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Vuelta a Espana

Eiking, still in red : “The ideal scenario for us”

The riders at the Tour of Spain (2.WT, 14/08-5/09) left Jaén in 35 degrees this Thursday for the twelfth stage of 175 kilometer. On their way to Cordoba, finish city for the twentieth time, the peloton had to ride 100 kilometer downhill before encountering two climbs, the Alto de San Jerónimo (13.2 km at 3.3%) and the Alto del 14% (7.3 km at 5.6%). The top of this last one was situated 19 kilometer before the finish.

Odd Christian Eiking, red jersey wearer for the second day in a row, could rely on his teammates to filter the breakaway attempts. The riders desiring to be part of the breakaway were numerous indeed, and it was with 80 kilometer to go that eight riders managed to escape from the peloton. They only had a slight advantage, so one by one the escapees were caught on the final climb. Thanks to the help of Jan Hirt, Rein Taaramäe and Louis Meintjes, there was no issue for Eiking to follow the first group on the climbs and descents and finish in the same time as the winner in Cordoba. Danish rider Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF) was the fastest of the group of 40 riders. 

In this way, the Norwegian rider remained the leader of the Tour of Spain, on the eve of the thirteenth stage which will start in Bemmez. The parcours leaves Andalucia to reach Villanueva de la Serena 200 kilometer later without any categorized difficulty.

We expected a group sprint today and the scenario, which was in our favor, came true. With several riders who were further down in GC attacking on the final climb, the GC favorites didn't move. Louis and I stayed in the first group thanks to the support of our teammates. On paper, it looks like it might be a similar situation in the flat stage this Friday, but all stay very attentive, because you never know what can happen. I'm already looking forward to the next stage, because it is such a nice feeling to wear the leader's jersey!


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