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2010 Vuelta a España – Stage 19 News and Notes

| by Sports Nickel
Stage 19 – Piedrahita to Toledo – 231.2 km (143.3 mi)

Friday/17 September 2010

 

Apparently we can’t get too premature in coronating Mark Cavendish the best sprinter of the 2010 Vuelta. The Manx Missile just didn’t have it today on the stage into Toledo, finishing ten seconds off the pace set by stage winner Philippe Gilbert and runner-up Tyler Farrar and finishing completely out of the points in 17th place. Two of his biggest rivals in the points classification battle managed to claw back some of that ground that Cavendish had gained yesterday, leaving just a dozen points of buffer for the Columbia sprinter with two stages remaining. With the focus shifting to the climbers tomorrow as they try to usurp David Moncoutie’s position as King of the Mountains, there is only one chance left for Farrar to make up those final twelve points. But with the unthinkable now worth thinking about, were Cavendish to once again finish out of the points on Sunday, all Farrar would have to do is finish in the top five to force a tie… and anything better than fifth will allow him to wrest the green jersey off the shoulders of the Manxman at the eleventh hour.

If that happens, it would be the first time that an American has ever captured the green points jersey at the Vuelta. But furthermore, it would be the first time an American had ever won the points classification in any grand tour — the closest Yankees have ever come were the runner-up finishes at the Tour de France by Greg LeMond in 1985 and Davis Phinney in 1988. We might be on the brink of a little sliver of history here should we witness a complete meltdown by Cavendish. We’re going to see a young, first-time points winner regardless who wins, and this is bound to be a duel of elite sprinters for years to come between the two. Cavendish currently has the upper hand; Farrar all the momentum now…

Another rider who enjoyed today’s stage immensely had to be current GC leader Vincenzo Nibali. Solidifying his hold on the red jersey just a bit more, he found himself in the front half of a split peloton crossing the finish line today and took 12 more seconds from second-placed Ezequiel Mosquera. Now Nibali’s lead with two stages left – and only tomorrow’s summit finish on which he can either lose or gain serious time — is up to 50 seconds on Mosquera and still at two minutes on Peter Velits. Tomorrow the fireworks will go off, the Bola del Mundo breaking rider’s legs with its 20+% grades toward the top. It’s going to be a dangerous day for GC contenders, with huge gaps sure to open up. Nibali did well in gaining a little more distance, but even the four minutes he holds over Joaquin Rodriguez and Frank Schleck is anything but secure on a day like Saturday’s stage.

It will also provide Serafin Martinez with his last chance to oust Moncoutie as King of the Mountains. The Frenchman is on path to win a third straight KOM title in the Vuelta, but Martinez has just an eight-point deficit to make up on the climb and could very well attack on the slopes to slap the jersey back on a Spaniard’s shoulders. He made up two points today with his finish first over the second-category Puerto de Chía early in the stage, beating Moncoutie to the line, and it is going to be a two-front battle on the brand-new Vuelta climb. The peloton will gain over a kilometer in elevation on the combination of cement and asphalt roads to the summit, finishing off the race before the finale in downtown Madrid with a bang.

Today, though, was a day for Philippe Gilbert. The Belgian might no longer be in play for a jersey, but he could still upset the sprint favorites once more on the final stage Sunday. There are a lot of competitions still left in play heading into the final weekend of racing for the last grand tour of 2010, and the battle will extend out onto all fronts as both the climbers and the sprinters get their chance to shine once more on Spanish soil before turning focus toward the world championships…

STAGE 19 RESULTS

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 5:43:41  
2 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions 0:00:01  
3 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha    
4 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale    
5 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia    
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo    
7 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quick Step    
8 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini    
9 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo    
10 Paul Voss (Ger) Team Milram    

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 80:30:48  
2 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:00:50  
3 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia 0:01:59  
4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:03:54  
5 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:03:57  
6 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:04:02  
7 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale 0:04:10  
8 Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Transitions 0:04:12  
9 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:04:28  
10 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:05:50

POINTS CLASSIFICATION

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC-Columbia 136  pts
2 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions 124  
3 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 100  
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 99  
5 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 94  
6 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia 80  
7 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne 72  
8 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 72  
9 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 61  
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale 53  

KING OF THE MOUNTAINS

1 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne 51  pts
2 Serafin Martinez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 43  
3 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 25  
4 Gonzalo Rabunal (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 25  
5 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 21  
6 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 19  
7 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 16  
8 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step 15  
9 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram 14  
10 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 11  
11 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 11  
12 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 11

TEAM CLASSIFICATION

1 Team Katusha 241:18:17  
2 Caisse D’Epargne 0:00:32  
3 Xacobeo Galicia 0:12:01  
4 Cervelo Test Team 0:20:06  
5 AG2R – La Mondiale 0:34:56  
6 Omega Pharma – Lotto 0:49:23  
7 Liquigas – Doimo 0:52:07  
8 Team HTC – Columbia 1:02:08  
9 FDJ 1:10:09  
10 Euskaltel – Euskadi 1:11:52

2010 Vuelta a España – Stage 19 News and Notes is a post originally from: SportsNickel.com - In Sports We Trust

 

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