Monday, September 20, 2021
HomeDiariesLa Vuelta 2019 - Stage 2; Nairo Quintana Escapes into Calpe

La Vuelta 2019 – Stage 2; Nairo Quintana Escapes into Calpe

-

Now I know how those Taliban guys felt when the CIA tortured them by depriving them of sleep and playing Ted Nugent at pain threshold decibels.

I collapsed into bed at midnight only to be awakened at 02:00 am by the repetitive beats from the foam party at the next village, which is two kilometres away.

Such is life during Fiesta Season in Spain.

Today’s stage starts in Benidorm, not beside the sea but on the north side of town, away from the football strip clad, burnt red, stag and hen madness and the karaoke bars.

There was the usual traffic chaos en route the start but we managed 20 minutes snapping before we had to bolt back to the car.

Photo©Ed Hood

Former Vuelta star, Purito Rodriguez was still looking sharp and earning his keep, drawing the jersey raffle numbers.

Photo©Ed Hood

Whilst EF’s Tour de Suisse king of the mountains, Hugh Carthy was looking relaxed, content with the team’s fourth place in the team time trial.

Photo©Ed Hood

As usual, the riders’ flight path to the sign on from the busses wasn’t too clear and the boys had to resort to stairs; Sam Bennett does a bit of that ‘X’ stuff.

Photo©Ed Hood

The stairs well ‘all good’ for the autograph hunters, though.

Photo©Ed Hood

Whilst some riders had to resort to ‘louping the fence’ to get to the sign on.

All good for snappers like us.

Nairo Quintana. Photo©Martin Williamson

Nairo Quintana was all smiles, relaxed and happy to sign autographs, jerseys and race guides.

Photo©Martin Williamson

Classification leaders like Jacob Fuglsang were much in demand.

Time to vamos; but we’re trapped behind the barriers – a few smiles for the cop, get the guy to move his dog and we’re away… 

Photo©Ed Hood

Puerto de Confrides [20.6 K @ 3.6%], we’re 25 K in to the stage, park up – we don’t have to wait long, a Lotto and a Burgos – little gears, comfortable.

Messrs. Armee and Madrazo; a good day for the latter with the king of the mountains jersey to hang over the bedroom chair tonight – a big deal for a small team like Burgos. 

Photo©Ed Hood

There’s a gap and a Caja Rural, Lastra with a Katusha, Smit in tow; no surprise to see Burgos and Caja Rural up the road – them pro Conti teams have to justify being on the race.

Photo©Martin Williamson

Astana lead the peloton, no panic, line astern, simply riding tempo and keeping things in hand; whilst Lopez won’t use his team up to defend, if they can keep the jersey without going too deep then that’s cool. 

Photo©Ed Hood

Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana are well up the peloton, their Movistar henchmen in close attendance.

Hugh Carthy dumps a nice EF musette at my feet – ‘cheers, my boy.

It has a Rapha logo on it, Dave won’t be happy with that. 

I also collect another three bidons – Marlene will be pleased…

Photo©Ed Hood
Photo©Martin Williamson
Thomas De Gendt. Photo©Martin Williamson
Photo©Ed Hood

The [Super] man in red is half way down the bunch, looking like he’s coming back from the team car.

Photo©Ed Hood

Meanwhile Fuglsang in the king of the mountains jersey is off the back.

I had him down as a race fave – wrong again…

Photo©Ed Hood

Not a fun day for big former British Champion, Ian Stannard but he got back and finished in the group @ 9:51.

Nairo Quintana
Photo©Ed Hood

Last man on the road is Sunweb’s Martijn Tusveld – and there are still 100 miles to ride; but he did get himself back into gruppo and came in with Stannard. 

We head back down the hill and head for the Puig Lorenca climb the second categorised ascent of the day, late in the day and much shorter than Confides at just 3.1 K – but also much steeper @ 8.8%.

It’s hot, real hot, damn hot but there’s a little bit of breeze – most welcome. 

Nairo Quintana
Photo©Ed Hood

It’s compatto and ‘on’ with Oliviera, Dillier all to the fore; but the time they get to Martin a little further up the climb it’s ‘all change’ with the Big Bears showing their claws – eventual winner Quintana, Valverde and Lopez all to the fore.

Nairo Quintana
Photo©Martin Williamson
Nairo Quintana
Photo©Martin Williamson
Nairo Quintana
Gregor Mühlberger. Photo©Martin Williamson
Nairo Quintana
Fabio Jakobsen. Photo©Martin Williamson
Nairo Quintana
Dario Cataldo. Photo©Martin Williamson
Nairo Quintana
Photo©Ed Hood

‘And the first shall be last’ with early escapee Armee now struggling to hold the gruppo.

Nairo Quintana
Photo©Martin Williamson

The Emerald Isle National Champion Sam Bennett has 11 UCI wins in 2019 by our reckoning but he’s not going to make it 12 today…

[That would come on the morrow]

Nairo Quintana
Photo©Martin Williamson

German chrono king, Tony Martin is another man feeling the strain today but in his role as a ‘super domestique’ his job is done and it’s now about saving every watt he can between here and the finish. 

Nairo Quintana
Photo©Ed Hood

Stone faced Ineos Belarusian case-hardened hardman, Vasil Kiryienka is last on the road. Martin gives him a shout, the former world time trial champion would finish the day @ 26 minutes…

Al’s local knowledge meant that whilst we missed the main peloton, we caught the stragglers again, before the finish.

Nairo Quintana
Photo©Ed Hood

Martin was straight ‘on it,’ here snapping Sunweb’s Dane, Casper Pedersen. 

Nairo Quintana
Photo©Ed Hood

The gruppos stream by with Bahrain’s former Aussie Champ Heinrich Haussler looking singularly unimpressed with the local architecture.  

Nairo Quintana
Photo©Ed Hood

Kiwi former track star and winner of a stage in the recent Czech Tour, Shane Archbold – aka ‘Mullet Man’/’Novvie’ – looked a tad happier than ‘Heino’ though, as he lead his gruppo home.

Nairo Quintana
Tony Martin. Photo©Martin Williamson
Nairo Quintana
Luka Pibernik. Photo©Martin Williamson
Nairo Quintana
Photo©Martin Williamson

Kiri was still propping up the classification – stone last.

With Kiri safely past we headed for home, picking up the Vuelta Twitter and WhatsApp feeds as we drove.

Nairo Quintana sending the Colombian fans into raptures with a late escape to win the stage in a good finale.

He’ll spend his next three seasons – probably his last – with Arkea Samsic, as will brother Dayer, countryman Winner Ascona [currently Cofidis] and Italian Ineos man Diego Rosa.

The jersey slid off Lopez shoulders on to those of Ireland’s Nico Roche [Sunweb] in his ninth Vuelta and 22nd Grand Tour.

We headed back to Al’s for some Chinese and nosh and a sleep free of foam party sounds…

Ed Hood and Martin Williamson
Ed and Martin, our top team! They try to do the local Time Trials, the Grand Tours and the Classics together to get the great stories written, the quality photos taken, the driving done and the wifi wrestled with.

Related Articles

Rest Day Review – La Vuelta 2019

Our Rest Day Review of the first week of La Vuelta 2019. Remember all those jokes about getting sent to the salt mines for misdemeanours? Those World Tour riders must have been real bad to get this gig; a 13.4 kilometre team time trial around the salt lagoons of Torrevieja.

La Vuelta 2019 – Stage 3; Ibi > Alicante, Sam Bennett Storms In

Stage Three heads back into the hills; Ibi to Alicante over 188 kilometres, not as tough as Stage Two but with two third cat. climbs, the Puertos de Biar and Tibo – due to the geography of the stage we chose the latter.

La Vuelta 2019 – Our Final Review

We look back at the final five stages of the Vuelta 2019, a great race with hardly a dull moment which saw the emergence of yet more tremendously talented youngsters.

Rest Day 2 Review – La Vuelta 2019

In our Rest Day 2 Review we take a look back at the Vuelta action since the first rest day, starting with Stage 10, the Individual TT.

La Vuelta 2019 – Stage 4; Angel Madrazo flies to El Puig

As a wise man once said; “all good things must come to an end,” and the salida of Stage Four was our last couple of hours on the 2019 Vuelta. We’d planned a certain ‘shape’ of piece, which finished with a fantastic win for Angel Madrazo, but events of that stage and Thursday’s Stage Six rather over took our plans as abandons dominated the news.

La Vuelta 2019 – Stage 1; Salinas de Torrevieja > Torrevieja TTT

VeloVeritas is back at a Grand Tour, La Vuelta 2019. This year it kicks off with a super-fast team test around the salt lagoons of Torrevieja before heading straight into the mountains on stage two - no 'easing in' to this race. Martin and Ed have taken advantage of the hospitality of VV amigo and local resident, Al Hamilton - formerly of the Dear Green Place that is Glasgow - to catch the primero quatro tappas.

At Random

John Archibald – New RTTC 10 Mile TT Champion

In the car on the way down to Irvine on Sunday morning it never occurred to VeloVeritas editor Martin and I that we’d soon be witnessing anything other than Marcin Bialoblocki (NOPINZ) making it a clean sweep of RTTC titles from 10 to 100 miles. Not for the first time, we got it wrong. Commonwealth Games pursuit silver medallist, John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling) relegated the big Polish power house to second place by three seconds with a sparking 18:18 – Big Marcin looked a tad stunned when the news broke that we had a Scottish winner of a British title on Scottish roads.

“The Flying Scotsman” by Graeme Obree-Putting the Record Straight

Let me first say this is firstly a review of the Graeme Obree autobiography, the book - not the film - "The Flying Scotsman", and also my version of the events at the world cycling championships in Sicily in 1994. I was the Great Britain team mechanic for those championships, but Mr. Obree didn't remember to mention this fact in his book. You could call this the bitter out-pouring of a man scorned, but rather it's just my memory of what happened.

Evan Oliphant – Tour of the Reservoir 2013 Winner

The Giro; for the weeks before and during it’s like the Death Star, sucking all other cycling results in and destroying them. But one result we couldn’t let pass without comment was Evan Oliphant’s splendid win in the Premier Calendar Tour of the Reservoir. Congratulations to Evan for turning round a Stage One deficit of five seconds to overall victory in The Reservoir by 13 seconds over Team UK Youth’s Chris Opie, the man who took that first stage.

Starting Again; Training on Sanibel Island, Florida

Florida would be a great place for time-trialling. Its pan flat. The only elevation you find are bridges. It’s flatter than both Holland and Belgium which is saying something. It’s rarely windy which means as soon as you’re out riding holding 20mph (32kph) is child’s-play. That makes riding really quite fun. Endurance rides are around 35kph and you really get the miles clocked up. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a race you’re going so fast.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 20: Faisanera Golf – Bola del Mundo 170.7 km

The rain stings past the entrance to the ski lift at 45 degrees and tries its damnedest to puncture the metal sheets on the roof; thunder roars in and echoes around the concrete walls, lightning sparks across the dark sky, the air temperature has dropped from a pleasant Spanish summer's afternoon to January on Porty Prom. Welcome to the Bola del Mundo; they say it's the toughest climb in European cycling - we believe it. We've been up to Covadonga a time or two and the Angliru, plus most of the Giro and Tour 'biggies', but this is evil.

Of Peblis To The Play; the Tour of Britain in Peebles

"Peebles for Pleasure" says the sign, and the good folk of this part of the world, one of the oldest Royal Burghs in Scotland, certainly do know how to enjoy themselves - today they warmly embraced the first ever visit to these parts by the Professional Tour of Britain, now in it's sixth year of running in it's current form.