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14th Challenge Illes Balears - 1.1 (x5)

Spain, February 6-10, 2005

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Stage 3 - February 8: Pollenca-Mirador des Colomer (Trofeo Manacor), 165.4 km

Valverde takes rain-soaked win and overall lead

Alejandro Valverde (Illes Balears)
Photo ©: Franklin Tello
Click for larger image

The hometown boys of the Illes Balears team predicted that today's stage would be decisive for their hopes of vistory in this year's Challenge Illes Balears, and they delivered on their promise to take the race's reins when rising star Alejandro Valverde took his first win of the year. At the end of a rain-soaked day that saw the whole peloton finish as they'd started in winter gear, Valverde escaped on the final ascent to cross the line alone ahead of Rabobank's Ronald Mutsaars and Steven De Jongh.

Despite saying he wouldn't start today, overnight race leader Oscar Freire (Rabobank) did make a start line appearance, and even indulged in a little leg-loosening attacking in the early stages, before dropping out later when it became obvious that he didn't really need to do a 165km training ride in the pouring rain.

The first serious attack came after 39km and included Illes Balears rider Toni Tauler, who had been part of the previous stage's breakaway. Tauler was first over the Cat 2 climb of the Coll De Soller after 68,6km, and a 17-strong break was still away as Ezequiel Mosquera (Kaiku) led them over the cat 1 Coll De Puig Major after 92.4km of racing.

However, Illes Balears once again went in pursuit of a breakaway that included one of its own riders, combining with the Comunidad Valenciana team to chase down the front group.

Mallorca’s own Toni Colom (Illes Balears)
Photo ©: Franklin Tello
Click for larger image

Alejandro Valverde and Toni Colom (Illes Balears) were the first to reach the break, and Colom then made a solo attempt, eventually building a margin of a minute ten seconds before running out of gas. As the lead group reached the bottom of the final climb, the Cat 2 Puerto Montaña, Valverde stormed away a solo win that put him into the overall lead in the series.

"I dedicate this win to my wife, to the Balearic islands and Murcia," said valverde. "I also have to thank Toni Tauler who helped me a lot."

Of his team's chances of hanging on to the general classification, Valverde said, "We have only done half the job. We must continue like this because there are two very dangerous days, but to tell the truth I am feeling very good."

"It was hard stage because the rain never let up. The team did great work from the outset and we were very clear that this would be the crucial day."

Steven De Jongh (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Franklin Tello
Click for larger image

After his work today and yesterday, Valverde's team-mate Toni Tauler was also pleased to have the leader jersey in the team's hands. "After the first two days, when we did not have much luck, today we achieved our objective and won a great victory," said Tauler. "The stage was very hard and we had to work from the start to chase the win. I was out front from the start and Valverde has thanked me for that effort. I am very pleased at how it all worked out."

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Franklin Tello/Franklin Tello Photography

Results

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Illes Balears            4.20.48
2 Ronald Mutsaars (Ned) Rabobank                       0.42
3 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank                       0.56
4 David Muñoz (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana               1.18
5 Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team T-Mobile                       1.19
6 Aitor Pérez Arrieta (Spa) Spiuk                      1.21
7 Ricardo Serrano (Spa) Kaiku                              
8 Carlos Castaño (Spa) Andalucía-Paul Versan               
9 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Kaiku                            
10 Gorka Arrizabalaga (Spa) Orbea                          
11 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team T-Mobile                   1.31
12 Adolfo García Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana    1.38
13 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                  
14 Toni Tauler (Spa) Illes Balears                     1.46
15 Marc Lotz (Ned) Quick Step                          1.47
16 Stephan Schreck (Ger) Team T-Mobile                     
17 Ángel Gómez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir                  
18 Gerben Löwik (Ned) Rabobank                             
19 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Quick Step                         
20 Javier Cherro (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                
21 Rodrigo García (Spa) Kaiku                          1.58
22 Vicente Reynés (Spa) Illes Balears                      
23 Christian Werner (Ger) Team T-Mobile                    
24 Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Relax Fuenlabrada             2.07
25 Óscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank                         2.33
26 Joaquín Rodríguez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir            
27 David López (Spa) Eukaltel-Euskadi                      
28 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Relax Fuenlabrada            2.47
29 Antonio Olmo (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana             2.54
30 Adrián Palomares (Spa) Kaiku                        3.25
31 José Luis Martínez (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana       3.54
32 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team T-Mobile                      4.15
33 David De La Fuente (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir       7.18
34 Jaime Rovira (Spa) Andalucía-Paul Versan                
35 David Bernabéu (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana               
36 Toni Colom (Spa) Illes Balears                      9.52
37 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Relax Fuenlabrada                   
38 Juan Antonio Pastor (Spa) Andalucía-Paul Versan    19.38
 
Mountains
 
Coll De Soller - Cat. 2, km 68,60
1 Toni Tauler (Spa) Illes Balears                        10 pts
2 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Kaiku                           7
3 Antonio Olmo (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                 5
4 Rodrigo García (Spa) Kaiku                              3
5 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team T-Mobile                          2
6 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Illes Balears                       1
 
Coll De Puig Major - Cat. 1, km 92,40
1 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Kaiku                          16 pts
2 Toni Tauler (Spa) Illes Balears                        12
3 Yon Bru Pascal (Spa) Kaiku                             10
4 Adolfo García Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana        8
5 Carlos Castaño (Spa) Andalucía-Paul Versan              6
6 José A. Gómez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir      4
7 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team T-Mobile                          3
8 José Luis Martínez (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana           2
9 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Illes Balears                       1
 
Puerto Montaña 221 - Cat. 2, km 165,20
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Illes Balears                 10 pts
2 Ronald Mutsaars (Ned) Rabobank                          7
3 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank                          5
4 David Muñoz (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                  3
5 Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team T-Mobile                          2
6 Aitor Pérez Arrieta (Spa) Spiuk                         1
 
Metas Volantes
 
Santa Maria, km 50,00
1 José Antonio López (Spa) Kaiku                          3 pts
2 Rodrigo García (Spa) Kaiku                              2
3 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step                            1
 
Pollenca, km 129,30
1 Toni Colom (Spa) Illes Balears                          3 pts
2 Antonio Olmo (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                 2
3 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank                          1
 
Special Sprints
 
Bunyola, km 59,00
1 José Antonio López (Spa) Kaiku                          3 pts
2 Jesús J. Ramírez (Spa) Spiuk                            2
3 Rodrigo García (Spa) Kaiku                              1
 
Port Pollenca, km 156,60
1 Toni Tauler (Spa) Illes Balears                         3 pts
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Illes Balears                  2
3 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank                          1
 
Teams
 
1 Rabobank                                         13.05.49
2 Illes Balears                                        0.19
3 Comunidad Valenciana                                 1.09
4 T-Mobile Team                                        1.12
5 Kaiku                                                1.15
6 Saunier Duval-Prodir                                 8.13
7 Relax-Fuenlabrada                                   11.21
8 Andalucia-Paul Versan                               24.52
 
General classification after stage 3
 
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Illes Balears            9.34.59
2 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank                       0.56
3 David Muñoz (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana               1.18
4 Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team T-Mobile                       1.19
5 Ricardo Serrano (Spa) Kaiku                          1.21
6 Aitor Pérez Arrieta (Spa) Spiuk                          
7 Carlos Castaño (Spa) Andalucía-Paul Versan               
8 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Kaiku                            
9 Adolfo García Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana     1.38
10 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                  
11 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team T-Mobile                   1.43
12 Toni Tauler (Spa) Illes Balears                     1.46
13 Javier Cherro (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana            1.47
14 Ángel Gómez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir                  
15 Gerben Löwik (Ned) Rabobank                             
16 Stephan Schreck (Ger) Team T-Mobile                     
17 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Quick Step                         
18 Vicente Reynés (Spa) Illes Balears                  1.58
19 Rodrigo García (Spa) Kaiku                              
20 Christian Werner (Ger) Team T-Mobile                    
21 Marc Lotz (Ned) Quick Step                          2.06
22 Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Relax Fuenlabrada             2.07
23 Óscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank                         2.33
24 Antonio Olmo (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana             2.54
25 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Relax Fuenlabrada            3.07
26 José Luis Martínez (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana       3.54
27 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team T-Mobile                      4.15
28 David De La Fuente (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir       7.18
29 Jaime Rovira (Spa) Andalucía-Paul Versan                
30 David Bernabéu (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana               
31 Toni Colom (Spa) Illes Balears                      9.52
32 Juan Antonio Pastor (Spa) Andalucía-Paul Versan    19.38
 
Mountains classification
 
1 Toni Tauler (Spa) Illes Balears                        24 pts
2 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Kaiku                          23
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Illes Balears                 10
4 Adolfo García Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana        8
5 Carlos Castaño (Spa) Andalucía-Paul Versan              6
6 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank                          5
7 Antonio Olmo (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                 5
8 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team T-Mobile                          5
9 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                  3
10 David Muñoz (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                 3
11 Rodrigo García (Spa) Kaiku                             3
 
Metas volantes classification
 
1 Antonio Olmo (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                 4 pts
2 Toni Colom (Spa) Illes Balears                          3
3 Rodrigo García (Spa) Kaiku                              2
4 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank                          1
5 David Bernabéu (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana               1
 
Special sprints classification
 
1 Toni Tauler (Spa) Illes Balears                         3 pts
2 Antonio Olmo (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                 3
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Illes Balears                  2
4 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank                          1
5 Rodrigo García (Spa) Kaiku                              1
 
Baleares rider classification
 
1 Toni Tauler (Spa) Illes Balears                          
 
Teams classification
 
1 Catalunya-Angel Mir                              27.42.33
2 Phonak H. S.                                             
3 Sel. Española                                            
4 Rabobank                                          1.05.49
5 Illes Balears                                     1.06.08
6 Comunidad Valenciana                              1.06.58
7 T-Mobile Team                                     1.07.01
8 Kaiku                                             1.07.04
9 Saunier Duval-Prodir                              1.14.02
10 Relax-Fuenlabrada                                1.17.10
11 Andalucia-Paul Versan                            1.30.41