After the first rest day yesterday, the Vuelta a Espana resumed and Stage 10 went over 175.7 km (109 m) between Tarragona and Vilanova i La Geltrú. It wasn’t as mountainous as the previous two stages but had a steep Category 1 climb over the Alto del Rat Penat with gradient ramps between 12-23 percent starting 30 km before the finish.
A breakaway of 12 riders at the 57 km mark dwindled to 11 and finally one. Spaniard Erviti escaped from the breakaway 20 km before the finish and maintained his solo ride straight over the finish line. The peloton finished 1 minute 38 seconds behind.
Because Joaquin “Purito” Rodriguez gained bonuses in the sprinting points he now is the overall leader by 2 seconds over Igor Anton and will wear the camiseta roja.
– Saxo Bank riders Andy Schleck and Stuart O’Grady were withdrawn from the race by coach Bjarne Riis because they drank alcohol according to Schleck; which is a violation of the team’s rules.
– Xavier Tondo who’s in fourth place overall was born in the stage’s starting town of Tarragona
Wednesday’s Stage 11 – the longest of the race – travels 208.4 km (129.5 m) from Vilanova I La Geltrú to Andorra. It has one Category 3 climb and ends with an uncategorized climb up to the finish at Vallnord. This climb doesn’t have the steep ramps like the previous climbs so many GC contenders can really step on the gas to gain time on their rivals.
Stage 11 predictions:
– GC contenders Frank Schleck and Denis Menchov need to gain time here so both could go for the stage win.
1) ERVITI, Imanol – Caisse d’Epargne: 4:13:31
2) ZINGLE, Romain – Cofidis: + 37″
3) VAN AVERMAET, Greg – Omega Pharma-Lotto
4) FINETTO, Mauro – Liquigas
5) MORENO, Javier – Andalucia-Cajasur
1) RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin – Katusha: 42:11:49
2) ANTON, Igor – Euskaltel-Euskadi: + 2″
3) NIBALI, Vincenzo – Liquigas: + 4″
4) TONDO, Xavier – Cervelo Test Team: + 44″
5) PERAUD, Jean-Christophe – Omega Pharma-Lotto: + 54″