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"We were 120 kilometers away from the finish, and it seemed totally unrealistic to reach the finish line as the winner, so we let him go naturally. Unfortunately, he got away and never was seen again.”

Photo: IAM Cycling






12.09.2015 @ 21:13 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Sometimes everything can change in a matter of seconds. It took just a brief moment, an attack at the right time for Ruben Plaza (Lampre - Merida) to part company with his breakaway companions, among whom included IAM Cycling’s Larry Warbasse, and he was gone. All alone, the Spanish rider offered an impressive raid of over 120 kilometers before reaching the finish line as the winner.


Equally impressive was that Tom Dumoulin (Giant - Alpecin) started the stage with a handful of seconds as an advantage ahead of Fabio Aru (Astana). But after 175.8 kilometers and four categorized climbs, the Italian Astana rider was able finally to get the upper hand over the Dutch rider. 


Now the overall leader with a 1’17” lead over the runner up Joaquim Rodriguez, Fabio Aru will wear the red jersey for the last ceremonial stage through the streets of Madrid on Sunday. Tom Dumoulin must meanwhile be content with a strong sixth place overall at the Tour of Spain.


A grand tour is essential to bring a rider to the next level. Both physically and mentally. For Larry Warbasse, these last three weeks in Spain have been an education. Now more confident, the American rider explained that he had become more serene and comfortable on the bike. 


“I had the strength to get into the breakaway today. That was a chance to show that I am able to get something accomplished at this Vuelta,” the rider from Michigan explained. “I found myself in a group at the front of the race, and there were ten of us. But the rhythm that we pushed turned out to be very hard. A small group of thirty riders joined us on the second climb, and from that moment on, I knew we were in for a long day.


“When Ruben Plaza attacked, I wouldn’t say it was impossible to follow him, because nothing is impossible, but on the other hand, I have to say that it was very difficult to stay on his wheel. We were 120 kilometers away from the finish, and it seemed totally unrealistic to reach the finish line as the winner, so we let him go naturally. Unfortunately, he got away and never was seen again. But honestly, I don’t think I could have followed him throughout the day if I had followed him.


"I feel I have turned the corner on this Vuelta. I feel better and better as the days go by, and I think I am getting closer to my real level as a cyclist. I was comfortable on the climbs, and I was also able to do my share of the work in the breakaways. Unfortunately, we will didn’t have the luck to get the victory at the finish.”


His satisfaction is shared by his directeurs sportifs Mario Chiesa and Eddy Seigneur at the Tour of Spain. 


“Having Larry in the break is definitely what we wanted to have happen in the team meeting,” Chiesa explained. “I think if the group of 25 riders hadn’t joined Larry’s group, he definitely would have gotten a top-10 today. If we are talking about a win, being realistic, it would have been complicated in any case. Larry has the capacity, I have no doubt, but this Saturday, Ruben Plaza was by far the strongest.


"Now we will focus on the final leg. We want to be best prepared for the final sprint with Vincente Reynes. To finish with a win would be great for him, for IAM Cycling and for all the people who have worked with us during these weeks of racing.”



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