However, the key battle was going on some 90 seconds of so further back on time. Domenico Pozzivivo (ALM) was the surprise best of the rest 1'24" behind Cancellara, but Vincenzo Nibali (AST) was just a second down on that. Dario Catlado (SKY) was next at 1'41" seven seconds faster that Nicolas Roche (TST) with Alejandro Valverde (MOV) a further four seconds slower.
However, the last man home in the red jersey Chris Horner (RSL) finished 2'54" behind his team mate in 20th position, but more importantly giving up 1'29" to Nibali, 1'06" to Roche and 1'02" to Valverde. It means that the top of the GC now looks like this:
- Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 41h 22'22"
- Nicolas Roche (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) +33"
- Alejando Valverde (Movistar) +46"
- Chris Horner (Radioshack Leopard) +46"
- Joaquin Rodriguez (Kathusha) +2'33"
- Domenico Pozzivivo (ALM) +2'44"
- Ivan Basso (CAN) +2'55"
- Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +3'35"
- Rafal Majka (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) +3'46"
- Daniel Moreno (Kathuha) +3'56"
The second of today's intermediate sprints will come at Port Aventura,. 15km from the finish, to give those who holiday there some idea of the location of the race.
It should be a sprinters' stage today after a pretty brisk pace so expect the top 10 to still be as listed above.