Caisse d’Epargne got their second consecutive stage win of this year’s Vuelta a Espana on Stage 10 in Vilanova i la Geltrú this afternoon as the race resumed following yesterday’s rest day, with Irmanol Erviti emulating fellow domestique David Lopez’s win in Alcoy on Sunday. Meanwhile, Katusha’s Jouaquin Rodriguez, celebrated the race entering his native Catalonia by taking the race leader’s red jersey.
Erviti, winner of a stage in the 2008 edition of the race, had managed to slip into a breakaway group with a little over 100km left of today’s stage, and made his decisive move on the way down the day’s major climb, the short but sharp Rat Penat, which Christophe Le Mevel of FDJ had crested first.
The 26-year-old soloed his way to take victory by a little over half a minute from Romain Zingle of Cofidis, who just stayed ahead of the sprint for third among the remaining members of the escape group.
After Sunday’s Stage 9, Rodriquez, whose Katusha team was prominent for much of the day at the front of the main peloton, had told of his desire to wear the red jersey on his home roads, and he got his wish by picking up a time bonus on an intermediate sprint 40km into today’s stage to move two seconds ahead of Igor Anton of Euskaltel-Euskadi.
Mark Cavendish, of HTC-Columbia, took maximum points at that sprint, suggesting that he is serious about holding on to the green points jersey all the way to Madrid –the Manx Missile has finished second in the points classification in the last two editions of the Tour de France, and some have pointed to his apparent unwillingness to chase intermediate points as a reason for his finishing runner-up and not first. Today's efforts suggest he's determined not to let this one slip away.
Two riders missing from the start of today’s stage in Tarragona were the Team Saxo bank pairing of Andy Schleck and Stuart O’Grady, thrown of the race by team owner Bjarne Riis “for internal disciplinary reasons.”
It subsequently transpired that the pair, both of whom as well as Fränk Schleck are leaving the team at the end of the season to join Bryan Nygaard’s new Luxembourg-based outfit, were discovered yesterday evening enjoying a drink, breaking rules that allow them only to drink alcohol during team diners during the race.
The news deals a further blow to Fränk Schleck’s hopes of winning this year’s Vuelta, with the Luxembourg rider keeping a relatively low profile to date, starting the day 13th in the GC, having started the race following eight weeks off the bike after fracturing his collarbone in the Tour de France.
Vuelta Stage 10 result
1 ERVITI, Imanol (Caisse d'Epargne) 4h 13' 31
2 ZINGLE, Romain (Cofidis) + 37
3 VAN AVERMAET, Greg (Omega Pharma-Lotto) + 37
4 FINETTO, Mauro (Liquigas-Doimo) + 37
5 MORENO, Javier (Andalusia-Cajasur) + 37
6 LUND, Anders (Team Saxo Bank) + 37
7 LE MEVEL, Christophe (Francaise des Jeux) + 37
8 CHEULA, Giampaolo (Footon-Servetto) + 37
9 TEN DAM, Laurens (Rabobank) + 42
10 FOFONOV, Dmitriy (Astana) + 1' 36
11 BENNATI, Daniele (Liquigas-Doimo) + 1' 38
12 BOLE, Grega (Lampre Farnese Vini + 1' 38
13 GILBERT, Philippe (Omega Pharma-Lotto) + 1' 38
14 CATALDO, Dario (Quickstep) + 1' 38
15 POZZATO, Filippo (Katusha) + 1' 38
16 GALLOPIN, Tony (Cofidis) + 1' 38
17 JUFRÉ, Josep (Astana) + 1' 38
18 GASPAROTTO, Enrico (Astana) + 1' 38
19 GARCÍA, David (Xacobeo Galicia) + 1' 38
20 TURPIN, Ludovic (Andalusia-Cajasur) + 1' 38
Vuelta overall standings after Stage 10
1 RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin (Katusha) 42h 11' 49 2 ANTON, Igor (Euskaltel-Euskadi) + 2 3 NIBALI, Vincenzo (Liquigas-Doimo) + 4 4 TONDO, Xavier (Cervelo TestTeam) + 44 5 PERAUD, Jean-Christophe (Omega Pharma-Lotto) + 54 6 PLAZA, Ruben (Caisse d'Epargne) + 1' 17 7 MOSQUERA, Ezequiel (Xacobeo-Galicia) + 1' 20 8 ROCHE, Nicholas (AG2R La Mondiale) + 1' 21 9 BRUSEGHIN, Marzio (Caisse d'Epargne) + 1' 24 10 VELITS, Peter (HTC-Columbia) + 1' 28 11 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (HTC-Columbia) + 1' 28 12 URAN, Rigoberto (Caisse d'Epargne) + 1' 40 13 SCHLECK, Frank (Team Saxo Bank) + 1' 49 14 GILBERT, Philippe (Omega Pharma-Lotto) + 1' 51 15 DANIELSON, Thomas (Garmin-Transitions) + 1' 54 16 KARPETS, Vladimir (Katusha) + 1' 59 17 SASTRE, Carlos (Cervelo TestTeam) + 2' 13 18 ARROYO, David (Caisse d'Epargne) + 2' 17 19 SÁNCHEZ, Luis León (Caisse d'Epargne) + 2' 23 20 MENCHOV, Denis (Rabobank) + 3' 31
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.