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Martin’s late attack shaves 20 seconds off overall deficit

Posted 31 August 2011

An attack late on the finishing climb to Estacion de Montana Manzaneda helped Dan Martin to regain 20 seconds overall as David Moncoutie won stage 11 of the Vuelta á Espana and Bradley Wiggins moved into the race lead.

The Garmin-Cervelo rider launched himself clear of a chase group of race favourites as  the stage neared the final three kilometres and looked for a while like he might carve into his 4’58” overall deficit.

He was hauled back by Rabobank riders Steven Kruijswijk and Bauke Mollema after opening a lead on the group which contained race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky)  and Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) among its number.

Mollema counter-attacked as the trio swept through the remnants of an escape group of 19 riders from which Mouncoutie (Cofidis) had attacked on the foothills of the 19 kilometre long climb.

With Froome losing ground after executing Team Sky’s strategy of working for Wiggins it was left to the natural team leader to repair the damage and to restore order among the favourites.

Wiggins was not found wanting and closed the gap to Martin and Mollema as the race entered the final two kilometres with Moncoutie well enough ahead at this point to seal the stage win.

The Briton’s rapid pace setting was relentless and quickly reduced the chase group to 25 riders with second placed Jakob Fugslang being the next GC rider to lose contact.

Martin and Roche were sittiing tight but an attack from Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) as the gradient tipped 12% on the fringe of the one kilometre to go kite put Roche into the red.

The AG2R La Mondiale man slipped off the back of the group with 800 metres to go and conceded 23 seconds to those within it as they fought to keep Rodriguez in check at the finish.

Martin finished the stage with Wiggins and the other GC contenders 3’08” down on Moncoutie who was followed home by Benat Intxausti Eloriaga (Moviestar) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) with whom he had been part of the day long break.

He has however lost his lead in the mountains classifcation after Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale) picked up the maximum points over the first three climbs of the day as part of the break. Martin slips to third in the classificiation behind Moncoutie eight points off the top.

Froome fought back to secure second place overall with a deficit of just 7 seconds to Wiggins while Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) remains third 14 seconds down.

Martin moves one place to 23rd in the GC where his losses have been cut to 4’38”. Roche meanwhile dropped one place to 18th with his efforts ensuring that his overall deficit only increased by a mere three seconds to 3’50”.


2011 Vuelta á Espana

Stage 11: Verin - Estacion de Montana Mazaneda, 171 kilometres

1.  David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 4:38:00     
2.  Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:18     
3.  Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team          
4.  Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:36     
5.  Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team RadioShack 0:01:43     
6.  Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:29     
7.  Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi          
8.  Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa) Lampre - ISD 0:02:55     
9.  Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:03:01     
10. Vicente David Bernabeu Armengol (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada 0:03:08

22. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 3 minutes, 08 seconds
26. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 3 minutes, 31 seconds
General classification after stage 11

1.  Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 42:50:41     
2.  Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:07     
3.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:11     
4.  Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Pro Team Astana 0:00:14     
5.  Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:00:19     
6.  Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:47     
7.  Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek 0:01:06     
8.  Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC 0:01:27     
9.  Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team RadioShack 0:01:53     
10. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack 0:02:00   

18. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 3 minutes, 50 seconds
23. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 4 minutes, 38 seconds

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