long descent the riders can finally start their final climb to the Alto de Xorret de Catí which had its top (1090 m, 1st category) at a little bit under 3 kilometers from the finish line.

    This line-up of mountains brought the riders in 188,8 kilometers from Alcoy to Xorret del Catí.

    The leading group - © UnipublicRight from the start a group of 6 riders took the lead in this stage. This group was made up by the Spanish riders Gustavo Dominguez Lemos (Xacobeo Galicia), Julian Sanchez Pimienta (Contentpolis-Ampo), David de la Fuente (Fuji-Servetto), the Belgian rider Stijn Devolder (QuickStep), the Italian rider Marco Marzano (Lampre-NGC) and the Estonian Rein Taaramae (Cofidis). The first mentioned rider quite quickly decides he will not be able to follow this group all day long, but his team mate Gustavo Cesar Veloso takes over his place about 20 kilometers further and Javier Ramirez Abeja (Andalucia Cajasur) also bridges the gap with the leading group.

    The 7 riders in the leading group extend the gap to 6'22" while Carlos Barredo (QuickStep) leaves the Vuelta with stomac problems. For the Bbox Bouygues Telecom team we see a third abandon, by Laurent Lefèvre, and a bit later a second QuickStep leaves this stage: Allan Davis. Despite the fact that none of the 7 riders forms a threat for the golden leader's jersey (the best rider in the general classification is David de la Fuente, 13 minutes behind Cadel Evans), the Silence-Lotto team takes the lead in the peloton to control the gap with the leading group.

    In the descent of the Puerto de Torre Manzana however, the leading group manages to widen the gap, to 7'06" and they start thinking about the stage victory. At that time Mikel Gaztañaga Echevarria (Contentpolis-Ampo) decides he'll be the fourth rider to give up today.

    While the leading group still has a comfortable gap of 6 minutes at 20 kilometers from the finish, this changes quickly in the last climb, the Alto de Xorret del Catí. When the gap is down to 2'30" at 7 kilometers from the finish, the Estonian rider of the Cofidis team, Rein Taaramae who recently won the Tour de l'Ain won, decides to attack. He's followed by David de la Fuente and Marco Marzano but the Estonian seems to be as convinced of his chances for stage victory as Johnny Hoogerland yesterday so he continues alone.
    At 6 kilometers from the finish Taaramae has a 5 seconds gap on De La Fuente and 14 on Marzano. In the peloton Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) attacks and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) decides the tempo of the peloton. The leader of the Spanish team with a French sponsor easily gets back on his team mate and the two Spanish riders continue together.
    Just like Hoogerland yesterday, Taaramae is taken back, by Gustavo Cesar Veloso at 3 kilometers from the finish line. Alejandro Valverde attacks several times, always followed by Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas). Gustavo Veloso, who won the Tour of Catalonia last year, still continues his solo effort and gets rewarded for this effort with the stage victory. Alejandro Valverde attacks once again and passes David de la Fuente to get the third place in the stage, behind Marco Marzano and one second before Cadel Evans who finished 6th. Thanks to the bonus seconds the Murcian takes the golden leader's jersey he so much wanted to wear in his home stage tomorrow!

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

    The rankings

    The stage ranking
    Gustavo Veloso celebrates his stage win - © Unipublic1/ Gustavo César Veloso (Xacobeo Galicia) - 5h21m04s
    2/ Marco Marzano (Lampre-NGC) - +0'21"
    3/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - +0'40"
    4/ David de la Fuente (Fuji-Servetto) - +0'41"
    5/ Robert Gesink (Rabobank) - +0'41"
    6/ Cadel Evans (Silence Lotto) - +0'41"
    7/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas) - +0'41"
    8/ Javier Ramirez Abeja (Andalucia Cajasur) - +0'53"
    9/ Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) - +1'12"
    10/ Thomas Danielson (Garmin Slipstream) - +1'12"

    Alejandro Valverde proudly wears his golden leader's jersey - © UnipublicThe general classification
    Thanks to the bonus seconds the Murcian, leader of the Caisse d'Epargne team, gets to wear the golden leader's jersey tomorrow during the stage which takes place close to his home town.

    1/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - 36h26m40s
    2/ Cadel Evans (Silence Lotto) - +0'07"
    3/ Robert Gesink (Rabobank) - +0'36"
    4/ Thomas Danielson (Garmin Slipstream) - +0'51"
    5/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas) - +0'53"
    6/ Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) - +1'03"
    7/ Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) - +2'04"
    8/ Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) - +2'24"
    9/ Haimar Zubeldia (Astana) - +3'01"
    10/ Juan José Cobo (Fuji-Servetto) - +3'08"

    The ranking by points
    1/ André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) - 83
    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

    The ranking of best climber
    By reaching the top first on the Puerto de Onil (3rd), the Alto de Tibi (3rd), the Puerto de Tudons (2nd), the Puerto de Torre Manzana (2nd) and the second visit of the Puerto de la Carrasqueta (2nd) and second at the first visit of the Puerto de la Carrasqueta (2nd) and third at the Alto Xorret del Catí (1st), David de la Fuente (Fuji-Servetto) managed to gather no less than 59 points for the ranking of best climber. This allows him to take the second place in this ranking.

    1/ David Moncoutié (Cofidis) - 60
    2/ David de la Fuente (Fuji-Servetto) - 59
    3/ Pieter Weening (Rabobank) - 48
    4/ Julián Sanchez Pimienta (Contentpolis-Ampo) - 37
    5/ Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - 31

    Tomorrow's stage: the 10th stage - Alicante > Murcia - 162 km

    Tomorrow Alejandro Valverde wears the golden leader's jersey close to his home town in Murcia.

    The stage will be quite easy compared to the mountain stages the riders did today and yesterday because even though the stage starts with a slow climb during almost half of the stage, the only mountain of this stage is the Alto de la Cresta del Gallo of the second category (altitude: 400 m) at about 12 kilometers of the finish.

    > The full route and all stages of the Vuelta a España 2009

    > The list of participating riders and their numbers in the Tour of Spain 2009

    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


Currently 1 comments!
  1. Leuk slot inderdaad van deze etappe, vooral dat Evans zich in liet sluiten door onze Gesink! ;-)

    | Meggie | tuesday 08 September 2009 at 09:23:54

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