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"Our plan was good and Dani was allowed to try for the stage win on his birthday. We only had to see that Joaquim was in the front too.  Rodriguez did a great job in chasing down Navarro."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele




05.09.2014 @ 19:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Daniel Moreno got close to a big win when he finished second in today's stage of the Vuelta a Espana. The Spaniard was given the chance to go for glory on his birthday and even had teammate Joaquim Rodriguez working for him in the finale.


Team Katusha’s Daniel Moreno decided to give himself a nice birthday present today by celebrating the completion of his 33rd year on the planet by climbing onto the podium in stage 13 of the Vuelta a España. Following the successful attack of eventual stage winner Daniel Navarro, Dani Moreno showed good form on the final climb and earned himself a second place finish on the day’s stage.


"Navarro attacked at the right moment, just before I was planning to do so. When he went the road was very narrow and the barriers were so close. I braked just a bit too much. I saw those barriers and the left and right turns with speeds so fast – I was sure some guys would crash. I was a bit afraid, " said Daniel Moreno. 


"It’s a pity we did not win, but it was a nice performance from Dani. Our plan was good and Dani was allowed to try for the stage win on his birthday. We only had to see that Joaquim was in the front too.  Rodriguez did a great job in chasing down Navarro. We just missed by two seconds," said team director José Azevedo.


Now in northern Spain in the Asturias region, the 189 km stage began in Belorado and ended in Obregón. Parque de Cabárceno, a national park region. Three categorized climbs were clustered together in the middle of the stage, the last categorized climb topping out with 37 km to go. It was expected that a breakaway would stay clear to the end in today’s stage and while a large group of eleven riders managed to get away and develop a gap, the motivated peloton brought them back with less than 10 km to go.


At this point Team Katusha riders went to the front to work for GC contender Joaquim Rodriguez and upped the pace for the closing kilometers, clearing the way for Moreno to attack. Navarro (Cofidis) attacked with 2 km to go with Moreno soon to respond, and the two Daniels sped clear of the chasers.  Navarro took the win by two seconds to Moreno and third place finisher Wilko Kelderman of Belkin, denying any time bonus to fourth place Alejandro Valverde. It was a first grand tour win for Navarro.


Team Katusha won stage 13 in the teams classification. In the overall teams classification Katusha holds 2nd place, +2.54 behind Movistar.


"I saw my chance and I took it. I am happy that I was given the opportunity today, but I would have been just as happy with a win from ‘Purito’, birthday or not," concluded dedicated team rider Daniel Moreno. 


There were no changes at the top of the classification with Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez holding steady in fifth place at 1.35 behind red jersey leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank). Valverde is second at 20-seconds and Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) is third at 1.08.


Saturday brings the first of three difficult climbing stages that will go a long way in shaping the final general classification. Stage 14 begins in Santander and ends uphill La Camperona. Valle de Sábero.  



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