The Spin: Vuelta Stage 13

Friday, 31 August 2012

Today’s stage is flat compared to what is coming this weekend and offers breakaway riders and sprinters a chance to shine before the mountains arrive.

The Route: 150km makes for a short stage as the riders head to Ferrol, the Ciudad del Mar or city of the sea where they will head out for a circuit before returning into town and the finish line.

The Finish: generally flat in the approach. There’s a sharp corner at 1200m to go then a long finishing straight, the final kilometre rises, descends and then rises to the line but it’s no rollercoaster, riders will hardly have to change gears in response to the light change in incline. It should be a high speed finish.

The Scenario: a breakaway will go early but a sprint seems likely given time is running out. Many teams might be reluctant to work given John Degenkolb keeps winning but time is running out for the other teams and they’ll take hope from the fact that the German has not won his sprints by several bike lengths. But Argos Oil-Shimano have a good team effort with their lead out and will be hard to be beat.

For the others today is all about saving energy ahead of the weekend’s mountain stages but watch for crosswinds on the coast.

Weather: a mild day with temperatures of 23°C and a headwind for most of the stage, but it should be a breeze of 23km/h.

TV: 4.00-6.00pm, tune in for the sprint finish and like the riders, save your energy for the weekend’s mountain stages.

The Tashkent Terror

History: the last time the race visited Ferrol the winner was Djamolidine Abdoujaparov. He emerged from the Soviet system and became a sprint star of the 1990s, sometimes diving all over the road as he went for the line with his head down, earning the moniker of “The Tashkent Terror”, after the Uzbek capital. His wild style worked but he was also very fast and had a very low position on the bike, in fact similar to Mark Cavendish, although the Uzbek seemed to put more weight on the front wheel. He won the Tour de France green jersey three times and also took the points in the Vuelta and the Giro. Yet off the bike he was a timid and pious man, one of the few Muslims in professional cycling, he retired to keep pigeons in Italy but has made a few returns to the sport, most recently helping with rider development in Kazakhstan.

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{ 15 comments }

DJMOHAN August 31, 2012 at 10:47 am

Any chance of someone going clear near the end on one of the hills and staying away, I’m talking about a Nicholas Roche or Philippe Gilbert kind of move.

tonyroan August 31, 2012 at 11:06 am

thats a good call as I can`t see the flying german cleaning everything up

The Inner Ring August 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Possible, there’s a climb about 15km from the finish. I’ve tried to track it down and it doesn’t look too bad, a shock the sprinters but I think they should be ok. Famous last words and all that.

Ankush August 31, 2012 at 10:56 am

Degenkolb will want today’s stage desperately for the green jersey. I don’t see anyone beating him in the sprint.

Bundle August 31, 2012 at 10:58 am

What’s that hill with about 9km to go? Could someone jump out from there?

Jim August 31, 2012 at 11:50 am

Could be doubtful whether any other team helps out Argos-Shimano today. GC teams will want an easy day ahead of the next 3 days of mountain action. Take INRNG’s point about time and opportunity running out for other teams’ sprinters, but equally it can get to the point during a GT with a dominant sprinter where the other teams with sprinters just wont be prepared to put in any time on the front – let Argos-Shimano knock themselves out.

Today’s winner to come from a breakaway – please…all credit to Degenkolb but the sprint stages to date to date have been the dullest of any GT this year by a long shot.

Though crosswinds sound promising..:)

The Ladder August 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

“all credit to Degenkolb but the sprint stages to date to date have been the dullest of any GT this year by a long shot.”

Hardly surprising, giving the parcours of the race. The top sprinters were never going to give this years Vuelta a look in.

Jim August 31, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Agree. And Degenkolb can only ride against the sprinters who turn up. It’s just I do like a good competitive sprint…

Jim August 31, 2012 at 4:00 pm

and I know that the Vuelta’s often the worst of the GTs for a real quality field of sprinters given all kinds of reasons…just me being greedy..:)

The Ladder August 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I love the sprints too, but the action in the hills has made up for it for me. :)

S August 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Forgive the pendantry but Abdoujaparov was born on 28/02/64, not 26/02/64.

casualpedlar August 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Probably a good chance for the breakaway today with the big GC teams saving energy. Though might see BMC trying to close the gap to see if Gilbert can jump off the front.

Julius Kusuma August 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm

To earn his last green jersey in Paris in 1991, Abdou had to be placed precariously back on the saddle he just exited, and made to soft-pedal 50 meters to the line … that’s right: he crashed into the barrier on the last stage, but had earned enough points against a young Laurent Jalabert that Abdou only needed to roll across the finish line on his bike!

The Tashent Terror has no need to actually look where he is going when sprinting: he could drift across the entire sprinting boulevard even through he appeared to be steering straight ahead. Just watch his fantastic crash 1:20 into this video.

http://cyclingtime.com/en/2010/article/Djamolidine-Abdoujaparov

Jim August 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm

A few months ago, I met a retired sprinter who rode against Abdou…sounds a terrifying experience for all around him…

Sally August 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Today’s stage has made me very happy…! What a fantastic ride by Steve Cummings. Given the bad luck he’s had this year, cant think of anyone more deserving of the win

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