Vuelta a España: Rein Taaramae hunting stages in Spain
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Vuelta a España: Rein Taaramae hunting stages in Spain

by Kyle Moore at 5:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Estonian attacks on successive days

Rein TaaramaeRein Taaramae (Cofidis) made another attempt at victory in yesterday’s stage nine of the Vuelta a España, and while his second attack in as many days proved unsuccessful again, he said he will continue to go for a stage win. The Estonian is sharing team leadership with David Moncoutie, and the two have worked together at times to set up a win for Cofidis.

“The goal for today was to get away from the main bunch, when it was at around ten to fifteen guys,” Taaramae stated after the stage. “At first I tried to, but I didn’t feel super.”

Soon after the dwindling bunch caught Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto), the last surviving member of the early breakaway, Taaramae launched his attack. After initially appearing as if he would get away, one of the first men to counter the move was Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD). Sensing a threat, the bunch closed down the attack.

After finishing twelfth overall at the Tour de France, Taaramae has put personal ambitions aside to help David Moncoutie win another mountains classification. The Estonian has lost large chunks of time on certain stages, but was a primary protagonist on stage nine.

“I put in a concerted effort, but after I got 20 meters (ahead of the group), it was more or less over. The crosswinds were so bad, I would have needed guys with me to get away,” he wrote on his personal blog.

The 24-year-old has had a busy 2011 season, arguably his best as a professional. Taaramae got his season started with a bang at Paris-Nice, where he finished fourth overall. After a third place finish at Critérium International, he went to the Ardennes classics and the Criterium du Dauphine. He then briefly wore the white jersey in the Tour de France, and is now in his second Grand Tour of the season.

Though his stage nine attack was quickly reeled in by Scarponi and others, Taaramae kept driving a decent pace, teaming up at one point with Nicolas Roche (Ag2R La Mondiale). He couldn’t catch the leading quintet that included stage winner Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervelo), but Taaramae did catch Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), and he crossed the line one second behind the Italian favorite in a group that contained Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) and Haimar Zubeldia (Radioshack).

“I put in the little acceleration, but then I regained momentum and caught [Jurgen] Van den Broeck and eventually got behind the wheel of Nibali,” he said.

“Over the next ten days after the rest day, I will still have a chance to ride for a stage victory. We will see.”

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