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Rodriguez and Nibali face off in Vuelta time trial

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Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) back in red at the Vuelta a España.

Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) back in red at the Vuelta a España. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The king in waiting? Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) did enough to move into the overall lead.

The king in waiting? Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) did enough to move into the overall lead. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara won his second stage of the race

Fabian Cancellara won his second stage of the race (Image credit: Sirotti)

Joaquin Rodriguez will fight to defend his red leader's jersey at the Vuelta a Espana today but the Katusha rider needs to produce the ride of his life to stop Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) taking the lead and setting up overall victory.

The Italian lost time on the climb to Cotobello on Monday but is much better in time trials than the little Spanish climber. He is confident he can gain at least a minute and perhaps even more on the windswept 46km course around Peñafiel, in the Castile and León region, north of Madrid, that includes long sections of straight roads.

In the overall classification, Rodriguez leads Nibali by 33 seconds, with Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) third at 53 seconds and Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) much further back in fourth at 2:16.

"I've seen the course and I like it," Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. "There are a lot of straight sections where you really need to push a gear. At worst I think I can gain a minute, but if it's windy and I'm at my very best, I think I could even gain three minutes."

As race leader, Rodriguez starts last in the time trial, rolling down the start ramp at 4:45 local time in Spain. Nibali starts three minutes earlier at 4:42.

Cancellara favourite for stage victory

The battle for the red leader's jersey will be the tense finale to the stage but the fight for stage victory will begin early in the day.

The 46km time trial around Peñafiel will be Fabian Cancellara's last test against the clock before the world time trial championships in Australia and the current world champion is the huge favourite to win the stage.

Cancellara is well down in the general classification and so starts early in the afternoon at 1:54 local time.

Valentin Iglinskiy (Astana) is the first rider off at 1:41, quickly followed by Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) at 1:48. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) starts at 1:58, his teammate David Zabriskie starts at 2:03. David Millar is off at 2:31, Christian Vande Velde at 3:16 and Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia starts at 3:53.

Other names to watch for, as they fight for a place in the top ten overall, are Luis Leon Sanchez (4:19), Carlos Sastre (4:23), Tom Danielson (4:29), Nicolas Roche (4:33), Frank Schleck (4:36) and Ezequiel Mosquera (4:39).

Nibali and Rodriguez follow them at 4:42 and 4:45 respectively. Less than hour later, we will know who will pull on the race leader's red jersey.

The early riders will go off at one-minute intervals. The final top twenty go off every two minutes, with three minutes between the final four riders.

Cyclingnews will cover the whole of the time trial live.


Start times (local time in Spain)
1Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana13:41:00
2Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne13:42:00
3Lars-Ytting Bak (Den) Team HTC-Columbia13:43:00
4Dominik Klemme (Ger) Team Saxo Bank13:44:00
5Theo Bos (Ned) Cervélo Test Team13:45:00
6Juan-Jose Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank13:46:00
7Jorge Montenegro (Arg) Andalucia-Cajasur13:47:00
8Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC-Columbia13:48:00
9Johnnie Walker (Aus) Footon-Servetto13:49:00
10Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha13:50:00
11Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Transitions13:51:00
12Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo13:52:00
13Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quick Step13:53:00
14Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank13:54:00
15Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step13:55:00
16Matthew Wilson (Aus) Garmin-Transitions13:56:00
17Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi13:57:00
18Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions13:58:00
19Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quick Step13:59:00
20Kasper Klostergaard (Den) Team Saxo Bank14:00:00
21Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ14:01:00
22Robert Förster (Ger) Team Milram14:02:00
23David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Transitions14:03:00
24Matthew Goss (Aus) Team HTC-Columbia14:04:00
25Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank14:05:00
26Jose Vicente Toribio (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur14:06:00
27Angelo Furlan (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini14:07:00
28Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ14:08:00
29Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Xacobeo Galicia14:09:00
30Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank14:10:00
31Manuel Cardoso (Por) Footon-Servetto14:11:00
32Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale14:12:00
33Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram14:13:00
34Leif Hoste (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto14:14:00
35Jose Vincente Garcia Acosta (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne14:15:00
36Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto14:16:00
37Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne14:17:00
38Enrique Mata (Spa) Footon-Servetto14:18:00
39Mauricio Ardila (Col) Rabobank14:19:00
40Martin Pedersen (Den) Footon-Servetto14:20:00
41Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step14:21:00
42Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank14:22:00
43Dominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram14:23:00
44Manuel Ortega (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur14:24:00
45Alexandre Pichot (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom14:25:00
46Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervélo Test Team14:26:00
47Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale14:27:00
48David Gutierrez Gutierrez (Spa) Footon-Servetto14:28:00
49Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini14:29:00
50William Bonnet (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom14:30:00
51David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Transitions14:31:00
52Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi14:32:00
53Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-Farnese Vini14:33:00
54Nicol Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne14:34:00
55Bjorn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram14:35:00
56Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ14:36:00
57Sergey Renev (Kaz) Astana14:37:00
58Pierre Cazaux (Fra) FDJ14:38:00
59Martin Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia14:39:00
60Antonio Piedra (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur14:40:00
61Vincent Jerôme (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom14:41:00
62Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana14:42:00
63Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom14:43:00
64Sergio Carrasco (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur14:44:00
65Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne14:45:00
66Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom14:46:00
67Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini14:47:00
68Xavier Florencio (Spa) Cervélo Test Team14:48:00
69Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram14:49:00
70Juan Javier Estrada (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur14:50:00
71Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi14:51:00
72Javier Ramirez (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur14:52:00
73Allan Davis (Aus) Astana14:53:00
74Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini14:54:00
75Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne14:55:00
76Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Footon-Servetto14:56:00
77Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne14:57:00
78Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne14:58:00
79Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo14:59:00
80Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank15:00:00
81Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas-Doimo15:01:00
82Paul Voss (Ger) Team Milram15:02:00
83Blel Kadri (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale15:03:00
84Johann Tschopp (Swi) BBOX Bouygues Telecom15:04:00
85Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Doimo15:05:00
86Joan Horrach (Spa) Team Katusha15:06:00
87Remi Pauriol (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne15:07:00
88Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana15:08:00
89Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step15:09:00
90Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana15:10:00
91Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervélo Test Team15:11:00
92Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo15:12:00
93Alberto Benitez (Spa) Footon-Servetto15:13:00
94Gustavo Iglesias (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia15:14:00
95Jose Angel Gomez-Marchante (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur15:15:00
96Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Transitions15:16:00
97Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step15:17:00
98Mikael Cherel (Fra) FDJ15:18:00
99Dmitry Fofonov (Kaz) Astana15:19:00
100Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale15:20:00
101Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step15:21:00
102Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo15:22:00
103Delio Fernandez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia15:23:00
104Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini15:24:00
105Serafin Martinez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia15:25:00
106Juan-Jose Oroz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi15:26:00
107Mathieu Sprick (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom15:27:00
108Javier Moreno (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur15:28:00
109Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2R-La Mondiale15:29:00
110Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Liquigas-Doimo15:30:00
111Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale15:31:00
112Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha15:32:00
113Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank15:33:00
114Juan-Manuel Garate (Spa) Rabobank15:34:00
115Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne15:35:00
116Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto15:36:00
117Gustavo Cesar-Veloso (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia15:37:00
118Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto15:38:00
119David Lopez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne15:39:00
120Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step15:40:00
121Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank15:41:00
122Marcos Garcia (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia15:42:00
123Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Milram15:43:00
124Kanstantin Sivtsov (Blr) Team HTC-Columbia15:44:00
125Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini15:45:00
126Jürgen Van Goolen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto15:46:00
127Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha15:47:00
128Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d’Epargne15:48:00
129Aleksandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana15:49:00
130Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi15:50:00
131Gonzalo Rabunal (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia15:51:00
132Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto15:52:00
133Tejay Van Garderen (USA) Team HTC-Columbia15:53:00
134Aleksandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha15:54:00
135Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin-Transitions15:55:00
136Inigo Cuesta (Spa) Cervélo Test Team15:56:00
137Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo15:57:00
138Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana15:58:00
139Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne15:59:00
140Remy Di Gregorio (Fra) FDJ16:00:00
141Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale16:01:00
142Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank16:02:00
143Jan Bakelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto16:03:00
144David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne16:05:00
145Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Lampre-Farnese Vini16:07:00
146Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) FDJ16:09:00
147Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team Katusha16:11:00
148Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne16:13:00
149Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha16:15:00
150David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne16:17:00
151Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne16:19:00
152Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi16:21:00
153Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo Test Team16:23:00
154David Garcia Dapena (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia16:25:00
155Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team16:27:00
156Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Transitions16:29:00
157Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia16:31:00
158Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale16:33:00
159Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank16:36:00
160Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia16:39:00
161Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo16:42:00
162Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha16:45:00