There's no change in the general classification: Rodriguez will enter tomorrow's time trial with a 53-second lead over Froome and one minute over Contador.
Ponteareas - Sanxenxo
Vuelta a España - 28 August 2012
Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 12:02 on 28 August 2012. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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John Degenkolb takes the win for Argos Shimano! That's number four for the green jersey. Bouhanni is second and Bennati third...
Koen de Kort leading out the green jersey nicely, five bodies back. RadioShack are on the front though going into the last few hundered metres...
Rollin pulls off the front because Bouhanni is nowhere to be seen. He almost takes out Lagutin in the process. Careful now. RadioShack there now for their man Daniele Bennati...
FDJ-BigMat have taken up the pace setting today, with Rollin pulling the peloton along. Is this the day Nacer Bouhanni wins his inaugural Grand Tour win?
Vacansoleil are feeling the pressure - the two other Dutch teams are doing well, with Argos taking three stages and Rabobank having three riders in the top ten.
Uran and Zandio drop back, their work done for the day. Stannard is on the front, with Vacansoleil's Sergey Lagutin in his wheel.
Olympic silver medallist Rigoberto Uran is driving a fast tempo on the front, grimacing in pain. Flecha and Stannard are on his wheel, tugging along Froome and Swift.
Liquigas, working for Elia Viviani, are keeping well back at the time being. Sky are still dictating the pace.
Valverde is being protected by Pablo Lastras on the front of the pack. Meanwhile their team-mate, the defending champion Juan Jose Cobo is off the back. He's had a decidedly average race. How did he win last year's Vuelta is anyone's guess.
Sjy is forcing a split in the peloton, with about 30 dropping off the back. Dominique Rollin of FDJ-BigMat is riding right behind the Sky train, which is being led by Zandio, Flecha and Uran.
The question is whether or not Sky are working for Swift or simply protecting Chris Froome. Swift's form suggests it could be the latter - but you never know, if Swift is feeling good he may go for the win.
It's got quite nervy in the peloton as Team Sky take their cue and edge forward onto the front. They're hoping for a win for Ben Swift, who so far has been disappointing in the bunch finishes. It is, however, much cooler over here in Galicia and so the youngster may be feeling his legs again.
It's all Katusha now, with one green helmet from Movistar trying to get in on their train. On the back of the peloton, it's Adrian Palomares, who was in the break earlier today, and Cam Meyer of GreenEdge.
GreenEdge have no taken a breather, although Daniel Teklehaymanot is still there on teh front ahead of Lars Boom and some Rabobankers. Katusha are there too as the pace slacks off a little.
They rampaging along at almost 60km/h. Perhaps GreenEdge think they will exhaust Argos Shimano out by driving it hard early on. It's an odd tactic - but a welcome one after such a slow start to this stage.
This is really a ferocious pace being set by GreenEdge. They are taking this very far out - and the peloton is really stretching out. Perhaps they are pre-empting a sea breeze ahead?
Orica-GreenEdge have six men on the front as the pace increases. Katusha come to the front too, working hard to keep their man Rodriguez out of trouble. It's going to be a fast run into the finish now.
With a shake of the hands, Javier Aramendia and Adrian Palomares are caught by the peloton after riding 156km off the front of the pack, building up a maximum lead of 6:42.
Palomares and Aramendia won't give up despite the fact that the peloton is just a matter of metres behind... they deserve a pat on the back - but if only they had been joined by some other escapees, then the break may have had more chance of staying out.
We missed out on reporting the result of the second intermediate sprint around 12km ago. Palomares took four points ahead of Aramendiam (2pts), with green jersey Degenkolb taking the final point in third. The German is now on 78 points - that's two behind Joaquim Rodriguez, who is not green because he's the current red jersey.
The leaders are passing through the narrow streets of Sanxenxo for the first time - there will now be a loop before the peloton returns here for the finish. The gap is just 15 seconds now as they pass through the finish area.
Allan Davis, the Australian sprinter, told Eurosport this morning that today's stage was one that he had marked down on his card. All the riders have cited the wind as a possible factor today - but that's not the case. It's very calm and there's nothing to be concerned about. The gap is now below one minute - expect the two leaders to be reeled in very soon.
Javier Aramendia drops back to his Caja Rural team car for a chat. This is the fourth main break he's been involved in so far - plus he rode solo in one stage to try and bridge the gap (in vain). He has to be feeling the effects of his efforts, surely. Without a doubt, he'll do one of the slowest time trials tomorrow, that's for sure.
The route is taking the riders right along the Galician coast today - we've seen a lot of the sea so far, and some marvellous beaches. Cheng Li still leads the peloton ahead of a cluster of GreenEdgers. The gap is 1:35.
Adrian Palomares drops back to his team car to pick up a fresh bidon. GreenEdge are pushing it on back with the bunch. They will hope for a win from their man Allan Davis today. Cheng Ji of Argos Shimano leads the peloton. He's the first Chinese man to ride the Vuelta.
The leaders are passing through the town of Cambados, which is where tomorrow's individual time trial starts from. The gap is 2:40. This stage is up there with the circuit race around Logrono as being pretty forgetable.
JERSEYS: Joaquim Rodriguez is in red as race leader, Alejandro Valverde is in blue polka dots as best climber, Chris Froome is in the white combined jersey, and John Degenkolb is in green (despite the fact that Rodriguez leads the points standings too). Valverde leads the combined as well, but wears the KOM jersey, allowing Froome to wear the white - even though the Brit is also behind Rodriguez in the combined standings.
Robert Gesink needs a wheel change and so drops back to his team car. There will be no problem here, given the slow pace of the peloton. Gesink is one of three Dutchmen from Rabobank in the top ten of the race. The others being Laurens ten Dam and Bauke Mollema. They lead the team classification.
Nacer Bouhanni, the French national champion, said this morning that he feels "victory in his legs2. The FDJ-BigMat youngster said: "Our hotel is located in Sanxenxo and we have see the wind blowing, so my team is prepared to protect me from start to finish and lead me out well."
The two Spanish leaders have increased their gap back to three minutes. Their break has been a real yoyo, going up and down consistently througout the afternoon.
ATTACK: Vacansoleil-DCM's Pim Ligthart jumps clear of the peloton. This is an odd one. He rides quite aggressively and then seems to come to a standstill after being ordered back in his earpiece. Once caught by the peloton, a few riders give him a few strong words.
The pace has slowed again on the front of the pack: Sky have dropped back and now it's Liquigas and Argos rolling along - but it's pretty flat. The two leaders were within a minute but are now back to 1:30, perhaps because it's not in the general interest to reel them in just yet.
Alberto Contador needs a wheel change and is being paced back to the peloton by a couple of Saxo Bank team-mates.
Team Sky have come to the front of the peloton to lend a hand to Argos Shimano. The will be aware of the expected winds later and may try to force an echelon. The lead of the escapees comes down fast to just 1:20.
Andalucia's Sergio Carrasco needs to see the race doctor for the second time today. Perhaps he ate some dodgy Galician oysters on the rest day?
Palomares and Aramendia are combining well together although you get the impression that they are simply being held out by the peloton like a yoyo. As soon as the main pack wants this gap to come down, they can simply pull hard on the strings and it will tumble. They have 3:55 with the second intermediate sprint coming in about 40km.
Beaten into second place by John Degenkolb for his second stage win, Elia Viviani (Liquigas) is hoping to figure in any bunch sprint today. "I don't care about the temperature," said the Italian. "I just hope it does not rain. The wind forces you to stay awake and be wary of other teams trying to force echelons. But there are only a couple of teams capable of doing that - Sky and Lotto."
Before the stage we reported of the withdrawal of France's Johnm Gadret from the race. The Ag2r-La Mondiale rider slumped to 53rd in the GC after losing almost seven minutes en route to Barcelona on Sunday. Gadret is said to be suffering from stomach problems and has retired to have medical tests, according to his team doctor.
Javier Aramendia needs some mechanical assistance so drops back to his Caja Rural team car. He and fellow escapee Adrian Palomares have 3:45 over the peloton.
The two leaders are approaching the feeding zone. Their advantage is down to 4:20. The chances of them staying out today is minimal - we're talking a single digit percentage. But they will get some valuable TV time for their sponsors - and that is part of the game for the Pro Conti teams.
The colder temperatures could be a good thing for some of the riders less used to riding in the heat. "It could be a tough day due to the wind," said Team Sky sprinter Ben Swift. "The good thing is that it's colder in Galicia, which is good for an Englishman. Degenkolb has shown that he has great legs but he's not invincible."
The lead is down to 4:30 for the two escapees while the temperature is up to 25 degrees Celsius. Earlier today on that opening climb the mercury dropped to just 19 degrees - staggeringly low compared to last week's 40+ temperatures at times.
Australia's Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEdge) will do his best to battle Degenkolb for the win today. "It could be a difficult day because the wind may blow in the last 50km so there could be some tension for both the GC riders and the teams of the sprinters," he told the Vuelta's official website.
Spanish duo Adrian Palomares (Andalucia) and Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural) hold a 5:07 gap over the peloton after breaking away in the opening kilometre of this 190km stage.
John Degenkolb is the man to beat if today's stage comes to the likely bunch sprint as expected. "There's no pressure because I have already won three stages," he said this morning. "I know there could be some wind coming off the coast but my team has shown that it knows how to ride in these conditions. Today's stage will be nervous and everyone knows that I won't be satisfied with what I already have - I want more."
Argos Shimano are still setting the pace on the front of the peloton: this break is no threat to Rodriguez or any of the GC hopefuls, so Katusha can take a day off. But with Degenkolb the overwhelming favourite for the win in Sanxenxo, the onus is on his team to control things and lead the chase. The gap is 6:02 at the moment.
Oscar Pereiro, the de facto winner of the 2006 Tour de France, was at the start today. He's a popular chap in his local Galicia. One of Pereiro's good friends, Alberto Contador, said he was happy with the first week of the race. "I am satisfied with my place in the GC at this stage in the Vuelta," he said ahead of tomorrow's time trial, for which he will be amongst the favourites.
The crowds in Vigo are immense: Galicia is a big cycling region and the locals do appreciate the Vuelta passing through. The gap is 6:40 for the two leaders, both of whom are way down on the GC. Palomares is the better placed of the two: he's 46:39 down on Rodriguez.
Palomares takes the first intermediate sprint ahead of Aramendia - but more interestingly, third place is taken by John Degenkolb who leads the peloton over 6:25 in arrears. The young German is wearing the green jersey today but he's not actually leading the points classification - that accolade goes to Joaquim Rodriguez, the race leader.
The lead is up to 4:15 for the two leaders, with today's first intermediate sprint coming up in 5km in the city of Vigo.
There's some nice symmetry in today's two-man break: Adrian Palomares was the most attacking rider of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana, while Javier Aramendia is on course for the same accolade in this year's race.
The lead is up to 3:25 after 40km of riding. We've been on the go for just over an hour, with an average speed of 39.1kmh for the first hour on the road today.
Eleven years separate our two Spanish leaders: Adrian Palomares is a 36-year-old veteran riding his third Vuelta. Palomares has no major UCI win to his name and has only ever ridden at Pro Continental level, joining Andalucia last year. His compatriot Javier Aramendia, 25, is making his debut in the Vuelta and is still looking for his own first professional win. The former Eusktaltel rider joined Caja Rural this season and has been on the attack five times now in this race.
Javier Aramendia and Adrian Palomares have got their act back together: the Spanish duo now have 2:25 over the peloton after seeing their lead cut to just one minute following the descent.
Andalucia rider Sergio Carrasco, who was involved in a break last week, needs some medical attention and drops back to the race doctor.
The gap is down to just one minute now so it looks like Aramendia and Palomares could well be swallowed up by the peloton soon - unless a counter occurs, giving the pair a fresh injection of pace up ahead.
Both Terpstra and Keizer are brought back into the peloton, which is being led by the Argos Shimano team of green jersey John Degenkolb. The young German is the favourite for today's stage - Degenkolb already has three bunch sprint victories to his name. While he is in green, he no longer actually leads the points classification: Joaquim Rodriguez has nine more points but is in the red jersey, allowing Degenkolb the opportunity to continue racing in green.
Attack by Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM). They open up a small lead of 10 seconds over the peloton in pursuit of the leading duo.
Nico Sijmens has been taken back by the peloton so we have just the two Spaniards up the road: Aramendia and Palomares.
There's no change in the mountains classification following that minor climb: double stage winner Alejandro Valverde still leads red jersey Joaquim Rodriguez by 21 points to 17.
Javier Aramendia takes the points over the top of the Cat.3 Alto de San Cosme ahead of breakaway companion Adrian Palomares. Nico Sijmens passes over 1:33 down, with the peloton a further 40 seconds back.
Belgian rider Nico Sijmens (Cofidis) jumps clear of the peloton towards the end of the climb in pursuit of the leading duo, who now have a lead of 2:40.
No reaction from the peloton yet as the Spanish duo ride on with an advantage of 2:12. The temperature has actually dropped to 21 degrees - this is the 'coldest' it's been so far in the 67th edition fo the Vuelta...
The two leaders - Palomares and Aramendia - start the Cat.3 Alto de San Cosme (7km climb at 5.4%) with a lead of 1:22 over the pack.
Our leading duo have opened up a gap of 50 seconds ahead of the Cat.3 climb. It will be interesting to see if they are joined by any other riders from the peloton once the road heads upwards.
Despite what we reported earlier, one rider has not taken to the start: Frenchman John Gadret (Ag2R-La Mondiale) has thrown in the towel. So we have 193 riders left in the race. More details on that later.
ATTACK: Right from the outset, two Spanish riders ping clear of the peloton. They are Adrian Palomares (Andalucia) and, of course, that man Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural). This is Aramendia's fifth breakaway of the race...
They're off! The Vuelta is back on the road after a much needed break. The next seven days could shake everything up and will no doubt see the red jersey change shoulders at the very least once... It's 23 degrees in Galicia today so not as hot on the north west coast of Spain than in the north east.
A quick reminder of the top five on GC: 1. Joaquim Rodriguez, 2. Chris Froome +53, 3. Alberto Contador +1:00, 4. Alejandro Valverde +1:07, 5. Robert Gesink +2:01. All in all, there are five Spaniards in the top ten and three Dutchmen from Rabobank.
Although it may look flat on the stage profile, today's stage is not straight-forward. It twists and turns along the Galician coast, where the peloton will be hit by some crosswinds. There is also the initial Cat.3 Alto de San Cosmo at the beginning of the stage - this is where the day's main break should form.
The riders are in the neutral zone ahead of the start of stage 10. Today is the 23rd birthday of Lotto Belisol's Jens Debusschere...
No withdrawals to report on from the rest day so we have 194 riders taking to the start at Ponteareas. Just four riders have withdrawn from the Vuelta so far after nine stages.
"This Vuelta a Espana is as sizzlingly hot as the temperatures in northern Spain — just eight days in and we have already had more summit finishes, suspense and wearers of the leader's jersey than the entire duration of the Tour de France," says our blogger Blazin' Saddles. Read his full round-up to remind you of what happened during the first nine days of racing...
On Sunday, race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) added 20 seconds to his advantage after finishing second on stage nine in Barcelona, won by the Belgian Philippe Gilbert (BMC). The Spaniard launched an early attack at the foot of the Category 3 climb of the Alto de Montjuic 4km from the stage finish to catch his GC rivals sleeping and extend his lead at the head of affairs.
Welcome back to live coverage of the 2012 Vuelta a Espana. After a well earned rest day, the race resumes on Tuesday with a largely flat 190km stage 10 from Pomteareas to Sanxenxo. The route starts with a Cat.3 climb and then hugs the Galician coastline ahead of a likely bunch sprint.