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Martin moves to 14th after stage winning bid falls short

Posted 07 September 2011


Dan Martin was unlucky not to take a second stage win on stage 17 of the Vuelta á Espana after a flying attack on the hors category Pena Cabarga was shut down just 1,500 metres from the summit leaving him fourth behind winner Chris Froome.

The Garmin-Cervelo climber sprung from the peloton with five kilometres to go and was soon riding solo with a slender lead of eight seconds as the race favourties waited for overall leader Juan Jose Cobo (Geox) to reply.

Martin’s reserves and hunger for a second stage win were all the more impressive for having survived the action that unfolded on what was the longest stage of the race at 211 kilometres.

The stage was played out at a furious pace at times as the Katusha and Vacansoleil teams worked together to bring back an early break of 21 riders over the third category Portillo de Bustos.

The pace was unrelenting over the first category Portillo de Lunada as the two teams combined once more to neutralise a second eight-man break who eventually succumbed on the high speed descent.

One of those breakaway riders, Marzio Bruseghin (Moviestar), joined Martin after four kilometres but failed to dislodge the Irishman after attempting to accelerate past him.

They were joined by Chris Sorensen (Saxo Bank Sungard) inside the final three kilometres but were unable to extend their lead after Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma Lotto) picked that point to mount his stage winning bid.

The Belgian reached the leading trio within one kilometre as the chase group containing Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) and the leading GC men slimmed to just 25 riders.

Martin plugged away and found a second wind as the race regrouped and Cobo started to assert himself with 1.5 kilometres to the finish.

Van den Broeck made a second attempt to break free within metres but the lead group finally splintered when Cobo pulled the trigger under the one kilometre to go kite.

The Spaniard met his match this time round as second placed Chris Froome (Team Sky) latched onto his wheel before throwing everything into a last ditch attack to crack the race leader and to gain the 20 seconds stage winning time bonus.

Froom’s attack was astonishingly strong but Cobo was equally impressive in calculating his effort and riding back up the Briton’ s wheel inside the final 100 metres.

Froome was not to outdone and attacked again with 50 metres to go to claim the win. Cobo though, held out for the 12 seconds bonus for second place to protect his overall lead as Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) secured third.

Martin followed just 24 seconds down with his performance rewarded by another move up the GC. He has improved one place to 14th with an overall deficit of 7’22”.

Roche ran out of steam in the final stages but hung on to limit his losses to 1’02” which was sufficient to ensure that he too gained in the GC. He also moved up one place to 17th where he carries a deficit of 10’31”.

Cobo continues to lead Froome who gained seven seconds to close to within 13 seconds of the race lead. Bradley Wiggins holds third but has drifted to 1’41” after conceding 39 seconds on the stage.


2011 Vuelta á Espana

Stage 17: Faustino – Pena Cabarga, 211 kilometres

1.  Christopher Froome (Gbr) Sky Procycling 4:52:38    
2.  Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC 0:00:01     
3.  Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:21     
4.  Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:24     
5.  Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:27     
6.  Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi          
7.  Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team 0:00:29     
8.  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:31     
9.  Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC          
10. Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:35

4. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 24 seconds
17. Nicolas Roche (Irl) at 1 minute, 02 seconds

General classification after stage 17:

1.  Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC    69:31:41     
2.  Christopher Froome (Gbr) Sky Procycling 0:00:13     
3.  Bradley Wiggins (Gbr) Sky Procycling 0:01:41     
4.  Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:05     
5.  Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC 0:03:48     
6.  Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek 0:04:13     
7.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:04:31     
8.  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:04:45     
9.  Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:05:20     
10. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:05:33

14. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 7 minutes, 22 seconds
17. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 10 minutes, 31 seconds

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