Daniel Martin Climbs to Stage 9 Victory in 2011 Vuelta a Espana

News & Results

08/28/2011| 0 comments
by Reuters and Roadcycling.com
Team Garmin-Cervélo's Daniel Martin is the first to cross the finish line in today's stage 9 of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Team Garmin-Cervélo's Daniel Martin is the first to cross the finish line in today's stage 9 of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Daniel Martin Climbs to Stage 9 Victory in 2011 Vuelta a Espana

A last-second lunge for the line at the summit finish of La Covatilla earned up-and-coming Irish climber Dan Martin his first Grand Tour stage win earlier this afternoon, while Dutchman Bauke Mollema took the overall lead.

A last-second lunge for the line at the summit finish of La Covatilla earned up-and-coming Irish climber Dan Martin his first Grand Tour stage win earlier this afternoon, while Dutchman Bauke Mollema took the overall lead.

After powerful mountain riding by Briton Bradley Wiggins and his Sky team saw top favourites Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and overnight leader Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain lose time in the 9th stage of the Tour of Spain, Martin zipped past Wiggins within sight of the line to claim the victory.

Second, in the same time, was new race leader Mollema with Spain's Juan Jose Cobo in third, three seconds back. Wiggins, by far the strongest overall contender on the climb, finished fourth, a second behind Cobo.

As a half-gale buffeted the riders on the exposed summit of the 18-km climb, 2010 Tour of Spain winner Nibali lost 11 seconds and Rodriguez just under a minute.

"Some of the most important climbers in the world are here and to beat them is very exciting," Martin, nephew of 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche commented after the finish and added "It was a very fast climb at the start, but I tried to stay relaxed and in control."

"When Bradley [Wiggins] came up to us, he was going really strongly, but I could keep with him. I was feeling quite confident with 300 metres to go, then came round him and the rest for the win," Martin continued.

Wiggins was very happy with his performance in today's stage and his ability to gain time on his rivals in the GC.

"Today had originally been about me trying to limit my losses as much as possible to guys like Van den Broeck and Rodriguez but I surprised myself. I didn't think I'd be as good as that as it was the first all-out summit finish I'd done since the Dauphiné. Obviously Sierra Nevada came earlier this week but everyone cancelled each other out a bit on there," Wiggins told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi.

"I'm delighted with how things went and once I saw people were in difficulties behind I went into time trial mode and tried to take as much time off them as possible. [The individual time trial] tomorrow is where I am expecting to make most of my gains and everything I earned here was a bonus - it was a fantastic finish and it couldn't have gone any better," Wiggins added.

The leader by one second over Rodriguez, Mollema said he had no idea he would move to the top of the general classification and had been en route to a routine anti-doping control when he heard he had to go to the winner's podium.

"I was very surprised to see Rodriguez losing time like that after his team had worked so hard on the approach to the climb," the Rabobank rider told reporters.

"For tomorrow [Monday] in the time trial, Bradley Wiggins will be the big favourite. There are quite a few hard days coming up and as a climber, maybe I'll be able to

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