Watch this race live nowWatch cycling replays now
18/09/10 - 11:37
Finished
San Martín de Valdeiglesias - Bola del Mundo
0km
?km
Vuelta a España • Stage20
avant-match

LIVE
San Martín de Valdeiglesias - Bola del Mundo
Vuelta a España - 18 September 2010

Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:37 on 18 September 2010. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
Get all the latest on Cycling: the big races, schedules and results.

    
30
Highlights 
 
 Remove
16:45 

Overall standings: 1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas 85:16:05, 2 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:00:41, 3 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia 0:03:02, 4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 0:04:20, 5 Frank Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank 0:04:43, 6 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo 0:04:52, 7 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R 0:05:03, 8 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo 0:06:06, 9 Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Transitions 0:06:09, 10 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:07:33

16:30 

Confirmation: Mosquera took the stage ahead of Nibali with Rodriguez in third (+21), Schleck fourth (+35), Tondo fifth (+39) and Roche fifth (+42). Nieve, Velits, Le Mevel and Di Gregorio came over next, in that order.

0km 

Vincenzo Nibali is close to tears on the finish line: he will be the 2010 Vuelta champion by 41 seconds in Madrid.

0km 

Schleck, Roche, Rodriguez and Tondo all cross the line in drips and drabs - but it's hard to see because of the mist and the poor pictures. Velits seems to have lost a bit of time. Full confirmation coming up...

0km

Mosquera holds on - just! The stage victory goes to Mosquera, but Nibali finished right behind to all but seal overall victory in the Vuelta.

0.1km 

Yes, Nibali has caught Mosquera!

0.2km 

Not long to go now - and Nibali may even catch Mosquera! What a finish this will be from the Shark.

0.3km 

Just eight seconds now...

0.4km 

Mosquera is giving it everything but the gap is coming down. Nibali is a true champion. The 25 year-old is on the verge of a maiden grand tour triumph.

0.7km 

The Italian gets it together and has Mosquera back in his sights - despite the heavy mist descending at the top of this ski resort peak.

1km

NIBALI HITS THE WALL!! Nibali looks like he's almost stationary. He needs to get over this or it could be dicey...

1km 

The fans are quite stiffling as Mosquera approaches the one-to-go banner. The gap is only 15 seconds.

1.3km 

Mosquera is in the dancing position again - he knows that he needs more time over Nibali. Further back there is no sign of Danielson, Sastre or Tondo: they've all blown.

1.5km 

Classy riding by Nibali. He can see Mosquera in his sights and knows that as long as he keeps it like this he will be in red tonight - even with those 8 aggregate bonus seconds up for grabs at the finish.

2km 

The chasing group contains Rodriguez, Velits, Roche and Schleck. There is no Tondo so Roche could move up the standings.

2km 

Mosquera looks very calm for someone who has said he hasn't been able to sleep properly for the last few days.

2km 

The red jersey of Vincenzo Nibali is swaying on his bike, giving it his all to reduce the deficit. All the support is with the Spaniard further up the road. The gap is about 15 seconds now.

2.5km 

Mosquera has 7 seconds over Nibali. He needs more than that if he wants to win the Vuelta.

2.5km 

The crowds are pretty huge which adds an intimidating atmosphere because the roads are so narrow as it is.

2.5km 

Nibali looks to be in trouble! Mosquera is in the dancing position and has opened up a gap. Nibali just has to keep going and to make sure the gap doesn't get too big.

3km

On to the concrete ramps! Now it gets going: 20% gradient until the end with the Vuelta's two top dogs Nibali and Mosquera out in front.

3km 

Great riding by Nibali. He's pulling Mosquera back doing it his way: grinding out and riding on. The others have all dropped as the Italian catches the Spaniard.

3.5km

Mosquera has quite a few bike lengths now. Nibali can't match his explosive pace!

4km 

MOSQUERA ATTACKS! Nibali, Schleck, Velits, Tondo and Roche manage to hold his wheel. Danielson has popped.

4.5km

Schleck attacks! Here we go, now it's going to kick off. Mosquera takes his wheel, with Nibali following suit.

5km 

Under the six-to-go banner they go. Kadri has been caught. A little attack comes in from an Euskaltel rider and a Cervelo man. Names coming up. Yes, it's Txurruka and Pujol. They have a small gap. Back in the bunch, Mosquera is being paced by team-mate David Garcia. Nibali looks calm - maybe too calm. Kreuziger is quite a bit further forward than him, followed by Tondo.

6.5km 

It's the calm before the storm as the peloton thins out. Nibali and Mosquera are inseparable. In terms of GC, just 30 seconds splits 5th to 9th place so there is a lot to play for for everyone in the top ten. Kreuziger leads the peloton now.

7km 

Tondo, Sastre, Danielson, Roche, Vande Velde and Schleck are all there too.

7.5km 

Di Gregorio is caught after his futile attempt to break clear.

7.5km 

Nibali only has Roman Kreuziger in support now after his Liquigas team-mates all drop back. Mosquera just has one team-mate too: looks like Serafin Martinez.

8km

Nibali is right in Mosquera's wheel, with Velits just behind. These three should be on the podium tomorrow in Madrid: but in what order?

8.5km

Remi di Gregorio attacks! The French FdJ rider has a pop from the peloton - ambitious.

9km 

Peter Velits, third in the GC, is holding the wheel of Nibali, with Mosquera a few places further up. Gusev and Plaza have been caught by the peloton. Just Kadri ahead now, but he's pulling up.

11km 

Plaza looks exhausted but he manages to hold on in there with Kadri and Gusev. They have 14 seconds on the Moncoutie chasing trio, with the bunch just another handful of seconds back.

12km

The Bolo del Mondo has never been used in the Vuelta. The early parts are 8.7% but the final 3km are a gruelling 20% gradient. The time gaps could be quite astonishing.

13km 

Kadri goes on the attack. Only Gusev can react. Oh no, Plaza's there too. The gap is just 20 seconds now.

13km 

The six leaders have just 40 seconds over the peloton now. The road is about to start kick up.

15km 

More of that break are being swept up by the peloton, but the real action is yet to start. Stay tuned: it's all about to kick off!

17km 

Vincenzo Nibali looks very calm back in the peloton. He's less than an hour away from a debut grand tour victory - providing he can not concede more than 50 seconds to rival Ezequiel Mosquera.

18km

Gusev, Cuesta, Plaza, Kadri and Cheula and Toribio are the six riders out in front now. The peloton is 1:07 back.

19km 

The breakaway group is beginning to splinter. Two or three riders have hit the wall and are dropping back. The harmony has gone.

20km 

There are five Xacobeo-Galicia riders, including Mosquera, driving the peloton with Nibali and six other Liquigas riders just behind. Then there are a few Saxo Bank riders, including Frank Schleck.

21km 

Leading group: Ruben Plaza and David Lopez (both Caisse d'Epargne), Johann Tschopp and Vincent Jerome (Bbox), Vladimir Gusev (Katusha), Jan Bakelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Mikel Nieve and Amets Txurruka (both Euskaltel), Mikael Cherel (FdJ), Delio Fernandez (Xacobeo Galicia), Jose Toribio (Andalucia CajaSur), Blel Kadri (AG2R), Inigo Cuesto (Cervelo), Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) and Kanstansin Sivtsov (HTC-Columbia).

23km 

The leading group is completely nailing it ahead of the final climb to Bolo del Mundo. Some of those guys are really going to suffer out there once the road heads uphill. The gap is 1:42. Nibali now has six Liquigas team-mates around him.

28km

The two leaders Plaza and Tschopp are about to be caught by the chasing group, which includes Euskaltel pair Txurruka and Nieve, Codifis' Moncoutie and the remnants of the initial breakaway. The gap back to the peloton is 1:31.

29km 

It's the Xacobeo team of Mosquera that front the peloton, with Nibali's Liquigas troupe tucked in just behind.

30km 

The pace has dropped in the peloton in anticipation of the final - and decisive - test of this year's Vuelta.

33km 

Huge crowds have gathered at the finish. The road surface is terrible: just concrete slabs, many of which have huge pot holes in them. The roads are exposed and narrow while the slope is just brutal. Riders could lose minutes today, let alone seconds.

35km 

The sun is out and it looks like those rain clouds that affected the race earlier are behind the riders now. Shaping up to be a dry finale then - which will suit Mosquera to a tee.

36km

The two leaders have 1:04 over the Moncoutie trio (which have caught the remnants of the initial breakaway group) with the peloton a further 22 seconds back.

37km 

Nibali has five team-mates with him on the front of the peloton: the Italian is in a great position to win the Vuelta at his first attempt.

40km

Your comments continue to drip through. Private is clearly a Mosquera fan: "Nibs will crack on the final climb. First mentally­ then physically. It’s happened so many times before­ to so many riders snatching defeat out of the wheels of­ victory. Watch him grovel when he cracks!"

42km 

Leading duo Plaza and Tschopp make their way through the town of Cercedilla. The streets are narrow, the road surface terrible. Lots of support out.

48km

The chasing group of Moncoutie, Txurruka and Nieve cross the summit 1:20 down on the leaders. The pack is at 1:50. On the descent, red jersey Nibali is flanked by a cluster of Liquigas team=-mates.

51km

Plaza crosses the summit of the first cetegory Puerto de Navacerrada in pole position ahead of Tschopp. Kadri takes third ahead of Cuesta, 20 seconds back.

52km 

The Vuelta is LIVE NOW on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin Media 521) and is also available on your PC via the Eurosport Player:

53km

Gusev is riding solo five seconds behind Plaza and Tschopp. Kadri, Cuesta and Bakelandts are 16 seconds back. Back in the peloton, Rabobank's Denis Menchov attacks. The gap to the leaders is 1:22.

55km

The Puerto de Navacerrada is a first category climb which lasts 7km at an average gradient of 7.5%. Expect some fireworks.

55km 

Back in the peloton, stage 16 winner Mikel Nieve and Euskaltel team-mate Amets Txurruka try their luck. David Moncoutie manages to join them. Further up with the leaders, Plaza and Tschopp pull clear.

56km 

The leading group is a bit of a shambles, with Vincent Jerome the latest to have a pop after Inigo Cuesta turns up the pace a little. With so little cohesion, they won't be out for much longer.

57km 

Plaza chases down Gallopin and the leaders are back together. Their days are severely numbered. Jean-Christophe Peraud has already been caught by the pack.

58km

Tony Gallopin attacks from the breakaway group right at the start of the Puerto de Navacerrada.

60km

According to the latest time check the lead has been cut dramatically to just 1:10. With so much to play for today, expect the first moves to happen on this next slope before the final drive up to Bolo del Mundo. The tension is palpable.

65km

The lead has grown back over the two-minute mark. Latest check is 2:07 as the escapees roll towards the nursery slopes of the first category Puerto de Navacerrada. Back in the peloton, it's the Saxo Bank team of Frank Schleck that are setting the pace alongside Ezequiel Mosquera's Xacobeo-Galicia outfit.

68km

Keep the comments coming in below. A particularly piquante one in just now from Cleve: "Mosquero's a fruitcake if he thinks he can beat the­ Nibs - Nibs will wipe up the pavement with his­ competitor." Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts below...

72km

Philippe Gilbert takes the points at the intermediate sprint at Granja ahead of Jan Bakelandts and Ruben Plaza.

74km 

The gap has dropped under two minutes for the first time.

88km

It's been a pretty laboured race for Pippo Pozzato. The Italian didn't make his mark on any stage and was definitely riding with an eye on the World Championships. Pozzato has been open about his methods for retaining concentration ahead of the big race Down Under in Melbourne: a sex ban. It's been six months since the Katusha man has had any action between the sheets...

90km

Latest time check: 2:54. News filtering in about the withdrawal of Katusha's Filippo Pozzato.

92km

Flat tyre back in the peloton for Serafin Martinez, Mosquera's primary general in the mountains.

96km 

On the last ascent Luis Pasmontes (Caisse d'Epargne) and Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) managed to pull out of the peloton and build up a small lead. All in vain: the pair have been caught on this plateau which takes the riders on to La Navacerrada.

98km

The escapees hit the feeding zone with a lead of 3:45. The rain has stopped and the temperature is 17 degrees.

100km

Reminder of the leaders: Jan Bakelandts, Jean-Christophe Peraud, Philippe Gilbert and Leif Hoste (Omega-Lotto), Tony Gallopin (Cofidis), Vincent Jerome and Johann Tschoop (Bbox), Inigo Cuesta (Cervelo), Gustavo Cesar (Xacobeo), Danilo Hondo (Lampre), Vladimir Gusev and Cheula Giampaolo (Katusha), David Arroyo and Ruben Plaza (Caisse d'Epargne), Jose Toribio (Andalucia-Cajasur), Kanstantin Siutsou (HTC-Columbia), Biel Kadri (Ag2R), Jose Oroz (Euskaltel).

102km

Speaking to reporters at the start today, Mosquera admitted: "I have only one tactic: attack, attack and attack." The Spaniard denied that he was in on the idea to prepare a special red bike in the event of his taking over at the summit: "I didnt know we had prepared a new red bike if I was a leader," the 34 year-old said, adding: "The pressure is not on my shoulders but on the rider who has the red jersey."

105km

The average speed for the first hour of racing today was 39.1 km/h and for the second hour it was 36.2 km/h.

108km

Philippe Gilbert leads the escapees over the summit of the Alto del Leon, followed by Tony Gallopin, Inigo Cuesta, Johan Tschopp and Ruben Plaza. The lead has dropped slightly to 3:16. A couple of riders from the break - Joan Horrach and Jose Garcia Acosta - have been caught by the pack.

110km

Rumour has it that Mosquera and his Xacobea-Galicia team are so confident of snatching the lead today that a special red bike has been prepared for tomorrow's final stage into Madrid. There's still a lot of racing to be done before we can talk of veteran Mosquera becoming a Vuelta champion.

110km 

The peloton is now being led by the Katusha team-mates of Joaquin Rodriguez, who wore the red jersey on two occasions in this race - both times just for one day. The lead is 3:30.

112km

Want to know more about today's mouth watering tussle between Nibali and Mosquera? Well read the latest Blazin' Saddles blog:

115km

Usually the pass drops down towards Madrid, but this year the route sees the riders turn onto a minor road that leads up to a cluster of telecommunications masts that stand another 300m uphill. These final three kilometres of the Bolo del Mundo are brutal, with ramps as steep as 20 percent. What's more, there is no tarmac surface to the road, just narrow slabs of concrete riddled with holes and divots, not so much weaving up the mountain as heading pretty much straight up at an infeasible angle.

115km

Spain's Mosquera has promised to attack today as he searches to find a chink in red jersey Nibali to overturn a 50 second deficit. The location for the super showdown between Nibali and Mosquera today is the Bola del Mundo, a brand new tortuous conclusion to the precipitous Navacerrada pass north of Madrid. More info coming right up...

120km

The leaders are on to the first category Alto del Leon (average gradient of 6.9% with a maximum of 13.8%). They have 4:35 over the peloton. It's apparently very wet at the finish so get ready for an epic showdown in a few hours' time.

130km

Light rain has started to fall as the riders pass El Escorial, the impressive yet quite brutal looking palace and historical residence of the king of Spain.

135km

Back in the peloton it's the Garmin team of Tom Danielson who are doing the pace setting. The gap is 3:25.

140km

At the summit of the the Alto de la Cruz Verde Tony Gallopin takes 3 points ahead of Cuesta (2pts) and Gilbert (1pt). The Cofidis rider has clearly been told by his directeur sportif to wipe up as many points as possible so as to preserve Moncoutie's lead in the climbing competition.

150km

The lead is 1:45 over the peloton. Interesting to see four Omega Pharma-Lotto riders there, including Philippe Gilbert, winner of yesterday's stage.

152km

The 19 riders are: Inigo Cuesta (Cervelo), Blel Kadri (AG2R), Jose Vicente Toribio (Andalucia), Johann Tschopp and Vincent Jérôme (Bbox), David Arroyo and Ruben Plaza (Caisse d'Epargne), Tony Gallopin (Cofidis), Juan Jose Oroz (Euskaltel), Giampaolo Cheula (Footon-Servetto), Danilo Hondo (Lampre), Jan Bakelants, Philippe Gilbert, Leif Hoste and Jean-Christophe Péraud (Lotto), Kanstantsin Sioutsou (HTC), Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) and Gustavo Cesar Veloso (Xacobeo).

155km 

The Moncoutie group is pulled back thanks to work done by the Liquigas team of race leader Vincenzo Nibali. But another one soon forms. Names coming right up.

165km 

A bunch of 15 riders, including polka dot jersey Davide Moncoutie, have built up a little lead over the peloton. The Frenchman obviously in search of those climbing points which will ensure him the king of the mountains jersey.

171km

Carlos Barredo, winner of stage 15, takes a tumble right at the start. It's nothing too serious and the Quick Step man rejoins the peloton.

172km

The sun's out and the temperatures are 18 degrees centigrade at Navacerrada. Rumours of bad weather at the finish as yet unconfirmed.

11:37

The remaining 157 riders are off! No overnight retirements to report.

11:35

Today's 172-kilometre stage features one third category climb and two first category climbs before the final ascent to the Bolo del Mundo. With Italy's Vincenzo Nibali holding a slender 50-second lead over climber Ezequiel Mosquera of Spain, be prepared for fireworks with all still left to play for.

11:30

Welcome to live coverage of the penultimate stage of this year's Vuelta a Espana, a mountain showdown which culminates atop the tortuous Bolo del Mundo pass.