Poels storms to second place in difficult Vuelta a España finish
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Poels storms to second place in difficult Vuelta a España finish

by Bjorn Haake at 2:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
But Vacansoleil rider says he is not ready for GC yet

wout poelsVacansoleil rider Wout Poels was the best of the rest in today's fifth stage at the Vuelta a España, ending the day in second place. He was four seconds behind Joaquím Rodriguez, who excels in these kinds of short uphill power finishes. Poels was happy with his showing, but is not thinking about the overall classification until a future edition of the race.

Poels was more interested in winning the stage than thinking about the general classification, but his sports director had different ideas. "I wanted to attack but my directeur sportif told me to remain quiet and focus on GC." Poels still had victory on his mind when he was perfectly placed on those final two uphill kilometers. "I've thought of going for the stage win but I was right behind 'Purito' when he attacked and I couldn't do anything."

He acknowledged that the Spaniard was simply the strongest on the day, even though Poels did have a mishap just as the final was beginning for real. "I got a flat tire two kilometers prior to the last second category climb." This was with around 20 kilometers to go, but Poels had a teammate with him. "Matteo Carrara helped me to come across and I produced an effort to position myself well again," Poels said.

Overall the Dutchman was happy with his effort. "It's a positive result to finish second behind one of the world's best riders for this kind of finale." Poels is only 23 years old. "This is my first Grand Tour. I don't want to speak about GC. In the future I have the feeling that I can become a good GC rider. I'd be very happy to reach Madrid in the top 20."

Poels spent his three professional years with Vacansoleil. He already finished second in the mountains classification of the 2010 Tour de Suisse. He won stages in the Tour of Britain as well as the Tour de l'Ain. He repeated a stage win in the latter race this year. Other good results for 2011 include a third place overall in the Tour Méditerranéen, a fourth place overall in the Vuelta a la Region de Murcia, a fourth place in the Tour de Pologne and a second place overall in the Tour de l'Ain.


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