Vuelta quote of the day: “I’ve never been scared of Mosquera, Look, he did 5km of climbing flat out and what did he gain? 11 seconds. That’s no big deal for me.” That is confidence talking, specifically the man in the red jersey, Vincenzo Nibali.
Yes, we’re back at the Helta Skelta Vuelta where the action in always unpredictable, the tapas and sangria flow and big Vince is talking trash. Once again, todays’ stage 15 from Solares to Lagos de Covadonga was chock full of attacking riding, from the breakaway to the boxing GC guys.
First, Tour de France wheel-thrower Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) took the win and pronounced himself the happiest man on earth. His grin was wider than Bjarne Riis’ when he signed Alberto Contador. The local boy knew the final climb and dosed his efforts to perfection after dropping the other five escapados. Homeboy takes win.
But back to the Mosquera-dissing Nibali. He let the Xacobeo-Galicia rider burn himself up going full gas, betting that he won’t have to worry about Mosquera’s wild aggression for too much longer. This guy is riding smart and not getting caught up in crazy Spanish bravado. He’s got the legs and the brain cells to win the Vuelta.
Mosquera is doing what Alejandro Valverde and Danilo di Luca used to do earlier in their careers. They get all agitated and testosteroned up and by golly they attack just to attack. Then a week later they’re exhausted on the side of the road and can’t understand why the other GC guys have so much energy left. Easy does it, Mosq-man.
Americano update: Big cheers all around as both Tom Danielson (Garmin-Transitions) and first timer Tejay Van Garderen jumped higher up the GC. Tommy D has 8th and TVG is in 11th. Christian Vande Velde has his lucky rabbit’s foot working and remains in the race with no new broken bones. Dave Zabriskie apparently wanted a pizza in his feedbag but did not get one.
Schleck report: Frank, the teetotaler of the Brothers Schleck is in 7th place at 2:48 back and has no plans to hit any nightclubs, strip joints or dive bars tonight. A fine example for all professional cyclists.
Radio Shack dispatch. It’s shocking what has happened to this once proud squad in this year’s Vuelta. An argument could be made that they never even showed up. That perhaps Johan Bruyneel’s boys didn’t deserve their Espana tickets. Not a single Shack rider has made any impression on this race. We’re giving the entire team a DNF — Did Not Fight.