Bennati wins Vuelta stage, Cobo keeps slim lead over Froome

Daniele Bennati wins, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage 20

Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage 20 photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Italian Daniele Bennati won the 20th stage of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana in Vitoria on Saturday. He sprinted ahead of Italian Enrico Gasparotto after his Leopard-Trek team led into the final kilometres.

Team Sky's Chris Froome finished in the same group, still just 13 seconds adrift behind overall leader, Spaniard Juan José Cobo (Geox-TMC). He briefly accelerated ahead of Cobo and the group at 20 kilometres remaining, but eased off soon after. He seemingly misjudged the banner for the intermediate sprint, which was moved ahead of the stage and came four kilometres later.

Froome and Bradley Wiggins, in third at 1-39 minutes, were unable to re-shape the overall in the 185-kilometres leg, one suited to the Vuelta's remaining sprinters.

It was a win in "the penultimate stage, after a very hard Vuelta," Bennati said. "I just tried to stay in contact over the Urkiola."

Bennati's team helped him maintain position after the race's final climb, the Puerto de Urkiola with 46.4 kilometres to race. It then pulled back an escape by Carlos Barredo, who had attacked to gain maximum points.

Former Tour de France winner, Carlos Sastre was the last to have a crack. He escaped following the final intermediate sprint, caught Barredo, but failed to hold off Leopard's charge.

Frenchman David Moncoutié (Cofidis) secured a record fourth straight win today in the mountains competition, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Sky's fight for the overall competition continues in the final stage tomorrow to Madrid. It is likely to finish the race on the second and third podium steps given the 95.6-kilometre stage is flat and traditionally travels at a parade-like pace.


Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage 20: Bilbao to Vitoria, 185km

1. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard-Trek

2. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana

3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

4. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin-Cervelo

5. Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano

6. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-ISD

7. Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step

8. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Quick Step

9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank

10. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale all same time


26. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky

28. Juan Jose Cobo (Spa) Geox-TMC

39. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky all same time

90. Ian Stannard (GB) Sky at 10-23

Overall classification after stage 20

1. Juan Jose Cobo (Spa) Geox-TMC

2. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 13 secs

3. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 1-39

4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 2-03

5. Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC at 3-48

6. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard-Trek at 4-13

7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 4-31

8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 4-45

9. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha at 5-20

10. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 5-33


104. Ian Stannard (GB) Sky at 3-49-31

Juan Jose Cobo, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage 20

Juan Jose Cobo kept a tight grip on his overall lead

Daniele Bennati wins, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage 20

Daniele Bennati finally gets his Vuelta stage win

Related links

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Latest news

Cobo: Sky will attack in Bilbao

Froome narrows gap on Cobo to take first grand tour stage win

Wiggins and Froome in 'enemy territory' on stage 17

Confusion reigns in Vuelta stage as riders tackle roundabout wrong way

Sky uses rest day to regroup before final leg of Vuelta

Wiggins upbeat despite losing Vuelta lead on Angliru

Crunch time for Wiggins and Froome in Vuelta

Wiggins says he will give it 100 per cent to defend Vuelta lead

Vuelta tackles unknown mountain top finish today

Froome: "This lead is a big milestone"

Wiggins in Vuelta: "We're in an amazing position"

Dan Martin delighted with King of the Mountains jersey

Sky dominates in Vuelta a Espana

Martin delighted with first ever grand tour stage win

Wiggins: A fantastic finish

Interview: Wiggins looks ahead of crucial three days of Vuelta

Farrar taken to hospital after Vuelta crash

Arvesen quits Vuelta with crash injuries

Anton suffers again but Rodriguez becomes Spain's top contender

Wiggins pleased with strong ride in Spanish sierras

Cavendish abandons Vuelta a Espana

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Teams, riders, start list

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Who's riding?

Vuelta a Espana 2011 team list

Vuelta a Espana 2011

: Stage reports

Stage 19: Anton takes win on Basque home soil as Cobo foils Froome

Stage 18: Gavazzi salvages poor Vuelta for Lampre as Cobo enjoys trouble-free day

Stage 17: Froome wins Vuelta stage 17 but can't unseat Cobo from race lead

Stage 16: Haedo wins confusing stage 16 finish in Vuelta

Stage 15: Wiggins loses race lead as Cobo stakes claim for overall on Angliru

Stage 14: Taaramae takes stage as Wiggins puts time into rivals

Stage 13: Albasini wins Vuelta stage 13 as Wiggins hangs on to lead

Stage 12: Sagan takes second 2011 Vuelta stage win

Stage 11: Wiggins takes overall lead as Moncoutie wins stage

Stage 10: Brit Froome moves into overall Vuelta lead after time trial

Stage nine: Martin wins as Wiggins moves further up GC

Stage eight: Rodriguez wins again to take overall lead

Stage seven: Kittel wins chaotic bunch sprint

Stage six: Sagan takes Vuelta stage win in controversial circumstances

Stage five: Rodriguez takes second win for Katusha but Chavanel holds on

Stage four: Moreno wins first mountain skirmish at Sierra Nevada

Stage three: Lastras solos to stage and takes red jersey

Stage two: Sutton grabs stage win to set things right for Sky

Stage one: Leopard-Trek win opening TTT to put Fuglsang in front

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Photo galleries

By Graham Watson

Stage 19 photo gallery

Stage 18 photo gallery

Stage 17 photo gallery

Stage 16 photo gallery

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Vuelta a Espana 2011: TV guide

Vuelta a Espana 2011: ITV4 TV schedule

Vuelta a Espana 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

ITV to show 2011 Vuelta


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