Friday, July 10, 2009

So close

Wherein love the chases in the mountains

Stage 6, the first mountain stage from Girona to Barcelona with five climbs. David Millar, from Great Britain and riding for Slipstream, starts the day in 10th, 1:07 back. He makes a break during the first climb, with 149km left to go. He's joined by Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) and with 116km to go, they have a lead of 3:30 minutes. After the third climb the lead is down to two minutes. With 74km to go, Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) sprints from the peloton to bridge the gap and catches them after 3km.

Let's go to bullets: Kilometers left and time over the peloton

  • 58km remaining, gap = 1:12: David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) and Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

  • 42km remaining, gap = 1:31

  • 28.7km remaining: David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) attacks. Chavanel, Txurruka and Augé chase. The other three really look to be suffering and are not able to pull back Millar. It was a smart move by Garmin's Millar. He has 54" over the main group and 15" on the trio.

  • 23.5km: final climb, Chavanel and Augé are back in the main group.

  • 20km remaining: Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) is chasing solo, off the front of the group. Txurruka still chases solo, behind Millar and in front of the main group. Millar has 32" with 20km. It is not much and he will be caught.

  • 16.4km remaining, Txurruka at 0:31, Pauriol at 0:40, peloton at 1:00

  • 12.7km remaining, gap = 1:09: Millar is in full time trial mode, he has his arms on the tops of the bars and is gaining time. He now has 1:09 over the chase. His concern will be those final five kilometres, it rises up to 96m.

  • 10km remaining, gap = 1:05: Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) are caught.

  • 7.6km remaining, gap = 0:53

  • 6.8km remaining, gap = 0:45

  • 5.5km remaining, gap = 0:41

  • 4km remaining, gap = 0:31

  • 3km remaining, gap = 0:23

  • 2km remaining, gap = 0:18

  • 1.6km remaining, gap = 0:08

  • Millar is caught, right near the 1km banner.

David Millar must have flamed out on that last tiny climb to the finish. In that last kilometer, he lost 1:21. On the positive side, he picked up points on all three sprints and on 4/5 mountain climbs. He also gets the jersey for "most combative." The day's effort moves him 2:32 back and to 20th place.


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