Joaquin Rodriguez Takes 2010 Vuelta a Espana Lead and Imanol Erviti Wins Stage 10
Imanol Erviti (Team Caisse d'Epargne) wins stage 10 of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana; Team Katusha's Joaquin Rodriguez grabs overall Vuelta a Espana lead from Igor Anton (Team Euskaltel).
Three days after home rider Joaquim Rodriguez was given the Vuelta a Espana's red jersey only to be told later there had been a mistake, he finally claimed the overall lead on Tuesday.
Tied with overnight leader Igor Anton since Saturday, the Katusha rider snatched a two-second bonus early on the 175.7-km Stage 10 which was won by another fellow Spaniard, Imanol Erviti.
The bonus put Rodriguez ahead of Anton by two seconds, with Italian Vincenzo Nibali four seconds off the pace.
"Taking the jersey in itself is important but it's the long-term game I'm really interested in," Rodriguez told reporters. "I'm the sort of rider who's got to take whatever seconds are on offer wherever I can.
"I'm a lousy time trialist and there's a big time trial in the final week of the race. If there's a bonus on offer I'll fight for it."
Rodriguez was denied the race lead three days ago because Anton had recorded better results in previous stages.
"It's great to take the leader's jersey here in Catalonia, where I was born," said Rodriguez.
"But it's more important to get the jersey after being so close to it for so long and working so hard for it."
Erviti clinched the Caisse d'Epargne team's second straight win in the race after forming part of an early 11-man break which broke up on the lung-burstingly tough slopes of the Rat Penat climb.
He then sped away alone on the rough, twisting roads of the descent to the Catalan coastal resort of Vilanova i la Geltru.
Second was Romain Zingle, 37 seconds back, with his fellow Belgian Greg Van Avermaet in third spot.
"When a team here in the Tour of Spain has five leaders, like ours, it' harder to succeed than if there's only one or two," said Erviti.
"We take turns to keep an eye on the breaks and after (team mate) David (Lopez) won the other day, today it was my go. I could see the other guys had a lot of problems on that descent so I went for it."
Pre-race favourite Andy Schleck of Luxembourg failed to start the stage after Team Saxo Bank withdrew him from the race for breaking team rules, more specifically going out for a night on the town, consuming alcohol with Stuart O'Grady on the first rest day of the 2010 Vuelta.
Schleck said he had taken an alcoholic drink after supper with team mate Stuart O'Grady, who was also expelled.
The race finishes in Madrid on September 19.
Click here for full stage 10 results.
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