Vuelta: Mancebo takes stage, Menchov keeps gold

Illes Balears' Francisco Mancebo takes Monday's stage win, while Denis Menchov (Rabobank) takes thir

Illes Balears’ Francisco Mancebo takes Monday’s stage win, while Denis Menchov (Rabobank) takes thir

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM On Monday’s tough 10th stage in the mountains of Andorra, Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) came around defending Tour of Spain champion Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) in the finishing sprint to take victory. Rabobank’s Denis Menchov came home in the same time in third to hold on to the leader’s jersey. The remnants of an early break – David Lopez (Euskaltel), Aitor Osa(Illes Balears), Adolfo Garcia Quesada (Comunitat Valenciana) and Rik Verbrugghe (Quick Step) – went over the penultimate climb of the day – the Collet de Montaup – together, but were reduced to three when Osa fell on the descent, breaking his collar bone, and was forced to retire. Inside the last 10 kilometres, on the climb up to the ski station at Ordino-Arcalis, Belgian Verbrugghe, who had managed to get clear on his own, was joined by first Queseda and then Quick Step’s Juan Miguel Mercado, who had chased down the break alone. Verbrugghe was then dropped as the Spanish pair pushed on with 7km left to race. Behind them, however, the big guns were firing, and Heras, Mercado and Mancebo caught the leading duo with three kilometres left. Heras and Mercado both tried attacks in the closing kilometres, but Menchov held on to Heras, who, despite opening the sprint, was unable to prevent Mancebo coming round him for victory. Mancebo now leapfrogs Carlos Sastre (CSC) in the overall standings, who finished eighth, 21 seconds down. Wednesday’s 11th stage is again tough, taking in the first-category Port del Canto, the two second-category climbs of the Coll de la Creu de Perves and the Col de la Espina, before an hors-categorie finish at the ski station at Aramon Cerler, although it has been made ever so slightly easier by a re-routing, which now doesn’t take in the category-two Coll de Bretui which would have come 82km in to the stage. Stage 10, La Val d’en Bas – Ordino-Arcalis 1 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears 206km in 5.33.49 2 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros 3 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 4 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 0.02 5 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick Step 0.06 6 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Discovery Channel 0.16 7 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 8 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC 0.21 9 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) T-Mobile 0.28 10 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 1.16 Overall 1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 39.57.42 2 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Wrth 0.47 3 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears 1.53 4 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC 1.57 5 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 3.31 6 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 4.23 7 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 4.27 8 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Discovery Channel 4.29 9 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick Step 5.05 10 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros 5.14 41 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 26.51