Wednesday 09 September 2009 at 23h29

In presence of Miguel Indurain the riders started this morning from Murcia for a 200 kilometer stage towards Caravaca de la Cruz. On their way to the finish line they had to climb a first category mountain around kilometer 50, the Alto Collado Bernejo, and a second category mountain at about 50 kilometers from the finish, the Alto Campo de San Juan.

David de la Fuente (Fuji-Servetto) took over the jersey for the best climber from David Moncoutié (Cofidis) yesterday, so a battle for this jersey was planned during this stage. One rider didn't start today: after the abandon of his younger brother a few days ago it was now up to Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) to abandon.

The leading trio: Johnny Hoogerland, Amets Txurruka & David Moncoutié - © UnipublicSeveral riders tried to attack and escape before the right leading group was finally formed: after 39 kilometers we find David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and David de la Fuente (Fuji-Servetto) who both want to (keep) wear(ing) the best climber's jersey, together with the Dutch rider Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) whose directeur sportif asked him not to attack any more, and the Spanish rider Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel Euskadi).
When Hoogerland and Txurruka accellerated, only David Moncoutié is able to bridge the gap; David de la Fuente can not follow. David Moncoutié thus passes the top of the Alto Collado Bernejo first, ahead of Amets Txurruka and Johnny Hoogerland. De La Fuente takes the 4th place before his team mate Fredrik Kessiakoff, who escaped from the peloton a few moments earlier and who joins David de la Fuente a few kilometers further ... just before they're both taken back by the peloton.

The leading trio manages to extend its gap up to 9'40". Johnny Hoogerland at that time virtually wears the golden leader's jersey since at the start of the stage he was at the 16th place, 4'41" behind Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne).

The peloton's pursuit - © UnipublicAt the front of the peloton the Caisse d'Epargne, Liquigas, Rabobank and Milram teams agree on working together to accellerate the peloton and reduce the gap with the leading group to 2'19" at 55 kilometers from the finish. This accelleration means that at the back of the peloton several riders can no longer follow and Tom Boonen (QuickStep) is one of these victims. Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Juan Manuel Garate (QuickStep), David de la Fuente and Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) are some other riders who have a difficult time following the peloton.

The leading group manages, especially thanks to the speed chosen by David Moncoutié, to reach the top of the second mountain of the day, the Alto Campo de San Juan, before being taken back and it's again the French rider of the Cofidis team who takes these oh so precious points for the ranking of best climber. He reaches the top first, before Amets Txurruka and Johnny Hoogerland. In the peloton it's Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis) who reaches the top first.

Just after the leading trio is taken back one of the riders attacks in a solo effort: Rémi di Grégorio (Française des Jeux). He creates a gap of up to 46 seconds after about 20 kilometers alone leading the race, but at 18 kilometers from the finish he's taken back by the peloton which is almost completely back together. Fabian Cancellara tries to get away but the peloton is really looking for the final sprint. Lars Boom (Rabobank) doesn't manage to get away either.

Tyler Farrar wins the stage after a sprint - © UnipublicTyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream) is finally the rider who does the longuest sprint of this Vuelta, starting about 500 meters from the finish. He wins the stage quite easily before Philippe Gilbert (Silence Lotto) and an Italian rider of the Dutch Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team, Marco Marcato. He even raises his hands before crossing the finish line!

During the stage, Michael Albasini (Columbia-HTC) and John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale), decided to give up.


The images of the finish of the eleventh stage of the Tour of Spain 2009 (video)

The rankings

Stage classification
1/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream) - 5h11m10s
2/ Philippe Gilbert (Silence Lotto)
3/ Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
4/ Inaki Isaki (Euskaltel Euskadi)
5/ André Greipel (Columbia-HTC)
6/ Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-NGC)
7/ Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC)
8/ Christian Knees (Milram)
9/ Óscar Freire (Rabobank)
10/ Matteo Tosatto (QuickStep)

General classification
Alejandro Valverde keeps his golden jersey - © UnipublicThe leader of the Caisse d'Epargne team keeps the first plae in the general classification and still has a 7 seconds gap on number 2.

1/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - 45h37m51s
2/ Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) - +0'07"
3/ Robert Gesink (Rabobank) - +0'36"
4/ Thomas Danielson (Garmin Slipstream) - +0'51"
5/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas) - +0'53"
6/ Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) - +1'03"
7/ Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) - +2'13"
8/ Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) - +2'24"
9/ Haimar Zubeldia (Astana) - +3'10"
10/ Tadej Valjavec (AG2R La Mondiale) - +3'13"

Classification by points
By winning the first intermediate sprint, the German rider André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) takes a few extra points which allow him to secure his first place in the classification by points and thus his green jersey. He's still ahead of Tyler Farrar who also takes some points with the stage victory. The difference between the two riders is only 7 points.

1/ André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) - 99
2/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream) - 92
3/ Tom Boonen (QuickStep) - 75
4/ Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - 58
5/ Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) - 51

Best climber
By reaching first the top of the today's two mountains, David Moncoutié (Cofidis) takes back the jersey of best climber from David de la Fuente (Fuji-Servetto) who didn't manage to follow the leading group.

1/ David Moncoutié (Cofidis) - 86
2/ David de la Fuente (Fuji-Servetto) - 72
3/ Pieter Weening (Rabobank) - 48
4/ Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - 46
5/ Julián Sanchez Pimienta (Contentpolis-Ampo) - 37


Tomorrow: rest day

Tomorrow the riders can take some rest during the second rest day, close to Almeria where the 12th stage starts on Friday, towards the Alto de Velefique (179,3 kilometer). They probably pretty much need that rest to be able to attack this stage and its two mountains: the Calar Alto and the Alto de Velefique which will be climbed twice: once at the start of the stage and once at the end.

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Cycling general (except Tour de France) | Vuelta a España | Vuelta a España 2009


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