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2010 Vuelta a España: Stage 11 News and Results

| by Sports Nickel
Stage 11 – Vilanova i la Geltrú to Andorra – 208.4 km (129.2 mi)

Wednesday/08 September 2010


Joaquin Rodriguez might have finally ended his deadlock with Igor Anton atop the general classification yesterday, snagging a two-second time bonus at the first intermediate sprint of the day and claiming the leader’s jersey by two seconds… but he merely won the battle. Today on the first true mountaintop finish of the 2010 Vuelta, Anton responded in a way that makes him seem far more suited to conquering the greater war at stake once the race rolls into Madrid two Sundays from now. The calm and determined way in which he took his second stage win today — and by just the midway point of this year’s race! — exudes the aura of a champion.

Anton, 27 years old, might just have been the biggest oversight of all the GC contenders when I put out the Vuelta preview before the race. I didn’t have him among my top ten contenders for the overall. Nowhere in sight — I seemed too fixated on the absence of Samuel Sanchez when looking at Euskaltel-Euskadi’s Vuelta starting nine that I missed some faint signs. But who really expected the Basque rider from Galdakao to break through quite as dominantly as he has so far during this grand tour after his recent run of form?

Prior to this year’s Vuelta, the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider had won just one Vuelta stage in his career previously, the Stage 16 run from Almería to the Calar Alto Observatory in the 2006 Vuelta. A year later he finished the race 8th overall in Madrid. The next year he won a stage and took third overall at the 2008 Tour de Suisse. The early parts of his admittedly still-burgeoning career were speckled with glimmers of hope. But since then he’s done little of consequence to presume that he’s ready to really break out and challenge over the span of three weeks in a grand tour. The glimmers have merely grown into more inconsistency.

In late August 2008 he came into the Vuelta with high hopes, the Euskaltel-Euskadi team leader without question and looking good to reach his first grand-tour podium. But with his team looking to transfer the leader’s jersey from Egoi Martinez to his shoulders, Anton crashed on the descent of the Alto del Cordal before the summit finish on the Alto de L’Angliru on unlucky Stage 13. In 2009, a listless season saw him lose leadership of the squad in the Vuelta to eventual runner-up Samuel Sanchez; Anton would finish 33rd, over 57 minutes behind his teammate and almost a full hour behind eventual winner Alejandro Valverde.

With Sanchez sitting out the Vuelta this year after racing to a 4th-place finish in the Tour de France, the team was once again working for Anton this year. And with the weight of expectation lifted, the Spaniard has provided the best effort we’ve ever seen from him in battling his way back into the race lead. He came to the Vuelta having taken second to Alberto Contador earlier in the year at the five-stage Vuelta a Castilla y León. He had a great season in the Ardennes classics, finishing just off the podium in 4th at La Flèche Wallonne and 7th at Liège–Bastogne–Liège. His legs were fresh after having raced in neither the Giro nor the Tour. And today he went hunting for victory and greater glory.

After a long rolling ride through Catalonia, about fifty riders remained in the front group chasing the remnants of the day’s early breakaway. Xacobeo-Galicia were the early animators once the road got its steepest in the final five kilometers, punching up the pace in hopes of vaulting Ezequiel Mosquera to victory and better GC position. Vincenzo Nibali and Joaquin Rodriguez chased, marking the move while the others continued churning their own pace. One of those was Igor Anton, who sat back biding his time and waiting for the right moment to strike.

With two kilometers to go, Nibali and Rodriguez had overcooked their legs and drifted back to the chasers. At just that moment, with the red flag signaling the final kilometer up in the near distance, Anton attacked and bridged the gap to Mosquera. He then kept his momentum right into the sprint, gapping the veteran Mosquera by three seconds. In taking his second stage win of the race so far, Anton punctuated his leadership with a bold statement. He now sits with Nibali as his closest competitor, 45 seconds back. Rodriguez is now 1:17 behind, Mosquera sits a minute and a half back and Frank Schleck is two and a half minutes in arrears. With the form Anton is exhibiting in the mountains, he could well have enough of a lead by the 46-kilometer time trial in Peñafiel a week from now to hold the jersey all the way to Madrid…


1 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 5:25:44  
2 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:00:03  
3 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:00:10  
4 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne 0:00:15  
5 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d’Epargne    
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:23  
7 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank    
8 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne    
9 Inigo Cuesta (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:00:32  
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo Test Team    


1 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 47:37:15  
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:45  
3 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:01:04  
4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:17  
5 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:01:29  
6 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:57  
7 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:02:07  
8 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d’Epargne 0:02:13  
9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale 0:02:30  
10 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank    


1 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 75 pts
2 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 61  
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC-Columbia 60  
4 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions 56  
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 54  
6 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne 53  
7 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 48  
8 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 37  
9 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ 33  
10 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 33


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 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 15  
5 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 11  
6 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) FDJ 10  
7 Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 10  
8 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 10  
9 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 10  
10 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step 8  


1 Caisse d’Epargne 142:19:52  
2 Team Katusha 0:06:46  
3 Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:08:49  
4 Cervelo Test Team 0:10:46  
5 Omega Pharma – Lotto 0:12:50  
6 AG2R – La Mondiale 0:13:51  
7 Xacobeo Galicia 0:15:06  
8 Liquigas – Doimo 0:25:27  
9 Astana 0:29:16  
10 Lampre – Farese Vini 0:31:52

2010 Vuelta a España – Stage 11 News and Notes is a post originally from: SportsNickel.com - In Sports We Trust


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