Hola and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana.
The sun is shining in northern Spain for what should be a stunning stage in the hills and coast roads of Cantabria.
The 185km stage 10 features just one cat-3 climb but the road tips and rolls on or near the coastline, making for a testing day in the saddle for the sprint teams hoping to win in Suances.
The finish should favour the strongest rather than the fastest riders in the bunch because the last kilometre has an average gradient of 4.5%.
The riderd have left the start area and the stage will soon begin.
#LaVuelta209 stages down ✅9 to go ☑️The peloton is on the move on stage 10! pic.twitter.com/Kvi5r5SQd6October 30, 2020
The sign-on podium and team parking was on the stunning sea front.
Can’t think of a more picturesque start than this at the #LaVuelta20 . So beautiful that our Boy from Brittany @alexisrenard_ - start missing home. We just went LIVE with a special look at our #FactorBikes : https://t.co/BDmNmifcyp pic.twitter.com/fbpRVfcDf7October 30, 2020
Great place to start today’s stage 10 #LaVuelta20 #AstanaProTeam pic.twitter.com/MQKwILD6uOOctober 30, 2020
As the CN blimp rises into the blue skies, the race director has waved the flag and the stage is underway.
This video shows the rolling roads the riders will face today.
#LaVuelta20🚴♂️Etap 10 | Castro Urdiales > Suances📏 185 km⏰16:15 TSİ📺Eurosport 1🎙 @berkemceylan ve @sarpergunsal pic.twitter.com/1aQhTt0nTuOctober 30, 2020
The attacks are coming thick and fast.
Michal Paluta (CCC), Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Pim Ligthart (Total Direct Energie) and Alexander Molenaar (Burgos-BH) are away.
Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale) and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) are trying to join them but the peloton is chasing too.
A second consecutive stage that should favour the sprinters, stage 10 is spiced up with a few more traps and more than twice as much climbing, which will give the breakaway riders a little more hope of surviving all the way into the finish.
If the elements are favourable, this 185km stage should make for spectacular viewing as it winds its way westwards along the Cantabrian coast, bumping over headlands initially.
It begins in Castro Urdiales, which hasn’t featured on the Vuelta route since the 1958 edition. That year, Italy’s Guido Carlesi won the first half of a split stage into the town and France’s Jean Graczyk won the second half that ran from Castro Urdiales to Santander.
Having passed to the south of Santander, the course maintains its westward course to Mogro, then turns inland to pass through three-time world champion Oscar Freire’s hometown of Torrelavega, before turning west again to tackle the day’s main climbing test, the third-category Alto de San Cipriano.
The intermediate sprint lies just beyond at Cabezón de la Sal, where the course turns back towards the Cantabrian coast once more and the run-in to the finish in Suances, where two-time world champion Paolo Bettini was the winner on the Vuelta’s only previous visit in 2008.
The final two kilometres rise at an average of 5 per cent into the centre of Suances, the route weaving considerably from the 2km banner until a 90-degree left-hand turn at the 500-metre-to-go mark. This ascent shouldn’t trouble the sprinters and their lead-out trains overly, but positioning will be critical approaching and coming through that final turn.
Deceuninck-QuickStep are chasing their 100th Grand Tour victory after missing out yesterday due to Bennett's relegation.
Their dominance in La Vuelta arguably began with one name: Paolo Bettini. The Italian rider, a two-time world champion, won five of the first seven stage victories of the Belgian team in La Vuelta.
The last one was in Suances in 2008. Bettini proved his world champion prowess in the coastal municipality’s steep slopes, finishing off his legendary victory tally with what would be his final triumph as a professional rider.
Mpore attacks are made and chased.
Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) has joined the front group.
Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Martin Salmon (Sunweb) and Victor Lafay (Cofidis) have joined Fred Wright (Bahrain-McLaren) and Quentin Jauregui (AG2R la Mondiale) are in pursuit too.
Michal Paluta (CCC) suffered a puncture but is trying to chase back to the break. He needs to be quick because the peloton seems ready to ease up.
This show the early speed.
🏁 Km 15 | Etapa 10 - Stage 10 | #LaVuelta20🇪🇸 Sigue la batalla en el pelotón al paso por Liendo🇬🇧 We have quite a battle for the breakaway! 💥👉https://t.co/zqaO4Bw62K pic.twitter.com/YihuAPYDNeOctober 30, 2020
The elastic has snapped and the peloton has eased up.
The riders are back near the sea and the break of the day seems to have formed.
Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Pim Lingthart (Total Direct Energie) and Alexander Molenaar (Burgos BH) lead the peloton by 3:30 now.
Puncture victim Michal Paluta (CCC) is still on his own, chasing at 1:30.
The race is passing through the estuary of the Marismas de Santoña Natural Park but there is little time to enjoy the views.
The big story from yesterday's ninth stage was of course Sam Bennett's relegation in the sprint.
Bennett crossed the line first, thinking he had taken his 50th career victory and Deceuninck-QuickStep's 100th stage victory in Grand Tours, only for race officials to relegate him and declare Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) the stage winner.
The race commissaires ruled that Bennett had been overly aggressive in the way he shoulder charged Emils Liepins (Trek-Segafredo) out of the way inside the final kilometre and awarded the victory to Ackermann.
Bennett bumped Liepins hard with around five hundred metres to go and then again a second time before focusing on his sprint. He hit the front late due to a headwind but had the speed to cross the line first in Aguilar de Campoo.
Both Bennett and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) started their sprints at the same moment, with Jasper Philippsen (UAE Team Emirates) trying to find a way between them. However, Bennett edged ahead of his rivals, pointing at his team sponsor on the chest of his jersey in celebration.
Ackermann finished second with 22-year-old Belgian Gerben Thijssen (Lotto Soudal) third after coming off Bennet's wheel. But after carefully studying the video replay of the final kilometres, the jury relegated Bennett and gave the win to Ackermann.
Today, after a fast 30km, the peloton have eased even more and the break leads by 8:30.
Poor old Michal Paluta (CCC) is almost 5:00 back. He was in the attack but then punctured at a terrible moment.
To read our full stage report to better understand what happened to Bennett, click below.
Bennett thought he had won it well and celebrated in style. Only to be relegated later.
The judges' decision sparked lots of debate plus a public spat between team managers Patrick Lefevere of Deceuninck and Luca Guercilena of Trek as he defended Emils Liepins for trying to take Bennett's lead out from him.
The outspoken Belgian manager clashed with Guercilena on the Twitter social media site after the Italian defended his own rider, with Lefevere asking - presumably with a large slab of Flemish-flavoured sarcasm [grammar corrected - ed] - "How many sprints [has Liepens] won @l_guercilena? [Where] was your lead-out?"
They took half an hour to deliberate, then ruled that Bennett's double shoulder barge on Liepins, who clashed against the Deceuninck-QuickStep lead-out train with around a kilometre to go, was overly aggressive.
The UCI judges took half an hour to deliberate, then ruled that Bennett's double shoulder barge on Liepins was overly aggressive.
Lefevere, however, strongly disagreed, stating on Twitter: "What bullshit, He was in [his] lead-out and the Trek rider want[ed] to pull him out of it. But we know already a longtime the incompetence of the UCI [Video Assisted Referee - VAR] - safety first."
He later added: "A lead out has to be respected and @Sammmy_Be defended his line."
To read the full story, click below.
The rider covered 43.7km in the first hour of racing.
The peloton has even more and the gap has increased to over 10 minutes for the first time in La Vuelta 2020.
Movistar is leading the chase as Deceuninck-QuickStep perhaps do not want to chase today.
With such a big weekend of racing coming, the GC teams are keen to have a steady of riding.
The pattern is set for today's #LaVuelta20 test, as the break are over 11 minutes up the road. No one in the move is a threat to the red jersey of @RichardCarapazM. pic.twitter.com/WsvHYAtTvFOctober 30, 2020
The gap has solidified to 12:00 but now Mitchelton-Scott and Deceuninck-Quick Step are helping to set the pace in the bunch.
This will be a long pursuit match.
120km to go
The chase is on as the stage heads west towards Santander.
At the start Sam Bennett couldn't stop himself from going back to yesterday’s finish before discussing his chances for today's uphill finish in Suances.
“It was strange yesterday. First you get to enjoy the moment… The Trek guy [Liepins] was ok with me after the line so I was surprised everything changed,": he said in the mixed zone.
"I gave my opinion to the commissaires, that I moved to protect myself and for the safety of the riders behind.
"Today looks pretty hard, pretty steep in the finale, so hopefully my legs don’t blow up before the end.”
However Deceuninck-Quick Step must fancy Bennett's chances and are helping Mitchelton-Scott with the chase.
The break's lead has dropped to 9:00.
Astana are also working. Their candidate today would appear to be Alex Aranburu.
Here's the break a little earlier
100km to go
Into the last 100,000 metres, and the pace in the peloton continues to be picked up. The gap to the break is down to eight minutes.
The peloton is in one long line as they come round the Santander bay. They allowed the break to get the sort of gap that's increasingly rare in modern cycling, and there may well have been questions asked about who would take responsibility for the chase, but now they face a fast couple of hours to bring the race back together.
Interesting snippet from a Eurosport interview with QuickStep director Brian Holm just now, in light of that question about who takes responsibility for the chase. He refused to say much about yesterday's controversy but was keen to point out his team did all the work in controlling the break and bringing about a sprint. "No work from Bora, no work from... what are they called? UAE," says the Dane. It's a pretty common complaint at the Belgian team.
The gap continues to fall. 6:40 now with 86km to go. The old rule is that the peloton will take off 1 minute every 10 kilometres, so they still have it in their hands.
Still, the urgency is such that a couple of riders are gapped at the back of the bunch and have to fight to get back on.
In the peloton there is time for a chat about the weekend's racing. Here Richard Carapaz talks to a rider from his former team Movistar?
How do you say Movistar-Ineos combine to take on Roglic and Jumbo-Visma?
As the kilometres tick down, the break's lead is down to 6:00.
The debate about which sprint teams work snd which don't is a classic in pro cycling.
In the end it's a game of bluff, while the strong teams try to show their dominance.
Deceuninck-QuickStep are riding for Bennett and for revenge, while Mitchelton-Scott are riding for Dion Smith, who has a great uphill sprint. The Aussie team also have Rob Stannard.
65km to go
The break exits Torrelavega. We all know who is the local hero, right?
Of course, it's home to Oscar Freire, the former three-time World Champion.
Alasdair Fotheringham, our man in Spain, pointed out earlier that the race passed through Cabezon de la Sal after 60km, the home to Juan Jose Cobo, of the 2011 Vuelta.
Known as 'El Bisonte de La Pesa', he won the 2011 Vuelta a España while riding for Geox–TMC. It was his only major win but in July 2019 he was stripped of this title after being found guilty of doping by the UCI.
Astana are also helping with the chase as the peloton heads into the hills and climb the Alto de San Cipriano.
The break seems to be suffering, with the gap down to 3:50.
Hmm. The peloton are also on the climb and Bennett is at the back. He's also pushing a big gear. Is he suffering or bluffing?
Strangely his Deceuninck teammates are up front helping to push the pace.
Bennett makes it over the top of the climb but seemed to have gone deep.
It will be interesting to see if that plays a factor in the finish.
Deceuninck could be bluffing to make other teams think they have a better chance and so they lead out the finale.
50km to go
We're into the final 50km now and the tension is rising.
The four breakaways are trying to up the pace but the peloton is only 3:30 behind now and seems to be hunting them down.
As the road rises again, Sam Bennett slips to the back and appears to be suffering.
This does not seem like a bluff. Indeed, it seem Deceuninck are riding for another rider today.
Perhaps Deceunick are riding for Zdenek Stybar or even Andrea Bagioli.
Stybar has won Tour de France stages on similar parcour, while Bagioli finished seventh at the recent La Flèche Brabançonne.
40km to go
Bennett slips off the back again. This could be the surge that spits him out of the back.
.@cameronwurf in his happy place on the front. Lending the sprinter teams a hand today. 52km to go #LaVuelta20 pic.twitter.com/mLSBhDsIDLOctober 30, 2020
33km to go.
Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Pim Lingthart (Total Direct Energie) and Alexander Molenaar (Burgos BH) are still giving it big licks and putting up a great fight.
Their lead is down to 2:00 but they are testing the peloton.
30km to go
The gap is melting fast now and is down 1:30. Mitchelton-Scott, Deceuninck and Astana are riding hard in pursuit.
This will be a rip-roaring finish.
Bennett is dropped.
He had been suffering and the high speed and rolling roads finally cracked him.
It will be interesting to see if the Irishman continues in the Vuelta and suffers in the mountains in the hope he can fight for victory in the final stage next Sunday.
25km to go
As the shadows lengthen across the road, the GC riders prepare for the finale.
They will want to stay protected up front and well placed for any late attacks or splits in the peloton.
The break leads by just 20 seconds now as Mitchelton keep up the chase.
This late climb is going to make the moment the break is caught.
16km to go.
That's it, the break is swept up. Gruppo compatto or whatever the term is in Spanish.
Lotto Soudal take over on the front. Who will they ride for?
Tim Wellens perhaps. He will surely attack in the final kilometre than wait for the sprint.
11km to and the first attacks come.
A Burgos rider tries his hand.
It's Willie Smit (Burgos-BH).
He's going for but faces 10km solo.
Willie Smit goes deep but is coming back towards the peloton as the speed stays high.
As he is caught, other riders kick off the front.
Remi Cavagna is there, with Ivo Oliveira of UAE.
EF are leading the chase.
This aggressive finish could suit Michael Woods but he also has to protect Hugh Carthy.
7km to go.
The two have a gap as Astana pick up the chase.
Amador drags up race leader Carapaz near the front to keep him safe.
Cavagna is giving it big licks and the two lead by ten seconds.
The riders face a descent until 2km to go. Then the road rises up to the finish.
Up front is the place to be.
4km to go.
On a short rise, Cavagna drops Ivo Oliveira. He's 100% committed.
#LaVuelta20 5km go! 2 riders have a small advantage...Here's a look at the final ramp to the finish ⬆️ pic.twitter.com/TlE3mYhCLOOctober 30, 2020
Ineos up the pace to protect Carapaz and that closes down Cavagna.
Everyone is tucked low over the bars on the fast descent.
The riders have no time to look over the cliff at the stunning sea views.
2km to go.
Here we go. Positioning is vital for the climb to the line.
Jumbo drag Roglic up the front. Will he go for it?
Stybar leads it out on the climb to the finish.
G. Martin kicks away.
Bam! Roglic goes on the outside and wins it!
He was well placed and punched past the puncheur riders.
He also picks up a nice 10-second time bonus.
Roglic rode it perfectly. He followed Bagioli's wheel and then kicked away as the finish line came into view.
As he crossed the finish line, Roglic looked behind him and the blew kisses to the crowds before also showing a slight smile of satisfaction.
There were significant time gaps at the finish, Roglic finished three seconds ahead of Carapaz and so with the ten-second time bonus the two are equal on time.
The judges are studying the time gaps. If there is a one-second gap between the leading riders, that could cause Carapaz to be timed at 3 seconds.
Numero tres for Roglic in this year's Vuelta.
🇪🇸 #LaVuelta20Número tres🤩 pic.twitter.com/blWQVTuW0AOctober 30, 2020
The judges have given Carapaz the same time as Roglic after studying the TV images.
That means Carapaz keeps the leader's red jersey by just 3 seconds.
Scratch that. The judges have changed their minds.
The results have been updated and Richard Carapaz finished 14th with a gap of 3' seconds on the line.
That means Roglic and Carapaz are on the same time but Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is the new overall leader of La Vuelta going into the weekend.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma||4:14:11|
|2||Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|3||Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|4||Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana Pro Team|
|5||Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|6||Julien Simon (Fra) Total Direct Energie|
|7||Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|8||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis|
|9||Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates||0:00:03|
|10||Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Pro Cycling|
And this is the new GC.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma||40:25:15|
|2||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers|
|3||Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation||0:00:25|
|4||Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling||0:00:51|
|5||Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team||0:01:54|
|6||Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:03:19|
|7||Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott||0:03:28|
|8||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||0:03:35|
|9||Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren||0:03:47|
|10||Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team||0:03:52|
Can you see a gap? The judges could and so thanks to the ten-second time bonus and better stage placings, Roglic is in the red jersey.
Don't you believe us? Here's the proof.
🇪🇸 #LaVuelta20 Podium time! Stage winner, overall leader and points jersey.#samenwinnen pic.twitter.com/x1YiJSCLKbOctober 30, 2020
Jumbo-Visma are happy to take the red leader's jersey and are quick to post the final kilometre of Roglic's victory.
Now it's time for the big weekend of GC racing, with Saturday's queen stage and finish atop the Alto de La Farrapona, then Sunday's stage finishes with the terrible Alto de l'Angliru.
Get ready for the weekend with Alasdair Fotheringham's detailed preview.
Here's another shot of Roglic enjoying the moment.
To enjoy our growing photo gallery and to read our full stage report and study the full results, click below.
Thanks for joining us for our full live coverage from the Vuelta.
We'll back in the CN blimp at the weekend for full coverage of both stages.
Here's what Roglic had to say.
“It’s beautiful again. What can I say? I’m super happy.
"It’s never easy to win but I had the legs, and its really really nice.
"Now I’m one year older and stronger, like a wine – the older the better. I’m again in red, but it doesn’t really change much for our team. We need to keep the momentum and the focus. A weekend in the mountains is coming, so we will do our best.”
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