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Spanish National Championships - CN

Alcobendas, Spain, June 26-29, 2003

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Day 4 - June 29: Elite Men's Road Race, 217.5 km

Plaza the new king of Spain

Ruben Plaza ( earned the title of national champion today, outsprinting Rafael Casero (Paternina-Costa Almeria) and Benjamin Noval (Relax-Fuenlabrada) after just under five hours of racing. The podium trio was part of an 11 man break in the final two laps of the circuit race, before they escaped with just 3km to go and held off the remainder of the break.

"I dedicate this title to those who put their faith in me," Plaza said after his win, "after a year without racing due to injury. I knew I was in good shape, but I couldn't have imagined this since I have not raced since the Vuelta Asturias. This is a unique moment, but it doesn't change my immediate plans, although I hope to be able to race the Vuelta a España."

An early break of 20 riders started the racing today on an aggressive note, and as a result the peloton averaged over 44 km/h in the first hour of racing. The break, which featured riders from all of the major teams, was not given much leeway, and never gained more than a minute before 9 riders broke clear of this leading group. Already crowned time trial champion, Iñigo Charreau (Ag2R-Prévoyance) was on the move again, along with Chente Garcia, Flores, Jimenez, Cabello, Lobato, Golbano, Manzano, and Tauler.

As the remnants of the break were absorbed by the peloton, the new group of nine pushed ahead and gained an advantage of 1'38". The attacks continued, however, and Flores and Cabello joined forces to try their luck out front. The chase group behind began to falter, but at the same time reinforcements came from the peloton, as Angel Casero tested his legs along with the in-form José Antonio Pecharroman (Paternina) and Phonak's Oscar Pereiro.

The pace was simply too high, and the peloton too eager to bring the race together, and by sixth and penultimate lap, all of the moves had been shut down. With 20km to race, the decisive group of 11 went clear, including eventual winner Plaza, who credited Benjamin Noval with the attack that helped split the group. Noval still had the legs to hang on for third place, but the victory would go to Plaza, who had the best turn of speed after 207km of racing.


1 Ruben Plaza (                 4.47.12 (45.439 km/h)
2 Rafael Casero (Paternina-Costa Almeria)           
3 Benjamin Noval (Relax-Fuenlabrada)                
4 Jon Del Rio (Alfus Tedes)                     0.19
5 Francisco Mancebo (                  
6 Ruben Oarbeaskoa (L.A. Pecol)                     
7 David Fernandez (Relax-Fuenlabrada)               
8 David De La Fuente (Vini Caldirola-So.Di)         
9 Igor Astarloa (Saeco-Longoni Sport)               
10 Angel Vicioso (ONCE-Eroski)                      
11 Vicente Elvira (Cropusa-Burgos)              0.25
12 Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)               
13 Joseba Albizu (Mercatone-Uno)                0.29
14 Jorge Ferrio (Paternina-Costa Almeria)           
15 Ezequiel Mosquera (Cantanhede-M-Marialva)        
16 Iņaki Isasi (Euskaltel-Euskadi)                  
17 Jose A. Pecharroman (Paternina-Costa Almeria)    
18 Luis Perez (Alcosto-Fuenlabrada)             0.32
19 Mikel Artetxe (Euskaltel-Euskadi)                
20 Pedro Horrillo (Quick Step-Davitamon)            
21 Pedro L. Marichalar (Saunier Duval)              
22 Unai Yus (Cantanhede-M-Marialva)                 
23 M. M. Perdiguero (Domina Vacanze-Elitr)          
24 Ruben Galvan (Asc-Vila Do Conde)                 
25 Yon Bru (L.A. Pecol)                             
26 Gustavo Cesar (Carvalhelhos-Boavista)            
27 Pablo Soler (Avila Rojas)                        
28 Fernando Fernandez (Avila Rojas)                 
29 Luis Pasamontes (Relax-Fuenlabrada)              
30 Nacor Burgos (Relax-Fuenlabrada)                 
31 Alberto Hierro (Labarca 2-Cafe Baque)            
32 Unai Osa (                          
33 Jon Odriozola (                     
34 Francisco J. Cerezo (Labarca 2-Cafe Baque)       
35 Oscar Pereiro (Phonak H.S.)                      
36 Pablo Lastras (                     
37 Santos Gonzalez (Domina Vacanze-Elitr)           
38 Cesar Garcia (Labarca 2-Cafe Baque)              
39 Miguel A. Alandete (Caja C.-Mancha)              
40 Javier Ramirez (Avila Rojas)                     
41 Oscar Romero (Pepolim&Irmaos)                    
42 Carlos Zarate (Cropusa-Burgos)                   
43 Santiago Segu (Graficas Ona)                     
44 Carlos Torrent (Paternina-Costa Almeria)         
45 Vicente Reynes (L.A. Pecol)                      
46 Xavier Florencio (ONCE-Eroski)                   
47 Carlos Castaņo (Sup. Froiz)                      
48 Oscar Laguna (Relax-Fuenlabrada)                 
49 Carlos Golbano (Paternina-Costa Almeria)         
50 Juan A. Pastor (Avila Rojas)                     
51 Pedro Diaz Lobato (Paternina-Costa Almeria)      
52 Aitor Perez (Baque-Labarca 2(B))                 
53 Jorge Nogaledo (Sup. Froiz)                      
54 Joseba Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi)              
55 Julen Fernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)              
56 Alejandro Valverde (Kelme-Costa Blanca)          
57 Ruben Tapias (Alcosto-Fuenlabrada)           0.38
58 Dailos Diaz (Saunier Duval)                      
59 Santiago Blanco (Relax-Fuenlabrada)              
60 Xavier De La Torre (Pepolim&Irmaos)              
61 Jose Manuel Maestre (Relax-Fuenlabrada)          
62 Gorka Gerritagoitia (Euskaltel-Euskadi)          
63 Iban Uberuaga (Alfus Tedes)                      
64 Juan Miguel Mercado (               
65 Xavier Tondo (Paternina-Costa Almeria)       0.42
66 Gustavo Miguel Otero (Labarca 2-Cafe Baque)      
67 Samuel Soto (Caja C.-Mancha)                     
68 Victoriano Fernandez (Asc-Vila Do Conde)         
69 Angel Luis Casero (Bianchi)                      
70 Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel-Euskadi)              
71 Unai Barazabal (Caja Rural)                      
72 Eladio Jimenez (                0.50
73 Oscar Diaz (Barbot-Torrie)                   0.59
74 Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo)               1.03
75 Joaquim Lopez (Paternina-Costa Almeria)          
76 Javier Cherro (Kelme-Costa Blanca)           1.08
77 Enrique Salgueiro (Pepolim&Irmaos)           1.27
78 Roberto Lozano (Kelme-Costa Blanca)          1.29
79 Gaizka Lejarreta (Alfus Tedes)               1.34
80 Jose Enriqu Gutierrez (Kelme-Costa Blanca)       
81 Isarael Nuņez (Asc-Vila Do Conde)            2.02
82 Julian Usano (Kelme-Costa Blanca)            6.56
83 David Muņoz (Kelme-Costa Blanca)                 
84 Iņigo Charreau (Ag2R Prevoyance)             8.37
85 Jokin Ormaechea (Caja Rural)                     
86 Joaquin Soler (Cropusa-Burgos)                   
87 Segis De La Torre (Pepolim&Irmaos)               
88 David Sojo (Saunier Duval)                       
89 Gorka Arrizabalaga (Euskaltel-Euskadi)           
90 Efrain Gutierrez (Baque-Labarca 2(B))