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Martin and Roche gain in chaotic finale

Posted 06 September 2011

 

Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche avoided disaster in a dramatic finale to stage 16 of the Vuelta á Espana to improve their overall positions after Saxo Bank’s Juan Jose Haedo claimed the bunch sprint into Haro.

The 203.6 kilometre stage from Villa Romana La Olmeda was a largely dull affair with the peloton content to allow a three-man break take the limelight for all but the final 11 kilometres.

The break comprising Julien Fouchard (Cofidis) and Andalucia-Caja Granada riders Jesus Rosendo Prado and Antonio Cabello Baena attacked from the gun gaining a lead of 8’34” minutes after 40 kilometres.

The stage took a dramatic turn with 16 kilometres to go when a pileup left GC contender Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) the worst for wear and with a time loss of 11’01” by the time he finished the stage.

Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) and Martin (Garmin Cervelo) avoided the crash and were well positioned towards the head of peloton as it shut down the break with 11.6 kilometres to the finish.

The duo held tight through a chaotic final kilometre were a traffic island inside the final 300 metres left the hurtling peloton confused about the right direction to take.

Haedo picked the right way round as the traffic structure disrupted the Leopard-Trek lead-out train of Daniele Bennati who had to settle for third with Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre ISD) second.

Roche showed encouraging signs of remaining in contention for stage wins by placing 11th just four seconds back which saw him climb two places to 18th in the GC with an overall deficit of 9’18”.

Martin finished just three seconds further back in 34th position which helped him to move up one place to 15th where he lies 6’47” behind race leader Juan Jose Cobo (Geox TMC).

Cobo profited from rounding out the top ten on the stage, pinching two seconds on second placed Chris Froome and another five seconds on his third placed Team Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins.

Results:

2011 Vuelta á Espana

Stage 16: Villa Romana La Olmeda – Haro, 203.6 kilometres

1.  Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard 4:41:56        
2.  Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD             
3.  Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek             
4.  Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto             
5.  Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:02        
6.  Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano             
7.  Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale             
8.  Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team             
9.  Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling             
10.  Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC

11. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Monidale at 4 seconds
34. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 7 seconds

General classification after stage 16:

1.  Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC     64:39:14        
2.  Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:20        
3.  Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:51        
4.  Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:41        
5.  Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek 0:02:42        
6.  Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC 0:03:06        
7.  Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:03:08        
8.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:49        
9.  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:04:03        
10.  Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:04:18

15. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 6 minutes, 47 seconds
18. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 9 minutes, 18 seconds

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