Valverde keeps overall lead
CARAVACA DE LA CRUZ, Spain -- American rider Tyler Farrar won the 11th stage of the Spanish Vuelta, and Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde remained the overall leader.
Farrar, who rides for Garmin-Slipstream, finished the 124.3-mile leg, which featured several difficult mountain ascents, in 5 hours, 11 minutes, 10 seconds.
Belgian rider Philipe Gilbert was second in the same time, ahead of Marco Marcato of Italy.
Valverde finished 14th in the same time to maintain his seven-second overall advantage over Cadel Evans, who was 12th. The Caisse D'Epargne rider's overall time is 45:37:51.
Robert Gesink of the Rabobank team is 36 seconds back in third, while Farrar's American teammate Thomas Danielson trailed by 51 seconds.
Italian rider Ivan Basso remained in the hunt; the Liquigas cyclist trails Valverde by 53 seconds.
Frank Schleck retired from the race without starting the stage because of a knee injury. The Luxembourg rider, who finished fifth at this year's Tour de France, was running 61st and nearly 24 minutes behind Valverde.
Riders have a rest day Thursday before Friday's 111.4-mile stage from Almeria to Alto de Velefique.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press