58th Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, September 6-28, 2003
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Stage 10 - Monday, September 15: Andorra - Sabadell, 194km
Complete Live Report
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting by Hernán Alvarez Macías
Time conversion guide: GMT = CEST - 2 hrs, AEST = CEST + 8 hrs, EDT = CEST
- 6 hrs, PDT = CEST - 9 hrs
Start time: 12:47 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:30 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of stage 10 of the Vuelta, the last stage in what has been a very tough first half of the Spanish grand tour. Tomorrow the riders will earn their first rest day, and all will be glad of it. But today there is the minor matter of 194 kilometres between Andorra and Sabadell, which should be a very fast sprinter's stage.
There is just one climb en route at km 137, the Cat. 3 Alto de Calders. There are also three sprints, at Martinet de Cerdanya (41.4 km), Guardiola de Beguedá (71) and Castellterçol (155 km). The weather is once again fine and sunny.
14:41 CEST 100 km/94 km to go
The stage so far has been very fast, with over 49 kilometres covered in the first hour, and over 47 km covered in the second hour. At the moment we have a six man breakaway, with Cristian Moreni (Alessio), David Etxebarria (Euskaltel) Juan Miguel Mercado (iBanesto.com), Oscar Sevilla (Kelme-Costa Blanca), Fabian Jeker (Milaneza-MSS) and Fabrizio Guidi (Team Bianchi) all in it. Vicente Garcia Acosta, Iker Flores, and Angelo Lopeboselli were also part of the break, but were dropped.
The break escaped at around the 65 km mark and currently leads by 2'40. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) is the best placed rider in the break, starting the day in 19th place at 10.40.
14:52 CEST 105 km/89 km to go
The pace is still very high, and the peloton is being led mainly by Fassa Bortolo and ONCE, with one Telekom rider making a token contribution. Fassa will want to set up Petacchi for a third stage win, and not many would bet against him today. Petacchi has done well in the mountains, and currently sits in 132nd place on GC - a long way from the last rider.
In the break, Jeker is a little annoyed at Moreni for some reason. The cooperation in the break is not great.
14:58 CEST 110 km/84 km to go
The current gap between the leading six and the peloton is just over 3 minutes, so the chase is not really in earnest yet. It looks like the peloton has split into two groups however.
Two riders have abandoned: Antonio Bucciero (Saeco) and Jose Azevedo (ONCE).
15:08 CEST 121 km/73 km to go
In the break, Sevilla drops back to his team car for some food, including a can of coke. Still a good hour and a half of riding to come. The gap to the peloton is 3'10.
15:16 CEST 133 km/61 km to go
The six leader, Cristian Moreni (Alessio), Juan Miguel Mercado (iBanesto.com), Oscar Sevilla (Kelme-Costa Blanca), Fabian Jeker (Milaneza-MSS), David Etxebarria (Euskaltel), and Fabrizio Guidi (Team Bianchi) have started the climb of Alto de Calders, with a lead that has shrunk to 2'40.
The peloton is in full pursuit now, and the tempo is extremely quick.
15:27 CEST 139 km/55 km to go
Moreni reaches the top of the climb first, in front of Guidi and Jeker. The six riders are still together, with 57 km to go to the finish.
The peloton is steadily reeling them in, and has cut the gap to just over 2 and a half minutes at the top.
15:35 CEST 145 km/49 km to go
The hunt is now on in earnest by Fassa Bortolo, although they're still getting assistance from ONCE and Steffen Wesemann for Telekom. The gap has shrunk to 2 minutes in very quick time.
15:42 CEST 149 km/45 km to go
The gap is coming down rapidly now, with Fassa and ONCE working hard. A Phonak jersey is also seen at the front of the peloton. The six leaders, are suffering a bit on a long false flat. Also only a few riders in the break seem to be interested in staying away, Sevilla being one of them.
Sprint rivals Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel are a fair way back in the peloton, as Petacchi asks for his team car.
15:49 CEST 153 km/41 km to go
The breakaways are almost caught, as the cooperation disintegrates. The gap is now down to 20 seconds and it will be over soon.
Sevilla is the last rider to be swallowed, as the ONCE/Fassa train rumbles on with 40 km to go. Peloton agrupado.
15:54 CEST 155 km/39 km to go
It doesn't stay together for long, as Karsten Kroon (Rabobank) takes off on his own just before sprint in Castelltercol. He'll get the points for sure.
He does by 10 seconds, and puts his head down and keeps going with his attack. It's a pretty tough move to pull off, but full marks for trying.
Petacchi took the points for second place followed by his teammate De Los Angeles. Petacchi also won the first sprint of the day, and has more points towards his goal of points jersey winner in the Vuelta.
16:02 CEST 160 km/34 km to go
Kroon is trying hard, but the peloton is in one long line with Fassa and ONCE still up there. They can leave him out there for a while, but it would take a superman to pull off this type of move.
16:06 CEST 164 km/30 km to go
The attacks start anew, as Kroon is caught by one of his teammates (Beat Zberg) and Cesar Garcia Calvo (Labarca). The peloton is very close though.
16:10 CEST 167 km/27 km to go
The three leaders are flying down a small descent with just under 30 km to go. Three have a much better chance than one, and the peloton can not go much faster than three riders on a descent like this. Once they hit the flats, it will be a different story.
16:15 CEST 171 km/23 km to go
Kroon, Zberg and Garcia Calvo have extended their lead to 20 seconds, but now the peloton is getting itself organised again, sitting on 70 km/h.
16:19 CEST 177 km/17 km to go
It's still ONCE and Fassa chasing the three leaders, having reduced the gap to 14 seconds with 17 km to go. At this speed, it's quite a big gap.
16:22 CEST 179 km/15 km to go
ONCE is still setting the pace in the peloton, and slowly the gap to the three leaders is coming down. It's now 10 seconds.
Garcia Calvo is burying himself in the break to ensure its success.
16:24 CEST 181 km/13 km to go
It's all ONCE now, and they are really only interested in controlling the pace, not chasing the break down. Fassa will have to get its men in front again to close the gap, which has gone out to 15 seconds.
16:28 CEST 184 km/10 km to go
10 km to go, and the gap to Kroon, Zberg and Garcia Calvo is now 17 seconds. Where is Fassa Bortolo? ONCE is doing all the work. Pradera pulls off the front, his work is done.
16:31 CEST 185.5 km/8.5 km to go
Zberg has attacked the break, and has a small gap to the other two. This will be tough.
Garcia Calvo and Kroon are caught by the peloton, which is breaking up under the pressure of several attacks. It looks like Valverde is in a front group with Astarloa.
16:32 CEST 186 km/8 km to go
Zberg is caught by the peloton, which is flying again with 8 km to go. There are about 10 riders in a little group, as Luis Perez (Cofidis) attacks.
He is joined by another rider - Astarloa? - with 7 km to go.
16:34 CEST 188 km/6 km to go
Perez and Astarloa have a slight lead with 6 km to go, as they descend into Sabadell. The peloton is less than 10 seconds behind.
16:36 CEST 190 km/4 km to go
Angel Vicioso (ONCE) joins the front pair, as does David Etxebarria. There are other riders closing the gap too. It looks like eight men in total.
16:38 CEST 191 km/3 km to go
Hincapie does a big turn in the peloton, with Rasmussen on his wheel. It creates a bit of a gap, and they are en route to bridging up to the leaders. A maximum of 15 seconds separates all the groups.
16:39 CEST 192 km/2 km to go
Peter Luttenberger (CSC) and Constantino Zaballa (Kelme) have attacked the lead group with 2 km to go. They are caught and a Domina rider goes. The peloton is at 5 seconds and closing
16:41 CEST 193 km/1 km to go
There is not much cooperation in front. Hincapie is marking everything in the break. The peloton is coming as Hincapie attacks with 1 km to go.
The gap is too small and the peloton overtakes the break.
16:42 CEST 194 km/0 km to go
Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel fight it out for the stage, and Erik Zabel wins! He came off Petacchi's wheel with 200m to go and got round the Italian. Impressive ride.
Guidi finished third in front of Fred Rodriguez. Alejandro Velverde was also up there for 6th - the boy can sprint as well as climb.
The overall lead stays with the ever impressive Isidro Nozal (ONCE), who will enjoy tomorrow's rest day. Just another 11 stages to go for him and the ONCE team for him to claim an unlikely victory. There's still a lot of climbing to come, but there is also a 53 km flat time trial.
Thanks for joining us for stage 10. There will be no live coverage tomorrow of course, but on Wednesday we'll be back at the same time (14:30 CEST) with stage 11 from Utiel to Cuenca.
1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom 4.10.51
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
3 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Bianchi
4 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Vini Caldirola
5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
General classification after stage 10
1 Isidro Nozal (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski
2 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 1.48
3 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 2.01
4 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 3.05
5 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 3.28
6 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com 3.40
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 3.57
8 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 4.00
9 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 4.04
10 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com 4.14
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