Ángel Madrazo fights to the end of Vuelta’s stage 13
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Ángel Madrazo fights to the end of Vuelta’s stage 13

by Kyle Moore at 6:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Young Spaniard gets best result in first Grand Tour

Angel MadrazoMichael Albasini (HTC-Highroad) won stage thirteen of the Vuelta a España, but it was Ángel Madrazo (Movistar) who was just as aggressive, if lacking a little strength when compared to the Swiss veteran. Madrazo finished seventh on the stage, the best result so far for the 23-year-old in his Grand Tour debut.

After getting into what turned out to be the winning breakaway with team-mate David López, the key theme of the day was survival. Multiple categorized climbs spread over 158 kilometres made for a leg-sapping day.

In the finale, after an attack by Oliver Zaugg (Leopard-Trek) was reeled in, Madrazo accelerated off the front. He was joined by Albasini, who proved to be the strongest of the group in more ways than one. The Swiss rider countered every move in the final five kilometers, and had plenty left to sprint to the win. When he covered Madrazo’s move, the two stayed briefly away, with Madrazo screaming at Albasini to pull through, desperate to make the move stick.

But the duo was pulled back by David Moncoutie (Cofidis) and a host of others, eventually setting up the sprint. His energy gone, Madrazo was only able to muster seventh. After the stage, the young rider struggled to keep his emotions in check.

“Right now, I’m very sad, because you don’t have an opportunity like this every day,” he divulged. “I feel sorry for the team. I tried it several times at the end, most of them with Albasini, but he didn’t take any turns and we couldn’t make it. I saw many important riders in the group, but I knew he was the main favourite.”

Though he had never won a stage of a Grand Tour before, Albasini showed his veteran savvy at the end of what many said was one of the most difficult stages of the race. Madrazo indicated that fatigue was a large factor.

“More than speed, it was a matter of strength today, because the stage was so hard,” he said. “It’s true that this is my first Grand Tour and I’m improving day by day, but that’s not a consolation for me right now.”

With fifth places at the GP Miguel Indurain and the Spanish road championships to hang his hat on this season, Madrazo was looking for more in his home Grand Tour. “I don’t know if I made mistakes, but I couldn’t take the stage,” he added.

“It was a spectacular stage, amazing from start to finish, and the team made all the breakaways,” Madrazo admitted. “That’s why I’m pissed off, because [the team] gambled on me, and I feel I disappointed them.”


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