Leo Koenig barely misses the podium after a gutsy attack

Team News | 25.08.2013

The second stage of the Vuelta a España ended with a summit finish. Just 1.4 kilometers before the finish on the Alto Do Monte Da Groba, Leopold Koenig initiated the crucial attack for the race. Only three riders were able to take up the pursuit and catch up with Koenig on the last kilometer. But in the end he had to pay tribute to the energy-sapping surge. Nicholas Roche (Saxo Tinkoff) won the stage in front of Daniel Moreno (Katusha) and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R). Koenig came to a very good fourth place and improved his overall ranking to 11th place. With Bartosz Huzarski at 13th place, another NetApp-Endura rider is placed in the Top 15.

It was a great day for us. To still have the legs to attack for a summit finish shows that Leo is in good form. Fourth place at this stage should give him a great deal of confidence. The team worked very well together. Leo was brought well into the mountain and felt good. Even if we weren't rewarded with a victory, unfortunately, we are still pleased about the result," said Enrico Poitschke, Sport Director of Team NetApp-Endura, on the stage.

"The whole team supported me very well. Shortly before the climb it got a little hectic when I was only in 20th position. Then Daniel did a great last pull and brought me up to 5th. I tried to climb very hard from the beginning and I stayed on the wheels of Movistar and Saxo since they were pacing steadily which suited me. I saw Bartosz and Jose still with me and I told Jose to hold it a little bit before he gave me an incredible pull. Within seconds I had to decide to attack or to wait for someone else to attack and maybe loose my chance. I looked up and thought 1,000 m to go is perfect. Unfortunately it was still 1,400 m to go. I quickly over-paced and I went on my own pace. Even though it didn't work out I am more than happy. It was my first Grand Tour stage and I finished it in fourth place. I am here to learn and to take every opportunity I get. Tomorrow's stage suits more the sprinters but my chances are coming soon again", comments Leo Koenig today's stage.

Shortly after the start a trio moved away from the field. The peloton granted them a large lead of almost 13 minutes. Just in time at the end of the stage the breakaway riders were caught at the foot of the final climb, 10 kilometers before the finish. The peloton rode at high speed into the ascent up Alto Do Monte Da Groba, such that the field was divided on the initial kilometers and a group with 40 riders took over the lead. Team NetApp-Endura was represented with four riders and thus was able to implement the team strategy very well. Jose Mendes and Bartosz Huzarski rode Leopold Koenig into a promising position four kilometers before the finish, such that Koenig was able to implement his courageous attack.

The third stage of the Vuelta a España rides over 184.8 kilometers from Vigo to Mirador de Lobeira. This section is completely flat and will not provide for a selection in the field with a wave until the closing four kilometers. This means the finish will favor those riders who have their strength in an ascending sprint.

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