Jimenez Wins Stage 10 of Vuelta
Eladio Jimenez (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme) has won Stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana.
Eladio Jimenez (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme) has won Stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana. Jimenez surged away from six breakaway companions on the day?s last climb to win the mountainous, 174.5-km stage from Alcoi to Xorret de Cati in 4:31:57. Stuart O?Grady (Cofidis) finished second at 0:32, and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) took third at 0:48. Floyd Landis (U.S. Postal Service) remains the overall leader.
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The racing began early. At 14 km, Jimenez and Freire (Rabobank) attacked. Erik Zabel (T-Mobile), O?Grady, Jose Miguel Elias (Relax), Juan Fuentes (Saeco), and Ruslan Ivanov (Alessio) bridged up to the pair after 40 km. The septet breasted three Category 3 climbs and one Category 2 ascent before taking on the Category 1 Alto Xorret de Cati. The escapees? lead maxed out at 14:30 with 56 km left.
Fuentes made the first attack on the Alto de Xorret de Cati. O?Grady joined him. When the grade steepened, Jimenez countered. He caught and dropped Fuentes and O?Grady. Freire set out after the Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme rider, but to no avail. Jimenez soloed home to win a Vuelta stage that ends at Xorret de Cati for the second time in his career.
Behind Jimenez, the fight for the overall lead took place. Landis was dropped, but Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros), Alejando Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme), but neither Heras nor Valverde could put enough time into Landis to take the overall lead. The bunch broke up on the day?s final climb, but the field began to cross the finish line about 1:20 behind Jimenez.
In the overall, Landis leads Valverde by 0:09 and Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears-Banesto) by 0:29. Stage 11 will probably not change the standings, but it will probably provide another chance for escapees to fight for a stage win. The 165.8-km run from San Vicente del Raspeig to Caravaca de la Cruz will feature no categorized ascents, but the last 30 km will be a steady rise. Who will take advantage of this opportunity? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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