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Solares - Lagos de Covadonga
Vuelta a España - 12 September 2010
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No change in the points classification: Cavendish (111) retains the green jersey from Tyler Farrar (90) and Vincenzo Nibali (82).
General Classification: 1. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) 2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) 0.04 3. Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo) 0.39 4. Peter Velits (HTC) 2.29 5. Xavier Tondo (Cervelo Test Team) 2.30
Stage 15 result: Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) 2. Nico Sijmens (Cofidis) 1.07 3. Martin Velits (HTC-Columbia) 1.43 4. Greg Van Avermaet (Omega) 2.06 5. Pierre Cazaux (Francaise des Jeux) 2.10.
The G.C. top three remains unchanged but Ezequiel Mosquera closes the gap on Nibali (Liquigas) and Rodriguez (Katusha). Peter Velits is up to fourth.
David Moncoutie retains the climber's jersey.
Ezequiel Mosquera crosses the line eleven seconds ahead of Nibali and Rodriguez.
Carlos Barredo's aggression pays off and the Spaniard won't be caught here - Sijmens (1:07) comes in second with Van Avermaet (2:12) third and the rest of the breakaway make their way to the finish. How big is the gap between Ezequiel Mosquera and Vincenzo Nibali?
Ezequiel Mosquera, 0.50 behind G.C. leader Vincenzo Nibali, currently holds a five second advantage over the Italian.
Looking increasingly like Barredo's stage - Martin Velits, 0:50 behind the Spaniard, looks unable to launch an attack.
Ezequiel Mosquera has opened up a 0:15 gap over race leader Vincenzo Nibali, while Barredo enters La Huesera.
Barredo has a 0:42 advantage over his fellow breakaways but the real danger comes from the peloton with Barredo's advantage down to 4:45. Carlos Sastre pushes from the peloton with Ezequiel Mosquera in close pursuit. Vincenzo Nibali needs to react.
The average speed for the fourth hour of the race clocks in at an impressive 43.4 km/h as the lead drops to 5:06. Barredo still heading the breakaway. The Liquigas team head up the peloton as the gap then falls to 4:56.
Back in the peloton, Marzio Bruseghin limps along following that big crash yesterday. Credit is due to him, he has had 19 stitches in his elbow but struggles on.
This climb, since its first appearance in 1983, has wrecked havoc in the G.C. and Barredo has opened up a 0:40 advantage on his fellow escapees.
Barredo's gap to the pack is now down to 5:45.
Barredo launches an attack as Velits appears to tire; a little further back the climb begins to stretch the peloton.
Team Xacobeo heads the peloton now and attempts to close on the escapees.
Vilets launches an attack from the breakaway and manages to gap the other five escapees. The gap back to the peloton is down to seven minutes.
Cazaux continues to push the breakaway along as the escapees reach the foot of the climb.
The lead up to the climb is somewhat of a false flat and the pace continues to drop.
The gap between the escapees and the leaders begins to recede as it continues to drizzle.
A kilometre long section in the upcoming climb, known as La Huesera, or the boneyard, peaks at over 15%.
The six leading men are approaching Cangas de Onis.
The pace continues to remain steady as the riders prep for that climb.
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The upcoming climb averages just over 7% for its 12.5km duration - but stats can be deceptive. Stretches of the climb actually descend or are virtually flat.
Good work from team Caisses d'Epargne who lead the closure of the gap between the peloton and the leaders to 8:45, as the rain begins to subside.
Sijmens, Cazaux, Kaisen, Van Avermaet, Barredo and Velits, M. continue to lead the way as Caisses d'Epargne chase from the front of the peloton.
The race is edging slowly closer to the climb to the Lakes of Covadonga.
The Liquigas and Caisses d'Epargne lead the chase of the escapees but the gap increases to 9:30.
The average speed for the third hour of the stage clocks 44 km/h as the gap between the peloton and leaders is down to 8:25. Same six leading. Waiting for an explosive finish at Lagos de Covadonga.
Of the escapees, Carlos Barredo of Quick Step, ranks highest in the G.C. - 47th position. And, as the temperature falls to 18 degrees, the escapees increase their advantage to 9 minutes 28. Here's a reminder of those riders: Sijmens, Cazaux, Kaisen, Van Avermaet, Barredo and Velits, M.
The leaders look to stretch away from the peloton and the gap is now up to 8 minutes 27 with Sijmens now at the head of the leaders.
Two Omega riders, Oliver Kaisen and Greg Van Avermaet, lead the escapees towards Ribadeslla, with the peloton making little ground on the seven minute gap.
Imanol Erviti suffers a flat tyre but is soon again joining the peloton.
As the race approaches Llanes, the escapees don't seem to pushing any further forward from the peloton and the gap has levelled out at seven minutes.
Jose Luis Arrieta of Ag2r has had to retire from the race, and he is soon followed by Arthur Vichot.
The same six leaders increase their advantage over the peloton to seven minutes as they ride through the refuelling point.
The rain continues to fall as the gap again ups to 5 minutes and thirty seconds.
As the lead increases to four minutes, the results from the second intermediate sprint are in: 1. Van Avermaet (Omega Pharma), 2. Kaisen (Omega Pharma), 3. Barredo (Quick Step).
The leaders, closing in on the second intermediate sprint, reach San Vicente with a lead of 3.27.
The escapees are down to six: Kaisen, Barredo Llamazales, Cazaux, Van Avermaet, Sijmens and Velits. The lead over the peloton increases to 1 minute 50 seconds.
The advantage is up to 40 seconds.
Samuel Dumoulin leads an attack which yields a breakaway containing fifteen riders. Amongst the escapees, who hold a 16 second advantage, are: Rabunal Rios, Zeits, Cazaux, Barredo Llamazales, Gilbert, Van Avermaet, Jerome, Turpin, Kasien, Velits, Van Goolen, Txurruka, Ten Dam, Garcia Da Pena, and Arroyo.
The pace has slowed slightly: 47 km/h.
Nibali leads the hunt of the escapees as Christian Vande Velde launches an attack on Gilbert.
Philippe Gilbert leads out a breakaway and is closely followed by Nocentini, Gallopin, Serafin Martinez and Christian Vande Velde. In the backdrop of the break, Benat Intxausti of Euskaltel and Jelle Vanendert of Omega Pharma hit the floor and may need some attention.
Leif Hoste of Omega makes a brief successful breakaway but David Arroyo of Caisse d'Epargne leads a pack that soon reigns him in as the heavens open.
Matthew Goss of HTC-Columbia takes the sprint ahead of Rinaldo Nocentini and Philippe Gilbert.
Another breakaway denied. Surprisingly this time, the attempted break was led by Italy's Vincenzo Nibali. He and eleven others get a minimal, fleeting advantage with the first intermeadiate sprint on the horizon.
Those multiple breakaway attempts coupled with Liquigas' insistence on keeping the pack together has set a blistering average speed of 53km/h for the opening 30 km. Still no sustained breakaways.
There have been multiple breakaway attempts thus far - this time a peloton led by Vincenzo Nibali's Liquigas team soon devour a minimal advantage held by a 17 rider breakaway.
Thirteen riders make a break for it but are quickly swept up by the peloton. The riders remain a tight pack as the first intermediate sprint approaches.
The only withdrawal from today's race is Rabobank sprinter Óscar Freire.
Threatening clouds remain but no sign of rain just yet.
Yet to be a breakaway as GC leader, Vincenzo Nibali, wards off potential attacks at the front of the pack.
Milram make an early break but the peloton soon swallow them back up. Liquigas now has control at the front of the pack.
The riders make their way through the neutralised zone under an overcast sky. Temperatures at Solares are 20 degrees centigrade this morning with some menacing clouds lurking.
That crash means Vincenzo Nibali has seized a four second lead in the
Following the crash yesterday that forced him out of the race, former GC leader Igor Anton had surgery in Bilbao for a broken elbow last night.
The ride is all about the climb to the finish - averaging out at 7% gradient but hitting 15% at points.
Welcome to live coverage of stage 15 of the Vuelta, a mostly flat 187 kilometre ride from the Cantabrian town of Solares that culminates in a climb to Lagos de Covadonga.