A long acceleration by American Tyler Farrar earned the Garmin-Slipstream sprinter the first major Tour stage win of his career in the Vuelta’s stage 11. Overall, Valverde still leads.

Farrar was able to take advantage of the hard work done by Liquigas in the final kilometres and blast away with around 200 metres to go for a convincing win.

Up until stage 11 German Andre Greipel and his Columbia-HTC team had dominated in the Vuelta’s sprints.

But American clearly had suffered far less than Greipel on the first and second category climbs earlier on the 200 kilometre leg from Murcia to Caravaca de La Cruz. In fact, Columbia-HTC were barely visible on the front in the final hour, with Rabobank and Liquigas taking responsibilities instead.

The ultra-long straightaway leading to the finish saw Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) making one of his favourite last-ditch efforts on a slight rise just before the last kilometre.

But the Swiss rider did not have the legs to go clear and a bunch sprint became inevitable.

Overall there was no significant change, although one pre-Vuelta favourite, Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank), opted not to start because of a recurrring knee injury. Fifth in the Tour, Schleck will now not be taking part in the World Championships.

As the Vuelta reaches its second rest day, overall Alejandro Valverde (Caisse D’Epargne) remains in command of the race, but Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) is just seven seconds behind and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) is at 36 seconds.

“There’s everything to play for now,” Evans told Cycling Weekly at the start of the stage.

“I would say that these three upcoming stages in Andalusia [from Friday onwards] will pretty much decide the outcome of the race.”

Tomorrow (Thursday) is the Vuelta’s second, and final, rest day.  

Results

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Stage 11, Murcia-Caravaca de la Cruz, 200km

1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream in 5-11-10


2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto

3. Marco Marcato (Ita Vacansoliel

4. Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi

5. Andre Greipel (Ger) Columbia-HTC

6. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre

7. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Lampre

8. Christian Knees (Ger) Milram

9. Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank

10. Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step all same time.

Other

11. Roger Hammond (GB) Cervelo

Overall classification after stage 11

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne in 45-37-51

2. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto at 7sec

3. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 36sec

4. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Slipstream at 51secs

5. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas at 53secs

6. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1-03

7. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre at 2-13

8. Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia at 2-24

9. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Astana at 3-10

10. Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Ag2r at 3-13

Alejandro Valverde, Vuelta a Espana 2009, stage 11

Alejandro Valverde maintains the race lead

Tyler Farrar, Vuelta a Espana 2009, stage 11

Tyler Farrar celebrates his first grand tour win in style

Related links

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Stage reports


Stage 10: Gerrans takes breakaway victory

Stage nine: Cesar wins as Valverde leads in Vuelta

Stage eight: Cunego takes first mountain stage of 2009 Vuelta

Stage seven: Cancellara outpaces Millar in TT

Stage six: Bozic surprises sprint rivals to take win

Stage five: Greipel wins again and takes race lead

Stage four: Greipel wins after big crash wipes out bunch

Stage three: Henderson wins stage

Stage two: Ciolek takes first road stage, Hammond third

Stage one: Cancellara wins Vuelta opener

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Photos

Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

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  • Mark Jones

    It’s good to see Garmin getting some wins at last and breaking their duck of finishing second