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Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel)
Euskaltel-Euskadi's Roberto Laiseka has given his squad some much needed joy by winning the 11th...
Euskaltel-Euskadi's Roberto Laiseka has given his squad some much needed joy by winning the 11th stage of the Vuelta between Andorra and Cerler. Laiseka jumped his five breakaway companions with less than 3 km to go to open up a 15 second gap at the finish. As he was not really a threat on the general classification, none of the others in the lead group reacted, and all five of the top GC riders finished in the same time, led by Carlos Sastre. The outcome of the stage was perfect for race leader Denis Menchov (Rabobank), who was able to match any of Roberto Heras' attacks and conserved his 47 second advantage on GC.
The 192 km stage saw the second climb of the day, the Coll de Bretui, being scrapped because of a landslide. In the opening kilometre, Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis) and Bernhard Kohl (T-Mobile) attacked, and on the Cat. 1 Port del Canto were joined by Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Saunier Duval), Adolfo Garcia Quesada and David Bernabeu (Comunidad Valenciana), Oscar Pereiro Sio and Victor Hugo Peña (Phonak), José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Illes Balears), Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis), and Paolo Bettini (Quick Step). The 10 riders managed a 3'30 gap at most, as Liberty Seguros and Rabobank kept them well under control.
The break was nullified at the foot of the final climb to the ski station at Cerler, and Michele Scarponi (Liberty) then went about reducing the peloton to a dozen riders. Laiseka opened the attacks with 8 km to go, and was countered by Sastre at 6 km. That forced Heras and Menchov to react, and Mancebo and Carlos Garcia Quesada were also able to close the gap. The six stayed together until Laiseka put in his winning attack with 2.5 km to go.