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“On the other side we lost our status in the GC with Haimar when he was dropped on the second last climb. In the last days his feeling has not been so good, mostly with his respiratory system, he is coughing, and he is just not at his...

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BOB JUNGELS

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FABIO FELLINE

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HAIMAR ZUBELDIA

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JULIAN DAVID ARREDONDO

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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31.08.2014 @ 19:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Haimar Zubeldia had gone into the Vuelta a Espana hoping to finish in the top 10 but today sickness took him out of GC contention. Instead, the Trek team went on the offensive with Bob Jungels, Fabio Felline and Julian Arredondo.

 

A 31-man escape dominated the action of the 185-kilometer stage nine and Trek Factory Racing had three men in the monstrous group. Julian Arredondo, Bob Jungels and Fabio Felline jumped into the breakaway that gained enough time to finish ahead of the GC contenders on the mountaintop finish.

 

“For us in one way it was a really good day," sports director Josu Larrazabal said. "The goal was to try and be in the break with Julian, Bob and Felline, and it was nice to see all three in the break. Even before the real break went there was another break with Bob and Julian again, so they did a good job from the beginning.”

 

On the penultimate climb (11.5km, 4.2%) Bob Jungels followed the attack when two others broke clear of the 31-strong group. The trio crested the category two climb together, and began the last eight-kilometer climb to the finish when Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida) launched an attack that distanced Jungels. Anacona soloed to the stage victory while Jungelsheld on for 9th place.

 

Fabio Felline, who arrived in 11th place seconds behind Jungels, also managed to stay ahead of the first GC contenders that stormed into the finish moments later.

 

“Julian was still not looking in top shape so we asked him to work a little bit more, and then we ask Felline to try to follow the moves from afar since he is not as strong as Bob is on the climbs," Larrazabal said. "On the second to last climb Bob followed the move from Anacona and Moreno from Movistar  - who was the whole day staying in the wheel since his team has the leader’s jersey – and they had 40 seconds on the last climb. From there everyone did his pace, and did his best. Bob could not hold their pace, but it was still good with two of our young guys doing 10th and 11th on the stage.  It was really good to see the team working like this.”

 

While the breakaway fought for the stage victory the battle amongst the GC contenders erupted from the chasing peloton. When the pace increased on the penultimate climb Haimar Zubeldia, who has been fighting off sickness, immediately lost contact. He would struggle into the finish in 92nd place, dashing any hope of a high overall finish.

 

“On the other side we lost our status in the GC with Haimar when he was dropped on the second last climb. In the last days his feeling has not been so good, mostly with his respiratory system, he is coughing, and he is just not at his best," Larrazabal said. "We need to see how he is going the next days and how he is feeling – especially on the next mountain.  But for the rest of the team we will continue to look for breakaways and focus on stage wins.”

 

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and moved into the overall lead (Contador jumped into second), while teammate Alejandro Valverde fell off the pace and dropped to third. Chris Froome (Team Sky) also slipped one spot from fourth to fifth as today’s first taste of the high mountains began to show cracks in a few contenders’ armor.

 

Tomorrow is the first rest day of the Vuelta ahead of stage 10, the first individual time trial, which Trek Factory Racing marked as a day where they hope to seize some good results - and maybe even nab that highly sought after stage win.

 

“Tuesday is one of the days we had signed with an X," Larrazabal said. "Of course we have Fabian [Cancellara] who is one of the favorites, and he won here last year on a day that was a little bit similar, but we also have a really strong team with Kristof [Vandewalle] and Jesse [Sergent]. I think with the crash they had at the beginning of the race they are now all coming back, as we saw today with Bob, and they are confident and motivated for Tuesday.”

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