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Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) leads Xavier Tondo (Cervelo TestTeam) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas - Doimo) up the day's final climb.
Leaders mark time while the break goes for glory
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) - 38th on stage, third overall @ 0:04: "The riders from Xacobeo-Galicia set the pace on the Alto del Rat Penat. I suffered a little bit at the beginning of the climb as it's always hard to find the race rhythm again the day after a rest day but I felt good at the end.
"I spoke with [Italian national coach Paolo] Bettini during the rest day and he said that we'll speak again after the Vuelta. For now, he'll let me focus on the Vuelta exclusively. I'm in a perfect position for now. I hope to do well again in the Pyrénées."
Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) - 13th on stage, 14th overall @ 1:51: "When I was in the breakaway, it was obvious that Katusha didn't want to let me go. Had I been the only rider from Omega Pharma-Lotto in the front group, I probably would have continued with them but we also had Greg van Avermaet.
"I asked him how he felt and he answered positively, so I decided to give a chance to the breakaway to succeed without me. I've tried to score points for the green jersey. We never know. In Madrid it could be decided by a very few points only."
Christophe Le Mével (Française des Jeux) - seventh on stage, 28th overall @ 5:37: "The difference wasn't big enough when I passed first at the top of the Rat Penat. Moreno (Andalucia-Cajasur) favoured Erviti's breakaway.
"Behind him, we didn't combine our efforts. Personally I feel better but at the end of the day I'm disappointed because I don't win the stage and I don't regain much time either [one minute]."
Romain Zingle (Cofidis) - second on stage, 75th overall @ 41:29: "I didn't want to have spent the whole day in the breakaway for nothing. This was my first breakaway at the Vuelta. I was aiming for a result. Erviti played it well.
"Behind him, I took my chance by attacking at the one kilometre mark. Ten Dam came accross. I attacked again with 500 metres to go for finishing second. I'm delighted."
Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) - 46th on stage, 17th overall @ 2:13: "After a little rest, we got back into the race with a very fast stage and a climb up to Rat Penat which was strenuous and I think very few riders were in the leading group.
"Afterwards, the descent was quite easygoing as it was a dangerous descent with concrete and cement stretches with bends that you could hardly even see.
"It was an easygoing day for me and we took it calmly. It was an important to get back into the race, to not lose time and to be up with the best riders.
"From tomorrow onwards, when we reach Pal, the race's scenery will change completely and we will see how we are feeling. I think that both [Xavier] Tondo and I and Íñigo [Cuesta] and the other riders are feeling motivated and enthusiastic. As for Tondo, he has a good chance of being able to move forward as this type of climb really suits him."
Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - 37th on stage, second overall @ 0:02: "In the end less happened than was expected. There was much discussion of this stage and we all had our ears pricked up but it wasn't over anything important.
"We enjoyed three days of the leader's red jersey and nothing happened because we lost it - it's nothing tragic. It was a bonus, there is little time difference and I am in the best position possible.
"I know the climb to Pal, it's a long climb, but I think that it's not conducive to creating many time differences. If I see an attack at the time I won't let it go, but it's an ideal opportunity for me.
"I think Xacobeo and Cervélo wil tighten up the race; pure climbers have to up the pace. [Vincenzo] Nibali and Purito [Joaquin Rodriguez] are two wheels ahead, but they will be monitored very closely [by] Mosquera and Tondo.
"For my part I feel good at the halfway point of the Vuelta and if there is any chance, I will seize it."