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“We didn’t have much luck today with both John and Warren coming down but both seem OK and we will see how they are feeling in the morning. It is not ideal coming the day before a good stage for John."

Photo: Sirotti










29.08.2014 @ 19:53 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It was a very bad day for Giant-Shimano in the Vuelta a Espana as both their captains Warren Barguil and John Degenkolb hit the deck. Luckily both escaped the incidents relatively unscathed.


The seventh stage of La Vuelta a España saw the first survival of a breakaway to the finish, while behind several of the Team Giant-Shimano riders came to grief along with many other riders in the peloton on another tough day of racing.


Warren Barguil came down in the finishing sprint, while earlier in the day John Degenkolb was involved in a large crash early on. Both were OK to continue and finish the stage which was won by Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale).


The day got off to a fast start with many teams having the idea of trying to get in the day’s breakaway, and the team were also trying for this opportunity as well. Nikias Ardnt got himself into a strong early move but their advantage was short lived. It was the following move of four riders that stuck, after approaching 40km of racing.


Before the break pulled clear Degenkolb was involved in a fall with several other riders in the bunch, ending up with a fair amount of road rash but nothing serious and he was able to regain contact with the bunch before losing contact later in the day when the pace was picked up in the hills.


The four leaders pulled out to nearly eight minutes ahead and behind the chase was always half hearted with no one team really committing to the chase. Their gap started to fall on the final climb of the day but coming into the finish De Marchi still had a couple of minutes advantage over the front peloton.


As the bunch approached the line for fifth place some of the GC favourites tried to jump away and in the chaotic sprint a touch of wheels saw Barguil hit the deck. Despite not getting up in a hurry it was more frustration than injury that was holding him back and he ended the stage walking to the finish line before getting checked out by the team’s medical expert back at the bus.


Despite the crash Barguil retains his ninth place on GC given that the fall came within the final three kilometres of the stage. Degenkolb also keeps hold of his green points leader’s jersey heading into the eighth stage, well suited to the sprinters with its flat profile.


After the stage, Christian Guiberteau said: “We didn’t have much luck today with both John and Warren coming down but both seem OK and we will see how they are feeling in the morning. It is not ideal coming the day before a good stage for John.


“The plan was for a couple of guys to try for the breaks early on as it was 50/50 today as to whether a break would survive or it would be controlled. We didn’t want to spend too much energy in this though and we still needed to protect Warren and John. In the end we weren’t in the move, but the guys looked after each other in the peloton.


“After a week of racing now we are in a good position. The young guys are tired yes, but not overly so and they aren’t suffering like lots of riders are here with the heat we have had and the hard racing. With John’s wins and Warren’s strong result yesterday the morale is good and everyone is really motivated to keep working towards our goals.”


Ramon Sinkeldam added: “The start was flat and everybody knew the break would go on the first climb today so the pace was pretty hard but on the climb I was fine and am in really good shape now here. Today was just a stage to survive for me though and to help the guys with bottles and positioning.


“I tried to get bottles at difficult moments in the day like just before the final club when everybody was out but the pace was pretty high so this was useful.


“Tomorrow should be another sprint and in this it is my role to put Koen and John into position with about 500m to go. I’m a bit disappointed that I haven’t been able to do this so far with a near crash on the first sprint stage then not making the front group in John’s two wins so I hope to make up for this tomorrow.”



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