59th Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, September 4-26, 2004
Stage 8 - September 11: Factoría FORD - Factoría FORD (I.T.T.), 40.1 km
Commentary by Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:15 CEST
Welcome to our live coverage of Stage 8 of the Vuelta, the first individual
time trial. Today's stage is almost exactly 40 km, being run on a flat course
in Almusafes. Starting and finishing outside the Ford Factory, this stage is
tailor made for the powerful riders like Aitor Gonzalez, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd
Landis, Isidro Nozal, Joseba Beloki and maybe even Bert Roesems. It's 30 degrees
and sunny at the start, with very little wind, so we can expect some sub-48
minute times today.
At the moment, Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) has the lead in this 40.1 km time-trial
taking place in Almusafes. But this is sure to change during the coming hours.
Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) and Bert Grabsch (Phonak), first at km 30, are the
next riders expected at the finish.
Gonzalez' time is 48:48, but it is expected that the favourite rider's times
will be under 48 minutes, possibly even less.
The top five at the moment are as follows:
1 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 48.48
2 Brian Vandborg (Den) Team CSC 0.18
3 Bert Roesems (Bel) Relax-Bergasol 0.37
4 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty Seguros 0.38
5 Carlos Torrent (Spa) Paternina-Costa De Almeria 1.15
But both Grabsch and Posthuma have recorded faster times than Gonzalez at the
30 km check, although only by a handful of seconds.
Cyclingnews spotted Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola) warming up on the parcours
behind his team car. He looks very focused, and will try to limit his losses
today as he's not really a renowned chrono rider.
Bert Grabsch (Phonak) beats his teammate Gonzalez with a time of 48'32, followed
by Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) at 14 seconds. Gonzalez slips to third place in
the provisional results.
There are two time checks today, at km 13 and km 30. Grabsch currently has the
best time at each of the checks and also the finish.
Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and Pedro Horillo (Quick.Step) just left the start ramp.
Let's see what they can do, as bigger names are yet to come.
Cyclingnews' correspondent Martin Hardie now reports even hotter temperatures:
35° Celsius. That should add to the effort, as the riders also have to watch
dehydration after a few consecutive days in that heat.
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, usually a TT rider, is only at position 11 at the
finish. He's probably taking it easy, being only 122nd on GC.
CSC's Jörg Jaksche has left the start ramp. The winner of Paris-Nice this year
might be able to surprise some, as he did not take part in the Tour and has
had plenty of time for preparation.
At 15.24, Joseba Beloki (Saunier) takes on the course. Without too much pressure
put on him, maybe he can also move up on GC (1:50 behind Beltran).
No changes at the first placings of the time checks so far; from now on the
riders will have 2 minutes between them.
Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo and Tyler Hamilton (Phonak) will take on the course
at 16.04 and 16.06, so we might know the stage's winner at about 16.53 CEST.
Jörg Jaksche (CSC) has now taken the lead at km 13. He's definitely going strong,
pedaling smoothly and apparently oblivious to heat.
Joseba Beloki (Saunier) has got to the 13 km mark, and is actually 20th, 40
seconds behind. Guess that's why there's no pressure on him.
Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) is next up. With four second places in the sprint stages,
he has been one of the unlucky riders so far.
Also starting now is Damiano Cunego (Saeco), a candidate for tomorrow's mountain
finish. He is only 1'23 behind Beltran in GC and should therefore try to do
well in the time trial.
Isidro Nozal (Liberty) is on the ramp. He lost last year's Vuelta on the second
last day on a mountain time trial, but is also looking good this year.
Jaksche lost a bit of his initial speed at km 30, he's now only fourth, 0'16
down of Grabsch.
David Blanco (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme) is not doing too bad: he's 0'11 down
of Jaksche at km 13. But we are awaiting the result of Isidro Nozal (Liberty),
who is also credited a favourite.
David Plaza has now taken the lead at the first timing, stealing 1 second off
Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo), Tyler Hamilton (Phonak) and Victor Hugo Peña
(USPS) are on their way now. Jaksche finished fourth, 28 seconds behind still-leader
Damiano Cunego (Saeco) already lost 0'56 after 13 km. let's hope he's not at
100%, thinking about tomorrow...
Nozal has passed the first time check and puts Plaza at 9 seconds.
The last five riders will start soon. In about one hour, the stage's winner
will have a name. Floyd Landis (USPS) leaves the start ramp now.
Carlos Sastre (CSC) has passed the first time check second, doing really well.
He is only 1'07 down on GC, too.
Manuel Beltran (USPS) is the last rider to fly out of the starting block, being
leader of the race until now. This is probably about to change.
Beloki finished at 2'10, that will wipe away his plans for this Vuelta (if he
Isidro Nozal (Liberty) is 30 seconds faster than David Plaza at the second time
Hamilton and Peña both have equal time at km 13, 0'7 before Nozal. This might
be a tight finish.
Cadel Evans looks very focused, we will get his time at km 13 soon.
We have a new leader: Ruben Plaza (Kelme) finishes and takes 11 seconds off
The winner of last year's Vuelta, Roberto Heras (Liberty) is in 7th place at
Floyd Landis has now passed km 13 and takes 4 seconds off Hamilton.
Aitor Gonzalez was 22 seconds behind Landis at the first time check, where Cadel
Evans lost 0'42. Gonzalez was also 1 second in front of Heras at the second
Isidro Nozal finishes at 47:53, 0'28 faster than Plaza.
At km 30, Tyler Hamilton puts himself in front with 35:37, 14 seconds faster
than Nozal at that point.
Beltran, at km 13, is 25 seconds slower than Landis. This would put him to 11th
place on GC.
Sastre finishes with 48:25, third of the stage until now.
Heras is pulling toward the finish too, at 48:53 he is now seventh.
"Triki" Beltran is a little insecure in a roundabout, but he manages to steer
His teammate Benoit Joachim is doing well, fifth at km 13.
Aitor Gonzalez finishes at the same time as Heras.
Hamilton flies: only 47:16! He has a good chance of winning today.
Alejandro Valverde is 12th with 36:41 at km 30.
Peña now gets to the finish in 47:31, second behind Hamilton.
Landis loses a little by km 30, he is only third there.
Cadel Evans has passed km 30 being 19th, while Denis Menchov (Illes Balears)
has lost a lot of time at that point - he is 26th there.
His teammate Francisco Mancebo finishes at 48:13.
Beltran passes km 30 last, but in fifth place - he's just 0'28 behind Hamilton!
Benoit Joachim (USPS) is in the finish. With 48:51, he is 10th. Landis sways
a little, struggling in the heat.
Evans (T-Mobile) is 16th with 49:05 at the finish.
Here comes Landis: At 47:34, he is third just behind his teammate Peña.
Floyd Landis (USPS) takes the golden jersey of general lead, as Manuel Beltran
is the last rider on the road. Tyler Hamilton wins the stage!
Beltran is only 10 seconds slower than Landis - what a ride! He'll be second
Finish - km 40.1
1 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 47.16
2 Victor Hugo Peña (Col) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 0.15
3 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 0.18
4 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 0.28
5 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.37
6 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 0.57
7 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme 1.05
8 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 1.09
9 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems 1.16
10 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 1.30
General classification after stage 8
1 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor
2 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 0.10
3 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 0.32
4 Victor Hugo Peña (Col) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 0.44
5 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 1.18
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme 1.23
7 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros 1.36
8 Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 1.40
9 Cadel Evans (Aus) T-Mobile Team 1.47
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 1.58
1 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 16.17
2 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 0.04
3 Victor Hugo Peña (Col) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor
4 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.11
5 Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 0.16
6 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 0.20
7 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme
8 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) Team CSC 0.21
9 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 0.22
10 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 0.24
1 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 35.37
2 Victor Hugo Peña (Col) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 0.05
3 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 0.12
4 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.14
5 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 0.28
6 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 0.43
7 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme 0.45
8 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 0.48
9 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems 0.54
10 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 0.59
the commentary team