When, when not now? This year you will win Vuelta, told Rodriguez the legendary Eagle

In the passage behind the village of Salcedo the target climb is 22 percent. And they already have six peaks of the 16th stage in their legs.

“Ermita de Alba is a hammer,” says Javier Guillén, Director of Cycling Vuelta, seventh and decisive.

5010 height meters was on her Monday menu. Inside the Asturian Mountains, the hammer buzzes at the end of Energybet free online bets the stage in the muscles of a group of favorites.

Mikel Landa of Astany performs the task assigned to him by the team – at a high pace to bring the others into the narrow one so no one can get in.Fabio Aru hangs at the end of the group, Tom Dumoulin is slightly losing.

But six hundred yards ahead of the line, the man he’s been waiting for is going forward.

Joaquim Rodriguez, Katyusha leader. p>

All the strength of its 60 kilos is put in the attack by the Spaniard. In vain, Aru, a rider in the red jersey of the race leader. The finish is Italian two seconds later.

Vuelta reports: change.

Now Rodriguez is one second.

He is 36 years old and feels: I may have the last chance to win the Grand Tour. When else, if not now?Froome and Nibali dismounted themselves, Valverde and Quintana are exhausted, Aru is no longer dominant.

On the contrary, Rodríguez smiles, waves from the podium and says, “I feel good.” On Sunday, behind him came Federico Bahamontés, the legendary Eagle of Toledo and Tour Champion 1959 as the first Spaniard in history.

“Do you know what? You will win this Vuelta, “he said to Rodríguez, the former king of the mountains.

” Why do you think that? “” Because you have the same winning number as I once did. And because you are such a big fan of FC Barcelona. “

The Catalonian who goes on a regular jog at the jersey of Barcelona laughed:” So I hope it will be true. “

But if it was so easy.


After all, how many times in his career has reached the dream title.And how many times he lost it.

He led Vueltu 2010 before Nibali. But then he spent the desperate time in Peñafiel, lagging for six minutes.

He also led the Giro 2012. But again in his time, the Canadian Hesjedal took just 16 seconds on the last day of the race.

He was also stronger at Vuelta 2012 than Contador stripped him from the red jersey by attacking the seemingly transit stage on Fuente Dé.

For the first time in Florence, he was heading for the world championship title.But just before the finish, Valverde’s representative allowed him to “pull in” the Portuguese Rui Costa – and Rodríguez overpassed. When he finished last season in Vuelta, he sadly said, “I’m probably winning The Grand Tour is not judged. “

So perhaps now he cautiously says,” I want to win, but it will be very complicated. I’m still calm. “Like Quintana, Valverde or Majka, he has completed the Tour, where he has managed two stages. “But I did not go downstairs.If I were to drive Froom and Quintana, I would be in a worse position here, “he admits. On Sunday he struck twice on the Alto de Sotres ramps, won the stage and approached Aru’s second.

On Monday at Ermita de Alba, Italian was shut down. Spanish journalists at the press center were thrilled to thrash again.

Is it finally coming?

How long does the red jersey keep? Until Madrid?

“I have one certainty. Tomorrow I do not care about him, “recalls Tuesday’s free day in Burgos.

In Rodriguez’s career, everything seemed to be late. By 29, he was just a Valverde assistant in Caisse d’Epargne’s stable. Until 30 years, he never went Energybet best online betting Tour. Only in Katyusha’s stable did they stand out. And he was rewarding them.

For the whole peloton is Puri or Cigar.The nickname earned him a 21-year-old boy in the ONCE team with Albert Contador. When he went to his old colleagues at the camp, he indicated to them that he had “smoked” them. Then he was given the task to smoke the real cigar from the team dinner.

Fifteen years later, the sympathetic veteran Rodriguez, before the third week, Vuelty said, “The cigar is ignited. The game starts a second. “

But Wednesday, a discipline in Burgos is waiting for him to be the Achilles heel. Long flat timotope.And he meets not only with Fabio Aru, but also with Tom Dumoulin, the bronze timer of the World Championship.

In the hills of Asturias, the Dutch stayed in range, lagging only 1:51 minutes.

There is 38.7 kilometers ahead of the chronometer. Dumoulin is now on the move.

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