Menchov wins and retains gold

Russian too strong in Arcalis

Russian Denis Menchov of the Rabobank team retained his overall lead in the Tour of Spain after winning the 214km 10th stage on Monday between Benasque and the ski station of Ordino-Arcalis.

He won his first stage of the 2007 Vuelta on the summit finish at 2,200m, crossing the line ahead of overall race rivals Cadel Evans of Australia, Spaniards Samuel Sanchez and Carlos Sastre, and compatriot Vladimir Efimkin.

Menchov managed to hold off the continued challenges of Carlos Sastre during the mountain stage. He holds an outright lead of 2min 1sec over Efimkin, 2min 27sec to Evans with Sastre at 3min 2sec.

Spanish rider Oscar Freire, winner of three stages during the tour, withdrew from the race Monday.

Freire, who did not contest the 10th stage, had earlier indicated he would withdraw from the race to prepare for the world championships in Stuttgart from September 25 to 30.

Tomorrow is a rest day at the Vuelta. The race resumes on Wednesday with a 191km stage between Oropesa del Mar and Algemesí.

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