Purito Rodriguez is really on a roll and the Catalan produced a great performance on his Aeroad CF in the second week of the Vuelta.
It was above all stage 14 that couldn’t have gone better. In an unbelievably exciting finish Purito fought off all the attacks from his rival Alberto Contador and won the mountain top finish in Puerto de Ancares after around 190 kilometers, thus securing his 3rd stage victory of the event.
Rodriguez was able to extend his lead in the general classification over his closest rival Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) up to 22 seconds thanks to the support of teammate Dani Moreno.
This margin didn’t change on yesterday’s 15th stage, which was won by outsider Antonio Piedra from the Spanish second division Caja Rural team.
For Purito and his team it’s now a question of maintaining and extending the gap over their closest rivals.
Today’s 16th stage is regarded as the Queen’s stage of the Vuelta. The 183.5 km stage through Asturias starts with a moderately hilly section, before the 1st category climbs come in the second half of the stage. At the end it gets really tough again for the riders because the final 9.5 kilometers involve a climb with an average gradient of 6.9%. The final 3.2 kilometers have an average gradient of 12.3 % with a maximum of 24%! This is ideal terrain for the wiry Catalan Purito!
After the exertions of the 3 mountain stages the peloton can have a short break tomorrow before the last challenging stages of the Vuelta are tackled.
Go for it Katusha!!
Alexander Kristoff 3rd overall and best young rider at the World Ports Classic:
From 31.08 to 01.09 the premiere of the World Ports Classics two day event took place. The route took the riders from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to the Belgian industrial centre Antwerp and back again. The Norwegian bronze medalist Alexander Kristoff finished 3rd overall and as best young rider.