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Vuelta a Espana

Minali positive after three times top 10

This Saturday, the peloton started the eighth stage of the Tour of Spain (2.WT, 14/08-5/09) in the scorching heat in Santa Pola and with still the mountain stage of the day before in the legs. The 173,7 kilometer parcours along the Valencian shores didn’t inspire the peloton to make the race hard from the beginning. Three riders animated the race between the coastal cities. Some teams woke up the peloton by taking advantage of the changes of direction to form echelons, but the effort didn’t cause much damage. The early escapees were caught and some riders were dropped from the bunch. The sprint was prepared next to the biggest seawater lake in Europe. Fabio Jakobsen was the fastest at the end of the 9 kilometer landstrip leading towards La Manga Del Mar Menor. Riccardo Minali sprinted to 13th place. Louis Meintjes and Odd Christian Eiking finished in the peloton and stay in 15th and 19th position of the provisional classification.

After three times top 10 I was in an excellent position to achieve a better result today. Wesley did again an amazing positioning job towards the final kilometer. With 300 meter to go, when I wanted to start my sprint, I've chosen the left size. Unfortunately I was blocked between a lead out rider and the barriers. I couldn't go anywhere, so I had to break and start again. I'm disappointed about this missed opportunity. Hopefully I'll be more lucky next time! But first things first, we have to pass the mountains! I'm happy to help Louis in the stages which don't finish in a sprint, for example with the positioning in the crosswinds. Hopefully we can conclude our first successful week in style tomorrow! 

This Sunday we could see changes to this general classification, as before the restday on Monday the stage with start in Puerto Lumbreras finishes on top of the Alto de Velefique, the first of three climbs hors catégorie in this Vuelta. Several difficulties have to be covered in the 188 kilometer preceding the finish.



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