Vuelta a España 2010

August 28 - September 19, 2010, Sevilla, ESP, Road - HIS (Historical Calendar)

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

More mountains and an even more difficult climb up to the finish line.  Add the high summer temperaturs and humidity to that and you have today's stage!

  1. 15:26:33 CEST

    Welcome back to the Vuelta a Espana! We head north today, up from the coastline into the mountains. We have a brand new finish today, with three ranked climbs and one unranked but very nasty climb up to the finish line.

  2. 15:29:52 CEST

    We must start the live report today with the sad news that Laurent Fignon lost his battle with cancer and died earlier today. The Frenchman won the Tour de France twice and the Giro d'Italia once in his long career, and remained active in race management after his retirement. He announced his cancer in June 2009, and up until this summer continued to commentate the Tour for French television.

    Cyclingnews expresses its sympathy to his family.

  3. 98.8km remaining from 183.8km

    15:32:14 CEST

    After 85 km, we have a four-man break with a nearly six minute gap. Guillaume Bonnafond ( AG2R), Sergio Carrasco (Andalucia-CajaSur), Dario Cataldo ((Quick Step) and Dominik Roels /(Milram) got away only 16 km into the day.

  4. 15:34:12 CEST

    194 riders were at the start today. Team Sky lost two riders during the stage yesterday to the intestinal infection that has hit the team.

    And Bernhard Eisel of HTC-Columbia abandoned today.

  5. 15:36:35 CEST

    The first ranked climb of the day was the Alto de Zafarraya, category two. The points went to Cataldo ahead of Carrasco and Bonnafond.

    The first intermediate sprint went to Roels, followed by Carrasco and Bonnafond.

  6. 15:42:45 CEST

    Today's stage started out flat, for all of about 25 km. Then it started going up, and from there it is nothing but ups and downs. We have three ranked climbs, two Category 2 and one Category 3 along the way.

  7. 15:46:33 CEST

    The gap had gone up to 6:07, but has now dropped down to 5:43.

  8. 15:51:37 CEST

    The real fun of today's stage, though, is the finish. Remember yesterday's short but steep climb up to the finish line? Today's is even more so. Rumours about the gradient range from 10 to 27 percent.....

  9. 15:57:32 CEST

    Team Sky has an interesting take on today's course, calling it “a lumpy old stage”.

  10. 16:01:18 CEST

    Jean Francois Quenet is at the race.  He tells us it is very hot again today, and that the finish is --- oops, we can't use that sort of language -- let's just say it will be an extremely difficult one!

  11. 16:05:47 CEST

    The leading quartet is heading towards the day's second climb.  Meanwhile, Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has paid a visit to the team doctor.

  12. 16:07:13 CEST

    Joaquin Rodriguez is the hot favourite to win today. . “Look at him, he’s only 40 kilos”, said Andy Schleck. “For sure, Purito will win”, echoed Luis Leon Sanchez. “The finish is much harder than yesterday’s.”

  13. 16:11:22 CEST

    This is the first leader's jersey in a Grand Tour for Philippe Gilbert, and needless to say, the Belgian is quite happy with it.   You can read more about it here.

  14. 16:18:07 CEST

    Xavier Tondo was the first Cervelo to cross the finish line yesterday, as 12th, moving him up to eighth overall.  “I felt really good. I started too far behind in the final climb. I passed a lot of riders and I am happy about my form,” he said.   “I haven’t raced in awhile so I need a few days to get my legs going again. I am satisfied with today’s performance and it’s a good signal for the coming days in the Vuelta.”

    His teammate Carlos Sastre finished 11 seconds later and is now 14th.  “It’s never easy. It was hot again today but I was able to stay at the front of the race. We have to take it day by day, because I can see there are others who are fresher than me. The ones who haven’t raced as many days as me,” Sastre said. “It’s important to not lose time in the first climb, so we got through the day in good shape.”

  15. 62km remaining from 183.8km

    16:20:01 CEST

    Cataldo sprints out of the lead group to take the points for the second ranked cimb of the day.   The gap is now 4:45.

  16. 16:25:49 CEST

    Here's one alternative to Rodriguez as a winner today:  Footon-Servetto’s Josean “Matxin” Fernandez chooses Igor Anton of Euskaltel. “He’s also very explosive in such a hill."

  17. 16:30:20 CEST

    Sky is suffering in this race, quite literally.  An intestinal illness has swept through the team, taking out John-Lee Augustyn and Ben Swift yesterday, and weakening two other riders, as well as several support persons. 

    One of the other affected riders is Simon Gerrans, who was nevertheless at the start today.  “I’m back, a couple of kilos less of a man than I was, but I’m back all the same. Expecting another tough day again today…” he tweeted.

  18. 16:35:44 CEST

    Philippe Gilbert was shining with the red jersey on his shoulder. “I can’t say this win takes any pressure off me since I didn’t have much of that”, he said. “Today we’ll try to let a breakaway go with riders who are far down on GC. That would be a way for me to keep the jersey. The hardest will be to survive in the 2nd category climb with 7km to. But I also know that Rodriguez is very motivated for taking the jersey. Today’s uphill finish seems steeper than yesterday’s but it can suit me as well.”

  19. 16:39:34 CEST

    Joaquim Rodriguez of Katusha took second place yesterday and is a favourite for the win today.  “I tried to win the stage but Gilbert was stronger and chose the best timing in the final,” he said.  “Well, I'm happy with my condition and tomorrow (today) I will try to do my best to win seconds in the final.  My goal is to win a stage and to do a good classification.”

  20. 47km remaining from 183.8km

    16:43:30 CEST

    Omega Pharma-Lotto contnues to lead the chase.  With 47 km to go, the gap is at 4:43.

  21. 16:47:14 CEST

    There's just not much happening so far in this stage. We imagine that all the action today will come at the very end.

  22. 16:49:21 CEST

    The gap is coming down ever so slowly, now at 4:33.

  23. 16:53:53 CEST

    Andy Schleck finished second in the Tour de France, but he sure isn't going to finish that high in the Vuelta.  He feel off the back of the peloton early yesterday, and finished up 14 minutes down.  “No excuse officially I m not on top, guess I got not the shape from TDF” he tweeted. Now he will concentrate on supporting brother Fränk.

  24. 16:55:48 CEST

    Inigo Cuesta is still racing with Cervélo at the age of 41. “This my 17th Vuelta and I don’t say it’s my last one”, he acknowledged in Malaga. “For now I remain focused on my job alongside Carlos Sastre. He was very satisfied with his race yesterday. I’m convinced that he can win this Vuelta.”

  25. 37km remaining from 183.8km

    17:02:20 CEST

    The gap is now under four mintues, at 3.53.  Bonnafond has been the virtual leader most of the day, as he is only 2:59 down in GC.

  26. 17:04:06 CEST

    Mark Cavendish of HTC-Columbia pays a visit to the race medical car.  That may be the only time we see him, as it would be a huge surprise to see him near the front at the finish today.

  27. 17:07:19 CEST

    Carrasco takes the next intermediate sprint, ahead of Cataldo and Roels.

  28. 27km remaining from 183.8km

    17:13:07 CEST

    The gap has dropped to less than three minutes now.

  29. 17:15:14 CEST

    Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) moved up to ninth place yesterday after finishing only 19 seconds down.  “Very hot hard start 2day, was far behind for the finish climb made it up to 13th.i m satisfed.the legs are coming and getting better day by day,” he tweeted.

  30. 17:16:36 CEST

    There is a split in the peloton.  Or the sprinters have already started falling back.

  31. 17:17:40 CEST

    Cataldo takes off, as the gap drops to 2:09.  Bonnafond does with him, and the other two are a bit behind.

  32. 17:19:06 CEST

    There is a definite break in the peloton.  Thomas Löfkvist of Sky is in the wrong part of the field.

  33. 22km remaining from 183.8km

    17:23:01 CEST

    Bonnafond and Cataldo pull away from their two former companions.  We doubt, however, that they have a chance.  And now Carrasco and Roels have not only caught but passed the other two.

    Oops. all together again.

  34. 18km remaining from 183.8km

    17:24:07 CEST

    The four leaders descend on a narrow street in a town.  Could be fun when the peloton is there.

  35. 16km remaining from 183.8km

    17:26:25 CEST

    Quite an interesting descent here, as they approach the final ranked climb of the day.

  36. 17:27:17 CEST

    The peloton is strung out single file, flying along here.   Things are a bit slower up front, as the four leaders start the climb.

  37. 17:28:13 CEST

    Carrasco tried to attack, and there are now constnt attacks out of the lead group.  Roels has problems staying with the others, and now Carrasco falls back, too.

  38. 17:28:51 CEST

    The leaders will not be happy to see the race and team cars pulling by them.  That means that the peloton is not far behind.

  39. 17:29:35 CEST

    A puncture for Andy Schleck.  The Saxo Bank team car nearly blocks the whole narrow road as it stops to provide him with a new bike.

  40. 17:30:22 CEST

    Roels has already been caught by ghe field.  We are shown a time of 1:27 to the lead, but doubt that is correct.

  41. 17:31:07 CEST

    The peloton has fallen apart on this climb.  Katusha leads the way up, hoping to bring in the win and leaders jersey for Joaquin Rodriguez..

  42. 17:32:29 CEST

    Fränk Schleck and Gilbert are still in the small lead group, of maybe 15-20 riders.

  43. 17:33:18 CEST

    Katusha really picked up the speed, and successfully dropped much of the field.

  44. 13km remaining from 183.8km

    17:33:53 CEST

    That's it for the break.  Only 13 km to go, and Cataldo and Bonnafond are caught on the climb.

  45. 17:34:57 CEST

    Katusha is tireless in pulling this group up the mountain.

  46. 17:36:11 CEST

    Katusha's Caruso hs to drop out of the lead work with a puncture.  Sastre is in a chase group.

  47. 17:36:52 CEST

    Vladmir Karpets leads the way.  HIs group is eight seconds ahead of the Sastre group.

  48. 17:38:00 CEST

    Sastre and his companions shouldn't feel compelled to catch the next group on the climb.  We have a descent coming up they can use, too, and let us not forget the closing climb which will toss everything upside down, with its ramps up to 27%.

  49. 17:38:38 CEST

    Kreuziger, NIbali, Menchov, Van Garderen, are all in the lead group.  Gilbert too, but he is not doing particularly well.

  50. 17:40:20 CEST

    Still two km to go to the top.

  51. 17:40:59 CEST

    Sastre is at the head of the chase group.  They are more than willing to let him do all the work.

  52. 17:41:57 CEST

    The Sastre group has now dropped to 32 seconds back.

  53. 17:43:35 CEST

    There are 13 riders in the Sastre group.

  54. 17:45:35 CEST

    And they hit the top.  There is no competition for the mountain points.

  55. 17:46:14 CEST

    Sasare finally has help with the lead work, but the group is now 44 seconds back.

  56. 7km remaining from 183.8km

    17:47:11 CEST

    NIbali leads the way on the descent.  This descent is supposed to be a tricky one, too.

  57. 17:47:52 CEST

    Sastre goes all out on the descent.

  58. 17:48:43 CEST

    Who is the CN staff picking today?  Peter Hymas has chosen Rodriguez, while Steve Farrand likes Nibali.

  59. 4km remaining from 183.8km

    17:49:12 CEST

    Kreuziger has dropped out of the lead group.

  60. 3km remaining from 183.8km

    17:50:07 CEST

    They are still descendind and haven't hit the final climb yet.

  61. 2km remaining from 183.8km

    17:50:55 CEST

    Arroyo breaks out from the lead group.

    CN's Barry Ryan picks Gilbert to repeat today.

  62. 17:52:01 CEST

    That is of course not Arroyo but Luis Leon Sanchez!  Who has now been caught.

  63. 1km remaining from 183.8km

    17:52:40 CEST

    It is flat here, and then goes up.  No, Sanchez wasn't caught..... He is still ahead.

  64. 17:53:12 CEST

    Too confusing -- that is Rigoberto Uran.  And he is going UP a very steep section.

  65. 17:53:31 CEST

    The streets are lined with fans.

  66. 17:53:50 CEST

    A very narrow, very steep road.

  67. 17:54:20 CEST

    Rodriguez, Velits and Nibali move up  to Uran.  Also Gilbert is in this small group.

  68. 17:54:44 CEST

    URan is caught and now Anton goes.

  69. 17:56:13 CEST

    Gilbert can't hold on to the group.   A Euskaltel rider takes the win, but we don't know who!

  70. 17:56:52 CEST

    The riders are still climbing their way to the finish line.

  71. 17:57:16 CEST

    We are now pretty sure that the winner is Igor Anton, which would be logical....

  72. 17:58:12 CEST

    Looks like Nibali too second and Rodrguez perhaps third?

    Can you tell this is a confusing finish?

  73. 17:58:41 CEST

    There will definitely be some interesting gaps today.

  74. 18:00:19 CEST

    Sastre will be one of the losers today.  He finished 1:30 down.

  75. 18:00:53 CEST

    Third place went not to Rodriguez (who was fourth), but to Peter Velits of HTC-Columbia.

  76. 18:01:22 CEST

    Gilbert manages to hang on to his red jersey, with Anton now second overall and Rodriguez third.

  77. 18:06:43 CEST

    That's it for today.  Sorry for all the confusion at the end.  Give us another chance and read along tomorrow!

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