Up the road for most of the stage, Guillaume Martin (Fra/COF) strengthened his grip on the Polka jersey yesterday (Photo courtesy of Photo News)

The 1st of 2 tough mountain stages in Asturias did not deliver the expected spectacle. Flyaway David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) victorious on the final climb beating Marc Soler (MOV) but Marc improves his GC standing so no complains, as he really is de winner of the day, not taking away the efforts and brave move of the french winner Gaudu. The rest of the early breakaway came in 52 seconds later.The favorites only a minute away of the winner stayed together obediently and Daniel Martin got the sprint going, couldn’t shake of Roglic and Carapaz to take a few seconds, winning the sprint in style, but his neariest rival in the GC in 4th Hugh Carthy (EF1) had to let the favourites go in the last few hundred meters and finished 11th but 7 seconds down on his rivals. Dan Martin now 2nd in the Mountain GC and still 3rd in the General Classification, so job done and fresh for todays monster stage, only 109.4 km long but with vicious climbs including the monster called Angliru in the end!! With the TT on Tuesday some of the riders in the top 10 have to try to take some time on their rivals today. Sam Bennett came in on time and today will be very hard on him, but knowing Sam he can do this…he wants to be involved in the sprint in Madrid end week and prove again he is the fastest man in the peloton..so fingers crossed for Sam today!!

Stage 11 result: 1 David Gaudu GFC 4:54:13
2 Marc Soler MOV +4″
3 Michael Storer SUN +52″
4 Mark Donovan SUN +52″
5 Guillaume Martin COF +55″
6 Aleksander Vlasov AST +58″
7 Daniel Martin ISN +1:03″
8 Enric Mas MOV +1:03″
9 Richard Carapaz IGD +1:03″
10 Primož Roglic TJV +1:03

On Saturday morning, the riders led by Chris Froome started a protest at the start of the eleventh stage. The CPA cyclists’ union supported the action and the peloton meekly followed. Only Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis) had not understood the message: he was the only one to start, but stopped a little further on. Roglic took his third stage victory in this Vuelta on Friday during the 10th stage to Suances. The Slovenian also took over the red leader’s jersey from Richard Carapaz: Roglic gained 10 bonus seconds from his stage victory, the jury judged afterwards that Carapaz and a bunch of others had crossed the finish line 3 seconds later than Roglic. That real time difference was used for the general classification, so that the Ecuadorian narrowly lost the leader’s jersey. After the stage, a discussion degenerated about whether those 3 seconds could be charged. The organization had previously categorized the finish of stage ten as a bunch sprint, so that the real time differences could not be used and the 3 seconds difference on the line should therefore not have been charged. This was done after the intervention of a UCI commissioner present. The fact that that sudden change only came after the ride and not before, went wrong with the peloton

The route for today looks like shark’s teeth and bite it will!!

(GC after stage 11) 1 Primož Roglic TJV 45:20:31
2 Richard Carapaz IGD +0″
3 Daniel Martin ISN +25″
4 Hugh Carthy EF1 +58″
5 Enric Mas MOV +1:54″
6 Marc Soler MOV +2:44″
7 Felix Großschartner BOH +3:31″
8 Alejandro Valverde MOV +3:44″
9 Wout Poels TBM +3:54″
10 Mikel Nieve MTS +4:43