60th Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, August 27-September 18, 2005
Results & report
Stage 2 - Sunday, August 28: Granada-Córdoba, 189.3 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Shane Stokes and
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST
Welcome back to sunny Spain for our
live coverage of the 60th Vuelta a España. After yesterday's opening 7 km time
trial in Granada, today we'll head northwest to Cordoba over an undulating 189
km route. It's mostly downhill, but there is a Cat. 2 Alto de San Jeronimo with
13 km to go to make life interesting for the sprinters.
of sprints, there are three intermediate sprints today, at Venta de la Algarra
(km 20), Espejo (km 120) and Córdoba (km 153.5).
Menchov has the gold leader's jersey by a second over Rik Verbrugghe, with FDJ's
Brad McGee in third at three seconds. We might see McGee go for a few bonus
sprints to try and pick up the lead, but it won't be easy for him.
The stage started at 12:45 with all
197 riders signing on. After a 7.5 km neutral section out of Granada, the flag
dropped at 13:00. The bunch stayed together for the first intermediate sprint
at km 20, where Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) took out ahead of Rik Verbrugghe and Tom
Boonen. That puts Verbrugghe in the virtual golden jersey.
break of the day started at km 24 when David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval) attacked
with Herve Duclos Lassalle (Cofidis). The move was a good one and the pair built
up a 3 minute lead by km 31. After an hour of racing, the average speed was
a surprisingly slow 36.5 km/h. The break had 4'40 at this stage, but by the
time the bunch reached Manuel Beltran's home town of Jaén, the lead was already
It went up even further, to 10'58, before Quick.Step has started
to work for Boonen and Verbrugghe.
14:51 CEST 64km/125.3km to go
Of the two leaders,
De la Fuente is slightly better placed on GC, starting the day in 121st at 58
seconds behind Menchov. Duclos Lassalle is in 140th at 1'02.
has cranked it up a bit and reduced the gap to 8'36.
14:57 CEST 67km/122.3km to go
We've had our first
abandonment of the race: Lampre's Giuliano Figueras has pulled the pin after
67 km. He was already having problems in the early part of the stage, and the
pace wasn't that high.
15:08 CEST 76km/113.3km to go
The pace has picked
up in the last hour, with the average speed now up to 38.15 km/h after two hours
of racing. The break still has 8'00 lead, but with Quick.Step working, it's
not going to get any further away. Fassa Bortolo will probably want to join
in the fun later too.
15:22 CEST 87km/102.3km to go
A small correction:
Herve Duclos-Lassalle rides for Cofidis, not Credit Agricole. He is currently
leading the race with David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval) after the pair escaped
at the 24 km mark.
15:32 CEST 90km/99.3km to go
After passing through
the feed zone at km 85, the chasing peloton has tightened the screws a little,
and has knocked another minute off the lead of De la Fuente and Duclos-Lassalle.
Their advantage stands at 7'02 at the halfway point.
30 km to go until the next bonus sprint.
15:46 CEST 102km/87.3km to go
The leaders pass
the 100 km point with their seven minute lead still intact, and Quick.Step still
controlling the peloton. Although Tom Boonen is a chance for a stage win today,
it's also possible that Verbrugghe will take the gold jersey thanks to his netting
an early time bonus. We shall see soon enough.
15:52 CEST 108km/81.3km to go
One of Quick.Step's
important riders, Paolo Bettini, has had to pay a visit to the medical car.
He's hit his knee or something and needs an ice pack. He also did this during
the World's last year, and that forced him to retire from the race.
15:54 CEST 116km/73.3km to go
It's 36 degrees
at the finish in Cordoba.
De La Fuente has attacked and dropped Herve
Duclos-Lassalle. The Saunier Duval rider is alone, but the French rider is coming
back and is at 15 seconds.
16:06 CEST 123km/66.3km to go
De la Fuente is
still solo, with Duclos-Lassalle falling further behind to 3'30. The heat has
taken its toll on him.
The peloton is now 6'10 behind the lone leader,
who took the points/seconds at Espejo (km 120).
The peloton is being led by three
Quick.Steps through the barren and baking Spanish countryside.
full results of the second sprint: 1. De La Fuente, 2. Duclos-Lassalle, 3. Boonen.
16:11 CEST 130km/59.3km to go
Race leader Menchov
is sitting mid-pack at the moment, looking very relaxed. His team hasn't had
to do much chasing today, as Quick.Step has taken the responsibility.
Duclos-Lassalle has been caught. Just one leader now: David de la Fuente (Saunier
16:13 CEST 132.3km/57km to go
The average speed
after three hours is 38.3 km/h, an indication of how hot it's been. That can
really kill your speed.
The leader has 5'14.
16:18 CEST 135.3km/54km to go
David de la Fuente
is fighting with his rhythm, trying to maintain as much speed as possible despite
the pain in his legs. He's doing OK, but the peloton has the odds in its favour.
If another team starts to work, then it will be over very quickly for the Saunier
rider. Quick.Step has done well with just three men on the front. Illes Balears
is in the second "rank" of the peloton, while Menchov sits a fair way back.
16:22 CEST 138.3km/51km to go
Oscar Pereiro (Phonak)
enjoys a joke with his teammate José Enrique Gutierrez Cataluna and a few others.
There is much mirth.
The stages in the Vuelta are longer this year,
and that will of course kill the average speed.
16:26 CEST 140.3km/49km to go
Jurgen Van Goolen
is one of the Quick.Step riders working, but it seems as though they're getting
tired. The gap is 5'05, coming down gradually but maybe not fast enough yet.
16:32 CEST 144.3km/45km to go
De la Fuente empties
a bidon over his head as he wrestles with the bike on a false flat. He's really
hurting a lot now, but he has 5 minutes, so he has to keep going. You can see
the pain in his face though.
In the peloton, Scarponi goes back for
bidons and takes them back to his Liberty teammates.
16:39 CEST 149.3km/40km to go
It's really baking
out there on the roads today (it's even warm up in the Cyclingnews blimp). On
the open road, with no shelter, it's closer to 40 than 30 degrees.
The plucky David de la Fuente has 4'41 of his lead intact.
16:45 CEST 153km/36.3km to go
David de la Fuente
stretches his back as he enters Cordoba for the first time, with 4'03 to the
peloton. This city has a a chance to become the European capital of culture
in 2016, Spanish TV reports.
16:52 CEST 154.3km/35km to go
De la Fuente goes
through the sprint in Cordoba with 35 km to go, as the peloton continues its
hunt behind him. CSC has joined in the chase, as has Francaise des Jeux. Quick.Step
has dropped off a bit.
16:54 CEST 157.3km/32km to go
CSC and FDJ drive
it hard as McGee and Boonen go for the sprint. Boonen gets second (4 seconds),
and McGee third (2 seconds). If McGee can have a good finish, he could take
the gold jersey.
CSC resume in front of the peloton, which is now
strung out. The gap is under 3 minutes.
The bunch takes a corner and several
go on the inside, requiring two trips over a median strip and no places gained.
The pace is really on now. The San Jeronimo climb could be a bit tough for the
16:58 CEST 160.3km/29km to go
David de la Fuente's
director drives up and gives him some encouragement, but it looks to be a lost
cause now with the pace in the peloton quite high. He has a headwind too.
17:00 CEST 164.3km/25km to go
De la Fuente turns
right onto a smaller road and starts the Alto de San Jeronimo, a 12 km ascent.
The peloton is about a minute behind him.
17:02 CEST 165.3km/24km to go
David de la Fuente's
breakaway is about to come to an end on the Cat. 2 Alto de San Jeronimo. He
had a chance while there were only three riders chasing in the peloton, but
no longer. It's not a steep climb here, but he is losing time quickly.
Now it is getting a little steeper
and De La Fuente is extracting whatever he can out of his legs.
There's a bit of a hold up at the back of the peloton, and some riders are dropped,
including one-time breakaway Herve Duclos-Lassalle. There's an attack at the
front, looks like a Euskaltel rider.
17:06 CEST 166.3km/23km to go
(Euskaltel) and Bernard Kohl (T-Mobile) are the two riders to reach De La Fuente
first. They fly right by. He sees the peloton pass him, led by Aitor Osa, who
bridges up to the two new leaders.
17:07 CEST 167.3km/22km to go
We have three leaders
on the San Jeronimo, which is steepening now. This is the hardest part of the
climb. Kohl accelerates, but Osa puts in a big attack and gets a gap.
17:09 CEST 168.3km/21km to go
Kohl chases Osa,
but the Spaniard is flying. This is a good climb for him - not super hard, but
not easy either.
Kohl and Gonzalez are caught by a Fassa/Cofidis
led peloton. Petacchi might be feeling good...
The pace is really breaking the bunch,
although Joseba Beloki is still towards the front. Good on him, after his crash
Osa has 15 seconds and is suffering as Luis Perez (Cofidis)
sits behind in the peloton, ready to pounce.
17:12 CEST 169.3km/20km to go
Perez is now leading
the peloton, but only with one hand on the bars. Another attack - Carlos Garcia
Quesada (Comunidad Valenciana). He is joined by Perez and a Liberty rider, and
they catch Aitor Osa.
Botero, Scarponi, and Mercado are
there, as are Bertagnolli and Danielson. This is a nice group forming.
17:15 CEST 170.3km/19km to go
In front, we now
have: Carlos Garcia Quesada (Comunidad Valenciana), Luis Perez, Leonardo Bertagnolli
(Cofidis), Michele Scarponi, (Liberty Seguros), Aitor Osa (Illes Balears), Santiago
Botero (Phonak), Juan Miguel Mercado (Quick.Step) and Tom Danielson (Discovery).
The latter is the best placed on GC.
The cooperation disappears as
Perez attacks, or is that Bertagnolli?
It's Bertagnolli in front.
Unai Yus (Bouygues) has joined the rest of the break.
17:17 CEST 171.3km/18km to go
An Euskaltel rider
is leading the bunch behind the leader and following break. Unai Yus has attacked
in pursuit, as has Garcia Quesada.
Yus is trying to catch Bertagnolli,
who is on the up and down part of this climb. It's quite fast here. Garcia Quesada
is third on the road.
17:19 CEST 172.3km/17km to go
is now with Unai Yus, and the pair are trying to close to Leonardo Bertagnolli,
who has 22 seconds on them. But they are caught by the front bit of the peloton,
which is breaking up.
17:21 CEST 174.3km/15km to go
15 seconds on a group of four riders, with Garcia Quesada in it, as well as
Vicioso, Vila, and a Phonak.
17:23 CEST 175.3km/14km to go
More riders are
joining the chase group, including Horrach, Joaquin Rodriguez and a few more.
There is a bigger group numbering 30 or so behind them.
is nearly at the summit of the San Jeronimo, which has a tricky descent.
Crash! A T-Mobile rider has gone over the barriers. Andreas Klier. Jose Enrique
Gutierrez is also down, and a Discovery rider.
17:25 CEST 176.3km/13km to go
came down. Klier's jersey is fairly destroyed. He is waited upon by his teammate
Bertagnolli has 20 seconds on the first group, and 40 to the
peloton. McGee is in the first chase group...
More names in the chase group: Vila,
Garcia Quesada, Vicioso, Rodriguez, Yus, Lastras, and McGee.
17:26 CEST 176.8km/12.5km to go
the summit of the San Jeronimo with 12.5 km to go. Behind him, Lastras attacks
to take second at 20 seconds. He can go down this hill quite well, having won
here three years ago.
The bunch is at 43 seconds.
17:28 CEST 178.3km/11km to go
Lastras is caught
by the chase group. Still Bertagnolli leads by 20 seconds.
Flecha (Fassa) is in this chase group, as is Santos Gonzalez (Phonak).
Bertagnolli is having a great ride,
holding the chasers at 20 seconds. The peloton is another 20 seconds back, and
it's going to be hard to close the gap on this tricky descent.
17:30 CEST 179.3km/10km to go
has a problem, maybe a mechanical or a steering error. He's chasing back on.
17:31 CEST 180.3km/9km to go
Garcia Quesada gives
it full gas to try to get back to the chasers, which are splitting up on the
descent. Some know it, others don't. McGee certainly doesn't.
17:32 CEST 181.3km/8km to go
under 8 km to go, still with 13 seconds. They're coming back.
has crashed. His leg is bleeding and he's on his own now.
17:33 CEST 183.3km/6km to go
Bertagnolli is being
pursued by five riders at 12 seconds. Not sure which of the chasers are left
17:34 CEST 183.3km/6km to go
Bertagnolli is caught
by McGee, who is a good descender. McGee has a great chance to take the gold
17:36 CEST 184.3km/5km to go
McGee are chased by five riders at 10 seconds. Not exactly sure who they are
yet. Looks like Vila (Lampre), Flecha (Fassa), Rodriguez (Saunier), Vicioso?
(Liberty) and Yus (Bouygues) are there.
McGee does a massive turn.
Still 10 seconds to the next five.
17:37 CEST 186.3km/3km to go
12 seconds with
some 3 km to go, and it's McGee and Bertagnolli with the advantage. McGee looks
fairly relaxed. The five chasers: Vila (Lampre), Vicioso (Liberty), Flecha (Fassa),
Rodriguez (Saunier), Yus (Bouygues).
The peloton is at 34 seconds. Looks
like gold for McGee today. But who will take the stage?
17:37 CEST 187.8km/1.5km to go
McGee looks back
to see where the chasers are, then goes through for another turn. Bertagnolli
suffers to get his wheel.
17:38 CEST 188.3km/1km to go
1 km to go and Bertagnolli
leads. 11 seconds.
Bertagnolli continues to lead, but
then McGee comes through. Maybe he'll sacrifice the stage win for gold? No.
He sits up. Bertagnolli comes past. McGee checks back and hits out. But not
too hard. Flecha is coming.
17:39 CEST 189.3km/0km to go
200 m to go and
Bertagnolli comes off McGee's wheel to win the stage, McGee second, Flecha third!
McGee in gold!
That was a great win by Bertagnolli,
who used the fact that McGee wanted the jersey to make him lead out. Flecha
and the chase group almost caught them, but not quite.
recovering on the ground now, as he went fairly deep. But he leads the Vuelta
a España after the second day.
Bertagnolli takes the mountains and
combination jersey while McGee will have the leader's and the points jerseys.
They'll get hot if they wears all of them, so they'll to other riders tomorrow.
Join us then for the third stage of the Vuelta between Cordoba and Puertollano,
over 153.3 km, which should suit the sprinters more than today.
1 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis, le credit par telephone 4.52.27
2 Bradley McGee (Aus) Française des Jeux
3 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Fassa Bortolo
4 Francisco Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa) Lampre - Caffita
5 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team
6 Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spa) Bouygues Telecom
7 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir
8 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) Phonak Hearing Systems
9 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana
10 Pablo Lastras (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne
General classification after stage 2
1 Bradley McGee (Aus) Française des Jeux 5.02.01
2 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis, le credit par telephone 0.22
3 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 0.31
4 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team
5 Francisco Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa) Lampre - Caffita 0.32
6 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 0.35
7 Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spa) Bouygues Telecom 0.43
8 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Quick Step - Innergetic 0.52
9 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0.55
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 1.02
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