27 March 2014

Congratulations Tejay!

Tejay van Garderen won a stage today in the Volta a Catalunya

In the cold Spanish snow, Tejay won a stage of the 2014 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya to Vallter 2000. Where is that you might ask? Well I was wondering the very same thing myself, as in, "Where the hell is that?". I discovered Vallter 2000 is a peak (that I am guessing not many people visit) on the border of Spain and France, well north of Barcelona. Barcelona is the city where the Volta a Catalunya will end this Sunday.

Location of Vallter 2000 climb in Spain
Joaquin Rodriguez is currently in the lead of this race by 4 seconds.  The route map has to be one of the most confusing I have ever seen, all I know is they ride all over Cataluyna (Catalonia, Cataluña) in 7 days and 7 etapes.

Cataluyna has fantastic cycling. It's capital is Barcelona, it's provinces are Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. I last visited Spain in 2010, I wrote a bit about it: I finally get Girona, Cycling in Girona Spain, I'm on Vacation in France/Spain! (a beautiful beach north of Girona).

My coffee break in Cataluyna.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
But today - Tejay won Stage 4!

American Tejay van Garderen (BMC)  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

Today's race coverage showed fog, fog, and more fog, with occasional riders appearing through -fog. Vallter 2000 is one of those remote ski stations. When it isn't covered in snow, it looks like this.

Vallter 2000
Which is a far cry from this, which is Barcelona
City of Barcelona, Spain, with the landmark Torre Agbar skyscraper
Which is known for this
Casa Batllo: architecture by Antoni Gaudi
And this
And this
And come Sunday - it will be known as the place where one of these men won the 2014 Volta a Catalunya. Three more stages to go:
General Classification after Stage 4
ESP  1  RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA)                 17:47:34
ESP  2  CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TINKOFF-SAXO)           +    4
USA  3  VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING)                           +    7
FRA  4  BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE)                          +   10
COL  5  QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR)               
GBR  6  FROOME, Christopher (SKY)                                             +   17
USA  7  TALANSKY, Andrew (GARMIN SHARP)                             +   18

Ciclista a Catalunya 2014 - Stage 4 - FINAL KILOMETERS. it is foggy! (hi ha boira) and it is snowy! (està cobert de neu).