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Amaël Moinard figured in a four-man breakaway that was only caught on the final two-kliometer climb to the finish. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Amaël Moinard figured in a four-man breakaway that was only caught on the final two-kliometer climb to the finish. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Vuelta a España, Stage 12: Moinard In The Break; Morabito Crashes

30. agosto 2012

Philippe Gilbert was the BMC Racing Team's first finisher to the top of the Mirador de Ézaro, a short, but steep climb at the end of Thursday's 190.5-kilometer race that saw Amaël Moinard figure in the breakaway and Steve Morabito go down in a crash.

Breakaway Caught At The Bottom
?Moinard and the three others in his escape group enjoyed a more than seven-minute lead before being reeled in as they hit the lower ramps of the two-kilometer climb featuring stretches of gradient as steep as 30 percent. "It took me awhile to have a chance to follow the attacks because the rest of the guys were doing such a good job covering everything," Moinard said. Gilbert finished 25th, 57 seconds behind stage winner and race leader Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha Team). Morabito, who is the BMC Racing Team's best-placed rider in the general classification, finished 35th, 1:18 back and slipped to 21st overall, 8:40 off the lead.

Morabito Not Seriously Hurt
The crash involving Morabito happened with about 35 km to go. "I was in the front with Alessandro (Ballan) when we came to a roundabout and the rider in front of me hit the traffic island," Morabito said. "His bike came flying up at me and I couldn't avoid crashing. I landed on my right shoulder. My teammates waited for me, Klaas Lodewyck and Steve Cummings, and it took me a long time to come back. But on the climb I couldn't really grab the handlebars. It was not a good day." Teammate Brent Bookwalter said for him, the final climb wasn't the hardest thing about the stage. "The 188 kilometers before it were much harder," he said. "It was a major fight just to get into the breakaway."