Notice: Will Work For Stage Win In Vuelta.
One rider was willing to work and the other wasn’t. Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream) took a well-deserved one second victory over lazy and calculating David Garcia (Xacobeo Galicia) on top of the Alto de Velefique.
Garcia refused to work with Ryder because he had team-mate Ezequiel Mosquera just a minute back and closing fast up the 13.3 kilometer climb. It was a by-the-book decision, playing the odds and the team game. Let the Garmin rider do the workload, then the two Spaniards would gang up on him for the easy win.
Fortunately, fair play and honest, hard pedaling triumphed. After giving Garcia a free ride for 4 kilometers, Hesjedal still beat him by the slimmest of margins. How sweet is that payback? Part-time work does not get you a stage victory in a grand tour and Mr. Garcia will be flagellating himself all winter thinking how he blew that.
Back with the big boys, Tom Danielson continues to show off his new-found confidence and the long rumored return of his climbing legs. He stuck with Valverde all the way up the mountain. This without the aid of any fresh bags of blood. Although he might have taken an extra shot of new Sponsor POM’s pomegranate juice. Like Wiggins at the Tour de France, Danielson is taking things day by day and soaking up every moment of success. Jonathan Vaughters is jumping for joy in argyle heavan.
Riding a three week grand tour is more suffering than most of us normal humans could ever endure. To win a stage takes talent and drive and luck and yeah, it’s work. Ryder Hesjedal is more than willing.