Ooh La La - Les Français sont de retour

Tears of Joy - I love the emotion!
via Kenny Elissonde Facebook

I settled in with plenty of coffee to watch the queen's stage up the steep Angliru and it was truly mesmerizing.

The race was epic finishing with crazed fans cheering (one in a animal costume) and riders trying to find their way in fog shrouded blindness. The French climbers have come back; Kennny Elissonde winning an exceptional solo Angliru victory, and Warren Barguil answering two stage wins all in the toughest mountain stages. Both of these riders are in their early twenties and Elissonde is riding his first three week stage race as a stagiaire for FdJ. That's already impressive. And, let's not forget the consistent riding from Thibault Pinot finishing 10th on this chaotic stage and is in 7th overall.

The French are back!

"If you had told me this morning I would win on the Angliru, one of the most mythical summits of the world and on a very tough course, I wouldn't have said it was possible."

- Kenny Elissonde

Stars n' Shark...

Another star of the day goes to The Shark who repeatedly attacked Chris 'Papa' Horner in the last 7 kms to be ride impressively in his role worthy of never say die. Equally impressive is Horner who defended the Roja jersey and now is the first American to win the Vuelta.

via grahamwatson

...cease fire
via twitter

Results of stage 20:
1. Kenny Elissonde (Fra/FDJ.fr) 3:55:36"
2. Chris Horner (US/RadioShack) +26"
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +54"
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana)
5. Andre Cardoso (Por/Caja Rural)
6. Dominik Nerz (Ger/BMC Racing)
7. Jose Mendes (Por/NetApp) +1:15"
8. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +1:45"
9. Serge Pauwels (Bel/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +1:52"
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/FDJ.fr) +1:59"

Overall standings after stage 20:

1. Chris Horner (US/RadioShack) 81:52:01"

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) +37"

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +1:36"

4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +3:22"

5. Nicolas Roche (Ire/Saxo-Tinkoff) +7:11"

6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/AG2R) +8:00"
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/FDJ.fr) +8:41"
8. Samuel Sanchez (Spa/Euskaltel) +9:51"
9. Leopold Koenig (Cze/NetApp) +10:11"
10. Daniel Moreno (Spa/Katusha) +13:11"


La Française Cycling Cap
Red Dots Cycling

This year, the Vuelta has been the most exciting of the Grand Tours!

A fan(s) delight!
Stage 18, Burgos-Pena Cabarga.
via rte.ie