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“Julian is not in good shape at this moment. This week he has been in trouble, and he has suffered a lot in the [hot] temperatures. Our other card today was Haimar, but we know that this is not his finish."

Photo: Sirotti








28.08.2014 @ 22:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Going into the Vuelta a Espana, Trek had marked today's firsy mountain stage out as a big goal for Julian Arredondo. However, the Colombian is far from his best condition and as Haimar Zubeldia lost time, it ended as a very bad day for the American team.


Stage six was one of the specific race days that Trek Factory Racing had starred prior to the start of the Vuelta a España with a steep four-kilometer climb to the finish, perfect for the explosiveness of Julian Arredondo.


However, in cycling one’s aspirations and what actually unfolds out on the road on that particular day can be worlds apart. And today, for Trek Factory Racing, this was the case.


Julian Arredondo has not returned to the form he had at the Giro d’Italia where he won a similar finish in stage 18 to capture the biggest single day win of his career.  And for Haimar Zubeldia it was always going to be hit or miss in Spain after he threw everything into the Tour de France to finish an incredible eighth overall. In addition the short, steep climb to the finish in La Zubia was not his specialty, and when coupled with Tour de France repercussions, he struggled across the line in 36th place (+2’16).


“Julian is not in good shape at this moment," sports director Adriano Baffi said. "This week he has been in trouble, and he has suffered a lot in the [hot] temperatures. Our other card today was Haimar, but we know that this is not his finish.


"We always expected more for today, but it is what we have at the end, and we also expect Julian to be better in the second week. We just have to be patient to wait the best opportunity.”


The 167-kilometer race began with two men departing in the first kilometers and they still had a slight advantage at the base of the ending climb. But after nearly 160 kilometers out front their pedal strokes were numbered. One kilometer into the steep grade and the escape was brushed aside as the GC contenders rose to the front lines, and across the finish the top three positions were claimed by the top three overall favorites: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took the win ahead of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tiinkoff-Saxo).


Valverde moved into the race lead, while teammate Nairo Quintana slotted into second. Contador and Froome assumed the next spots in the overall, as the Vuelta experienced its first significant movement atop the leaderboard: The cream has begun to rise to the top.


Trek Factory Racing looks next to Friday's stage seven, a lumpy stage more applicable for a breakaway to succeed. The team will be ready to jump in the early moves, said Baffi.


“Tomorrow we can be more aggressive, because we start a stage where we can finally go in the breakaway, and it can go to the end," Baffi said. "From tomorrow onwards our Vuelta will start. I also hope the situation for GC will become better as we go forward, but we also put zero pressure on Haimar.  We will take each day as it comes.”



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