Hola and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana.
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Hello and welcome to the live coverage of stage 10 of the Vuelta. After the first rest day on Monday, the riders are back in the saddle for another day of racing.
As usual, we will have full live action of all the stage.
As the Cyclingnews blimp lifts off, the riders have rolled out of the central square and are heading to the official stage start.
They face 177km on a loop to the northwest of Salmanca, with the finish in Fermoselle.
In truth the stage ends in the tiny village of Bermillo de Sayago soon after the Fermoselle climb.
Today is widely expected to be a day for the sprinters but they and their teams will have to earn their shot at victory. The attackers have often had the upper hand so far in this year's Vuelta.
177km remaining from 177km
Here we go! The flag drops and the stage is officially under way.
The only non-starter after the rest day in Dan Martin of UAE. He headed home to be with his wife for the birth of their twins.
After the head of Andalucia, the riders are enjoying the cooler but 25C temperatures of central Spain.
Today they will ride along the Duero river valley, the border between Spain and Portugal. It is important wine country and so we can expect to see plenty of vines.
The stage celebrates the 800th anniversary of the Salamanca University, the first to be created in Spain. Indeed the riders cover a loop out to the east of the city and then return through the centre before heading northeast to the finish.
The stage started in this stunning square.
We have seen several attacks in the opening kilometres but nothing has stuck so far. The sprinters' teams are making sure nothing dangerous escapes their grasp.
After Sunday's mountain stage to La Covatilla, Britain's Adam Yates is wearing the race leader's red jersey.
Yates took the red jersey by chasing after Nairo Quintana. He didn't catch him but did enough to take the red jersey by one second ahead of Valverde.
Click here to read our full stage report and study the general classification.
Back to today's racing, we can see Jesus Ezquerra (Burgos-BH) out front.
But he's alone after being let go.
The peloton seems to have eased up. Ezquerra leads by 1:50. He could be about to enjoy a big day out front.
We're close to half way into the 2018 Vuelta a Espana.
To catch up on all the action so far, check out our recap feature. It has details of all the stage winners and GC battles from the nine stages raced so far.
153km remaining from 177km
As expected several riders tried to form a second attack.
Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Tiago Machado (Katusha Alpecin), Johannes Frohlinger (Sunweb) and Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo) jumped away but Movistar quickly closed them down.
150km remaining from 177km
We're seeing a fast but tactical start to the stage. After Machado, other Katusha riders are trying to go on the attack today.
It is Machado that attacks again. He is joined by Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team).
This could be interesting.
Tiago Machado is chasing Ezquerra (Burgos-BH) but is at 1:40. He will have to dig deep.
Richie Porte has decided to ease up and is back in the bunch, which is at 2:20.
145km remaining from 177km
The peloton seems happy to let Machado go across to Ezquerra to form the break of the day.
The peloton is now at 3:20.
142km remaining from 177km
Machado joins Ezquerra as the Quick Step and Cofidis teams pick up the chase to protect the hopes of Viviani and Bouhanni.
133km remaining from 177km
The gap is up to 3:30 as the peloton rides tempo to keep the break in check.
The speed in the first hour was 42.9km after a tactical start.
Today is a double live day on Cyclingnews. We're also covering stage 3 of the Tour of Britain.
Click here to follow the final 35km of the stage around Bristol.
125km remaining from 177km
After 50km of racing, the Bora team is also helping with the work at the front of the peloton. They are riding for Peter Sagan, who is hoping to take his first win at this year's Vuelta.
Earlier we reported how Sagan made up with the motorbike pilot who sparked his crash in the 2015 Vuelta.
Click here to read the full story.
120km remaining from 177km
The race is back in Salamanca, with huge crowds in the city streets to cheer on the riders and enjoy the race.
Today's stage looks set to be one for the sprinters but the Alto de Fermoselle climb will be a real test of their form.
If often features in the Vuelta Castilla y León stage race and Alejandro Valverde won a stage at the top in 2016.
The climb is 4.9km long at just over 5%. It should not be a problem for most sprinters because it comes 30km from the finish. However it could be a great place to attack and explode the race before a high-speed finale.
108km remaining from 177km
The peloton and break are playing cat and mouse as the kilometres count down.
The gap between Machado and Ezquerra is up to 4:00 but Trek is also helping with the chase.
105km remaining from 177km
We can see the two breakaways as they try to push on the straight country roads through corn fields.
It's a day of suffering as they follow the line down the centre of the road.
The sprinter's team are controlling the break, giving Yates' Mitchelton-Scott team an easy day despite leading the GC.
The Australian team will have to decide if they defend the red jersey or safe their combined strength for later in the race.
Yates is tucked in between several teammates just behind the sprint team domestiques who are doing the work on the front.
100km remaining from 177km
The domestiques are working hard to keep the break under control.
They face another 100km of hard work.
95km remaining from 177km
Machado and Ezquerra seem to be running out of steam. The gap is falling. it is down to 3:00 now.
We could soon see a shuffling of the cards and perhaps a new attack.
88km remaining from 177km
The gaps has fallen below 3:00 as Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Kasper Asgreen (Quick-Step Floors), Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo) and Stphane Rossetto (Cofidis) do the chasing for their sprinters.
82km remaining from 177km
The two breakaways pass through the green zone, where they can throw away their trash.
Machado empties his pockets and bites on a energy bar.
Our man in Spain Alasdair Fotheringham spoke to Michal Kwiatkowski during yesterday's rest day, and the Team Sky rider has vowed to continue testing his GC credentials despite dropping to 15th overall this past weekend. “I’m looking at myself as a rider who can achieve much more in the future [on GC] and I don’t want to take a few steps back now because of one stupid crash. Two minutes on the Covatilla won’t change my game-plan. I would regret it if I didn’t try to race with the best climbers," Kwiatkowski said. Read the full story here.
Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) needed to drop back to the team car but the pace is still quite sedate in the peloton, and the Pole is able to ride back up to the bunch without any assistance from his teammates.
Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain has concluded, incidentally, and you can read the details here.
74km remaining from 177km
Machado and Ezquerra remain at the head of the race with a lead of 2:10 over a peloton that has yet to begin the chase in earnest.
69km remaining from 177km
We are now 35km from the base of the day's sole classified climb, the category 3 Alto de Fermoselle (4.9km at 5.3%), which brings the race to within touching distance of the Portuguese border. The gap stands at exactly two minutes.
60km remaining from 177km
The peloton seems on track to catch the break before the key climb in the finale with 30km to go.
That could see attacks go away over the top.
58km remaining from 177km
Riders are eating vital race food and stopping for natural breaks before the expected high-speed finale.
It's the quiet before the storm.
52km remaining from 177km
The race is approaching the intermediate sprint point. Machado and Ezquerra are likely to take the biggest bonuses but Valverde could try to take the sprint behind, take a second and so snatch the race lead from Yates.
We'll see very soon.
This is Machado and Ezquerra out front up the road in search of glory.
We're five kilometres from the intermediate sprint.
46km remaining from 177km
On a long straight road the peloton can see the break in the distance. The gap is down to 1:45
Machado and Ezquerra are ready to fight for the sprint.
41km remaining from 177km
Jelle Wallays of Lotto and Simone Petilli of UAE going down.
The peloton rolls on, with LottoNL leading through the sprint.
That means no bonus for Valverde behind the break of two and so no change in the GC leadership. At least for now.
Petilli went down hard and is being treated by the race medics. He crash hard at last year's Il Lombardia and only returned to racing at the Tour of the Alps in April.
Petilli is taken away on a stretcher and lifted into an ambulance. He seems to have hurt his shoulder as well as suffering a facial injury.
37km remaining from 177km
The race has switched onto minor roads for the finale and the climb of Fermoselle.
The race has passed the spectacular Almendra dam and can see the Duero valley.
Next up is the key climb of the day. It will be a real test for the sprinters and their teams.
33km remaining from 177km
Machada and Ezquerra start the Alto de Fermoselle (4.9km, 5.3%).
Bora are taking charge behind to pace the peloton and keep Sagan safe for the expected final sprint.
The peloton is just 1:00 behind the break as the climb hurts and lines out the peloton.
Bora up the pace on the climb. They're clearly trying to make some of Sagan's rivals suffer.
31km remaining from 177km
Ezquerra has cracked in the break, leaving just Machado up front.
The peloton is lined out as the sprinters suffer due to the high speed.
30km remaining from 177km
There are some gaps in the peloton now. They will have to chase in the final 30km and/or will be tired after going deep on the climb.
At least that is Bora's hope.
Machado has also been swept up due to the high speed and so anything could happen in the final 30km and the blast to the finish in Bermillo de Sayago.
26km remaining from 177km
Ben King of Dimension Data is at the back of the peloton. He deserves a quiet day after his two stage victories.
23km remaining from 177km
The speed is rising as the teams prepare for a high-speed sprint finish.
Brent Bookwalter flats but is soon away after a wheel change.
Thibaut Pinot has also had a problem and is chasing back to the peloton with a teammate.
20km remaining from 177km
Upfront Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) attacks alone.
The Burgos rider digs deep for a moment of glory.
17km remaining from 177km
The speed is up as the peloton enjoys a gradual descent.
We can expect a sprint showdown between Viviani, Bouhanni, Sagan and others today.
For the GC riders it is about avoiding any problems.
Nairo Quintana knows what that means. Quintana is chasing back after a flat. He's taking risks in the long line of team cars.
Race leader Simon Yates has also flatted.
Kelderman has flatted too.
Yates has three teammates helping him chase back to the bunch.
Yates is at the back of the peloton but needs to move up to the front.
13km remaining from 177km
Kelderman is also back in the peloton but other riders have suffered flats.
11km remaining from 177km
From the CN blimp we can see Quick Step Floors lead the peloton for Viviani.
They're on the right of the road, with other teams trying to move up on their left.
9km remaining from 177km
The final kilometres are flat and fast with few corners. Position and a good lead out will be vital today.
Diego Rubio Hernandez has been swept up as the teams line-up across the road in formation.
It's elbow out time!
5km remaining from 177km
Here we go. The speed is rising more and more. The different trains are trying to stay up front and protect their sprinters.
Even Vincenzo Nibali is up front riding for Bahrain.
There's a slight cross/head wind in the final kilometres.
No one team wants to take charge for now.
2km remaining from 177km
Quick Step take control.
They flip to the left but Sabatini calls them back to the right to protect Viviani and his lead out man Morkov.
1km remaining from 177km
Sagan is on Viviani's wheel.
Here come Cofidis with Bouhanni.
1km remaining from 177km
Postelberger attacks to help Sagan.
Morkov leads out Viviani.
Viviani takes it!
He got a perfect lead out from Sabatini and Morkov and Viviani finished it out with class and speed.
Viviani opted to go along the barriers and so stopped Sagan from coming past him.
Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek took a different line and finished third.
Viviani has given Quick Step Floors win number 60 of the 2018 season.
This is the top ten for the stage:
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 4:08:08
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4 Nelson Andres Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
5 Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6 Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
7 Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
8 Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
9 Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
This is the provisional GC, with Simon Yates still in red.
1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 41:03:00
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:01
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:14
Viviani has now won 17 races this season and this is his second stage win at the Vuelta.
This is a TV screen grab of Viviani winning the sprint.
Elia Viviani was happy to win and especially happy with the lead out the Quick Step Floors gave him.
"It was the most perfect lead out we ever do this year. The guys did really proper, good job, so we arrived from two sprints where, one were Valverde won and we did nothing, and the one when I got third we made a mistake," he explained.
"Today we were a little bit with more pressure because we want to back the strongest and the fastest. If we are the fastest we don't want to lose the race."
"It's my 17th win this year, and that win is for all these guys doing the lead out. You saw the lead out they did for me today. It was amazing."
Viviani was happy to beat Peter Sagan. He's also happy with his successful season and was happy today after enjoying the rest day on Monday.
"It's a good feeling to win at the Vuelta, to do two stages at the Vuelta after four stage wins in the Giro. It's just an amazing season continuing," he said.
"It's difficult to beat these guys again, but I hope to be in the perfect moment and with the perfect team, so that is for all the team."
"My family came here yesterday for the rest day, and I think I really spent the best rest day I can, and then today I had full energy to try this sprint again in front of all these champions."
Viviani climbs onto the top step of the podium to collect the winner's prize and the cheers of the crowd.
This is one of the first images of Viviani winning the sprint.
For other great race images, our full stage report and results, check out our stage report page by clicking here.
Simon Yates kept the leader's red jersey, just one second better than Valverde.
He suffered a late puncture and so was happy not to lose time.
"It could have been much worse. We were expecting a bit more of a crosswind, but it was more of a headwind so it was OK. I've had some bad experience before having a puncture and waiting and changing for my own bike or changing the wheel. Today we changed for Albasini's bike and it was a little too big. Obviously I had to change again. It was OK though," he explained.
He enjoyed the sprint stage despite the risk of Valverde going for a bonus second at the intermediate sprint.
"It was quite relaxed, really nothing happened. The breakaway went away quite easily and the sprinters' teams did all the work today, so credit to those guys. We had quite an easy day," he said.
"I was not sure, he didn't in the end. That's OKm: he said of Valverde.
"In a way, it depends on how you look at it. I'm looking at the overall picture, I want the red jersey in Madrid, and maybe now is not a good time to have the jersey."
This was Yates before the start of the stage.
It's been another successful day of racing for Quick Step Floors with Julian Alaphilippe also winning in Bristol at the Tour of Britain.
Cyclingnews got an exclusive look inside the Belgian team during the Tour de France for our CN films series.
Click here to see the Running with Wolves film.
Thanks for joining us for full live coverage of stage 10.
We'll have interviews and news from our reporters in Spain Alasdair Fotheringham and Sadhbh O'Shea later on.
Join us on Wednesday for full live coverage of stage 11 of the Vuelta - and stage 4 of the Tour of Britain.
Stage 11 is the longest of the Vuelta over 207km from Mombuey to Ribeira Sacra. Luintra.
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