Benatti Takes Penultimate Vuelta Stage

Last updated : 11 September 2011 By Kev Monks

Daniel Benatti took the 20th stage of the Vuelta a España on Saturday afternoon.

The penultimate stage which was from Bilbao to Vitoria saw twenty six riders get clear and Ireland's Nicholas Roche take the first sprint at Elbar after 41kms.

That sprint came just before the climb started and it was Lampre's Manuel Mori who took the first three climbs at Alto de Karabieta,  Alto de Elosua and Alto de Kanpazar after 112kms.

Rabobank's Carlos Barredo went away and took the final climb at  Puerto de Urkiola and the sprint at Elorrio in which Bradley Wiggins finished third after Chris Froome made a move at the wrong banner.

Froome was never able to get away from race leader JJ Cobo, whilst at the front of the race, former Tour Of France winner Carlos Sastre joined Barredo.

The duo were twenty seconds clear of the peloton with eight kilometres left. Sastre went for it but was shut down by Leopard Trek and Astana with two kilometres to go.

This was a stage for the sprinters and with speeds reaching 65kmh, Leopard Trek were on the front and sent Daniel Bennati on his way to win in a time of 4hr 39 mins and 20 seconds. 

View bennati w...jpg in slide show  

Gasparatto was second with Caruso third.

JJ Cobo leads Chris Froome by thirteen seconds and will ride the final stage on Sunday into Madrid as the winner elect.

Picture copyright of Tour Of Spain./Graham Watson