The Vuelta Stage 17 Thriller

Last night I watched the last 45 thrilling minutes of Stage 17 of the Vuelta.

A 5-man break was out 6 km from the start of this flat stage. As usual the peloton was drilling it near the end to reel them in. The peloton was hitting speeds over 70 km/h (43 mph) and was eroding the gap fast.

The break faltered 5 km from the finish as they jockeyed to avoid the lead and looked over their shoulders for the charging peloton. Finally Maaskant took charge and shot off the front. Then Roux made a huge bridge up to Maaskant, rested for a while on his wheel, then took the lead.

With 3 km to go the peloton was bearing down under 30 seconds away and Roux was giving the pedals everything he had left. At the last turn the peloton was right there but Roux took the win by only a few meters.

It was one of the most exciting sports moments I've seen. You could feel the impending doom as the massive peloton charged forward, closer and closer to Roux. At a left turn through a round-about you could see Roux exit with the peloton right behind him entering the round-about (see the video below). Jolene and I were both physically tense as we watched. And how sweet it was when Roux crossed the line.

This video recap is pretty good, but cuts out too much. If you have this stage recorded, go watch the last 30 minutes or more to get the full impact.


I saw this sticker mentioned on the UMB forum - not a bad idea:

There are two other stickers to chose from.


Ski Bike Junkie said...

Glad you saw that too! Best finish to a race I've seen in ages. I only wish Maaskant could have been the one to take the win instead. Either way, great stuff.

bikemike said...

i would've thrown a shoe at the tv if they caught him at the end...not because he lost but because you KNOW the radios allowed it to happen.
man, you watch it over and over and you still think he's going to get caught. very nice.