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2010 Vuelta a España: Stage 10 News and Updates

| by Sports Nickel
Stage 10 – Tarragona to Vilanova i la Geltrú - 175.7 km (108.9 mi)

Tuesday/07 September 2010


We’re right on that halfway berm at the Vuelta this year, the race having transferred up to northwest Spain to Tarragona on the Labor Day rest day. Over that time, apparently, the falling out between Bjarne Riis and the contingent of soon-to-be-former Saxo Bank riders headed by the Schleck brothers has seemingly become irrevocable. Not on the starting line — though perfectly fit and ready to race — were Andy Schleck and Saxo Bank teammate (and former Paris-Roubaix winner) Stuart O’Grady. Why, though, did these two riders miss out on finishing the second and third weeks of the last grand tour of 2010? Why did Riis banish these two supremely talented riders from his crew, reducing his team to seven and in turn punishing every other man in the Saxo Bank jerseys?

It wasn’t a matter of performance enhancement, though one of the oldest intoxicants known to man was involved. As it turns out, at the very least, the two riders were out breaking curfew after dinner once the team had arrived at its base in Tarragona. Reports range from anything to a drink after dinner to the overblown assumptions that had O’Grady and Schleck out until 5 in the morning partying and consuming spirituous beverages by the dozen. With both riders leaving at the end of the season for the new Luxembourg Project squad in development, Riis obviously felt he could make an example of the two men. This was a move that is sure to strike fault lines throughout the rest of his current roster and will reverberate for years to come with both his remaining cyclists and those he will be courting to join his ranks.

Whatever the motivation, what is done is done and will be worth watching going forward toward the culmination of the 2010 season. But first we still had 179 riders lining up at the start in Tarragona, ready to get the second phase of the Vuelta on the road and into the mountains. The presence of just one categorized climb masked the rolling nature of the stage, undulating terrain taking the riders toward Andorra and the Pyrenees little by little.

Katusha kept the pace over 50 kilometers an hour through the first intermediate sprint of the day in Valls, reaching the town falling 41 km into the stage in less than an hour. Cavendish pipped Farrar at the line, gaining four points and surpassing Philippe Gilbert in the points competition in the process. Behind them Joaquin Rodriguez took third. The Katusha rider is not a sprinter as classically defined, but the two seconds available to the third-place rider over the line were enough incentive for his team to keep the pace high and propel him to the line — entering the stage he was tied with Igor Anton in the general classification, though Anton was the one in the red leader’s jersey due to his higher stage placings.

The two seconds secured, Katusha was now content that they could keep Anton and Vincenzo Nibali (4 seconds behind) in check through the rest of the stage. Soon after Valls a breakaway a dozen riders strong — Biel Kadri (Ag2r), Javier Moreno Bazan (Andalucia Cajasur), Imanol Erviti (Caisse d’Epargne), Romain Zingle (Cofidis), Gimpaolo Cheula (Footon-Servetto), Christophe Le Mevel (FdJ), Manuele Mori (Lampre), Mauro Finetto (Liquigas), Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma), Greg Van Avermaet (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) and Anders Lund (Saxo Bank) — developed that had three minutes on the main field by the time the roads turned upward between Les Pobles and Pontons.

The gap would extend to a maximum of four minutes before the lead group started to fracture on the 1st-category Alto de Rat Penat. With 16 km left before Vilanova i la Geltrú, Caisse d’Epargne’s Imanol Erviti set out on his own hoping to take everyone by surprise and snatch a solo stage victory to go with the stage he won from Valladolid to Las Rozas in the Vuelta two years ago. Behind him nobody wanted to pull things together and really start working to bring back Erviti for a sprint. So the Spaniard barreled along as aerodynamically as he could, carving out a 37-second victory by the end of the stage.

Behind him both Cavendish and Rodriguez coasted through with the main field, which would finish a minute and a half behind Erviti when all was said and done. In the process both men claimed (and in Cavendish’s case reclaimed) their respective leader’s jerseys. Whether they can hold them when the roads turn skyward is another story, but for one glorious night at least their tactics in the first hour of the race by the time they concluded their day in the middle of the fifth hour…


1 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 4:13:31  
2 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne 0:00:37  
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
4 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo    
5 Javier Moreno (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur    
6 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
7 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) FDJ    
8 Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Footon-Servetto    
9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:42  
10 Dmitry Fofonov (Kaz) Astana 0:01:36


1 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 42:11:49  
2 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:02  
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:04  
4 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:00:44  
5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:54  
6 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:17  
7 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:01:20  
8 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale 0:01:21  
9 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:24  
10 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia 0:01:28  


1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC-Columbia 60 pts
2 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 57  
3 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions 55  
4 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 50  
5 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 48  
6 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne 45  
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 44  
8 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ 33  
9 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 33  
10 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini 32  


1 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne 41 pts
2 Serafin Martinez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 36  
3 Gonzalo Rabunal (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 25  
4 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) FDJ 10  
5 Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 10  
6 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step 8  
7 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 7  
8 Javier Moreno (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur 6  
9 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 5  
10 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha 5


1 Caisse d’Epargne 126:01:38  
2 Team Katusha 0:03:25  
3 Omega Pharma – Lotto 0:06:27  
4 Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:06:56  
5 AG2R – La Mondiale 0:09:56  
6 Cervelo Test Team 0:10:34  
7 Xacobeo Galicia 0:12:20  
8 Liquigas – Doimo 0:16:05  
9 Astana 0:20:12  
10 Lampre – Farese Vini 0:25:39

2010 Vuelta a España – Stage 10 News and Notes is a post originally from: SportsNickel.com - In Sports We Trust


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