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Vuelta a España 2012: Stage 10


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 10 of the Vuelta, 190 kilometres from Ponteareas to Sanxenxo.

Sitting between the first rest day and the race’s only individual time trial, this is one of the route’s easiest days. Starting in Ponteareas, which hosted its first Vuelta stage start last year, the riders will head over the only categorised climb of the day after 30km. The route then sticks close to the sea, climbing over some headlands before a run in to the finish. The sprinters will naturally fancy this one but any breakaway riders should have a good chance of battling it out between them as plenty of riders will be holding back for the time trial. The wind could be a key factor, too, given the proximity to the Atlantic.

Lets get up to speed on where we stand. So far the bunch has covered just shy of 80km. John Gadret (Ag2R) has quit the race and gone home. We've not been handed a reason by his team but the Frenchman has been below par in the race.

We've a two man break up the road with Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Andalucia) and Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Caja Rural) holding more than five minutes on the bunch. The pair attacked inside the first 5km of race  and despite a number of counter attacks they've managed to build up their advantage.

115km remaining from 190km

The lead currently stands at 4:30, after 75km of the race covered. The Argos Shimano team, who have three stage wins courtesy of their sprinter, John Degenkolb, lead the peloton.

After 9 days of racing and yesterday's rest day, here's where we stand in the overall GC with Rodriguez continuing to lead the race from Froome, Contador and Valverde. There are three Rabobank gents in the top ten so over the next week it will be interesting to see who sacrifices their chances for the others, or whether they'll stick together as best they can and go for the teams' classification... which they currently lead, by the way.


1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 34:44:55
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:53
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank 0:01:00
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:07
5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:01
6 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:02:08
7 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:34
8 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:03:07
9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:18
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:27

Sticking with the Vuelta theme but going back in time, we've run an extract from Alasdair Fotheringham's excellent book, The Eagle of Toledo: The life and times of Federico Bahamontes. You can read the extract, right here.

We're ten days into the race but only five teams have won stages so far, Movistar have 3, Argos the same, while GreenEdge, Katusha and BMC have one a piece. Today's profile suits the sprinters and if Degenkolb wins one more stage he'll equal Greipel's tally of four wins from the 2009 Vuelta.

Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) who shouldered Italy's entire track hopes at the London Games is probably Degenkolb's closest rival, but Bouhanni, Davis and Swift should provide a decent amount of resistance.

101km remaining from 190km

In the break, Lorente has a bit of trouble with his bike and needs some assistance from the team mechanic. He's been breaks three times in this year's race no less...

The gap is still around the four-minute mark after 100 kilometres of racing. The pair continuing to work well together but it's a familiar script as more sprinters teams move to the head of the field after the feedzone.

Away from the Vuelta and Cyclingnews' European Editor Barry Ryan interviewed Paul Kimmage regarding the UCI, USADA and the Armstrong case. If you've not read the feature yet, you can catch up here.

And Bassons, the rider was treated disgustingly during the 1999 Tour de France by his peers and the cycling community (in the majority) has his say here too.

Sky have moved to the front of the peloton. Ben Swift is their man for the sprints but they'll also want to keep Froome out of trouble and near the front of the peloton all the way to the run-in.

75km remaining from 190km

We've 75km to go, heading right along the coast as our two breakaway riders continue with their efforts. At the back of the bunch Alberto Contador is chasing through the cars. It looks as though he had a mechanical.

The gap has come right down, and it's standing at 1:24 just as Contador makes contact with the bunch again.

Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team) has attacked but it seems his team don't approve and have called him back via the race radio.

The bunch has eased up, clearly not wanting to catch the break too soon, and the gap has gone back out to 2:48.

67km remaining from 190km

The gap creeps out to 3:07 with 67 km remaining.

Gesink, who sits comfortably in the top five after a week of racing and no crashes, is forced to stop and change a wheel. The Dutch rider has excelled the Vuelta before and after a poor showing in the Tour, needs a good result in the GC.

Just two men up the road, the time trial tomorrow....and the bunch are happy to take today as easy as  possible. They''ll certainly wind up the pace in the final hour but they're just rolling along for now, with the gap back out to 3:22.

GreenEdge has taken up the pace duties on the front. They'll be working for their man  Allan Davis. It'll be a big ask for the Australian to overhaul Degenkolb in the sprint but it's certainly not impossible.

Some action and Degenkolb picks up one point at the intermediate sprint. No one decided to take the German on.

46km remaining from 190km

46kms to go as we continue to snake along the Spanish coastline.  The GreenEdge riders continue to set the pace on the front of the peloton while Villaplana and Lorente hang onto a slim margin.

The gap has come down to 1:30 again.

Saxo Bank and Katusha have moved up towards the front of the peloton, with Contador and Rodriguez both in the frame. The GC riders will be looking to keep out of trouble, especially with the individual time trial on tomorrow's menu.

39km remaining from 190km

The gap between the peloton and the break is down to just 40 seconds.

The catch is about to be made with GreenEdge still on the front of the peloton controlling the pace.


33km remaining from 190km

A shake of hands from Villaplana and Lorente, who have been away for 150km, and the bunch finally swarm them, with 33km to go.

Less than 30km to go and Katusha have joined GreenEdge on the front of the peloton. The pace has certainly increased since the break was caught, with a number of riders dangling off the back of the bunch.

20km remaining from 190km

It'll be interesting to see if GreenEdge can maintain this pace for the run-in. They've been on the front for around 15kms and they've not had much assistance from the other teams. So far Argos have timed their leadouts almost perfectly, hitting the front in the closing kms.

GreenEdge have moved off the front of the peloton with 15km to  go. A collection of teams have taken up the responsibilities but Katusha are doing most of the work. There's been so sign of Sky yet, or Liquigas.

And Sky now move up with Danny Pate on the front with Stannard, Flecha, Froome and Swift all close by.

Sky have the peloton completely strung out along the long run-in to the finish. Uran is now on the front for the British team and a group of around 15 riders have been dropped.

10km remaining from 190km

They go under the 10km to go banner with  Flecha on the taking his turn. And Cobo has been dropped. That's a surprise.

Froome is barking the orders at his Sky teammates, while Valverde, Contador and Rodriguez do their best to stay in contention.

6km remaining from 190km

Just 6km to go with Sky still controlling the front of the field. Liquigas, BMC, QuickStep and Rabobank are beginning to move up, Argos too.

Sky have lost two riders but they've still got four men on the front. Now Argos and Katusha move up again.

4km to go.

Argos are being to get organised with 3km to go.

FDJ are present as they head under the 1km to  go banner.

Around tight right hander and they open up for the sprint.

And Shack lead out, Argos take over

And Degenkolb takes it. He opened up from so far back but had enough to hold on despite the best efforts from Bouhanni.

Bennati appeared to  be best position as they opened the sprint but Degenkolb was quickly around him, and even when Bouhanni looked to have the measure of him he too ran out of gas in the final  50 meters. That's Degenkolb's fourth stage win in the race.

Bennati finished third in the end. Swift and Viviani were 9th and 10th.

1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
2 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
4 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
5 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
6 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
7 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
8 Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre - ISD
9 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling
10 Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

General classification after stage 10

1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:53
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank 0:01:00
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:07
5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:01
6 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:02:08
7 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:34
8 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:03:07
9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:18
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:27

Thanks for joining us today. Tune in tomorrow for live coverage from the Vuelta time trial. Remember you can find a report, images and results for today's stage,  right here.

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