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Vuelta a España 2014: Stage 10

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana.

Hola! The stage 10 time trial from Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela to Borja is underway and we will bring you all the action.

The time trial is 36.7km is a technical test for every rider, with the specialists like Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara fighting for the stage victory and the overall contenders fighting for every second. 

Our man in Spain Alasdair Fotheringham studied the stage route in detail yesterday and wrote this detailed analysis. It is a perfect guide to what we should expect today.

Read it here.

70 riders have already finished the time trial. Jesse Sergent was the fastest for a while but Cancellara has now come in and set the fastest time of 47:13. 

Italy's Adriano Malori (Movistar) is third fastest at 1:56. Sergent was 1:02 slower than Cancellara.

Tony Martin (OPQS) is out on the road. We will soon see if he can better Cancellara.

Tony Martin confirmed that the time trial is his goal of the Vuelta, despite the testing profile.

“I’m looking forward to the time trial. This is my big goal at the Vuelta and also my big test before the world championship." he said.

"It’ll help me see where I am and where I still have to go. Last year it worked as a test. I didn’t win here but I made the adjustments for winning the world championship. But it’s always better to win at the Vuelta. I hope that I’m at my top level already. But if I come second or third, I’ll draw the necessary conclusions. It’ll mean that I still have to work.”
 

Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) has upt in a solid ride, setting the second fastest time, 48 seconds behind Cancellara.

David Millar (Garmin-Sharp), who is going to retire after the Vuelta, explained that he can’t fight for victory in time trials any more. However he was only 2:05 slower than Cancellara.

“The only rider who can beat Tony Martin today is Chris Froome”, he predicted.

 

At the first time split after 11.6km, Martin is six seconds faster than Cancellara with a time of 20:02.

Can he take more time in the flatter second part? 

Fernando Escartin, technical director of the Vuelta and originally from Aragon where the race is held has given his expert opinion on the TT. 

“This time trial looks very much like year’s. There’s a difficult climb whose last two kilometers are pretty steep (8 to 9%). The first 11km are on a narrow road, the last 11km on a wide road where Tony Martin will be able to ride on his biggest gear. The wind will be a factor too. It’s likely to blow at 50%.”

Chris Froome (Team Sky) is hoping to pull back some precious seconds in today's time trial. He spoke to Danish television about his hopes for the stage and the Vuelta.

"It's been a good start I think, considering the season I've had the disappointment of the Tour de France. We're ten days in and I'm still within shooting distance of the red jersey, I'm quite happy with that," he said.

I lost 23 seconds to a few guys but kept the same time as Valverde, so I'm happy with that. Every seconds counts and so I'm not happy but I went as hard as I could on the climb. With the drop to 10C in the rain, I felt like I'd seized up and didn’t have the legs."

Froome is more upbeat about the time trial stage.

“I went to see the course during the rest day. It’s not such a long time trial as sometimes but I like it. It's a very typical Vuelta time trial. It's very technical and hilly, the climb is very steep. It's not one for the pure TT but still think Tony Martin has a shot of victory."

"I'm definitely going to be trying and giving it everything. I hope to progress on GC. It's difficult to say if I'll have the jersey. We've seen that Contador is going well and this suits him. It'll be difficult for me to be in the red jersey."
 

Tony Martin has reached the 30km point and has extended his lead on Cancellara.

The German now leads by 16 seconds.

Alberto Contador is expected to take the leader's red jersey from Nairo Quintana and has confirmed he is targeting overall success after a good first week. 

“Now I can say that I’ll try and win the Vuelta. But I don’t know if I’ll have the legs or not. The time trial is a good test to evaluate my physical condition,” he said on the rest day.

It looks that Tony Martin could win the stage. He. has just stopped the clock in a time of 47:02.

He was 11 seconds faster than Cancellara, losing a few seconds in the final part of the 37.6km course.

Martin raced with his left knee taped but was able to produce usual huge power output to set the fastest times.

Now we await to see how Froome and Contador get on. The hilly mid-part of the stage gives them a chance of victory.

Martin seems to have changed his position this year and now has his arms tucked in tight, inline with his upper body. It's a faster and powerful position.

The big-name riders are about to start, with Damiano Caruso (Katusha), setting off. He is currently 14th overall.

Cadel Evans (BMC) has had a disappointing Vuelta but is having a good ride today. He is third fastest after 30km, only 38 seconds slower than Martin.

Purito Rodriguez is off, starting from inside the Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela

We stand corrected, the Katusha riding starting was actually Dani Moreno. Purito starts very soon.

Fabian Cancellara was not happy with the road surface after his ride.

"It was not just hills, there were downhills, false flats but the asphalt was bad," he said.

"For the overall contenders I don't know what it will be like but this is how it is. I'd hoped they look for better roads. I did what I could and that was my goal. My only doubt was for my safety and I couldn't find my rhythm."

Evans has finished, setting the third fastest time, 49 seconds slower than Martin.

Ireland's Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) is out on the hilly sector of the course. Sammy Sanchez (BMC) is just a few minutes behind him.

Gesink is out on the route, throwing off his ice-jacket after the opening kilometre.

Italy's Fabio Aru (Astana) is off too.

Romain Sicard (Europcar) produces a decent ride to finish eighth.

Rodriguez is out on the course, with Chris Froome next to start.

Froome rolls down the ramp and is off. Can he win the stage and even take the leader's red jersey? We will find out in about 42 minutes.

Stage nine winner Winner Anaconda has started on a normal road bike. He will probably switch at the top of the climb.

Meanwhile at the finish, the cross winds is picking up, making it hard for Martin's time to  be beaten.

Froome attacks the climb, staying sitting in the saddle to stay aero.

There goes Contador! Will he be in red later. Probably.

Sanchez is strong on the climb and has set the fastest time of 19:40 to the top the alto de Moncayo.

Quintana is off. He's wearing a red skinsuit and a blue Movistar aero helmet. He is small and compact but powerful.

Cancellara complained about the road surface but the climb has new asphalt. The problems could be on the descents, making things even more risky.

Contador is spinning a big-ring gear and looks fast.

Froome is on a downhill sector and moves in the saddle, trying to find his best position.

Quintana has super long overshoes/socks that rise up most of his calf. Does they give him some kind of benefit?

Froome is on the steepest part of the clmib and so stamps on the pedals.

A bike change for Rodriguez. Has he opted for a bigger gear bike for the fast downhill sector?

Froome was quicker than Tony Martin at the first slip but it is the hilly sector. Can he stay fast on the downhill part?

Anacona switches to his TT bike at the summit of the climb.

It seems that Contador is gaining time on Quintana. GPS data shows him with a 28 -second lead. 

Contador is fastest after 10.8km. Froome is 28 seconds slower but could make it up on the flat roads.

Valverde was only 8 seconds behind.

Quintana is 21 seconds slower. He could loose more before the finish.

Crash! Quintana goes down!.

Quintana went off the road near the barriers and then flipped over his bike at speed on a fast descending corner.

He is up on his feet but is struggling to sit on the saddle. He has already lost close to two minutes.

Quintana is back riding but seems battered with holes in the back of his skinsuit.

He could loose several minutes by the time he reaches the finish.

Contador is flying according to GPS data. He is 40 seconds faster than Froome.

Rigoberto Uran (OPQS) is riding well. He is so far fastest after 30km in a time of 36:21.

Quintana has lost approximately 2:00 due to his crash.

Uran comes in with the third fastest time, only 15 seconds slower than teammate tony Martin.

Here comes Aru. He sets a time of 49:05. He's two minutes off the pace.

Valverde is doing a good ride and will now likely become the team leader for Movistar after Quintana's crash.

48:51 for Rodriguez. He's lost time but less than expected.

Froome comes in with a time of 48:34. That's not a good ride from the Briton, considering he's a TT specialist.

The riders have a slight tailwind on the final sector but there are also sections with side winds.

Quintana is fighting on but must be hurting after his high-speed crash.

Valverde is next in.

He sets a time of 48:03.

 

Contador is next in and will take the roja leader's jersey.

He sets a time of 47:41.

Tony Martin (OPQS) will win the stage but Contador will pull on the leader's jersey.

Quintana is close to the finish but he will loose a big chunk of time. His overall chances could be over and he could also be injured.

Quintana sets a time of 51:09. He's lost more than three minutes to Contador and the other overall contenders. 

What a stage! Quintana crashed hard and lost three minutes, Froome also struggled and lost 1:07 to Contador, who took the race lead and looked storng, despite his Tour de France tibia fracture.

Tony Martin won the stage and showed he's on schedule for the world time trial championships.

Contaor is confirmed as the new race leader. He leads Valverde by 29 seconds, with Uran third at 59 seconds. Froome is fifth at 1:18 and Quintana falls to 11th at 3:25.

Martin gets the cheers on the podium wearing his rainbow jersey as world TT champion.

Contador climbs on the podium and pulls on the red roja jersey.

He fires off his trademark pistolero gesture. He said the time trial would tell him if he can win the Vuelta. He seems in pole position now but faces another 11 stages of racing with lots of mountain stages.

Thanks for joining us for the Cyclingnews live coverage from the Vuelta.

Check cyclingnews.com for a full stage report, huge photo gallery and exclusive interviews and news from the race. 

The Vuelta heads to the north for stage 11 from Pamplona to Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar. It is a nasty mountain finish with a 9.9km climb at an average of 7.5%.

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