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Rodriguez hangs on to red jersey by just one second from Contador as Froome drops to third

Astana's Fredrik Kessiakoff has won today's individual time trial in Stage 11 of the Vuelta at Pontevedra, the big story of the day being its impact on the overall standings at the halfway point of the race. Katusha's Joaquin Rodriguez keeps the race lead by just 1 second from Alberto Contador of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, who posted the second quickest time today. Team Sky's Chris Froome went third fastest but drops to third overall, 18 seconds down on Rodriguez.

The British rider, second to team mate Bradley Wiggins in both long time trials at the Tour de France and winner of an Olympic bronze medal in the discipline earlier this month, will be disappointed to have lose 22 seconds on Contador, who among the four main contenders probably has the most reason to be satisfied with his day's work.

Rodriguez will also be happy to have limited his losses in what has always been a weak part of his armoury, as will Movistar's Alejandro Valverde, who was fourth fastest and now lies 59 seconds off the race lead.

With a week and a half still to go and bonus seconds on offer for the first three places in each stage, the one thing that is guaranteed is that there are likely to be plenty more twists and turns in what is turning out to be a gripping race.

Key questions that remain to be answered include whether the exertions of Froome and Rodriguez earlier in the season mean they will find the going too tough in the third week, as well as whether a Grand Tour of this length will prove too much for Contador so soon after his return to competition earlier this month following his ban. There should be some cracking racing ahead.

Vuelta Stage 11 Result  

1  KESSIAKOFF, Fredrik     AST     52' 36''
2  CONTADOR, Alberto       STB       + 17''
3  FROOME, Christopher     SKY       + 39''
4  VALVERDE, Alejandro     MOV    + 1' 08''
5  INTXAUSTI, Beñat        MOV    + 1' 09''
6  PORTE, Richie           SKY    + 1' 15''
7  RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin      KAT    + 1' 16''
8  MEYER, Cameron          OGE    + 1' 17''
9  TALANSKY, Andrew        GRS    + 1' 24''
10 CASTROVIEJO, Jonathan   MOV    + 1' 34''
11 MARTIN, Tony            OPQ    + 1' 39''
12 GESINK, Robert          RAB    + 1' 42''
13 DE GENDT, Thomas        VCD    + 1' 50''
14 GILBERT, Philippe       BMC    + 1' 57''
15 MORENO, Daniel          KAT    + 2' 02''
16 MACHADO, Tiago          RNT    + 2' 04''
17 BOUET, Maxime           ALM    + 2' 05''
18 BOOM, Lars              RAB    + 2' 06''
19 FLECHA, Juan Antonio    SKY    + 2' 16''
20 TEN DAM, Laurens        RAB    + 2' 20''

Last man home on Stage 11  

193 RATTO, Daniele         LIQ   + 13' 53''
   
General Classification after Stage 11  

1 RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin       KAT 40h 26' 15''
2 CONTADOR, Alberto        STB        + 1''
3 FROOME, Christopher      SKY       + 16''
4 VALVERDE, Alejandro      MOV       + 59''
5 GESINK, Robert           RAB    + 2' 27''
6 MORENO, Daniel           KAT    + 2' 54''
7 ROCHE, Nicolas           ALM    + 3' 39''
8 TALANSKY, Andrew         GRS    + 4' 08''
9 TEN DAM, Laurens         RAB    + 4' 22''
10 MOLLEMA, Bauke          RAB    + 5' 10''

Points Classification after Stage 11  

1 DEGENKOLB, John          ARG       103
2 RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin       KAT        94
3 VALVERDE, Alejandro      MOV        90
4 FROOME, Christopher      SKY        67
5 CONTADOR, Alberto        STB        66
        
Mountains Classification after Stage 11  

1 VALVERDE, Alejandro      MOV       21
2 RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin       KAT       17
3 CLARKE, Simon            OGE       16
4 LIGTHART, Pim            VCD       11
5 MATE, Luis Angel         COF       10

 

 

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.