Rodriguez Wins Stage 19 of Vuelta; Horner Takes Red Jersey
Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard) leads the Vuelta a Espana. The American took the lead by jumping away from Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the final climb of Stage 19, a rugged, 181-km ride from San Vicente Barquera to Oviedo. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) won the stage in 4:16:13, with Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) outsprinting Rodriguez’s teammate Daniel Moreno for second.
again. Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) got Roche’s wheel, but Rodriguez countered and jumped into the lead. The Spaniard powered clear and held on for the win. Behind, Nibali failed to keep pace with Horner and surrendered the red jersey.
The victory was satisfying for Rodriguez, who entered the Vuelta with hopes of winning but lowered his ambitions to taking a stage. He and his team planned to win today’s stage. “Today I’m really happy, Rodriguez said, “ because finally I took the stage win. The whole team was great. They worked from the first km to the end because they knew I could win. We planned to attack in the last climb. I didn’t know very well how it was, but the directeurs sportifs helped me and gave me the right information. As I saw the last km, I attacked. It was very hard, but I did my best in order to win the stage. I’m really happy. I’m an ambitious rider, and I greatly wanted this victory. That gives me strong motivation. Tomorrow we have the last mountain stage, which will be crucial for general classification. Angliru is much harder than today’s climb, so everything can happen. Every climber would love to win tomorrow; it’s a prestigious stage. That’s why I hope to be in shape and fight for the victory. Today I got closer to the podium, my final goal. The team and I will fight until the last meter in order to get the best possible result….It’s very hard…Angliru is a terrible mountain, we are all very tired after such a tough competition, so everything can happen.”
In the overall, Horner leads Nibali by 0:03 and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) by 1:06. Stage 20, a mountainous, 142.2-km ride from Aviles to Alto de L’Angliru, will be a standing shaker. The stage will feature the Category 1 Alto del Cordal, and it will end with an ascent of Angliru, one of the most feared climbs in cycling. This stage will likely decide the 2013 Vuelta. Who will win it? Horner? Nibali? Rodriguez? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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Also, if you're located in the USA you can watch video highlights from all stages of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana in our videos section .