Vuelta 2014: Hesjedal takes win with power and ‘grinta’

Ryder HesjedalSaturday, September 6 - In 200 kilometres stage 14 is the first in a triptych of tough mountain stages. The finish is uphill at La Camperona after a super-steep closing section. Attacker Ryder Hesjedal bests his fellow-escapee Oliver Zaugg in the final 100 metres, whilst Chris Froome takes seconds from GC leader Alberto Contador. (Slideshow route/profile)

Vuelta 2014: Results stage 14

1. Ryder Hesjedal (can)
2. Oliver Zaugg (Swi) + 0.10
3. Imanol Erviti (spa) + 0.30
4. Alexandr Kolobnev (rus) + 0.39
5. Louis Meintjes (SAf) + 0.42
6. Bart de Clerq (bel) + 0.52
7.Romain Sicard (fra) + 1.44
8. David Arroy (spa) + 2.02
9. Carlos Verona (spa) + 2.15
10. Chris Froome (gbr) + 2.36
11. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) + 2.37
12.Alberto Contador (spa) + 2.43
13. Fabio Aru (ita) + 2.45
14. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 3.05
15. Daniel Martin (Irl) + 3.21

17. Damiano Caruso (ita) + 3.37
18. Rigoberto Uran (col)+ 3.42
24. Robert Gesink (Nld) + 4.02
26. Wilco Kelderman (Nld) + 4.06
28. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 4.21
31. Winner Anacona (col) + 4.42

GC after stage 14
1. Alberto Contador (spa)
2. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.42
3. Chris Froome (gbr) + 1.13
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) + 1.29
5. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 2.07
6. Fabio Aru (ita) + 2.15
7. Samuel Sánchez (spa) +3.26
8. Robert Gesink (Nld) + 4.14
9. Winner Anacona (col) + 4.36
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) + 4.37
11. Damiano Caruso (spa) + 4.45
12. Daniel Navarro (spa) + 5.10
13. Warren Barguil (fra) + 6.02
14. Wilco Kelderman (Nld) + 6.18

Race report
Directly after the intermediate sprint at 36 kilometres – won by John Degenkolb – a group of 23 riders gets clear. Aboard are big names like Ryder Hesjedal and Luis León Sanchez, whilst and the latter is the first to crest Collada la Hoz (2nd category). The leaders have a 5 minutes gain upthere.

The gap stays like that for a while, but at the botom of the 20 kilometres Puerto de San Glorio it widens to 6 minutes. Still it’s not enough as far as David Arroyo and Luis Léon Sánchez are concerned and the two are off. The bunch is at over 7 minutes at that point, but once atop it’s down to a good 4 minutes. Furthermore 10 riders from the former break of 23 catch them just before cresting. Sánchez takes all mountain points.

The leaders go by the names of Romain Sicard, Luis Léon Sánchez, David Aroyo, Ryder Hesjedal, Yannick Martinez, Alexandr Kolobnev, Bart de Clerq, Adam Hansen, Imanol Erviti, Louis Meintjes, Carlos Verona and Oliver Zaugg. The gap is back to over 6 minutes when heading for the closing climb.

The leaders stick together up the closing climb, but in the super-steep closing section Hesjedal attacks, whilst Zaugg takes over. The rest of the climb an invisible 50 metre keeps them apart.

Amongst the GC-men Valverde opens fire. Contador and Rodríguez are able to react, but Froome, Uran and Gesink can’t cope. The same for Aru at first, but he recovers.

Just when Froome is about to join, Contador speeds up with Rodríguez at his wheel. And once again Aru rejoins, but Valverde is dropped.

The invisible rope upfront shows no signs of wear. Both Zaugg and Hesjedal are in a kind of sur due to the exreme steepness.

Surprise! Froome is back from the dead and is riding uphill with Contador, Aru and Rodríguez. No, let’s refrase that one, he is setting te pace.

In the last 100 metres Hesjedal starts reeling in in the invisible rope. He is eating Zaugg en takes the victory, whilst Chris Froome breaks clear from the GC-men. Hitting the pedals he rides to a decent gap, but an exhausted Contador manages to repair some of the damage in the slipstream of Rodríguez.

Vuelta 2014 stage 14: Images and more

Ryder Hesjedal

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