60th Vuelta a Espaņa - GT
Spain, August 27-September 18, 2005
Results & report
Stage 10 - Monday, September 5: La Vall d'En Bas (Girona)-Ordino Arcalis (Andorra), 206.3 km
Complete live report
Commentary by Hedwig Kröner, with additional reporting from Hernan Alvarez
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:10 CEST
Bienvenidos a La Vuelta! For another stage of the epic Grand Tour, which has
only just begun when you think about the kilometres ahead... Yesterday, Rabobank's
Denis Menchov showed his strength again in the time trial by taking the Golden
Jersey from record-aiming Roberto Heras from Liberty Seguros. Today, in the
first of the serious Pyrenean stages, Heras will surely be looking to attack
the young Russian on his preferred terrain: A mountaintop finish, two cat 1
and a cat 2 climbs are on the menu! The Port de Collada de Tosses after 77km,
and the Collet de Montaup at 168km and the final ascent to Ordino Arcalis are
very likely to change the face of the race again.
Action started early this morning, just as the climbing did: the first breakaway
of the day came about at km 10, when Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Moises Dueņas,
Freddy Gonzalez (both Relax), Adolfo Garcia Quesada (Comunidad Valenciana),
Oscar Pereiro, Martin Elmiger (both Phonak) and Mikel Pradera (Illes Balears)
made a move on the first, cat 2 Coll de Canes. It was a tough climb as Pereiro
and Martinez managed to remain in the lead, with Angel Vicioso (Liberty) coming
up, too, as well as Latasa, Bernabeu, Jimenez (Comunidad Valenciana) and David
Lopez (Euskaltel). But their gap wasn't big, with the race favourites close
Aitor Osa (Illes Balears) joined the front group at km 14. And as the first
riders reached the top of the Coll, the group was composed of: Martin Perdiguero
and Oscar Pereiro (both Phonak), Eladio Jimenez, David Bernabeu and Adolfo Garcia
Quesada (all Valenciana), Joaquin Rodriguez (Saunier), Angel Vicioso (Liberty),
David Lopez (Euskaltel), Stijn Devolder (Discovery) and Osa. Rodriguez took
the points before Periguero and Jimenez.
Bernabeu could not follow the pace of the break and dropped back. The group
was now on its way to a real gap as the distance grew to more than a minute
on the descent. As they continued, and passed the first sprint of the day (won
by Perdiguero), Bouygues' Pierrick Fedrigo stepped off his bike at the back
of the bunch (km 42).
When the break arrived at the foot of the second climb, the advantage was 2.18.
At the Port de Collada de Tosses, a cat 1 climb, a counter-attack formed: Iņigo
Cuesta (Saunier), Rik Verbrugghe (Quick.Step), Joan Horrach (Balears) and Michele
Scarponi (Liberty) set out on the chase, with Goden jersey wearer Menchov and
his main rival, Heras, still eyeing each other in the main bunch. Understandably.
Unlucky Joseba Beloki (Liberty), who lost time on the very first stage of this
year's Vuelta, was also trying his luck together with Vicente Garcia Acosta
(Balears) and Benjamin Noval (Discovery), but they didn't succeed. Meanwhile,
Cuesta, Verbrugghe, Horrach and Scarponi made it up to the leading group and
joined forces. The gap to the main peloton: 2.55 at the top of the climb, where
the GPM points were scored by Perdiguero, this time.
The break's gap was growing to 3.50 minutes at kilometre 106. But Manolo Saiz'
tactics were smart: he placed two riders in it (Vicioso and Scarponi) and did
therefore not worry too much about their lead... Rabobank was therefore left
'on its own', and the gap got bigger: nearly 5 minutes thirty kilometres later.
Today, the weather in Northern Spain isn't as warm as previously at all: about
18° Celsius, with cloudy skies and a risk of rain showers for this afternoon.
A number of riders have also abandoned already, including Marcel Strauss (Gerolsteiner),
Ruslan Ivanov (Domina), and stage seven winner Max Van Heeswijk (Discovery).
But the most significant abandon is the one of team leader Angel Casero (Comunidad
Valenciana), who won the Vuelta in 2001.
15:38 CEST 152km/54km to go
Under the drive of Rabobank, the gap separating the bunch and the breakaway
is slowly diminishing again. After the intermediate sprint in Andorra at km
152, which was won by Oscar Pereiro before Iņigo Cuesta and Miguel Angel Martin
Perdiguero in that order, it is a little down to 4.20.
Gerolsteiner's Thomas Ziegler has set out on a counter-attack at km 166, while
things start happening in front too: Oscar Pereiro (Phonak) and Iņigo Cuesta
have been dropped. There is now only a trio of riders leading the race: Rik
Verbrugghe (Quick.Step), David Lopez (Euskaltel) and Aitor Osa (Illes Balears).
15:55 CEST 166km/40km to go
Adolfo Garcia Quesada (Valenciana) has joined the three leaders on the way up
the Collet de Montaup (cat 1.). Juan Miguel Mercado (Quick.Step) is chasing
them. The main pack is at 3.15 minutes, with Mercado just 20 seconds ahead.
Isidro Nozal (Liberty) has abandoned, too.
Joseba Beloki is working for Heras in front of the main group now, with the
second-placed on GC in third position. They've just arrived under the intermediate
sprint located right in the middle of this mountain, with about 2.45 minutes
behind the leaders.
In a second group between the leader's and the main bunch, about 10 riders are
sitting including Eladio Jimenez (Valenciana), Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel), Francisco
Mancebo (Illes Balears) and Carlos Garcia Quesada (Valenciana).
In the descent, Aitor Osa in the front overdid it in a left-hand curve and crashed
on his side. He's getting treatment out of his team car now. The sun is coming
out though for the last climb...
16:18 CEST 188km/18km to go
Garcia Quesada doesn't look like he's continuing at the moment, holding his
chest. He's off the bike and having respiratory problems.
In front Verbrugghe and Quesada are still working hard, getting some bottle
now for the final mountaintop. But it looks like the Spaniard has less goals
here today than the Belgian...
Verbrugghe has decided to go for it on his own, leaving his breakaway companion
behind who has sat up. A brave move with that tough a mountain in front of him!
Behind, Liberty Seguros is still in the front of the main bunch, taking Heras
to the foot of the last difficulty.
Verbrugghe is grinding: the slopes are up to 8 percent here, and he looks tired.
16:28 CEST 194km/12km to go
But there are less steep sections too which give a little relief. In the back,
the attacks are beginning: two CSC riders have jumped out of the peloton, but
they're not getting very far....
16:30 CEST 196km/10km to go
Jimenez, Perdiguero have trouble holding on to the wheels of their group and
16:32 CEST 197km/9km to go
The Liberty riders in the favourites' group have finished their work; the bunch
is now reduced to about 15 riders including the favourites Menchov, Heras, Mancebo
16:35 CEST 198km/8km to go
Everything is blowing up right now, except for the GC contenders, who are still
together. In front, Quesada has joined Verbrugghe, who was pretty knackered,
and left him behind!
16:39 CEST 199km/7km to go
Quesáda could really be in for the victory today, but right now Mercado (Quick.Step)
has bridged the gap up to him, with Sevilla chasing behind.
Scarponi is still driving the Heras/Menchov train, keeping the pace high. Nobody's
moving of the overall favourites, they're all together.
16:42 CEST 200km/6km to go
And Sevilla is gradually coming back on the two leaders, that's amazing! He
can see them now.
The favourites' group has diminished rapidly too: There are now Heras, Menchov,
Sastre, Beltran, Mancebo and Scarponi leading.
16:46 CEST 200km/6km to go
Finally an attack: Heras went, with Menchov the only one able to follow!
Sastre, Beltran, Mancebo are left but Mancebo is really holding on and coming
back on Heras and Menchov. The three have now caught Sevilla, who's suffering.
The two Spainiards still in front, but the four are almost there now.
16:49 CEST 203km/3km to go
Quesada and Mercado are caught, and Sevilla dropped.
16:52 CEST 204km/2km to go
Sastre definitely couldn't follow, and Mancebo attacks! But they're not blowing
apart, still all together there.
16:55 CEST 205km/1km to go
Beltran is leading for Sastre behind, trying to minimise the gap.
In front, it's still Mancebo leading, and attacking again! The last kilometre
is only a false flat. But nobody gets a gap, and it might come down to a sprint
at this stage...
It's Mancebo, Menchov, Heras, Mercado... with 400 m to go...
Heras started from the front, with Menchov on his wheel, the two looking at
each other - and then Mancebo takes it! He looks as surprised as the other two!
Well, nothing has changed at the top of General classification today, except
for third-placed Carlos Sastre, who lost more time. Mancebo showed he still
has some gas left with Menchov and Heras looking similarly strong. But it's
not the last stage, with plenty more to come at this year's Vuelta: Starting
tomorrow with yet another mountain stage and -finish! Join us again in our Live
coverage on Tuesday, starting 14.30.
1 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 5.33.49
2 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team
3 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
4 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 0.02
5 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick Step - Innergetic 0.06
6 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Discovery Channel 0.16
7 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana
8 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 0.21
9 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) T-Mobile Team 0.28
10 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 1.16
General classification after Stage 10
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 39.57.42
2 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 0.47
3 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 1.53
4 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 1.57
5 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 3.31
6 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 4.23
7 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 4.27
8 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Discovery Channel 4.29
9 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick Step - Innergetic 5.05
10 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 5.14
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