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Roche and Martin avoid crash as mountains loom

Posted 26 August 2011

Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche were fortunate not to be involved in a high speed crash on the finishing straight to stage 7 of the Vuelta á Espana which was won by Skil-Shimano rider Marcel Kittel.

Martin (Garmin Cervelo) and Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) held their GC positions by finishing in the main field as the 187.6 kilometre stage from Almaden to Talavera de la Reina came down to a bunch sprint.

Martin’s Garmin Cervelo teammate Tyler Farrar came off the worst for wear in the crash which occurred metres from the finishing line on an otherwise uneventful day.

A four-man break comprising Steve Houanard (AG2R La Mondiale), Antonio Cabello Baena (Andalucia-Caja Granada) and Cofidis riders Luis Angel Mate Mardones and Julien Fouchard attacked from the gun but where caught seven kilometres from the finish.

Kittel claimed the stage win from Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) who took third.

Sylvain Chavanel (Quickstep) retains the race leader’s red jersey with a 15 seconds lead over Daniel Moreno (Katusha) while Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) sits third a further second back.

Dan Martin lies 24th with an overall deficit of 1’50” after it emerged that his overall time loss included a 40 second penalty applied after Wednesday’s stage to Valdepenas de Jaen.

It is understood that the penalty was applied to the Garmin-Cervelo rider for riding behind a team car as he returned to the peloton from a call of nature and that he has tried to appeal the justification for it as well as the servity.

Roche remains 25th overall a further three seconds back and will join Martin in looking to improve their positions on Saturday’s 177.3 kilometre mountainous stage to San Lorenzo de El Escorial.

Results:

2011 Vuelta á Espana

Stage 7: Almaden – Talavera de la Reina, 187.6 kilometres

1.  Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano     04:47:49    
2.  Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale             
3.  Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team             
4.  Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek             
5.  Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale             
6.  Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard             
7.  Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano             
8.  Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD             
9.  Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Pro Team Astana             
10. Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad – all same time

22. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale – same time
35. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo – same time

General classification after stage 7:

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 at 0:00:41        
7.  Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek at 0:00:44        
8.  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 0:00:49        
9.  Sergio Pardilla Belllón (Spa) Movistar Team             
10.  Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team at 0:00:52

24. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 1 minute, 50 seconds
25. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 1 minute, 53 seconds

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