Sunday’s Stage 9 was mountainous going over 187.7 km (116.6 m) from Alcoy to Calpe. There were three Category 2 climbs and three Category 3 climbs before the finish at Calpe. There will be a rest day after this stage with the race resuming on Tuesday September 7.
It was a day marked by large breakaway groups and attacks everywhere. Near the finish the breakaway dwindled from 15 to five and finally to the solo Spanish rider Lopez Garcia who sailed over the finish alone.
Omega Pharma-Lotto’s Jean-Christophe Peraud gained time on the general classification standings and is now fifth overall.
The overall category top 4 lineup stays the same with Euskaltel-Euskadi’s Igor Anton in red for the second day with Katusha’s Joquin Rodriguez sharing the same time and Liquigas’ Vincenzo Nibali only 2 seconds behind.
– Stage 7 winner Alessandro Petacchi withdrew from the race today at km 50 because of wounds obtained from a crash in yesterday’s stage 8. He started the race saying his arm hurt, his morale was low and he didn’t know how much longer he could continue according to La Vuelta.com.
– José Luis Arrieta, 35, said he is retiring from racing after this year.
After a rest day on Monday, the race will resume Tuesday September 7. Stage 10 goes 175.7 km (109 m) between Tarragona and Vilanova i La Geltrú. It’s not as mountainous as the previous two stages but has a steep Category 1 climb over the Alto del Rat Penat with gradient ramps between 12-23 percent starting 30 km before the finish.
Stage 10 predictions:
– If Thor Hushovd can make it over the last climb he could go for the stage win again.
1) LOPEZ GARCIA, David – Caisse d’Epargne: 5:20:51
2) KREUZIGER, Roman – Liquigas: + 6″
3) CARUSO, Giampaolo – Katusha: + 13″
4) MONCOUTIE, David – Cofidis: + 21″
5) KADRI, Biel – Ag2r la Mondiale + 27″
1) ANTON, Igor – Euskaltel-Euskadi: 37:56:42
2) RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin – Katusha
3) NIBALI, Vincenzo – Liquigas: + 2″
4) TONDO, Xavier – Cervelo Test Team: + 42″
5) PERAUD, Jean-Christophe – Omega Pharma-Lotto: + 52″