The racing season is winding down very quickly. The Tour of Missouri is finished, the Worlds are on the horizon, and the Vuelta will be coming to a close in Madrid on Sunday.
Monday the 17th was the second rest day.
Tuesday's Stage 16 is a relatively short (161km) but tough day, featuring 2 Category 2 climbs and 1 Category 3 climb.
154 riders started today. The peloton stayed together today until the 58 km mark, when 18 racers managed to pull off the front. The lead built to 4 minutes, and then 6 minutes with 50km to go. The peloton didn't really expend any effort to catch the break, as Menchov had at least a 20 minute lead over the riders in the break.
Leonardo Bertagnolli was the first to try and attack out of the break, but he was reeled back in with 25km to go. Vorganov then attacked, but it didn't last. Finally, three men (Kolobnev, Duque and Horrach) pulled ahead as the breakaway started to splinter. They built a 42 second lead with 5km left to go and in the final kilometer, it was Duque who had the strength to win the final sprint. The remaining 8 riders in the break came in 6 seconds afterwards and the peloton rolled in 7 minutes and 43 seconds later.
Menchov continues to hold on to his commanding 2 minute lead. Some have suspected that Vladimir Karpets may challenge in the next several days, but he is over 6 minutes behind.
Information and results courtesy of CyclingNews.
- Jorg Jaksche is testifying before the Austrian cycling federation today. He has admitted that he received blood transfusions from Operacion Puerto doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and had said that he wants to help cycling fight doping. All this generosity in exchange for a possibly lighter sentence.
- The UCI will be peforming 120 out-of-competition tests in the 8 weeks leading up to the World Championships (compared to 27 last year). In addition, the top 4 riders in each event will be tested along with 4 others that will be selected randomly.
- David Millar will be the lead rider for Great Britian's World's team
- The U.S. team for the worlds looks to be very strong: Hincapie, Zabriskie, Julich, Van de Velde, McCartney, Devine, Farrar and Pate. All but Pate are highly experienced pro tour riders. The women's team will consist of Kristin Armstrong (Team Lipton), Amber Neben (Flexpoint), Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders), Mara Abbott (Webcor Builders), Tina Pic (Colavita-Sutter Home-Cooking Light), Lauren Franges (Team Lipton) and Katheryn Curi (Webcor Builders).
- For now, Tom Boonen is on Belgium's world's team, but they are closely watching his condition and say that they will replace him with someone else as close as 24 hours before the road race.
- Pat McQuaid is now calling for lifetime bans from cycling for doping offenses. All I have to say it that they had better get their labs straightened out first.