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Vuelta a España 2012

Date range:
August 18 - September 9, 2012
  • Vuelta a España, Spain, WorldTour
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Pamplona (TTT)
    • Stage 2

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 3

      Start location:
      Faustino V
      End location:
      Arrate (Eibar)
    • Stage 4

      Start location:
      End location:
      Estación de Valdezcaray
    • Stage 5

    • Stage 6

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 7

      Start location:
      End location:
      Alcañiz (Motorland Aragón)
    • Stage 8

      Start location:
      End location:
      Andorra (Collada de la Gallina)
    • Stage 9

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Rest Day 1

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 10

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 11

      Start location:
      End location:
      Pontevedra (ITT)
    • Stage 12

      Start location:
      Vilagarcía de Arousa
      End location:
      Mirador de Ézaro
    • Stage 13

      Start location:
      Santiago de Compostela
      End location:
    • Stage 14

      Start location:
      Palas de Rei
      End location:
      Puerto de Ancares
    • Stage 15

      Start location:
      La Robla
      End location:
      Lagos de Covadonga
    • Stage 16

      Start location:
      End location:
      Valgrande-Pajares (Cuitu Negru)
    • Rest Day 2

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 17

      Start location:
      End location:
      Fuente Dé
    • Stage 18

      Start location:
      Aguilar de Campoo
      End location:
    • Stage 19

      Start location:
      End location:
      La Lastrilla
    • Stage 20

      Start location:
      La Faisanera (Golf Segovia)
      End location:
      Bola del Mundo
    • Stage 21

      Start location:
      End location:
  • Race history

August 26, Stage 9: Andorra - Barcelona 196.3km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

It looks like a sprint today! Or will that climb so near the end do in the sprinters?

  1. 15:30:24 CEST

    The field will charge into Barcelona today, with not only the beach but also a day of rest in sight. The 196.3 km from Andorry to Barcelona include two category three climbs, including one which is only 3km from the finish line.

  2. 82km remaining from 196.3km

    15:32:00 CEST

    A four man group got away right at the start:  Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM), Javier Chacon (Andalucia) and Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Sharp).  The gap shot quickly up to 5:20, which was enough for the sprinters' teams to move into action.  It is now at exactly 3:00.

  3. 15:39:16 CEST

    The quartet took the first mountain points at the Alto de Collada de Clara, which came at km 71.  Lindeman took the points ahead of Buffaz and Chacon.

  4. 15:48:25 CEST

    The quartet took the first mountain points at the Alto de Collada de Clara, which came at km 71.  Lindeman took the points ahead of Buffaz and Chacon.

  5. 15:49:07 CEST

    Sorry, we have been having some technical problems here, but hope we have them straightened out.

  6. 15:52:44 CEST

    The day started out cooler, at 25°C, but it has now gone up to 30°C.

  7. 15:56:21 CEST

    The day's first intermediate sprint at km 96 went to Buffaz ahead of Lindeman and Chacon.


  8. 16:00:52 CEST

    Yesterday's exciting mountaintop finish shook up the top ten. Let's take a look at how it stood coming into today's stage:

    1     Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team     29:59:35      
    2     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     0:00:33      
    3     Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank     0:00:40      
    4     Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team     0:00:50      
    5     Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team     0:01:41      
    6     Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team     0:01:48      
    7     Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale     0:02:14      
    8     Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi     0:02:47      
    9     Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team     0:02:58      
    10     Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team     0:03:07     

  9. 16:04:34 CEST

    John Degenkolb, with his three stage wins, leads the points classification, but Valverde and Rodriguez aren't far behind.

    1     John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano     76      pts
    2     Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team     66      
    3     Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team     65      
    4     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     51      
    5     Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale     47      
    6     Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank     46      
    7     Allan Davis (Aus) Orica - GreenEdge     45      
    8     Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan     38      
    9     Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team     34      
    10     Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica - GreenEdge     30    

  10. 16:09:23 CEST

    At the start this morning,Bradley McGee, DS of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, said “Apart from the result yesterday, the swinging momentum went in our favour but the match is far from over. The time trial is the next test for Alberto [Contador].”

  11. 54km remaining from 196.3km

    16:14:27 CEST

    There's really not a lot happening on the road. The lead bounces around a bit but always hovers around the three minute mark.

    Rabobank, Argos-Shimano, Lotto Belisol and BMC are leading the chase.

  12. 16:20:06 CEST

    There most likely won't be any changes in the mountain ranking today, which Valverde leads.

    1     Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team     21      pts
    2     Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica - GreenEdge     16      
    3     Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team     15      
    4     Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team     11      
    5     Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne     10      
    6     Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank     8      
    7     Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep     8      
    8     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     6      
    9     Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team     6      
    10     Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Andalucia     5      

  13. 50km remaining from 196.3km

    16:20:52 CEST

    50 km to go and the gap is finally falling.  It is now at 2:30.

  14. 16:24:10 CEST

    Will we see John Degenkolb take his fourth win here today? Christian Guiberteau said, “It’s 50-50 today: a race for climbers or a race for sprinters. We intend to control the race at the beginning. If it’s just as hard as yesterday with the same kind of battle, we’ll let it go. But we intend to deliver John Degenkolb in a winning position again. There are precisely 3.4 kilometres to bring him back to eventual attackers after the top of the climb.”


  15. 16:27:28 CEST

    Rodriguez also leads the combination classification, although he is tied with Valverde.

    1     Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team     7      pts
    2     Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team     7      
    3     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     14      
    4     Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank     15      
    5     Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale     34      
    6     Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team     42      
    7     Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural     66      
    8     Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica - GreenEdge     80      
    9     Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team     90      
    10     Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne     92    

  16. 46km remaining from 196.3km

    16:28:37 CEST

    The gap is now down to two minutes.

  17. 16:32:13 CEST

    And as for the teams, it is the orange and blue of Rabobank at the top of the list.

    1     Rabobank Cycling Team     89:28:24      
    2     AG2R La Mondiale     0:02:27      
    3     SKY Procycling     0:02:34      
    4     Katusha Team     0:03:55      
    5     Movistar Team     0:05:38      
    6     Euskaltel - Euskadi     0:05:40      
    7     Lampre - ISD     0:08:43      
    8     Radioshack - Nissan     0:09:35      
    9     Astana Pro Team     1:01:54      
    10     Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team     1:03:28      

  18. 38km remaining from 196.3km

    16:33:26 CEST

    Once the gap started going down, there was no stopping it. It is now at 1:30.

  19. 16:35:57 CEST

    Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) is one of the favourites today. But I’m very doubtful about the possibilities to control the race. I’m afraid the breakaway will go for the stage win. If not, it’s definitely a good finale for me.”

  20. 16:39:38 CEST

    Damiano Cunego punctures, but it shouldn't be a problem.

  21. 16:41:04 CEST

    At the second and last intermediate sprint, the gap has fallen to 1:04.

    It was Buffaz ahead of Lindeman and Chacon.

  22. 16:44:05 CEST

    Race leader Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez is still riding on home soil as he hails from Parets del Vallès near Barcelona. His team mate Pavel Brutt said: “We’d like a breakaway to go for the stage win because our only goal is to keep the red jersey.”

  23. 30km remaining from 196.3km

    16:45:12 CEST

    The gap is dropping steadily, and is now down to only 35 seconds.

  24. 16:47:26 CEST

    Former king of the mountain and stage 4 winner Simon Clarke: “Yesterday, I didn’t believe much in Cameron Meyer to win a stage. It was a good try though. The day I won, I went away because the final was not that hard and the chances were high that teams would not ride it back. On the other hand, yesterday, it was a perfect finish for GC guys. It should be a sprinter winning today.”

  25. 16:48:57 CEST

    27km to go and only 14 seconds.  Won't be long now. But what will happen when this group is caught?

  26. 16:49:44 CEST

    LIndeman and Chacon aren't ready to give up and take off, as the other two finally go with them.

  27. 16:50:37 CEST

    Lindeman is determined to give it a go and has a slight lead as they all disappear into a tunnel.

  28. 16:51:43 CEST

    LIndeman and Buffaz have a slight lead over the field now and every now and then give it a try, but they have now realized that their time is up.

  29. 16:52:12 CEST

    And with 25.4km they are caught. One rider has taken off -- we wonder who it is.....

  30. 16:52:37 CEST

    It is Jesus Resondo of Andalucia.

  31. 16:53:28 CEST

    The field looks happy to let him go, at least for the moment.

  32. 16:56:17 CEST

    The man with the best name for an athlete,Winner Anacona (Lampre-ISD) said before the start, “I started the Vuelta for doing well but I didn’t expect to be so high on GC. I want to keep till the end the kind of position that I have now. I’m not far from being the best young rider. I’m just behind Sergio Henao who hasn’t the same goal as me as he’s here to help Chris Froome. There’s no official best young rider classification at the Vuelta but I’d be honoured to be the one, even unofficially.”



  33. 19km remaining from 196.3km

    16:59:16 CEST

    Rosendo has been caught.

  34. 17:00:38 CEST

    The peloton is strung out long now.

  35. 17:03:20 CEST

    The upcoming final climb, the Alto de Montjuic, is a short one, but a tough one, with an average gradient of 8%.

  36. 17:04:16 CEST

    Lots of roundabouts at this point. Katusha is leading the way around them all.

  37. 17:05:37 CEST

    Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ-BigMat): “I’m skeptical because I had a terrible day yesterday. It was my first time to have such a bad. I don’t know if I have recovered and if I’ll have enough strength today. If I don’t, I’ll tell William Bonnet to go for his own sprint. If I feel good, it’s the kind of finale that I like.”

  38. 17:06:10 CEST

    Rosendo must have crashed. His front wheel is totally out of shape.

  39. 17:08:20 CEST

    Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol): “My results in the first sprints on the flat have made me understand that I’m such a great shape as in Paris-Nice when I won a stage. I want the same result. Today’s finale is favourable for me to win.”

  40. 13km remaining from 196.3km

    17:08:49 CEST

    13km to go  and the field is still all together.

  41. 17:10:57 CEST

    Nicolas Roche (AG2R-La Mondiale) lost one minute yesterday because of a mechanical in a tunnel prior to the second to last climb.


  42. 17:11:24 CEST

    Movistar, Sky and Saxo Bank have now all moved into the lead work.

  43. 10km remaining from 196.3km

    17:12:37 CEST

    10km to go, and the field is still speeding along together.

  44. 17:13:10 CEST

    Speeding along at 68km/h, in fact!

  45. 17:14:23 CEST

    Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I know the finish. It suits me. I came 8th up there at the Tour de France in 2009. But before that, there’s a little climb that I don’t know. I’ll ask ‘Purito’ to explain to me how it is. If it’s not too hard, I believe that I’ll be part of the contenders for the stage victory.”


  46. 17:15:10 CEST

    They now enter the Plaza de Espana, a most impressive roundabout.

  47. 17:16:26 CEST

    They have slowed down, only going 48km/h now.

  48. 6km remaining from 196.3km

    17:16:59 CEST

    With 6km to go, Argos-Shimano moves to the head of the peloton.

  49. 5.2km remaining from 196.3km

    17:17:59 CEST

    Contador attacks!

  50. 17:18:24 CEST

    Sky quickly closes the gap.

  51. 17:18:54 CEST

    That move will wake a few people up. And they are starting up this final climb.

  52. 17:19:34 CEST

    Andre Kashechkin of Astana leds the way up, and then Alessandro Ballan of BMC attacks.

  53. 17:20:07 CEST

    Rodriguez follows and passes him -- and mopves into the lead! None of his rivals are to be seen....

  54. 17:21:07 CEST

    Rodriguez and BAllan have a slight gap over two other riders, with the field somewehre behind them.

    No, not Ballan, but Philippe Gilbert!

  55. 17:22:48 CEST

    Roche is now the only pursuer, as the two men in red pull away.  They have only 1.5km to go.

  56. 17:23:09 CEST

    Contador is pedaling furiously to catch up.

  57. 17:23:40 CEST

    Last km for the two leaders. The field slows down. Will Gilbert take his first season win today?

  58. 17:24:32 CEST

    Rodriguez leads the way to the finish, with Gilber lurking on his rear wheel.

  59. 17:25:03 CEST

    Gilbert comes around him and takes the win!

  60. 17:26:06 CEST

    Rodriguez was second, and Paolo Tiralongo of Astana won the sprint of the field for third place.

  61. 17:26:36 CEST

    Great move by Rodriguez.  He really caught his rivals napping.

  62. 17:27:23 CEST

    Sorry, Tiralongo didn't win the sprint of the field.  He had pulled away from the rest. But he was definitely third!

  63. 17:28:28 CEST

    Rodriguez picked up eight bonus seconds, plus about 10 seconds from the gap to his rivals, so he easily cemented his lead.

  64. 17:29:49 CEST

    Gilbert must be terribly relieved to have won today. After his spectacular year in 2011, it is hard to believe that was his first win all season.

  65. 17:30:36 CEST

    Contador finshed the race as 21st, 12 seconds down, so he lost a total of 20 seconds today.

  66. 17:31:16 CEST

    Here the top ten for the stage:

    1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    2 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
    3 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
    4 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
    5 Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan  
    6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team  
    7 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
    8 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
    9 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
    10 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi

  67. 17:32:45 CEST

    And the top ten in GC. Offhand it looks the same as yesterday:

    1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
    2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
    3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank
    4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
    5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
    6 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team
    7 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
    8 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
    9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
    10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team

  68. 17:33:46 CEST

    That was it for the first part of the Vuelta. The riders now have a very long transfer ahead of them. The rest of us can rest up as well.

  69. 17:34:22 CEST

    Thanks for joining us today and be sure to come back Tuesday as our journey continues.