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Live coverage

Vuelta a España 2011: Stage 10


Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of today's individual time trial stage at the Vuelta a Espana. Th 47km route covers a loop south of Salamanca and should see some major changes to the overall classification.

The racing has been underway for just over an hour but we've already had some fast times from the time trial experts.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) set a time of 57:26 but was soon beaten by Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek)

Cancellara stopped the clock in 57:21. But his tinme was soon beaten by a flying Tony Martin (Highroad-HTC)

Martin was 1:12 faster than Cancellara at the second intermediate time check and is about to reach the finish in Salamanca.

The best placed riders overall start later in the day. You can see the full start list here.

The 47km TT is the only individual time trial of the 2011 Tour of Spain. It’s covers a 47km long and largely flat course starting and finishing in Salamanca.

Last year’s time trial in Peñafiel was 46km long and flat as well. It was won by Peter Velits – who is not riding the Vuelta this year – ahead of Denis Menchov (at 0.12) and Fabian Cancellara (at 0.37).

Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) lost four minutes in last year's time trial and any chance of overall victory. He is more confident this year after apparently working on his time trial technique but the gaps could still be significant today.

Former Kelme and LeTua rider Alexis Rodríguez is from Salamanca and knows the course to perfection. He explained: “It’s a time trial for pure specialists. The gaps between them and the climbers will be enormous! It begins by ten kilometres of false flat uphill where there can only be headwind or tailwind but no cross wind for sure. Until the u-turn to make one’s way back to Salamanca, there’s a succession of little ups and downs that are suitable for riders with a lot of power. On the way back, the front gear to be used is 55 or 56. The entrance into Salamanca is magnificent: a roman bridge has been re-open just for the Vuelta. “Purito” Rodríguez (Katusha) might lose up to three minutes from Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), four minutes or more from Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) or Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC).”

Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) has finished ,setting a new best time.

He stopped the clock with a time of 55:54.

Martin was a massive 1:27 faster than Cancellara.

Martin has been touted as the heir to Cancellara's time trial crown and it looks as if the young German is getting better and better.

Perhaps the only person capable of beating him, or even getting close, will be Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky). Wiggins will also be hoping to gain enough time to take the overall race lead and has promised to 'empty the tank'  or give it all, during his ride. 

Martin set a time of 16:37 at the first intermediate time, that was 37 seconds faster than Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervelo), with Cancellara a further five seconds slower. The young American could do well today.

Before the start, Tony Martin talked about his hopes for the time trial and how it is the big reason he is riding the Vuelta.

“I’ve more or less come to the Vuelta because of this time trial. The whole Vuelta is a preparation for the world championship. My big goal is to become the world champion for time trial (on September 22 in Copenhagen, Denmark). From what I’ve heard before seeing the course in Salamanca, it’s pretty flat and I prefer the courses that are a bit hillier like the one of Grenoble at the Dauphiné and the Tour de France. A time trial is always different after ten days of racing than when it’s a one-day race, but I’m here for a result. However, I won’t take it as a test against Cancellara. We both have the same goal in Salamanca and at the world championship but whatever happens here, it won’t work as a mental game for me. I’m fully focused on my preparation for the World’s.”


We're getting to the sharp end of the GC now, wit hthe best palced riders about to head to the start ramp.

Spanish national time trial champion Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) started a few minutes ago. As did previous race leader Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step).

Next off is Igotr Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) he was one of the pre-race overall favourites but cracked and lost time on Sierra Nevada. Watch for him to try and win a mountain stage later in the race and especially when the Vuelta returns to the Basque Country.

Mikel Irizar (Radioshack) is the latest rider to finish in the top ten: He was sixth, 2:51 behind Tony Martin.

Andrew Talansky has set a time of 56:39.

The Garmin-Cervelo rider finished just 1:15 behind Tony Martin.

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) is 29 seconds slower than Martin at the first time split.

Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) is about to start.

Menchov was second last year in the time trial but his form seems hit and miss so far in this year's Vuelta.

He is currently 21st overall, 2:18 behind Mollema.

Jani Brajkovic (RadioShack) is off soon, followed by Nico Roche (Ag2r)

Menchov looks fluid out on the course but the roads look long and straight. Perfect for time trialists.

The long roads is allowing riders see their minute men ahead. Lulu Sanchez has just blasted past two riders who started ahead of him.

Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) starts. He had a difficult day yesterday and will surely lose three, if not four minutes, today.

The final ten riders are about to start the time trial.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) is next off. The Kenyan-born Brit has played a key role in supporting Wiggins, carefully protecting his team leader on the climbs. 

After Froome comes Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervelo), Wiggins, Maxime Monfort (Leopard Trek), Juan Cobo (Geox-TMC) and then Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack).

Brajkovic looks good as he stays tucked over the bars, head low and aero.

Wiggins is on the start ramp.

He looks deadly serious, almost angry.

And he's off. and is quickly into this aero tuck.

Sanchez continues to lose time to Martin and is 1:07. But Bjarkovic is going well and is only 13 seconds slower than Martin at the first time split.

Wiggins is spinning his gears, almost pedalling with his tip toes.

Juan Jose Cobo (Geox-TMC) rolls off the stasrt ramp. He limited his losses yesterday but will surely lose several minutes today. He followed the cycling myth of not shaving before a big race. But that hairy look will surely get itchy during his ride.

Wiggins is pedaling smoothing, with his arms tucked tight together.

Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack) has set off. He could be the biggest threat to stopping Wiggins taking the red leader's jersey.

Viatceslav Ekimov, DS of RadioShack has tipped Martin or Cancellara  to win rather than Wiggins.


: “I know this time trial, we’ve done it before at the Vuelta. It’s flat with long straight lines and often windy. For the stage win, it’ll be either Tony Martin or Fabian Cancellara. I don’t think that Bradley Wiggins will win. Janez Brajkovic would have enjoyed an undulated course more than this one but he has to be the best of the GC contenders today! The windier the better for him. There’s a coup to be done.”


Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard Trek) started but then lost his chain after a hundred metres. Fortunately he quickly got going again.

Lulu Sanchez (Rabobank) finished fast, stopping the clock in the fourth fastest time of 57:26.

He was 2:02 slower than tony Martin (HTC-Highroad)

This time trial will be about pacing your effort as much as maximum speed. The 55 minute effort is a huge test of physical and mental ability.

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) has started and quickly puts it in a big gear and begins his 47km ride.

Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) sets off, wearing the green jersey. He's a pure climber and strong on the steep climbs but not a great time trialist.

Brad Wiggins (Team Sky) is just one second slower than Tony Martin at the first split. That is fast.

Race leader Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) has set off, meaning all the riders are now out on the course.

Further up the road, Wiggins has just blasted past his two-minute man Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervelo).

Martin is wearing the blue polka-dot climber's jersey.

Wiggins is now chasing his teammate Chris Froome (Team Sky).

“Purito” Rodríguez lost the red jersey by one second to Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) yesterday. One big question during today’s time trial is how much will he lose?

It’s interesting to recall how weak he was against the clock in 2010. He finished 154th out of 170 riders at the Tour de France from Bordeaux to Pauillac and 105th out of 159 riders at the Vuelta in Peñafiel (6:12 down on Velits and 4:17 down on eventual overall winner Vincenzo Nibali). 

He has shown some improvement this year: he finished 40th out of 159 participants at the closing time trial of the Tour of Italy and 59th out of 175 riders in contention at the Dauphiné in June.

We will find out how much he will lose in about 40 minutes.

Correct: Wiggins was one second faster than Martin.

Tiago Machado (RadioShack) has produced a surprise fast time, finishing 1:54 down on Martin. He is currently fourth fastest.

The time trial is a mix of wide roads and country lanes but both are straight and flat.

The second time split is after 30km and that is the point we will see if Wiggins has a chance of winning the stage.

Wiggins is on a slightly rising section ofthe course but stays tucked on the aero bars.

Nibali has lost 33 to Wiggins at the first time split.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) is second in the 30km time split. He was just 29 seconds slower than Tony Martin. Wiggins will be next through the check. 

Wiggins sets a time 19 seconds slower than Tony Martin after 30km.

He might not win the stage but is still set to take the overall race lead.

He started the stage exactly one minute down on Mollema.

He needs to gain 33 seconds on Jurgen van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and just 18 seconds on Zubeldia.

Brajkovic faded in the finale of his ride. He finished only fifth fastest, 1:56 slower than Martin.

Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) finished eighth fastest, 2:19 off the pace.

Wiggins has a flat back as he puts down the pwer on the pedals.

Scarponi finishes but he is well down.

The Italian was a massive 4:30 down on Martin.

Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has also had a nightmare ride, losing 6:18. 

Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard Trek) is riding well. He is only 44 seconds down on Martin at the second split. He could be the surprise of the day.

Froome finishes with a time of 56:53, 59 seconds down on Martin. That is a solid ride from the Kenyan from Team Sky. 

Wiggins finishes with a time of 57:16. He misses out on the stage win but looks set to take the race lead.

However Chris Froome could also take the lead. He finished 23 faster than Wiggins.

Froome was only three seconds down on Wiggins in the GC before the TT.

Wiggins started fast but then faded gradually until the end. Froome got stronger and stronger compared to his rivals.

Daniel Martin (Garmin-Cervelo) has finished 6:05 behind Martin, in a time of 1:01:59.

Wiggins is third, 1:22 down on Martin.

The big threat to Froome's hope of taking red is Jakob Fuglsang.

He is 26 ahead of Froome in the GC. Can he finish inside that gap and take red. We'll find out very soon.

Fuglsang finishes with a time of 57:31. Thst's 38 down on Froome. 

Froome is about to take the red race leader's jersey.

Fuglsang, like Wiggins, faded in the finale of the time trial.

For the rest of the riders still out on the course, it's about how much they lose to their big overall GC rivals.

Rodriguez has been caught by Mollema and so is last rider out on the road and losing minutes to his rivals.

He's trying to follow Mollema but is risking a penalty for drafting.

Time trials are the race of truth and we could see that Froome was on super form yesterday. Even Wiggins was suffering in his slipstream.

Dani Moreno (Katusha) has also lost a lot of time. He finishes over the hour.  

Frederik Kessiakoff (Astana) does better. The big Swede finishes 2:18 down on Martin.

Here comes Nibali but he's off the pace. 

Nibali sets a time of 58:18.  

He finished 2:24 down on Martin and more than a minute to Froome and Wiggins.

Mollema is still three kms from the finish but is already slower than Tony Martin.

Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) is set to win the stage with his time of 55:54.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) is set to take the race lead after his superb second place, 59 seconds slower than Martin.

Froome was born in Kenya but has a British passport thanks to his parents. He likes to be considered a Kenyan-born Brit.

Here comes Mollema. He sets a time of 59:03.

Rodriguez is much slower, losing more than six minutes to Martin.

That was a turn up for the books. Martin was always a big favourite to win the stage but Froome has overshadowed his team leader Brad Wiggins and taken the red jersey.

In provisional results, Froomeleads Fuglsang by 12 seconds, with Wigigns third overall at 20 seconds.

Nibali is fourth overall at 31 seconds.

Froome has often struggled since joining Team Sky but got it right today.

He paced his ride just right and had something left for the final part of the course.

The Vuelta riders get to enjoy the first rest day tomorrow. Then the second part of this totally unpredictable race will begin.

And there is Froome in the red jersey. He deseves that. He began his career trying to take on the best Italians in Tuscany and has now made it into the spotlight.

Provisional stage results:

1 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:55:54
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:56:47
3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:57:16
4 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 0:57:21
5 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:57:27
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:57:31
7 Tiago Machado (Por) Team RadioShack 0:57:48
8 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack 0:57:50
9 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:57:56
10 Nelson Oliveira (Spa) Team RadioShack 0:58:13

Provisional general classification after stage 10:

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 38:09:07
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:00:12
3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:20

This is the provisional top ten on GC:

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 38:09:13
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:00:12
3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:20
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:31
5 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Pro Team Astana 0:00:34
6 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek 0:00:59
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:07
8 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC 0:01:47
9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack 0:02:04
10 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team RadioShack 0:02:13

That's about it from our live coverage today. There is no racing on Tuesday and so join us on Wednesday for the 167km 11th stage from Verin to Estación de Montaña Manzaneda. It is a Hors Category mountain finish.

There will be a full report, photo galleries and interviews on very soon. 

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