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Irish duo lose time as Nibali takes flight in Cordoba

Posted 25 August 2011

Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche had to fight hard to limit their time losses on stage five of the Vuelta á Espana after the Liquigas-Cannondale team of stage winner Peter Sagan split the peloton with a breakneck speed descent into the finish in Cordoba.

The AG2R La Mondiale and Garmin Cervelo riders lost 23 seconds on the stage including another six seconds to race leader Sylvain Chavanel (Quickstep) after the thrilling finish.

The Irish duo were well placed when the peloton caught an early four-man break on the lower slopes of the second category Alt de Catorce por ciento inside the final 25 kilometres.

Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad), Davide De La Fuente (Geox), David Moncoutie (Cofidis) and Kevin Seeldrayers (Quickstep) led a counter attack but could only open a 10 seconds gap over the summit.

The Liquigas-Cannondale team seized control on the descent hitting speeds of 85 kilometres per hour as they attempted to spring defending champion Vincenzo Nibali clear of his rivals.

The high speed descent required nerves of steel as the team took flight sweeping up the escapees with eight kilometres to go and pulling clear on the run into the finish.

Nibali was 10 seconds adrift heading into the final kilometres and was in the fortunate position of being able to rely upon teammates Peter Sagan, Valerio Agnoli and Eros Capecchi to gain time.

Moviestar’s Pablo Lastras was the only man brave enough to hold their wheel as they set their sights on the 15 seconds time bonus for the stage win and helping Nibali to overhaul his 33 seconds deficit to Chavanel.
With everything to play for the team made the crucial mistake of underestimating Lastras’s resolve and hunger for a second stage win and it was left to Sagan to spare their blushes when the Spaniard surged to deny Nibali the stage honours.

The Slovakian consigned the Moviestar rider to second place leaving Nibali frustrated at only collecting the eight seconds time bonus that came with third place.

There was some consolation for the Italian in that fact that Chavanel’s success in limiting his losses to 17 seconds meant that the stage win would still not have been enough to claim the race lead.

Roche and Martin meanwhile were pulling their weight in a group of 44 riders who came home 23 seconds down. While they lost just six seconds to Chavanel they will be more concerned about the 23 seconds they lost to Nibali.

Confusion continues to exist regarding Dan Martin’s actual GC position and overall time deficit. The official results place him 24th in the GC with an overall deficit of 1’50”. That time includes an additional 40 seconds that were added to his stage four results to Valdepenas de Jaen without explanation. Irish Pro Cycling has sought clarification.

Roche remains 25th overall with a deficit of 1’53” to Chavanel who leads Daniel Moreno (Katusha) by 15 seconds with Nibali third overall just one second further back.


2011 Vuelta á Espana

Stage 6: Ubeda – Cordoba, 193.4 kilometres

1.  Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale    4:38:22        
2.  Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team             
3.  Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale             
4.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale             
5.  Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:03        
6.  Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:00:17        
7.  Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team             
8.  Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team             
9.  David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne             
10.  Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team

32. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 23 seconds
40. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo – same time

General classification after stage 6:

1.  Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team    22:41:13        
2.  Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team    0:00:15        
3.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:16        
4.  Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:23        
5.  Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:00:25        
6.  Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Pro Team Astana 0:00:41        
7.  Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek 0:00:44        
8.  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:49        
9.  Sergio Pardilla Belllón (Spa) Movistar Team             
10. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team 0:00:52   

Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin Cervelo TBC
25. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 1 minutes, 53 seconds

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