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Gianni Meersman was the favourite to win today's stage, but the extremely steep 1.8 km Mirador de Ézaro and the slightly uphill finish made it possible for strong climber Daniel Moreno to deny Meersman the win.

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GIANNI MEERSMAN

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27.08.2013 @ 19:00 Posted by Anders Juul Nielsen

Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) had set his sights on today’s stage and had proclaimed that he would go for the win. However, he wasn’t able to follow Daniel Moreno and Fabian Cancellara when they attacked on the uphill straight to the finish and in the sprint for 3rd, he was beaten by Michael Matthews.

 

"There was a very hard climb with 35km to go," Meersman said. "I was a little bit behind because of that, but the guys did a great job to bring me back. Then I was in good position for the last 2 kilometers, it was steep but the guys brought me to the wheel of Boasson Hagen. Then, at 500 meters to go, Moreno went. Then, Cancellara went after him. Boasson Hagen started to sprint. At 200 meters I passed him, and then with 100 meters to go, Matthews passed me. So, I was 4th. It was quite a hard day and the finish was really hard. Congratulations to Moreno who was super strong. I was sprinting in a 53-12 behind him and that was with a little bit of uphill. So, he was clearly the best today and he deserves the victory. But I'm happy with my shape and I hope to try to win a stage later in the race."

 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step has had an incredible season with tons of victories and there is little doubt that Meersman and the rest of the squad will try to make amends for today. Meersman’s characteristics make him perfectly suited to several stages of this year’s Vuelta a España and he will be one to look out for in the hilly stages with potential for a reduced bunch sprint.

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