VUELTA: Stage 18 – win for Gavazzi

There was a stage win for Francesco Gavazzi after a long break stayed away while there were no changes overall

A rest day for the GC contenders as a large breaks stays clear to the end with Francesco Gavazzi of Lampre winning the two sprint for the stage win ahead of Kristof Vandewalle of Quickstep. Wiggins and Froome came with the peloton over seven minutes behind the winner.

Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins maintained second and third overall at the Vuelta a Espana as a breakaway was allowed to contest the victory on stage 18. There was stalemate between the overall contenders meaning Juan Jose Cobo (Geox) still holds a slender 13-second lead over Froome. Francesco Gavazzi took the stage win on the day after a well-timed attack out of the break in Noja.

Xabier Zandio, Team Sky Sports Director: “Although it might have looked it on paper, it was not a straightforward day today at all and there have not been any such days this whole Vuelta. Even the pan-flat sprint stage the other day was stressful, and today, even after we’d crested that category-one climb we had to remain alert on the two category three ones that followed.”

“If anyone had wanted to have a go on those, the GC teams would have all had to have reacted so it was stressful and everybody was watching everyone else. Lumpy stages always sap your energy as well. That said, we are satisfied with the way the stage panned out. Once the break had gone myself and the other guys spent the day protecting Froomey and Bradley and kept them towards the front of the peloton.”

Steven de Jongh, Team Sky Sports Director: “It was an easy day at the office today in terms of the overall race situation, but out there on the road the pace was still high and the parcours was up and down the whole stage. After the breakaway went away it was still important that we maintained a good position in the bunch for Froomey and Brad, and that meant we had to stay alert the whole time.”

“There was no stress at the end though and the guys were all able to roll in safe and sound. That’s one of the first times that’s happened actually and I think they were happy about that. Tomorrow’s stage ends with a lap in Bilbao and there looks to be a pretty tough climb on it so it’s important Froomey and Brad are well protected again and in a good position to maintain their positions on GC.”

<<<< Previous Stage

1. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre – ISD     4:24:42
2. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
3. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil – Shimano     0:00:10
4. Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
5. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
6. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Saxo Bank Sungard
7. Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
9. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Pro Team Astana
10. Francis De Greef (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto     0:00:15

16. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling
18. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC
26. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
34. Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo

1. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC     74:04:05
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     0:00:13
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling     0:01:41
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team     0:02:05
5. Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC     0:03:48
6. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek     0:04:13
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale     0:04:31
8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto     0:04:45
9. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team     0:05:20
10. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi     0:05:33
11. Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team     0:05:43
12. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek     0:05:50
13. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard     0:07:06
14. Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo     0:07:22
15. Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team     0:08:57
16. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Pro Team Astana     0:09:36
17. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team     0:09:58
18. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale     0:10:31
19. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team     0:10:50
20. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team     0:10:57

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