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Vuelta Stage 11: Kessiakoff wins, Contador closes gap on Rodriguez, Froome drops to third

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



Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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drheaton | 11 years ago

It's not because he's British that we're saying he's not doing well, it's because he isn't living up to what we expected pre-race (maybe expectations were too high but Sky set out to win), and certainly not what he suggested he was capable during his little spurts at the tour.

Nationality doesn't come in to it, Gesink isn't doing well either but most of us here are Brits so we're discussing the British riders. Froome is the best of them at the Vuelta and as he's involved in the GC he's the main talking point.

I agree that tiredness plays a part but I'm not sure how doping is playing into this, Contador was always a decent TT rider and this wasn't a standard TT course like the ones at the Tour or Olympics, this was a tough technical hilly TT that probably doesn't suit the likes of Wiggins, Froome and Martin who are good strong TT riders who like fast flat courses, just look at Kessiakoff and Inxtausti doing well, they're climbers and both beat Martin, a generally much superior TTer.

BigDummy | 11 years ago

I've warmed to Froome, and he is clearly doing very well. It's not lost yet, and a podium finish would be marvellous.

Some Fella | 11 years ago

Poor old Froome - its come to something that a Brit(ish) rider doing really really well in a very tough tour up near the end of tough season against strong (doping?) opposition is seen to be doing relatively badly.
He is a victim of our (as in British) success where anything but a win is failure.
He looked tired and pretty vulnerable today.

Brummmie | 11 years ago

PASTAMAN - Well said Sir !

Contador is a confirmed doper, clearly welcomed back into the fold by the UCI. As Paul Kimmage has stated recently, the sport needs cleaning from the top down. This is clearly illustrated here for all to see. Ask Contador if he'll do a test at the end of every stage in the Vuelta ?
He is a drugs cheat. I remember watching him in the last Giro, flying up the mountains away from Nibali et al, very Armstrongesque, EPO'd off his teeth..........

A vile cheat applauded by the UCI and certain cycling hacks alike, free to go about his dishonest trade without the hurdles that should bar him from this beautiful sport.

Raleigh | 11 years ago

That's unfair, Contador is pretty much the same as wiggins, a time trialled who happens to be able to climb.

Of course, wiggins can't dance up cols like Contador, but line them up and they're almost very the same.

step-hent replied to Raleigh | 11 years ago
Raleigh wrote:

That's unfair, Contador is pretty much the same as wiggins, a time trialled who happens to be able to climb.

Of course, wiggins can't dance up cols like Contador, but line them up and they're almost very the same.

Somewhat the other way round, really. Wiggo is a natural TTer who learned to climb. Contador is a natural climber who learned to TT. The difference is that Wiggo doesnt have the explosive acceleration...

Anyway, I wouldn't say it is obvious that Contador is doping. No-one is saying that Rodriguez must be doping, nor Froome, and they are all pretty closely matched. Froome is coming of a tough TdF and Olympics, whereas Contador is well trained and well rested - you'd expect the results to be slightly more in Contador's favour.

Would be nice if we could get away from the 'he must (still) be doping' chat. I know it's because of the history, but it doesn't half take the fun out of the racing.

Lungsofa74yearold | 11 years ago

Don't forget that Contador is also a totally unrepentant doper - today's result strongly suggests he's not changed a thing during his 6 month holiday - sorry I meant 2 year ban. I seem to remember there was a period a couple of years ago when his TT results were much more plausible I.e. coming in 30th or so ( as opposed to when he was in pomp when we were supposed to believe that a climber who weighed 10 stone dripping wet was able to put minutes into the likes of big guys like Spartacus). I'm sure someone can fill in the details here.....???

I feel sorry Froome in all this - the playing field is clearly is not yet level, despite recent efforts of USADA. What would have been nice would have been for the UCI to say this outrageous, we are determined to clear this up and starting from tomorrow there will be 5 year bans if you caught, reducible to 3 if you implicate everyone else involved. 6 months holiday is no deterrent at all as we can clearly see from this result. Rant over.

drheaton | 11 years ago

Yeah, possibly a race too far for Froome, especially up against much fresher opposition in Contador and Rodriguez.

antonio | 11 years ago

Rodriguez wasn't supposed to be in Red, neither was Contador and Froome was going to put time into both due to his superior time trial skills, two to three minutes was estimated. Not knocking Froome but the 'experts' certainly got something wrong, while Contador got everything right.

lostinfrance replied to antonio | 11 years ago

Well he got that steak wrong  21

italiafirenze replied to antonio | 11 years ago

I suspect riding the Tour (and finishing second), the olympic road race and time trial are likely to have taken their toll on Froome. He's only human after all and the Vuelta is starting earlier and earlier nowadays.

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