Sunday, September 02, 2012

Antón close at Ancares

Igor Antón wasn't far off at the first of three consecutive mountain stages in the Vuelta a España on Saturday, but went on to claim it had been "a terrible day" after taking seventh at the top of the Puerto de Ancares.

It was not like he was ever in the fight for the stage win though - Rodríguez, Contador, Valverde, Froome, even Moreno, seem to be on another level so far in this race. Álvaro González de Galdeano and the other staff in the team car probably figured out pre-stage that it was going to tough for the 29-year-old to mix it up with the very best, and opted to send Amets Txurruka in the break of the day. Not a bad move and, just like on Thursday with Mikel Astarloza, it could have worked out. It didn't though, not even for the strongest men in that break (Losada), and Rodríguez went on to lay down a marker by grabbing the stage ahead of Contador and Valverde.

Antón came across 56 seconds down after just managing to hold on to the back of the group for quite some time, while Verdugo continued to showcase his excellent form by taking 11th and as a result rise to 16th on GC.

Talking to the team's website post-race, Antón said he was satisfied with the day's outcome and that he was feeling good, but he was a tad more honest when speaking to Basque daily Deia.

"Right from the off I noticed I wasn't going very well", he said. "My legs were hurting. It was a terrible day. (Looking forward) it's complicated, but I'm still optimistic. I would love to rise to seventh of eighth overall. That would be good, but for that to happen I have to improve".

Stage 15 should, on paper anyway, suit Antón. Check it out here.

Results stage 14 (full results here):
  • (1, Joaquín Rodríguez (Katusha), 4:10:28)
  • 7, Igor Antón, 0:56
  • 11, Gorka Verdugo, 1:17
  • 26, Amets Txurruka, 3:23
  • 30, Iván Velasco, 3:45
  • 56, Juan José Oroz, 11:58
  • 59, Romain Sicard, s.t.
  • 61, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
  • 79, Mikel Landa, 17:32
  • 80, Rubén Pérez, s.t.

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