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62nd Vuelta a España - GT

Spain, September 1-23, 2007

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Stage 10 - September 10: Benasque - Estación de esquí de Ordino Arcalís, 214km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST

15:04 CEST   
Hola! Welcome to another mountainous day in the 62nd Vuelta a España. This is the third testing day following the first individual time trial and yesterday's mountain-top finish. The riders face a 214-kilometre parcours running from Benasque to Andorra with two category two climbs, one category one and the final beyond category climb to the finish in Arcalís.

The Arcalís covers 15 kilometres, with an average 5.6% slope and sustained sections of 8.5%. The summit is at 2,200 metres altitude and should suit the pure climbers.

The race is well underway; we will give you the situation shortly.

15:09 CEST    135km/79km to go
The riders have just covered the Port del Cantó. There is a large group of breakaway riders making their way down hill toward the hors catégorie finale of Arcalís. The gap is slightly over four minutes.

15:12 CEST   
Some of the riders making up the escape include Hubert Dupont (Ag2r Prévoyance), Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r Prévoyance), Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom), David López García (Caisse d'Epargne), Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne), Jurgen Van Goolen (Discovery Channel), Dionisio Galparsoro (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Alan Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Santos Gonzalez (Karpin-Galicia), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Fondital), Marco Marzano (Lampre-Fondital), Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Alessandro Vanotti (Liquigas), Mario Aerts (Predictor-Lotto), Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step - Innergetic), José Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile).

15:16 CEST   
Cunego looks good today. The Italian will want to double up on his country's success, after Piepoli won yesterday. Cunego crashed on day one, however he is looking better today. A win today would send a strong signal to Franco Ballerini, who will make the selection for the World Championships after the finish of the Vuelta.

Rabobank has shaved a minute of the maximum lead of the day; the gap is now 4'09".

15:20 CEST   
Oscar Freire (Rabobank) was a non-starter today. We also have a lot of riders who have abandoned in this challenging stage. We will update you on those riders' names.

15:22 CEST   
Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre-Fondital) and Janez Brajkovic (Discovery Channel) abandoned around kilometre 115. Great things were expected from the Slovenian Disco rider after last year's stint in the leader's maillot oro.

15:28 CEST   
Ian McLeod (Française Des Jeux) pulled out early on in the race, at kilometre 22. The South African makes the second rider from the team to call it quits, following the abandonment of Aussie Bradley McGee (Française Des Jeux).

15:34 CEST    150km/64km to go
The gap is now under four minutes, 3'42".

15:38 CEST   
If you are keep track at home of the riders no longer in the race, like we are in the Seat 1.2, here is an updated list of DNSs and DNFs.
Stage 1 DNF - Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel
Stage 3 DNF - Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
Stage 4 DNS - Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) T-Mobile
Stage 5 DNS - Sergio Paulinho (Por) Discovery Channel
Stage 5 DNF - Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
Stage 5 DNF - Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole
Stage 7 DNF - Alberto Fernández De La Puebla (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
Stage 7 DNF - Bert Roesems (Bel) Predictor-Lotto
Stage 9 DNF - Arkaitz Durán (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
Stage 9 DNF - Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas
Stage 9 DNF - Bradley McGee (Aus) Française Des Jeux
Stage 9 DNF - Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
Stage 10 DNS - Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
Stage 10 DNF - Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des Jeux
Stage 10 DNF - Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel
Stage 10 DNF - Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre-Fondital

15:44 CEST   
Hello World! Marco Velo (Milram) has reason to celebrate. The Italian has just became a father to Alessandro Velo. The boy was named after a certain sprinter on the team (Alessandro Petacchi). Congratulations to the Velo family.

After four hours of racing the average speed is 38.3 kilometres per hour. That average will surely drop when the riders make the 15 kilometre run up to Arcalís.

If you have predictions for today's winner we would like to hear them. Please e-mail us at the e-mail below. Many readers are suggesting Il Piccolo Principe (Cunego) for the day's win.

15:47 CEST    158km/56km to go
Jesús Rosendo (Andalucia-Cayasur) has hit the pavement going down the Puerto del Canto. He is now back on his bike and rolling. The riders around him perfectly manoeuvred to avoid crashing.

15:52 CEST    167km/47km to go
The gap is four minutes.

Jesús Rosendo (Andalucia-Cayasur) quickly obtained medical attention from the organizers' doctor, and is making his way back into the gruppo. This descent is a long affair, and the riders are working their brakes perfectly to navigate its many curves. Really, it is spectacular riding. If you get a chance you should come to this part of northern Spain to ride.

Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), not in the Vuelta, lives near the airport in Madrid, but often comes up north to train. We believe this may be the area but we will have to check our records.

15:57 CEST   
The gap is at 4'15" with 50 kilometres remaining to race.

16:00 CEST    175km/39km to go
The race enters Andorra. The Principality of Andorra is a tiny landlocked country, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is very Swiss-like, due to its tourism and its status as a tax haven.

16:02 CEST   
Niels from Denmark wrote in to point out that since there are no CSC men in the break that it could mean that Sastre will go full force in the finale. The team maybe saving all of its guns for an all-out assault on the slopes of Arcalís.

16:04 CEST   
Could Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile) end his career on a high by winning today? The 37 year-old's last win came in 2006, and he has never won a stage in the Vuelta. He is retiring at the end of this race.

16:10 CEST    180km/34km to go
The Tour of Britain has just wrapped up, and it is Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) who has taken the win. He won the opening time trial yesterday.

16:13 CEST   
American Christian Vande Velde (Team CSC) is wearing a punk rock-styled CSC jersey. He has reportedly crashed on the last climb. He looks okay, just shaken. He is now with his team-mates. The team is driving the pace, taking over from Rabobank, at the front of the gruppo.

Christian Vande Velde
Photo ©: Gregor Brown
(Click for larger image)

16:16 CEST   
Correction, Vande Velde is in the escape group! The group is a large one, and when it is whizzing by us it is hard to spot the riders. But the CSC rider is there, in the escape. He could drop back as the race heats up to help Sastre go for the GC.

16:19 CEST    182km/32km to go
The sprint in Santa Coloma was taken by Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step - Innergetic). Marco Marzano (Lampre-Fondital) took second, and Luis Pérez Rodriguez (Andalucia-Cayasur) third.

16:21 CEST    188km/26km to go
Jurgen Van Goolen (Discovery Channel) has a quick rear wheel change. He gets a push off from the team mechanic, and he will now push it hard to re-join the escape. Bad timing for the Belgian. He is in his sixth year as a pro, and he has yet to score a victory.

16:26 CEST   
Chris Anker Sørensen (Team CSC) is doing a massive pull at the front of the bunch for CSC's leader, Carlos Sastre.

16:27 CEST   
José Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel) looks to be suffering. He is at the back of the gruppo.

16:31 CEST    193km/21km to go
Vande Velde is pumping along at the back of this escape group. The move passes a car parked, badly, on the side of the road.

Bettini has felt the heat of the day. The World Champion drifts his way back to the gruppo, and is picked up by the CSC-led chase.

16:32 CEST    194km/20km to go
The gap is 1'32" at 20 kilometres to go.

16:35 CEST   
Bad news for Lampre. Damiano Cunego and Marco Marzano drop off the escape. Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile) and Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom) are also dropping back.

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) and 'Litu' Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir) are looking good in this move.

16:37 CEST    195km/19km to go
Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne) leads the escape at kilometre 195.

Bettini is now at the back of the CSC-led chase group.

16:40 CEST    196km/18km to go
The gap is at 1'20". Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne) leads Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Jurgen Van Goolen (Discovery Channel), Santos Gonzalez (Karpin-Galicia), José Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Alan Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r Prévoyance), David López García (Caisse d'Epargne), ...

16:42 CEST   
The average is 38.5km/h after five hours of racing. Jurgen Van Goolen (Discovery Channel) pushes the pace with a small drive off the front. He is brought back.

World Champion Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step - Innergetic) is sitting up and easing off the back of the main gruppo. Karsten Kroon (Team CSC) is there with him. They will save their energies for the coming stages.

16:46 CEST   
Rubén Lobato (Saunier Duval-Prodir) stops for a wheel change. His team-mate, David De La Fuente, stopped to give him his wheel. De La Fuente is a good climber, so that was interesting that he was ordered to give Lobato a wheel. Maybe the most aggressive rider of the 2006 Tour de France is not feeling so aggressive today, and did not mind to give his wheel. The Spaniard is now waiting for the Saunier team car.

Oh, the pace is being lifted! Expected to see a lot of riders popping. The gap is now 39".

16:47 CEST    203km/11km to go
Jurgen Van Goolen (Discovery Channel) hits out. Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r Prévoyance) gives chase.

16:49 CEST   
There are eight riders chasing the duo. 'Litu' Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir) gives chase. He is between the duo and the, now, group of seven.

16:49 CEST   
Alan Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is picked up by the CSC-charge.

16:51 CEST    204km/10km to go
At 10 kilometres remaining the gap is 48" to the front duo. This was a smart move. They need to try something or the whole escape will be swallowed.

16:53 CEST    205km/9km to go
Mario Aerts (Predictor-Lotto) is caught.

A Saunier rider gives a dig. This splits the bunch.

16:54 CEST   
The rider is Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir), winner of yesterday's stage.

16:55 CEST   
Piepoli is caught. Volodimir Gustov (Team CSC) is making the pace with the freshly caught Italian on his wheel. Denis Menchov (Rabobank) is tucked into the group, in about sixth, with the leader's maillot oro.

16:57 CEST    206km/8km to go
Two CSC's lead. Gusev and then Vande Velde are working. The American was pulled back to work for Sastre.

The lead duo of Jurgen Van Goolen (Discovery Channel) and Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r Prévoyance) pass under the eight kilometres to go banner.

16:58 CEST   
The peloton come through 30 seconds later.

José Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval-Prodir) is suffering. It has been a hard Vuelta for the Spaniard.

16:59 CEST   
It is CSC's Vande Velde, Saunier's Piepoli and two other CSC henchmen on the front.

17:00 CEST   
Rene Mandri (Ag2r Prévoyance) is fading off the back. Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) is behind Denis Menchov (Rabobank), and he appears to be really suffering.

17:02 CEST   
Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas) punches it off the front. He bridges to the Frenchman and Belgian.

OH! Sastre is suffering at the back of the group.

17:03 CEST    208km/6km to go
Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas) leads Jurgen Van Goolen (Discovery Channel) and Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r Prévoyance). They pass six kilometres to go with 30 seconds.

17:04 CEST   
Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas) and Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r Prévoyance) work together as Jurgen Van Goolen (Discovery Channel) fades. The Belgian gave it all he had, but his tank has no more gas.

17:04 CEST   
Beltrán now moves free!

17:06 CEST   
Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) is suffering.

Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir) is putting his Ferrari motor in top gear. There are 20 seconds from him to the leader, Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas). There are only 15 men here at the front of the race with the punch Leo.

17:08 CEST    210km/4km to go
Piepoli is marked by race leader Denis Menchov (Rabobank).

Carlos Sastre (Team CSC) is breathing hard on Menchov's wheel.

Carlos Barredo (Quick.Step - Innergetic) is there, but fading.

The gap is 10 seconds at four kilometres to go.

17:09 CEST   
Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir) is determined to double. The Italian rider who makes his home in Monaco is going full gas. The pace is taking its toll on these guys. Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is hanging in there.

17:10 CEST   
Sastre punches it!

17:10 CEST   
Carlos Sastre (Team CSC) picks up Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas). Denis Menchov (Rabobank) follows. Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir) is closing the gap that was made by CSC's Spaniard.

17:11 CEST   
Evans is there, Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne), Sastre, Piepoli and Beltrán.

17:13 CEST   
Sastre eases off the pace. The grouip of six is joined by Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi). We ahve a group of seven with Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Carlos Sastre (Team CSC), Denis Menchov (Rabobank), Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto), Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne), Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas), Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir).

17:14 CEST    212km/2km to go
Sastre digs again, but he now eases off. This put Sánchez in difficulties.

17:14 CEST   
Sastre hits hard on the right side. Menchov jumps after him.

17:15 CEST   
Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne) fights to get back on with Beltrán and Piepoli.

17:15 CEST   
The three re-join Sastre and Menchov.

17:16 CEST    213km/1km to go
Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) catches the small group, and 'busts a move' past. Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir) hops on the move with one kilometre to go.

17:17 CEST    213.2km/0.8km to go
We have Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Carlos Sastre (Team CSC), Denis Menchov (Rabobank), Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto), Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas), Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne) and Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi). One of these riders will win the stage. It looks likely the the Russian will hold onto the overall lead.

17:18 CEST   
Piepoli leads. Menchov hits out after 5:46 of racing.

17:19 CEST   
Menchov holds off Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) and Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi). A 'in command' win by the Russian of Rabobank.

17:19 CEST   
Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is leaning against the fence, catching his breath. What an effort by the Spaniard, for third.

17:26 CEST   
Piepoli tried with all of his might but could not manage to shake the other boys. The surprise of the day was Igor Antón of Euskaltel-Euskadi. Evans suffered like only he knows how to do, and even challenged for the stage victory, finishing second.

Thanks for joining Cyclingnews today. Tomorrow the riders will enjoy a well earned rest day.

Provisional results
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
3 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
4 Manuel Beltrán (Spa) Liquigas
5 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC
6 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
7 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
8 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Karpin-Galicia
10 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Relax-GAM

General classification after stage 10

1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
2 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
4 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC
5 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Karpin-Galicia
6 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
8 Manuel Beltrán (Spa) Liquigas
9 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
10 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel

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