Vuelta a Burgos – Stage 3 Review

The early break on today’s hilly stage involved some big hitters:Visconti(Movistar),Paolini(Katusha),Beppu(Orica),Swamp(Colombia),Marcos Garcia(Caja Rural) and Bizkarra(Euskadi).The peloton wasn’t happy with this group and it was brought back before Brajkovic(Astana),Ravard(AG2R),Txurruka(Caja Rural) and Dempster(NetApp) got away after 17km.With 87km gone Ravard was caught by the peloton after struggling on a climb.As Txurruka was only 25 seconds down on the GC,FDJ kept the gap under 3 minutes to try and protect the leader’s jersey worn by Roux.

As the peloton increased the pace,Brajkovic and Txurruka also increased their pace and shed Dempster from NetApp after 120km.

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Caja Rural as lively as usual.They love getting into breaks and animating the race,really looking forward to them doing this in the Vuelta.

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FDJ did a great job at keeping a close eye on these two dangerous riders but both of them were fully committed and looked very strong.

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FDJ really working hard to try and bring the gap down under 2 minutes with 35km to go.

As they approached the penultimate climb the gap was down to around 1:40.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.24.00Movistar and Euskatel were high up in the peloton,looking to protect Quintana and Sanchez.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.29.27The break take the bell and the climb seems to be tough,should be very interesting next time round.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.30.25Movistar have taken over on the climb and have their whole team on the front,will it be a Quintana day?

The writing was on the wall for the break and the gap was down to 20 seconds with 18km to go.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.35.56Movistar really pushing on as we approach the 15km to go mark.

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The 2 riders shake hands as they sense the peloton closing in.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.43.11With 12.5km to go the catch is made!

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.45.15With 12km to go a plucky rider from Euskadi has a go.

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He was joined by a Basso,Quintero and Szmyd.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.49.14This caused some panic in the peloton.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.50.06A bigger group formed but they didn’t really want to work together.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.52.21Sky decide to control the peloton and try to stop all these attacks.Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.53.53

All back together with 5km to go.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.54.38NetApp on the front with 4km to go.

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Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 15.56.32AG2R decide to try and go for a long one.A teammate is giving Nocentini a good lead-out.

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Gaps are now appearing in the peloton and it’s strung out.Positioning is crucial,so you must be in the top 10 riders.
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The AG2R rider is done and he pulls over to leave Nocentini to try and drive home,but it’s far too far for him to do this.

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Nocentini is giving it his all but it’s a poor tactic from his team as there is still 2km to go.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 18.48.11With 1km to go FDJ move to the front.They are trying to set up Anthony Roux(2nd wheel) and are in the perfect position.Sitting on Roux’s wheel is Keukeleire,great positioning by the young Belgian.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 18.50.51As we approach the 300 metres sign Vaugrenard is still on the front but the others are ready to make their move.Keukeleire is 3rd,Chernetskiy 4th and further back in the orange is Samuel Sanchez.He is fast but his position is poor and he’s left himself too much to do.

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With just under 200 metres to go and the road steepening the riders are still waiting to make their move.We have Vaugrenard,Roux,Keukeleire,Chernetskiy,Failli,Sanchez and Ratto.

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The young Belgian times his jump perfectly and Roux is now struggling.Sanchez is looking strong but is too far back,Ratto is behind him.

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Keukeleire seals another victory with Roux finishing in 2nd and Ratto in 3rd.Ratto finished very strongly but left himself way too much work to do,due to poor positioning.Another excellent day for Orica GreenEdge.

GC standings:-


2.Ponzi 2 secs

3.Chernetskiy 2 secs

4.Keukeleire 3 secs

6.Sanchez 10 secs

8.Nocentini 11 secs

9.Cataldo 11 secs

12.Caruso 13 secs

16.Quintana 17 secs

17.Arroyo 17 secs

20.Nibali 24 secs

Stage 4 should result in a group sprint and not have an impact on the overall standings,so all will rest on the final stage on Sunday.I would say that the overall fight will be between Sanchez,Nocentini,Cataldo,Caruso,Quintana,Arroyo and Nibali.

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