Martin wins as Wiggins moves further up Vuelta GC

Daniel Martin wins, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage nine

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

Daniel Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) won stage nine of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana at the summit of La Covatilla this afternoon as Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins rode brilliantly to finish fourth.

Martin jumped out of a small group containing Wiggins and team-mate Chris Froome, defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) and Geox-TMC duo Jose Cobo and Denis Menchov.

Mollema took second with Cobo in third, while Wiggins finished four seconds back.

Race leader Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) lost touch with the leading group 3km from the finish, and conceded the race leader's red jersey to Mollema.

A family affair

The peloton were all together when Martin attacked 5km from the the summit of the hors catégorie finishing climb, and was immediately followed by his cousin Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

The pair initially worked well together until Roche lost contact; sensing an opportunity, Nibali jumped out of the bunch and soon caught the lone leader.

It took a while for a reaction to come from the chasers, and when it did it was from Froome, who once again worked tirelessly for Wiggins.

Before long, the now whittled-down chasing group were notably not only catching the leading duo, but also putting race leader Rodriguez in difficulty. It was therefore no surprise when he lost contact with the chasers shortly before the finish.

Froome was still driving the group on while Wiggins continued to look extremely comfortable, evoking memories of his largely-unexpected performance on the road to Andorra during the 2009 Tour de France.

Once they had bridged the gap to the leaders, Wiggins took over the pace-setting for the final 1.5km in an attempt to gain as many seconds on Rodriguez and the likes of Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard-Trek) and Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) as possible.

Although Martin rounded him on the approach to the finish, followed by Mollema and Cobo, he can be more than happy with his ride, particularly going into tomorrow's 47km individual time trial.

Rodriguez came home 48 seconds later, meaning he now trails Mollema by a slender second on the GC.

Wiggins moved up to 13thoverall, 1-00 off the pace with Froome just one place - and three seconds - back.


Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage nine: Villacastin - La Covatilla
, 183km

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervélo in 4-52-14

2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at same time

3. Jose Cobo (Spa) Geox-TMC at 3 sec

4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky at 4 sec

5. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 7 sec

6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 11 sec

7. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis at 12 sec

8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC

9. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) RadioShack

10. Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana all at st


136. Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky at 18-46

Overall classification after stage nine

1. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank

2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 1 sec

3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 6 sec

4. Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana at 16 sec

5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 27 sec

6. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha at 35 sec

7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard-Trek at 37 sec

8. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step at 42 sec

9. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa)  RadioShack at st

10. Jose Cobo (Spa) Geox-TMC at 46 sec


13. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) at 1-00

14. Chris Froome (GBr) at 1-03

148. Ian Stannard (GBr) at 1-36-02

Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage nine

Chris Froome leads Bradley Wiggins

Daniel Martin and Nicolas Roche, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage nine

Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche go on the attack

Daniel Martin wins, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage nine

Dan Martin wins

Bauke Mollema leads, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage nine

Bauke Mollema takes the overall lead

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Related links 

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Latest news

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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

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Vuelta heads for first major showdown on Tuesday

Matt Goss first rider to abandon Vuelta

Team Sky's TTT horror on troublesome course

Dan Martin confident and collected as Vuelta team leader

Pro predictions: Who will win the Vuelta?

HTC-Highroad's reservations about TTT course

Vuelta team time trial start order

Sky plans early start for Vuelta team time trial recon

Wiggins looking to minimise losses in testing Vuelta TTT

Riders voice support for Hushovd over Vuelta exclusion

Cancellara late to Vuelta after being hospitalised by bee sting

Nibali back for victory again in 2011 Vuelta

Wiggins: "I'm in a great position going into the Vuelta"

Wiggins confirmed as Sky leader for the Vuelta

Freire: It'll be tough in the Vuelta with Cavendish

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Climbers set to dominate in 2011 Vuelta

Millar on 2011 Vuelta: 'Modern-looking and very challenging"

2011 Vuelta set to return to Angliru and Basque country 

Angliru back in 2011 Tour of Spain

Hushovd left out of Vuelta; Martin to lead Garmin-Cervélo

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 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 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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