September 7, 2011

Dan Martin attacked at the base of the final summit finish of the 2011 Vuelta a España to finish fourth in the stage and climb to 14th overall.

Martin surged clear with an impressive attack at the base of the final, 6km climb to the Peña Cabarga summit in the 211km 17th stage in northern Spain.

Martin was reeled in with just over 1km to go, but he battled back to take fourth on the stage. With the effort, Martin nudged into 14th overall at 7:22 back.

“Martin was feeling good and he made a long attack at the base of the climb. We wanted to take advantage of the hesitation among the GC favorites and he was able to get a nice gap,” said Garmin-Cervélo sport director Bingen Fernández.

“With the race lead still up for grabs, the attacks come from behind, so that complicated things. He still made a nice result and moved higher on the overall standings.”

Garmin-Cervélo’s Christophe Le-Mével rode into a big, 21-rider breakaway that pulled clear in the first hour of racing. The break was eventually reeled in midway through the stage in what was a wild day of racing.

“I am feeling good in this final week of the Vuelta and I wanted to be in the breakaway today. There were perhaps too many riders and they would not let us go,” Le Mével said.
“This has been a very hard Vuelta. You can see how tired everyone is by the look on their faces. We have a few stages left. I still want to attack to try to win a stage. There will be some opportunities.”

The 66th Vuelta continues Thursday with 174.6km 18th stage from Solares to Noja in another hilly stage that should present breakaway chances. The route features five rated climbs along the rugged hills of northern Spain.

More photos from the Vuelta a España:
[flickr-gallery mode=”tag” tags=”2011, Vuelta” tag_mode=”all”]