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Vuelta a España 2009

Date range:
August 29 - September 20, 2009
  • Vuelta a España, Spain, GT
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      4.5km
      Start location:
      Assen
      End location:
      Assen
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      202km
      Start location:
      Assen
      End location:
      Emmen
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      189.7km
      Start location:
      Zutphen
      End location:
      Venlo
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      224km
      Start location:
      Venlo
      End location:
      Lieja
    • Rest day

      Location
      Tarragona
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      174km
      Start location:
      Tarragona
      End location:
      Vinaros
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      177km
      Start location:
      Xativa
      End location:
      Xativa
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      30km
      Start location:
      Valencia
      End location:
      Valencia
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      206km
      Start location:
      Alzira
      End location:
      Alto de Aitana
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      186km
      Start location:
      Alcoy
      End location:
      Xorret de Cati
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      162km
      Start location:
      Alicante
      End location:
      Murcia
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      200km
      Start location:
      Murcia
      End location:
      Caravaca de la Cruz
    • Rest Day

      Location
      Almeria
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      174km
      Start location:
      Almeria
      End location:
      Alto de Velefique
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      175km
      Start location:
      Berja
      End location:
      Alto de Sierra Nevada
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      157km
      Start location:
      Granada
      End location:
      La Pandera
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      167.7km
      Start location:
      Jaén
      End location:
      Córdoba
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      170km
      Start location:
      Córdoba
      End location:
      Puertollano
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      193.6km
      Start location:
      Ciudad Real
      End location:
      Talavera de la Reina
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      187km
      Start location:
      Talavera de la Reina
      End location:
      Avila
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      174km
      Start location:
      Avila
      End location:
      La Granja. Real Fábrica de Cristales
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      26km
      Start location:
      Toledo
      End location:
      Toledo
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      110.2km
      Start location:
      Rivas
      End location:
      Madrid
  • Race history

September 17, Stage 18: Talavera de la Reina - Avila 187km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Richard Tyler
  1. 13:51:12 CEST

    Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Vuelta a España's 17th stage from Talaverda de la Reina to Ávila. It's back into the hills for the peloton today.

  2. 13:53:00 CEST

    A bit of a shock for the riders too, and quite apart from the return to altitude: It's cold today, 13 degrees C at the start and rain is falling.

  3. 14:02:03 CEST

    Three categorised climbs rise on the course profile today. The first is Category 1, the Puerto de Mijares, a 20 kilometre climb that begins after 37 kilometres on the stage.

    The Category 2 Alto Collado Mediano comes at 112.8 kilometres and then the final climb of the day, the Category 3 Alto del Baoqueron begins its rise at kilometre 139.

  4. 151km remaining from 187km

    14:06:39 CEST

    The peloton has remained pretty much intact today. There have been several attempts at an escape, notably Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) and Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) have taken off at seperate points, only to be brought back quickly

  5. 14:10:09 CEST

    Some very sad news this morning, Canadian Christian Meier (Garmin-Slipstream) has withdrawn from the Vuelta following the death of his brother. It's tragic news and our thoughts go out to Christian and his family.

  6. 14:12:55 CEST

    The peloton have now started the climb of the Puerto de Mijares. They remain together as no breakaway attempt has been able to gain much of a gap. Spanish teams Xacobeo Galicia, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Fuji-Servetto have all been very visible on the front of the peloton, shutting down escapes.

  7. 14:19:00 CEST

    A hundred riders failed to sign in this morning so race organisers have had some trouble this morning working out who's still in the race and who may have left. It could have had a lot to do with riders wanting to avoid standing in the rain for too long before the days stage.

    Although, we can confirm that Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil), Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana), stage-winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream) and Bert Grabsch (Columbia) have left the race.

     

  8. 39km remaining from 187km

    14:22:00 CEST

    David Moncoutie (Cofidis) has a small advantage over the peloton. Despite a huge lead in the mountains classification, the Frenchman has been relentless in his pursuit of points at all of the summits, particularly since his stage 13 win.

    Here are the current standings in the mountains classification:

    1 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis 170 pts
    2 David De La Fuente (Spa) Fuji-Servetto 89
    3 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank 60
    4 Javier Ramírez (Spa) Andalucía-Cajasur 59
    5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 58
    6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 57
    7 Julián Sánchez (Spa) Contentpolis-Ampo 57
    8 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil 54
    9 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 53
    10 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 40

  9. 14:28:55 CEST

    A group of nine have gone away on the climb, Moncoutie and Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) and Jesus Del Nero Montes (Fuji-Servetto) have made their way across, we'll have those 12 names for you shortly...

  10. 145km remaining from 187km

    14:34:25 CEST

    The leaders have 25 seconds now over the peloton behind. The pace in the first hour of racing was 41km/h, it goes to show how tough it has been for those making breakaway attempts. There are some strong riders in this front group, so it'll be interesting to see how much room the peloton are willing to give them.

  11. 14:39:24 CEST

    Some breaking news this morning was the suspension of Olaf Pollack and Markus Cronjäger by the German Cycling Federation. Both riders have tested positive for un-named substances. Pollack rode for Gerolsteiner and T-Mobile during his career. It was while racing for the latter that he wore the pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia in 2006.

  12. 142km remaining from 187km

    14:41:06 CEST

    Caisse d'Epargne have assumed control of the bunch now. They don't have a representative in the front group, so it's not too much of a surprise to see them working to bring it back together.

  13. 14:44:00 CEST

    Caisse d'Epargne's anxiety will be coming from the fact that Euskaltel and Xacobeo both have riders in the lead 12. If Samuel Sánchez or Eziquiel Mosquera were to attack later on in the stage, their teammates in the break would be a big advantage.

    This is what Caisse d'Epargne are protecting:

    1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 74:27:48
    2 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 0:00:31
    3 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:01:10
    4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas at 0:01:28
    5 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto at 0:01:51
    6 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia at 0:01:54
    7 Joaquím Rodríguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne at 0:05:53
    8 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre-NGC at 0:06:34
    9 Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Slipstream at 0:08:28
    10 Juan José Cobo (Spa) Fuji-Servetto at 0:10:45

  14. 14:48:20 CEST

    The attention of Valverde's squad shows the credence that they are giving to Sanchez and Mosquera. Valverde's closest rival Robert Gesink (Rabobank) is nursing some frustrating injuries at the moment, but he'll still be marked. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes caught up with Gesink yesterday.

  15. 138km remaining from 187km

    14:51:28 CEST

    Gilbert wants in! The Silence-Lotto rider has joined Mikael Cherel (Francaise des Jeux), Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis) and Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) in an attempt to bridge to the leaders, who have 34 seconds over the peloton.

  16. 14:57:06 CEST

    If Cherel can get across, Française des Jeux will have two riders in the breakaway. The team's Grand Tour duck was broken yesterday by Anthony Roux. It never seems to take much, but Roux may have attracted the oft-swapped title of French cycling's next big thing.

  17. 132km remaining from 187km

    15:01:33 CEST

    Okay, the four have joined the 12, so we've not got a lead group of 16 riders. Apparently the peloton is satisfied with the composition of the group so they've let them got away to a two minute advantage. The leaders are now 2km from the summit of the Mijares.

  18. 15:03:37 CEST

    The temperature at the top of the climb has dropped to 9 degrees C, this will be a big shock to the systems of the riders after a week of Spanish sunshine.

  19. 15:08:05 CEST

    Anthony Roux's victory yesterday did see the sprinters miss out on maximum points. André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) finished the stage third behind Roux and William Bonnet (BBox Bouygues Telecom), but the big German won't be too fussed as he's resumed his commanding lead in the points competition after being docked 25 points last weekend:

    1 André Greipel (Ger) Columbia-HTC 121 pts
    2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 81
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 80
    4 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 68
    5 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 67
    6 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 58
    7 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas 56
    8 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 55
    9 Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil 52
    10 Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto 52

  20. 15:10:15 CEST

    Having said that André's not enjoying the final kilometres of the Mijares, he's trailing two minutes behind the group of the overall favorites on the peloton. He should get back on terms on the descent.

    Greipel has just lost one sprint rival, Gerald Ciolek (Milram) has called it a day and abandoned.

  21. 124km remaining from 187km

    15:12:14 CEST

    The peloton is keeping tabs on the breakaway. The gap has dropped below two minutes once again as the peloton go over the summit.

  22. 15:21:42 CEST

    No real surprise at the top of the climb, Moncoutié grabbed maximum points. Bit of bad luck for Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) he punctured near the summit.

    Result of at the top of the Category 1 Puerto de Mijares:

    1. David Moncoutié (Cofidis)
    2. Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis)
    3. Jesus Del Nero Montes (Fuji-Servetto)
    4. Manuel Vasquez (Contentpolis-Ampo)
    5. Jesus Hernandez (Astana)

  23. 108km remaining from 187km

    15:29:44 CEST

    Fuglsang has made his way back into the breakaway. Things are looking good for Greipel too. He's in a group 1.20 behind the main peloton, but the Euskaltel-led main group appears to be waiting for the Greipel Group.

    The race is well and truly off the descent of the Mijares.

  24. 15:31:59 CEST

    The temperature dipped down to about 8 degrees C on the descent. Even though they've come off the moutnain the race will stay above 800m altitude so it'll probably remain chilly for the rest of the day.

  25. 107km remaining from 187km

    15:32:55 CEST

    Rémy Di Gregorio (Française des Jeux) has slipped just off the back of the breakaway to accept some mechanical assistance.

  26. 15:38:09 CEST

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) has retired from the Vuelta a España.

  27. 15:42:00 CEST

    Danielson is scheduled to be racing the World Championships for the USA next week, it's a pretty miserable day and the kind of weather that could bring on illness so perhaps thoughts of Switzerland have been a factor in the decision to withdraw?

  28. 85km remaining from 187km

    15:44:00 CEST

    The peloton has reformed, the Greipel Group and the main pack coming back together. The breakaway has again increased their advantage to 4.00 as they make their way out of the feedzone.

  29. 15:46:00 CEST

    The finish today is in Ávila, it is the capital of an eponymous Spanish province. Ávila (the province) is part of the the Castilla y León region - the largest of Spain's 17 autonomous communities.

  30. 93km remaining from 187km

    15:56:00 CEST

    Euskaltel continue to police the front of the peloton. They've definately taken their hand off the throttle as the leaders have pushed out to a more than five minute lead now.

  31. 16:02:33 CEST

    Fuglsang has lead Taaramäe and Gilbert over the line at the first of two sprints on today's course. The sprint in El Barraco will be followed by one at El Herradon at 122km.

    Results of first sprint at El Barraco (93km):

    1. Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank)
    2. Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis)
    3. Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto)

  32. 16:04:23 CEST

    Julien Loubet (AG2R La Mondiale) has also abandoned now. The race is moving quickly as it enjoys the assistance of a negative gradient.

  33. 16:08:38 CEST

    Not surprisingly a lot of riders were preoccupied with the weather. Second placed overall Robert Gesink (Rabobank) wasn't super talkative when Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes caught up with him this morning, but he indicated that he was feeling okay considering the extent of his injuries suffered yesterday.

  34. 16:12:49 CEST

    Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) has been having a fantastic Vuelta so far this year. The Dutchman is 12th overall at the moment. He'd have to be close to number one for nice guys in the peloton after he speaking with Cyclingnews this morning:

    "I'm feeling pretty good, I'm not sure what's going to happen today. It's raining and it's expected too again tomorrow, so hopefully everyone can stay safe," he said. "I'd rather finish 12th overall than 9th with a bunch of guys crashing out."

  35. 16:14:33 CEST

    No doubt Hoogerland spirits will have been boosted by news that his team's sponsor, Vacansoleil, will increase it's sponsorship in 2010.

  36. 16:21:03 CEST

    Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) swaps bikes. He quickly assimilates once more with the breakaway, who lead by 4.15 over the peloton.

  37. 16:24:42 CEST

    Irishman Philip Deignan is part of today's breakaway. The Cervélo rider is the highest placed member of the breakaway on the overall classification; 18th, 17:49 behind Valverde. Deignan had expected breaks to go, but told Cyclingnews that he didn't have any distinct plans to himself take part: "I'm feeling better, I've had a good rest [in the past few stages]. My main goal is to protect my top-20 position."

  38. 16:27:53 CEST

    Caisse d'Epargne have assumed control of the peloton now. The lead 16 are closing on the start of the Alto Collado Mediano. The riders are rugged up but at least they're not copping the rain at the moment.

  39. 16:31:09 CEST

    Valverde is close to the front of the peloton. Black and orange are the dominant colours on the front of the peloton as Caisse d'Epargne and Euskaltel-Euskadi watch out for the interests of their main men.

  40. 16:33:43 CEST

    The breakaway are spreading their way up the climb of the Collado Mediano. Deignan takes the points at the summit. Matti Breschel was really battling with the 14% gradients towards the top.

  41. 16:35:26 CEST

    The peloton are now hitting the steepest section of the Collado Mediano, just like the breakaway who passed here 3.30 ago, the peloton is spreading down the road.

  42. 16:37:38 CEST

    Result of the second sprint at El Herradón, just before the start of the second climb.

    1. Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis)
    2. David Moncoutié (Cofidis)
    3. Mikael Cherel (Française des Jeux)

  43. 41km remaining from 187km

    16:39:39 CEST

    The climb has seen the leader's advantage stretch back out to four minutes. Matti Breschel was battling towards the top of the climb, but he got back on the descent.

  44. 16:43:08 CEST

    Cofidis are the best represented team in the break. Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis), Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis) or David Moncoutié (Cofidis) could all do something on the final climb of the day, which will start in 12km.

  45. 16:46:05 CEST

    Rein Taaramäe and David Moncoutié have both been on the attack already in this year's race. The Estonian missed out on a win on stage nine and Moncoutié had better luck on stage 13.

  46. 34km remaining from 187km

    16:49:16 CEST

    Euskaltel are stringing the peloton out on a long, straight section of road. The boys in orange are working hard, but the leaders have extended to almost 4.30

    Just to let you know: I've switched to kilometres from the finish as we get close to 30 km-to-go.

  47. 16:52:19 CEST

    Gesink and his Rabobank teammates are hovering around the middle of the peloton, he's not having the most comfortable of days at the Vuelta.

  48. 27.8km remaining from 187km

    16:54:37 CEST

    The breakaway and peloton are both on a descent, separated by 4.24. It's raining again now and the peloton is spreading out, giving one another plenty of room.

  49. 16:57:01 CEST

    It's downhill all the way to the start of the final climb of the day, the Category 3 Alto del Boqueron. It could be the perfect launching pad for a rider like Gilbert. The break is definately going to be clear of the peloton when the climb starts.

  50. 16:58:19 CEST

    Speaking of which, Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) has hit the climb and taken off straight away. He's got a gap on the break and Jakob Fuglsang is chasing.

  51. 163.4km remaining from 187km

    17:00:00 CEST

    Gilbert's got it in the "big-dog" (big chainring) and he's ticking away at a good rate as he pushes on. He's still pulling away from the peloton.

  52. 17:02:55 CEST

    Fuglsang is about 15 seconds behind Fuglsang. David Herrero (Xacobeo Galicia) has just set off after Gilbert and Fuglsang.

  53. 17:04:40 CEST

    Gilbert has approximately four kilometres to the top of the climb. If he makes it alone, he'll have a 17km time trial to the finish.

    The breakaway is scattered down the road behind him.

  54. 17:06:33 CEST

    Manuel Vasquez (Contentpolis-Ampo) and David Herrero (Xacobeo Galicia) have bridged quickly to Gilbert, it's now a trio out in front.

  55. 19.5km remaining from 187km

    17:07:33 CEST

    Fuglsang has now bridged and taken Vasquez and Herrero with him. Kreuziger (Liquigas) too has come across as Gilbert disappears backwards.

  56. 17:10:05 CEST

    Deignan (Cervelo) has assumed control of the chase behind the four in front.

  57. 17km remaining from 187km

    17:13:39 CEST

    Caisse d'Epargne are in control of the peloton. The chase group have worked well and they've bridged to the leading quartet as they all go over the summit of the Alto del Boqueron. It's all back to status quo with 17km to go

  58. 17:15:22 CEST

    Deignan is looking strong. He's been performing well this season. He's taken off in pursuit of Roman Kreuziger as the leaders descend.

    Deignan won the Ronde d'Isard as an amateur, but then had some injuries and mononucleosis...this is his first season in a while where he's had no problem (apart from 5 crashes in the Giro)

  59. 17:18:09 CEST

    Deignan and Kreuziger and Deignan are getting on with it on the descent. They're working well together and building a gap over the rest of the chasers. David Herrero (Xacobeo) and Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) are doing the same about 10 seconds back.

  60. 10km remaining from 187km

    17:20:24 CEST

    Deignan and Kreuziger are almost off the descent, they've got 10km to go.

  61. 17:22:00 CEST

    Fuglsang and Herrero were just five seconds behind the leaders with 10-to-go, but it looks as though they may have cooked themselves on the descent.

    The peloton has crossed the summit of the final climb 8.40 behind the breakaway's passage beneath the same banner.

  62. 7km remaining from 187km

    17:24:14 CEST

    We've got a time check on Fuglsang and Herrero now, they're 15 seconds behind the leading duo.

  63. 17:25:55 CEST

    Herrero was not looking great and Fuglsang has realised it's up to him to close the gap.

    Deignan and Kreuiziger take their care through some still wet roundabouts on the outskirts of Avila.

  64. 4km remaining from 187km

    17:27:41 CEST

    It's not raining but the roads are wet in Avila. Kreuziger is a little frustrated by Deignan, the Czech rider is a superior bike handler in the corners.

  65. 17:28:18 CEST

    Deignan is on the front now. Kreuziger looks back to see where Fuglsang is in relation.

  66. 3km remaining from 187km

    17:29:31 CEST

    The leaders are riding through the suburbs of Avila with 3-to-go. It looks as though Fuglsang will finish third.

  67. 17:30:51 CEST

    The leading duo ride past the ancient city wall. Kreuziger comes through to lead Deignan, but he's still looking back, cautions of Fuglsang's strength.

  68. 17:31:55 CEST

    Deignan and Kreuziger are now climbing the cobbled climb just before the finish, they'll have just several hundred metres once they come off this short sector.

  69. 1km remaining from 187km

    17:32:58 CEST

    Deignan is looking for Kreuziger to come through. The Liquigas rider wont move off the Irishman's wheel.

  70. 17:33:25 CEST

    Kreuziger goes first, Deignan chases.

  71. 17:34:12 CEST

    Deignan launches his sprint 150m out...and he gets it!

  72. 17:34:55 CEST

    Fuglsang takes third, 15 seconds behind Deignan and Kreuiziger.

  73. 17:36:12 CEST

    Deignan will also move up considerably in the overall classification too as a result of his win. The peloton has not reached the cobbles yet.

  74. 17:47:07 CEST

    Brief stage result:

    1 Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo TestTeam 4:19:14
    2 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 0:00:03
    3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Saxo Bank 0:00:16
    4 Manuel Váquez (Spa) Contentpolis-Ampo 0:00:39
    5 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:41
    6 Mickaël Chérel (Fra) Française des Jeux
    7 Rein Taaramäe (Est) Cofidis
    8 Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Française des Jeux
    9 Jesús Hernández (Spa) Astana
    10 Jesús Del Nero (Spa) Fuji-Servetto
    11 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:57
    12 David Herrero (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:01:20

  75. 17:49:37 CEST

    Deignan looks to have moved up to ninth overall, a great day out for the 26-year-old!

  76. 17:54:10 CEST

    General classification after stage 18

    1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
    2 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:32
    3 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:01:10
    4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas 0:01:28
    5 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 0:01:51
    6 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:01:54
    7 Joaquím Rodríguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:05:53
    8 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre-NGC 0:06:34
    9 Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo TestTeam 0:07:49
    10 Juan José Cobo (Spa) Fuji-Servetto 0:10:46

  77. 17:55:25 CEST

    Thanks for joining us again today for Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Vuelta's stage 18. Tomorrow we're (and the peloton, of course!) headed on a 174 kilometre quest for Real Fabrica de Cristales. Four Category 1 climbs tomorrow so it's going to be yet another fantastic stage in Spain. See you then!