2013 Vuelta – Stage 16 – Just When You Thought

BarguilVuelta2

Just when the French press thought Warren Barguil (ARG) had achieved the incredible by winning a Grand Tour stage, he has won his second stage of the Vuelta a Espana, narrowly beating Rigoberto Uran (SKY) in a straight up sprint. For Uran, the result must be heartbreak as Team Sky has struggled for results in the Vuelta, and the stage win certainly would have brought a needed celebration to the squad. Instead, it was Barguil, the 20 year old phenom, who eased the pace in his solo break and worked with Uran toward the line where he allowed Uran to lead out the sprint and came around him beating the Colombian by an almost invisible margin.

Behind, the GC battle was on as the riders climbed the final slopes of the stage. Alejandro Valverde launched a stinging surge, which bizarrely appeared to be a test of the others as he had a substantial gap but shut it down and allowed the favorites to come back together with ease. Shortly thereafter, Joaquim Rodriguez attacked the group and he didn’t hesitate going for the fatal blow. Behind, Horner struggled to keep pace, but limited his losses as Pinot and Pozzovivo clung on. Further back Nibali and Valverde looked hesitant to expend themselves to try and close the gaps, but when Valverde realized that Nibali was struggling, as opposed to being conservative, he exploded off Nibali’s wheel leaving the Sicialian in a small state of crisis. From here, rider after rider left Nibali, with Sanchez, Anton and Konig trying to exploit the red jersey.

Ahead, as Purito was crossing the line, Valverde had closed the gap to Horner and Pinot, and he blew past them sprinting for the line, all but reeling in Rodriguez and gaining a few seconds on second placed Horner. Just as you may have thought Nibali began to look to have the Vuelta clearly in his grasp, his rivals have seen a small weakness going into tomorrow’s rest day and will have a little extra confidence against the Giro Champion who in the previous days had seemed unbeatable.

2013 Vuelta Stage 16 Top Five
1. Warren Barguil (ARG)_________3h43’31″
2. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)
3. Bartosz Huzarski (NET)_______+3″
4. Dominik Nerz (BMC)__________+8″
5. Jose Herrada (MOV)

Overall Classification after 16 stages
1. Vincenzo Nibali (AST)_______64h06’01″
2. Chris Horner (RLT)_________+28″
3. Alejandro Valverde (MOV)____+1’14″
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (KAT)____+2’29″
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (ALM)____+3’38″
6. Nicolas Roche (TST)________+3’43″
7. Thibault Pinot (FDJ)_________+4’37″
8. Leopold Konig (NET)________+6’17″
9. Samuel Sanchez (EUS)______+7’33″
10. Tanel Kangert (AST)________+9’21″
11. Daniel Moreno (KAT)________+9’31″
12. David Arroyo (CJR)________+11’22″
13. Jose Herrada (MOV)________+11’42″
14. Michele Scarponi (LAM)_____+12’08″
15. Igor Anton (EUS)__________+14’44″
16. Dominik Nerz (BMC)________+15’33″
17. Robert Kiserlovski (RLT)____+18’13″
18. Eros Capecchi (MOV)________+19’16″

21. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)_______+22’39″
24. Sergio Luis Henao (SKY)____+29’56″

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