55th Vuelta a España - Grand Tour

Spain, August 26 - September 17, 2000

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Complete live report

Stage 10 - September 4: Sabadell - Super Molina 165.8 km

Live coverage start time: 15:00

15.00 CET

Welcome to the tenth stage of the Vuelta a Espańa where Santos Gonzalez (ONCE) now is the leader-on-the-road in a group of 15 riders that lead by several minutes. ONCE is really in a great position with Olano in the leader's jersey and Gonzales up the road. This means that the other teams will have to do the job to keep Olano in the lead. Other names in the front group: Peńa (Vitalicio), Pugaci (Saeco), Cárdenas (Kelme), Castanheira (LA Pecol) and Flecha (Fuenlabrada).

Two riders have abandoned today: Calcaterra (Saeco) and Lopes (LA Pecol).

15.12 CET - 75 kms to go

The gap is almost ten minutes . ONCE for a while had worked in the peloton but is now taking it easier. It's OK of course if Gonzalez takes the lead but ONCE doesn't want anyone else to pass Olano. Next of the front group riders in the GC is Gilles Bouvard (Jean Delatour) 18th at 6.10. In the front group is also Botero (Kelme).

15.22 CET - 70 kms to go

The road is going upwards but the real climb up to la Creneta at 1920 metres is yet to come. All of the names of the very strong front group that now has over 12 minutes: Santos Gonzalez (ONCE), Bouvard (J Delatour), Peńa (Vitalicio), Gustov (Fassa Bortolo), Klöden (Telekom), del Olmo (Euskaltel), Massi (Cantina Tollo), Garcia Casas (Festina), Pugaci (Saeco), Castanheira (LA Pecol), Cardenas and Botero (Kelme), Flecha (Fuenlabrada), Camenzind (Lampre), Odriozola (Banesto), Faresin (Mapei).

15.30 CET - 65 kms to go

There are several good climbers in the group. Botero and Cardenas of course and also Klöden although his form hasn't been the best so far in the Vuelta. Massi held the KOM jersey in the Tour in 98 when police questioning stopped him. For some reason Kelme is driving the peloton now but of course they have Roberto Heras to take care of. Heras has crashed once today but is up on his bike again with a bandage on his left knee.

15.40 CET - 55 kms to go

Speed is increasing considerably in the peloton with a Banesto rider helping the Kelmes. The front group is on the real climb now. Gonzales still on light gears.

15.50 CET - 50 kms to go

Santos Gonzales is 26 years but is doing his sixth pro season. He was Spanish TT champion last year and 22nd on the fifth stage in the Vuelta some days ago with its mountain top finish. It's Festina's Garcia Casas up ront now. Also Massi wants to keep the speed up in the front group and now Faresin is doing his bit. The latter even gets a gap through Gombrén with some 20 kms to the top and more than 50 to the finish. The gap is now shrinking to 9.46 thanks to Kelme and Banesto and soon it is down to nine minutes.

16.00 CET - 45 kms to go

The front group is splitting up now and there are attacks. Faresin got the gap he wanted, some thirty seconds now. In the group Gustov attacks and gets Botero on his wheel. Several others follow: Gonzalez of course, Cardenas, Garcia Casas and some more. The peloton is still fairly big below at some eight minutes when they hit a steeper part off the main road with Kelme in front.

16.10 CET - 40 kms to go

The front group are united again on a "flatter" part of the climb with some seven minutes now. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) pulls a rapidly shrinking peloton. Team mates Escartin and Heras follow and after them Zarrabeitia taking care of ONCE affairs in the 19 rider strong "peloton". Ullrich is spotted and so is Olano. And Zarrabeitia sits up now, probably to go down and help Olano. It's Ullrich and Belli following the Kelmes. Blanco (Vitalicio), Beltran (Mapei), Igor Galdeano (Vitalicio) are also along. Zülle is in a third group and so is Rumsas, Simoni and Brozyna, all good climbers. The front group now only has 5.46.

16.20 CET - 35 kms to go

Faresin, the Italian veteran, is above the tree level now still leading when Cardenas joins him and so does Santos Gonzales. Cardenas then attacks again and Gonzales hangs on and rides up at Cardenas' side, just giving a show. Also Peńa joins the them and so does del Olmo attacking immediately but then tempo eases.

Question is if the Kelme riding in the main group will pay off. The haven't gained more than half a minute to the Zülle group where the Banestos, with Eladio Jimenez, are trying to keep the damage at a reasonable level. But Zülle is in serious trouble 40 seconds behind the Olano/Ullrich group.

16.25 CET - 30 kms to go

It's Cardenas alone now at the front. Farther back the Zülle group is gaining now on Olano's gang with Sevilla still driving. The gap to the front riders is a steady five minutes. Tonkov is also in the Zülle group and advancing now, while Zülle once again is in trouble. Virenque is also along there. But remember. There is one more first category climb after this one. Gonzalez and Peńa have caught Cardenas.

16.32 CET -

In the front group now the line up is changing all the time. Botero has fallen back to the peloton to help Sevilla with the speed while Escartin and Heras are resting farther down in the group. Way back Brozyna is waiting for Zülle. There are still some kilometres to the top. The gap is 5.23 down to the now Botero driven group with Olano, Ullrich, Heras and the others.

16.40 CET -

Zülle is two minutes behind the Olano group with only Brozyna to help him. Olano looks unexpectedly fresh. In the mean time Cardenas once again attacks solo up front going for the mountain prime which he wins 12 seconds ahead of Gonzales, Peńa and del Olmo. Faresin some ten seconds later and then the rest of the front group not too far behind. Botero is riding hard in the peloton (Olano's group) paying back for the support in the Tour where he won the KOM and one stage with an eighth place overall.

16.50 CET -

The peloton passes the top at 4.52 behind the leaders, Zülle more than eight minutes behind. Question is if the leaders are able to hold the others off on the second climb. After all there has been numerous attacks on this, the first, category climb. The next one to the finish on the Super Molina ski resort is not as long but still tough enough.

The original front group has rejoined after the short downhill from Creueta. In the following little climb Cardenas is caught and then Peńa attacks. The part of the group that came from behind climbed the Creueta at an even pace and might have more reserves for the final attack on La Molina. In the main group Tonkov is still along and so is Hervé and Eladio Jimenez wanting to defend his climber's jersey. And Ullrich is chewing gum on this first category climb!

17.00 CET - 24 kms to go

The front is in la Molina Town. There is 12 kms downhill before the final climb. The gap is some four minutes to the peloton and Zülle is still four minutes behind with some company now, Brochard among others. It's Camenzind attacking in the front now. This is really an entertaining stage. Attacks all the time. Peńa is joining him. And then some of the others. They are Cardenas (of course), Gustov and Odriozola. Gonzalez is probably opting for an even pace up to the ski station. He is still virtual leader.

17.09 CET - 11 kms to go

Botero is tugging along in the peloton, looking behind wondering what the others are waiting for. In the front now Faresin and Peńa have joined. But where is Santos Gonzalez? There are more than 30 riders in the peloton right now when the final climb starts.

17.15 CET - 8 kms to go Six front riders now: Cardenas (Kelme), Peńa (Vitalicio), Faresin (Mapei), Camenzind (Lampre), Gustov (Fassa Bortolo) and Odriozola (Banesto). Of these the three former were fighting ion the first climb while the other three climbed at an even pace. The gap to Olano&Co is 3.42 with Botero and Escartin first.

17.20 CET - 6 kms to go

3.20 from the front to the peloton when the climb gets steeper with Odriozola up front. Santos Gonzales is driving the second group now and they are 35 seconds behind the stage leaders and 2.32 Ahead of Olano which means that Gonzales still has a chance to take the lead overall. In his group are all the others on the old front group except Castanheda, the Portuguese. And Botero of course who fell back to help along in the peloton.

17.25 CET - 4 kms to go

Santos Gonzalez is actually closing in on the front group now with del Olmo. They are only 12 seconds behind at 5 kms when the real climb starts. The peloton at 2.53 here with Parra (Vitalicio) up front. Gonzalez and del Olmo catches the leaders at four kilometres to go when Cardenas attacks and Gonzalez will have to cover. Then Odriozola goes.

17.30 CET - 2 kms to go

Sevilla (Kelme) is back at the front in the peloton with Virenque. Olano is in trouble in the back of the peloton now. He is on last wheel, jersey all open. Giving a gap, and remember that Casero is only 21 seconds behind Olano overall. Sastre comes to his help while Virenque and Hervé attacks in the front.

17.33 CET - 1 km to go

Escartin and Heras taking over now, they have heard that Olano is losing ground. There is a 50 metre gap. In the front Odriozola is rising the tempo. Casero working now to get rid of Olano. But Olano is catching up now.

17.35 Finish

Peńa is joining the top duo from behind and they start looking at each other. It's Peńa launching the sprint, Cardenas hangs on and Odriozola also but it's Cardenas winning. In the peloton Escartin attacks with Laiseka (Euskaltel) and Beltran (Mapei). Gonzales will take the lead.

17.40 CET

Olano loses the lead to team mate Gonzales but loses only eleven seconds to Festina's Casero and is still second in the Vuelta. Ullrich surprisingly arriving with Olano. Still along in the GC but what will happen tomorrow on the ride to Andorra? A great show by 28 year old neo pro Cardenas from Colombia. A well deserved victory.

Unofficial results:

1. Felix Cardenas Ravalo (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca        4.34.10
2. Jon Odriozola (Spa) Banesto   
3. Victor Hugo Peńa (Col) Vitalicio Seguros                 0.02
4. Oscar camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin                      0.15
5. Santos Gonzalez Capilla (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank    
6. Txemo del Olmo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                   0.17
7. Volodomyr Gustov (Ukr) Fassa Bortolo                     0.40
8. Gianni Faresin (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                    0.57
9. Rodolfo Massi (Ita) Cantina Tollo                        1.40
10. Felix Garcia Casas (Spa) Festina Watches                2.00
11. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada             2.21
12. Roberto Laiseka (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                 2.23
13. Manuel Beltran (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step                   
14. Fernando Escartin (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca      
15. Richard Virenque (Fra) Team Polti                       2.32

General classification after stage 10:

1. Santos Gonzalez Capilla (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank     33.45.30
2. Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank           0.52
3. Angel Casero Moreno (Spa) Festina Watches                0.59
4. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Deutsche Telekom                       2.00
5. Igor González de Galdeano (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros        2.41
6. Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca         3.11
7. Mikel Zarrabeitia Uranga (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank        3.50
8. Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Mapei-Quick Step                      4.01
9. Raimundas Rumsas (Ltu) Fassa Bortolo                     4.16
10. Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                      4.32
11. Alex Zülle (Swi) Banesto                                4.34 

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