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Roche steady behind new leader Rodriguez

Posted 07 September 2010

The Vuelta á Espana’s first rest day had no ill effects on Nicolas Roche who retained his GC position when the race returned to action for stage ten which was won by his old foe Imanol Erviti.

The Spaniard, who pipped Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) for a Vuelta stage win in 2008, rode to a solo victory in Vilanova i la Geltru having attacked from a breakaway inside the final 15 kiolmetres.

The stage also seen Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) move into the race lead having picked up a time bonus in the first immediate sprint behind Mark Cavendish (HTC Columbia) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin Transitions).

Rodriguez started the day on the same time as overnight leader Igor Anton but his smart move means that he now leads the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider by two seconds while Roche continues to lie eighth overall at 1’21”

The break which also comprised Erviti, Biel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale), Mauele Mori (Lampre Farnese Vini), Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank), Giampaoto Cheula (Footon Servetto), Christophe Le Mevel (Francaise des Jeux), Andre Lund (Saxo Bank), Javier Moreno (Andalucia CajaSur), Greg Van Avermael (Omega Pharma Lotto), Mauro Finetto (Liquigas Domo) and Romain Zingie (Confidis) went clear after 55 kilometres.

Their lead peaked at 5’38 on the run down the coast from Tarragona but some hard riding by the Katusha and Xacobeo Galicia teams trimmed it back to 2’50” by the time they reached the day’s only obstacle, the first category Alto de Penat with 35 kilometres to go.

Le Mevel, who was the best placed rider in the break with an overall deficit of 6’36”, attacked with Moreno on the climb making the most of its 10% average gradient over 4.4 kilometres to open a small gap by the summit.

The duo struggled to hold out on the technical descent with Erviti making the most of the narrow roads, bumpy surface and tight corners to catch and pass them with 15 kilometres to the finish.

The remaining eight riders from the original break worked hard at closing the slender 35 second gap but the Caisse d’Epargne was tougher than expected and held out for a well deserved win ahead of Zingie and Van Avermael.

Roche placed 27th on the stage having come home in the chase group of 50 riders who crossed the line 1’38” behind. Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) dropped another 10’37” placing 88th and is now 117th in the GC over 1 hour and 17 minutes down.

Results:

2010 Vuelta á Espana

Stage 10: Tarragona – Vilanova I la Geltru, 175.7 kilometres

1.  Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 4 hours, 13 minutes, 31 seconds        
2.  Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, le crédit en ligne 0:00:37        
3.  Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto             
4.  Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo             
5.  Javier Moreno (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur             
6.  Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank             
7.  Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) FDJ             
8.  Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Footon-Servetto             
9.  Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:42        
10.Dmitry Fofonov (Kaz) Astana 0:01:36

27. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 1 minute, 38 seconds
88. Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervelo Test Team at 10 minutes, 37 seconds

General classification after stage 10:

1.  Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha    42 hours, 11 minutes, 49 seconds    
2.  Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:02        
3.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:04        
4.  Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:00:44        
5.  Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:54        
6.  Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:17        
7.  Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:01:20        
8.  Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale 0:01:21        
9.  Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:24        
10. Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia 0:01:28   

8. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 1 minute, 21 seconds
117. Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervelo Test Team at 1 hours, 17 minutes, 55 seconds

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