Gerrans Wins Stage 10 of Vuelta
For the second consecutive day, a daylong break succeeded. Today, Simon Gerrans (Cervelo) picked up the stage win. The Australian took a four-up sprint to win Stage 10, a rolling, 171.2-km run from Alicante to Murcia, in 3:56:19. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) outsprinted Jacob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) for second. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) remains the overall leader.
Stage 10 was another warm (86 degrees Fahrenheit), windy day. The weather, however, did not deter aggression. After the bunch reeled in an earlier break, 19 riders representing all but five teams in the race sallied off of the front. They were Alexander Vinokourov (Astana); Adam Hansen (Columbia); Arnaud Gerard (Francaise des Jeux); Christophe Riblon (Ag2r); Antonio Piedra (Andalucia); Francisco Perez (Caisse d'Epargne); Gerrans; Hesjedal; Leonardo Duque (Cofidis); Julian Sanchez, Adrian Palomares, and Aitor Perez Arrieta (all from Contentpolis); David de la Fuente and Beñat Intxausti (both from Fuji); Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step); Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank); Linus Gerdemann (Milram); and Fuglsang and Karsten Kroon (both from Saxo Bank). At 46 km, the great escape led the peloton by four minutes.
With no GC threats in the break, Caisse d'Epargne was content to let the move go. The fugitives led the field by eight minutes at 100 km, while Caisse d'Epargne rode tempo at the front of the peloton.
At 133 km, the bunch had shaved a minute off of the break's advantage. Ten km later, the gap had fallen another minute. Gerdemann and Perez Arrieta attacked their companions. With 16 km left, the duo led the chase group by 0:30 and the bunch by five minutes.
On the Category 2 Alto de la Cresta del Gallo, Gerdemann dropped Perez Arrieta. Intxausti bridged up to the German. Behind, Hesjedal, Fuglsang, Vinokourov, de la Fuente, and Gerrans pursued.
On the descent, Intxausti punctured, and the chase group overtook him. Ahead, Gerdemann punctured and then crashed. The chase group passed him with 10 km left.
With five km remaining, Vinokourov attacked but was caught. Fuglsang attacked, but Hesjedal took his wheel. With two km to go, Hesjedal made his move and led at the one-km banner, but the others brought him back.
Vinokourov tried again, but Gerrans had his wheel and came around him with 100 m left, bringing Hesjedal and Fuglsang with him. Valverde, who lives in Murcia, arrived home with the bunch 3:42 later.
In the overall, Valverde leads Cadel Evans (Silence) by 0:07 and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) by 0:36. Stage 11 will not change this state of affairs. The rugged, 200-km ride from Murcia to Caravaca de la Cruz features the Category 1 Alto Collado Bermejo at 50.8 km and the Category 2 Alto Campo de San Juan at 150.7 km. The stage seems tailor-made for another daylong break. Who will be in it? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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