The usual winner in a stage with surprising implications for the GC

As expected Tony Martin won today’s individual time-trial, but what was not expected was the performance of some of the general classification contenders. Nairo Quintana had a heavy crash and lost more than three minutes to his biggest rivals while Chris Froome, clearly without form, lost 1’32” to the stage winner and 53 seconds to Alberto Contador who moves into the Red jersey having finished just 39 seconds off the time set by Martin.[

Of the main contenders to win the Vuelta it was Rigoberto Uran who posted the best time, 15 seconds shy of that of Martin but 24 seconds better than Contador. Not a big loss for Contador who started the day 1’23” up on the Colombian though Uran’s time does move him up into the top three in the general classification, 59 seconds behind Contador.

Below is a look at how the favorites stacked up against one another in the time-trial:

Uran in 47’17”
Contador +24″
Sanzhez +33″
Valverde +46″
Froome +1’17”
Anacona +1’30”
Rodriguez +1’32”
Quintana +3’52”

Winner Anacona — Winner being his name, not the stage winner, though he did win Sunday’s stage — had very solid ride losing little more than a minute to Contador and retain his top five placing overall.

It was a day many thought Froome would gain time on his rivals forcing them to attack him come the mountains, but it the opposite scenario that played out and now we’ll head into the big mountains with Froome having to quickly find his form and go on the offensive against Contador among others. He now trails Contador by 1’18”, far from an insurmountable gap and one that will make for exciting attacking in the days to come, but a tough one nonetheless.

The condition of Quintana will also be of concern. Losing almost three and a half minutes to Contador thus putting him 3’25” behind the Spaniard in the GC is nothing short of a disaster. Not only that, but Quintana lost 3’06” to his team mate Alejandro Valverde who will surely now lay claim to team leadership and with it the help of Quintana. Of course, how badly Quintana is injured will be the big question and whether he can recover enough to be a factor in this race, or indeed finish it?

Should he be OK we’ve seen as recently as the Giro just how Quintana can improve as a Grand Tour goes on and how he can overcome a huge deficit. That said, Contador will be no pushover and regaining that kind of time on him in the mountains, while also hoping the handful of other contenders fall by the wayside, won’t be easy.

Overall standings after stage 10:

1. Contador (TCS) in 36h45’49”

2. Valverde (MOV) +27″

3. Uran (OPQ) +59″

4. Anacona (?) +1’12”

5. Froome (SKY) +1’18”

6. Rodriguez (KAT) +1’37”

11. Quintana (MOV) +3’25”


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