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2010 Vuelta a España – Stage 9 News and Notes

| by Sports Nickel
Stage 9 - Calpe to Alcoy - 187.7 km (116.4 mi)

Sunday/05 September 2010


The second Sunday of the Vuelta offered up the most mountainous day yet for the 185 riders that took to the start in Calpe on the Mediterranean coast and headed inland toward the municipality of Alcoy in the Baetic Cordillera of southeast spain. The race was entirely without Team Sky, the British-based squad having removed itself from the race this weekend following the death of team assistant Txema González to a bacterial infection. While no other members of the team or staff have been found to be infected, Sky nonetheless found it best out of respect to the family and the team’s obviously-waning mood in the death of one of their most valuable and respected soigneurs to withdraw altogether from this competition. The peloton made a grand gesture as well, donating all prize money from yesterday’s Stage 8 to the family of González. With two intermediate sprints, four categorized climbs (including the stage finish), and the payouts to the top finishers on the stage as well as the jersey holders, it amounted to a tribute totaling €41,090 ($52,980) for the longtime rider and team staff member who worked with Euskaltel-Euskadi and Saunier Duval before joining Sky. It led to a somber mood at yesterday’s start which softened as the tribute stage went on to its own terminus of sorts.

Today, though, the peloton was able to get back to competing in earnest. Several attempts to get away on the long mountainous trek took off right from the gun but were ultimately futile. About a half hour into a stage that would ultimately have riders on the roads of Alicante for five and a half hours (give or take 10-15 minutes from winner to la luz roja, just when things had come together after the last of the doomed early breakaways had been reeled in and things were getting antsy amongst the cyclingst before the first climb of the day up the Coll de Rates, a decisive breakaway formed that would have implications on the stage result… and perhaps even on more than that depending on how things shake out.

But before we get to the end, let’s get back to that breakaway. The group of fourteen — Dario Cataldo (Quick Step), Giampaolo Caruso (Team Katusha), David López (Caisse D’Epargne), Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas), Oscar Pujol (Cervélo), Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Gonzalo Rabuñal (Xacobeo Galicia), Perrig Quemeneur (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), Egoi Martínez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Jean Christophe Peraud (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Biel Kadri (Ag2r) — had grown their lead to two minutes by the first intermediate sprint of the day in Ondera. It had more than doubled, near to five minutes, by the summit of the Rates.

At the point that the gap started really growing for the leaders, we saw several riders bid adios to the Vuelta before the climbing began. The most notable of the four riders who would not finish today’s stage was Alessandro Petacchi, the winner of the sprint finish on Friday, who was banged up after a nasty crash early in yesterday’s stage left him bloodied and torn up. Cutting his losses, the Italian figured it best to allow himself time to heal sufficiently ahead of next month’s UCI World Championships road race in Australia. We may see more defections yet if Mark Cavendish or Tyler Farrar find the going too strenuous in the mountains or deem it merely surplus to training needs prior to worlds. But to have to leave, agonizing physically as Petacchi was through the night on his wounds, is the toughest way for one to ultimately have to recuse himself from a race which had been going so well to this point.

That meant little to the riders up front, who were barreling along as David Moncoutie swept up as many points as he could in a bid to steal away the King of the Mountains leadership from Serafin Martinez. With the Xacobeo Galicia rider locked up in the main field behind, Moncoutie was free to steal as many points as he could on a stage that had plenty to offer. The Frenchman never did finish out of the points on any of the seven climbs, though Martinez’s teammate Gonzalo Rabuñal battled Moncoutie to dampen the defeat being handed out to Martinez. By the end of the day Moncoutie pulled clear of the Spaniard by five thin points and positioned himself for a third Vuelta King of the Mountains title. While all Martinez needs is one good day of his own in the mountains — and there are plenty of stages left with mountains — to reclaim the jersey, Moncoutie knows what it takes to successfully capture this points-based title, has shown a penchant for repeated success by his methods and intends to set himself up to form another bond in the history of the race with a record-tying third consecutive KOM crown.

And thus the finish in Alcoy came down to the remnants, as the breakaway fractured under the leg-searing weight of the various pitches on the route. By the uphill finish, just six riders were within a half-minute of David Lopez’s winning time of 5:20:51. Among them, though, was Moncoutie, who stepped back into his all-too-familiar jersey after stage winner David Lopez took his moment of glory in the sun. As the peloton rolled in seven minutes later, Joaquin Rodriguez was unable to shake GC leader Igor Anton — and thus, preceding the first time trial (which is eight stages away), the two men remained tied on overall time but separated solely by Anton’s better stage-by-stage place finishes. It’s a hell of a way to separate the two men, but hell — there can only be one man donning red at the end of the day…


1 David Lopez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 5:20:51  
2 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:06  
3 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha 0:00:13  
4 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne 0:00:21  
5 Blel Kadri (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale 0:00:27  
6 Egoï Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:30  
7 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:55  
8 Gonzalo Rabunal (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:02:36  
9 Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:03:52  
10 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:04:17


1 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 37:56:42  
2 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha    
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:02  
4 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:00:42  
5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:52  
6 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:15  
7 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:01:18  
8 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale 0:01:19  
9 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:22  
10 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia 0:01:26


1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC-Columbia 56 pts
2 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions 53  
3 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 50  
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 50  
5 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 47  
6 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne 45  
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 44  
8 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ 33  
9 Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 30  
10(t) Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 28  
10(t) Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini 28  


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 Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 10  
5 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step 8  
6 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 7  
7(t) Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 5  
7(t) Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha 5  
7(t) Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram 5  
7(t) Egoï Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 5  
7(t) Sergio Carrasco (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur 5  


1 Caisse d’Epargne 113:17:49  
2 Team Katusha 0:01:47  
3 Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:05:18  
4 Omega Pharma – Lotto 0:05:50  
5 AG2R – La Mondiale 0:08:18  
6 Cervelo Test Team 0:08:56  
7 Xacobeo Galicia 0:10:42  
8 Liquigas – Doimo 0:15:28  
9 Astana 0:18:36  
10 Team HTC – Columbia 0:19:55

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