60th Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, August 27-September 18, 2005
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Stage 9 - Sunday, September 4: Lloret de Mar-Lloret de Mar TT, 48 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Hernan Alvarez
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:10 CEST
Welcome to Lloret de Mar for our
live coverage of the Vuelta's first long time trial, 48 km around the Spanish
seaside town. The ninth stage is not an easy one, climbing at the start before
a short descent to the 10.8 km mark, then climbing the Cat. 3 Alto de Tossa
(250m) after 21.4 km. Then it's mostly downhill to the finish, with a few little
ups and downs.
The first rider off is José Antonio Garrido (Quick.Step),
who leaves at 12:57pm. The riders then depart at 1 minute intervals until the
last rider, Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) sets off at 16:15. Early favourites
include Niels Scheuneman (Rabobank, 13:11), Magnus Bäckstedt (Liquigas-Bianchi,
13:23), Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner, 13:41), Rik Verbrugghe (Quick.Step, 14:08),
Leif Hoste (Discovery, 14:21), Santiago Botero (Phonak, 14:42), José Ivan Gutierrez
(Illes Balears, 14:50), José Azevedo (Discovery, 14:53), Bradley McGee (Francaise
des Jeux, 14:57), Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel, 15:22), and Christian Vandevelde
The top 20 on GC leave at 2 minute intervals, and
favourites for the stage include Santos Gonzalez (Phonak, 15:53), Tom Danielson
(Discovery Channel, 15:55), Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears, 16:05), Carlos
Sastre (CSC, 16:11), Denis Menchov (Rabobank, 16:13), and Heras at 16:15. Menchov
in particular could take the gold jersey again, but Heras has improved his riding
against the clock over the last few years, and should finish right up there.
31 riders of 180 have completed the
48 km, and the best time so far is that of Rabobank's Niels Scheuneman. The
Dutch rider clocked 1:05:03 for a respectable 44.27 km/h average. But back down
the course at the 21.4 km mark, Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner) has gone through
in 32'37, 1'20 faster than Scheuneman.
Peschel comes to the finish and he's
smashed the time of Scheuneman with a 1:02:33, a full two and a half minutes
quicker than the Rabobank rider. Peschel's time looks to be a good one on this
tough course, but there are still plenty of big guns to come.
Verbrugghe is third at the 21.4 km check, 1'10 slower than Peschel. That's going
to be hard to make up.
Belgian TT specialist Leif Hoste
(Discovery) has clocked a good time at the 10.8 km mark, coming through in 14'40,
nine seconds quicker than CSC's Andrea Peron and 15 better than Uwe Peschel.
Let's see how he performs at the next check, which is at the top of the Alto
Hoste is indeed quickest at 21.4
km, by 12 seconds. The Discovery Channel rider is on a good day, it looks like.
Can he bring it home over the last 27 km?
CSC's Andrea Peron has finished his
ride in an impressive 1:02:45, just 12 seconds slower than Uwe Peschel, who
is currently in the hot seat. Meanwhile, at the 35 km check, Leif Hoste has
come through in second place, but only 1 second slower than Peschel. This will
be close over the last 13 km.
Hoste is still to finish, as we get
a time check from Santi Botero at km 10.8. The 2002 World TT Champ is not on
a good day, as he already sits in 66th position at 1'27 from Hoste!
The weather today is once again good
for racing, 28 degrees and sunny, with a moderate 20-25 km/h breeze blowing
from the southwest.
82 riders have completed the 48 km
around Lloret de Mar, and the best time is still held by Uwe Peschel. The top
10 so far:
1 Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner) 1.02.33
2 Andrea Peron
3 Rik Verbrugghe (Quick Step) 0.52
4 Niels Scheuneman (Rabobank)
5 Ruslan Ivanov (Domina Vacanze) 2.50
6 Frédéric Finot (Française
des Jeux) 2.55
7 Gorka Gonzalez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 3.02
8 Nicki Sørensen
9 Magnus Bäckstedt (Liquigas) 3.07
10 Christophe Edaleine
Leif Hoste finishes his ride in 1:03:27,
for fourth best behind Peschel, Peron and Verbrugghe. He must have tanked a
bit over the last 13 km, because he lost nearly a minute to Peschel between
the last time check and the finish.
Another of the pre-stage favourites,
Brad McGee (FDJ) has come through 10.8 km in 9th place, 33 seconds slower than
Hoste. Let's see how he goes up to the next check, which is one of the most
Although Botero is not on a good
day today, his teammate and compatriot Victor Hugo Peña (Phonak) certainly is.
Peña comes through 21.4 km just 2 seconds slower than Leif Hoste, who still
has the best time at that point.
Stijn Devolder (Discovery) has
done a good time today, with a 1:04:40 for fifth on the leaderboard at the moment.
Another impressive ride has come
from Fabio Sacchi (Fassa Bortolo), who lies in sixth at the moment, 2'20 behind
Uwe Peschel. Sacchi is not usually renowned as a time triallist, but he gets
plenty of practice riding at the front of the peloton for Petacchi.
We have a new best time at km 10.8
by Ruben Plaza (Comunidad Valenciana), and it's a good one: His 14'07 shaves
33 seconds off the time of Leif Hoste. Plaza is a good rider against the clock,
and has a couple of professional TT wins to his credit. He also won the Spanish
road championship in 2003.
Oscar Pereiro Sio (Phonak) has come
into the finish now, with a 1:02:41, just 8 seconds slower than Peschel, who
still has the best time. Pereiro's teammate Victor Peña should be in soon. He
has the best time at km 35.6 by six seconds, and could well knock Peschel off
the top spot. But the German finished very strongly.
Tom Danielson (Discovery) is under
way now, and the American is powering along the first uphill part of the course.
He's chasing Santos Gonzalez (Phonak), and the pair are level pegging at the
Juan Miguel Mercado (Quick.Step)
is getting the final 10 seconds countdown. He's off! The Quick.Step rider is
sitting in the top 10 on GC, and will hope to defend that today.
Santos Gonzalez struggles up the climb, riding at a slow cadence. He's Phonak's
main GC rider.
Ruben Plaza has done the best time
at km 21.4, not surprising there.
His teammate Carlos Garcia Quesada
his starting now.
Brad McGee comes home in a time of
1:04:22, 1'49 behind Peschel for 7th. That's good but not good enough.
Victor Peña comes in with a time
of 1:02:30, getting the best time by 3 seconds! Excellent ride by the Colombian,
who has been out for most of the season due to injury.
Unai Yus (Bouygues)
sets off for his ride.
Paco Mancebo (Illes Balears) is now
on his way, as the sixth last rider to go.
Danielson is keeping a
good rhythm on the climb, pedaling smoothly.
The top 10 so far:
Victor Hugo Peña (Phonak) 1.02.30
2 Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner) 0.03
3 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Phonak) 0.11
4 Andrea Peron (CSC) 0.15
Verbrugghe (Quick Step) 0.55
6 Leif Hoste (Discovery) 0.57
Kern (Bouygues) 1.21
8 Bradley McGee (Française des Jeux) 1.52
Devolder (Discovery) 2.10
10 Fabio Sacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 2.23
Carlos Garcia Quesada makes his way
up the first climb as his teammate David Blanco starts. As usual, the Comunidad
Valenciana boys are very much at the top of the results table in the Vuelta.
Joaquin Rodriguez (Saunier Duval) is next to go. He's the fourth on GC, and
has done a great Vuelta so far.
Ruben Plaza's time after 21.4 km
was 31.15, a whole 1'10 quicker than Leif Hoste.
Carlos Sastre (CSC)
is next to go. He needs to do a good ride today to pick up time on Heras.
Mancebo is on the first climb now,
keeping a good cadence but struggling a bit to get comfortable. He sits right
on the front of the saddle.
Roberto Heras is getting ready to go
now, following Denis Menchov.
Menchov is now under way. The Russian
is clad in a green, yellow and white skinsuit, which marks the leader in the
combination classification. He doesn't actually lead that, but Heras can't wear
the jersey so second placed Menchov will. This could be a one use only skinsuit!
Roberto Heras, looking very calm,
is on his way now. He gets quickly up to speed, but doesn't go flat out at the
Danielson is through the first time check in fourth place,
35 seconds behind Ruben Plaza. His teammate Michael Barry comes to the finish
in 1:04:00 for 10th best. A good ride.
Menchov grunts his way up the climb.
He's got a nice low position on the bike, but he does wobble a bit from side
to side when he's going uphill. Speed is what counts though, and he's got that.
Heras is now on the climb, sitting
at 30 km/h as he gets out of the saddle. He's fighting with it on a steeper
part. Now he gets a short downhill. He's already four seconds up on Menchov.
Mancebo is through 10.8 km just 18
seconds slower than Ruben Plaza, who has the best time there. That's a good
ride from the Illes Balears captain, who is pretty handy against the clock for
a climbing specialist.
Heras again gets out of the saddle
in the big chainring, trying to keep the small advantage he has over Menchov.
Carlos Sastre looks very quick as he rides next to the witches hats on a small
Jakob Piil (CSC) is also on track
for a good ride. He was second at the 21.8 km check, 52 seconds slower than
Ruben Plaza. The latter has smashed through the 35 km check in 45:09, a whole
1:18 better than Victor Peña. He'll get the best time for sure.
Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel) comes
to the finish in 1:04:35, for 13th. That's not a great ride by the TerminAitor,
who dominated this discipline in 2002.
Heras and Menchov are level
pegging out on the course. The gap on GC between the two is only 12 seconds,
but there's a long way to ride yet.
Plaza still has the best time at
km 10.8 as Menchov goes through 5 seconds slower, and Sastre 14 seconds. It
remains for Heras to come past this first check.
Here's Heras, getting into a good
rhythm through town. He's third at 7 seconds behind Plaza, meaning he's only
lost 2 seconds to Menchov.
Ruben Plaza finishes his ride in a great
time of 1:01:03, easily the best time today. Could be enough to win. Marcus
Burghardt is almost on his wheel at the finish, the tall T-Mobile rider being
caught for five minutes by Plaza.
Joseba Beloki (Liberty) comes home
now, in a pretty good time of 1:03:51 for 9th. That's a hell of a lot better
than his prologue. But he too got caught by Plaza.
Carlos Garcia Quesada is through
21.4 km in 32'09 for third best behind Plaza and Piil. He is on track to defend
his 8th place on GC quite well, possibly even improving it.
Heras and Menchov are both on the
Alto de Tossa, and Menchov has 6 seconds advantage over the leader. He needs
12. The Russian is working well, powering along at a good cadence. It's 9 seconds
Marcos Serrano finishes in 1:03:55 for 10th. That's decent.
Christian Vandevelde (CSC) finishes
his ride now, clocking 1:03:46 for eighth thus far. His teammate Jakob Piil
is better, finishing in 1:02:49 for sixth. Very decent.
is 28 seconds slower than Plaza at km 21.4. That puts him in second on the stage,
with a few quicker riders to come.
Menchov now has 15 seconds on Heras,
making him the virtual leader of the Vuelta.
Menchov slows to 21-22km/h near the
top of the Alto de Tossa, fighting with it all the time. Carlos Sastre still
looks a picture of smoothness.
David Bernabeu (Comunidad Valenciana)
finishes off in 1:04:05 for 17th.
Heras now reaches the steep part
of the Alto de Tossa, already 20 effectively seconds behind Menchov, who should
do better on the second part of the parcours anyway.
Sastre reaches the top of the climb
19 seconds slower than Plaza for a provisional second. He's better than Mancebo.
Oscar Sevilla finishes his ride, really struggling with it for 1:04:15 (18th).
Sastre is catching Joaquin Rodriguez
on the descent. The Saunier rider started 2 minutes ahead of Sastre.
Menchov reaches the top of the climb in the best time of 31:14, even better
than Ruben Plaza.
Sastre flies past Joaquin Rodriguez
on the descent! That's motoring.
All riders are through the km 21.4
check now, and it's Denis Menchov with the best time. Plaza is at 1 second,
then Sastre at 20 and Heras at 27. On the GC, Menchov now has a 15 second advantage.
The top five at km 21.4:
1 Denis Menchov (Rabobank) 31.14
Ruben Plaza Molina (Comunidad Valenciana) 0.01
3 Carlos Sastre (CSC) 0.20
4 Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) 0.27
5 Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears)
Heras flies on the descent, slaloming
between the witches hats (for some reason, the course isn't completely closed).
Menchov stays on the correct side
of the witches hats, otherwise he risks being cleaned up by one of the oncoming
cars. That would be bad.
Danielson is in third at the third time
check, 1'09 behind Plaza. Good riding by the American. His Discovery teammate
is at the finish now in 1:03:04 for 7th, 2:01 behind Plaza.
followed by Gilberto Simoni (Lampre), who finishes in 1:05:41 for 36th.
Heras risks a time penalty for not
keeping within the course on the descent. We'll see - it's up to the commissaires.
Still, it's crazy not to have a fully closed parcours.
The gap between
Heras and Menchov on the road is effectively 34 seconds, in Menchov's favour.
Menchov is on track to win the stage and the gold jersey.
Santos Gonzalez sprints home in a
very good time of 1:02:39 for fourth place.
Tom Danielson is on an excellent
ride too. He finishes in 1:02:10, just 1:07 slower than Ruben Plaza for a provisional
second place. That should help him into the top 10 on GC, and he'll be satisfied
with that. We'll have a diary update from him a bit later.
Menchov goes through 35.6km in 45
minutes dead, 9 seconds better than Ruben Plaza. Heras is through there in 5th
place at 40 seconds. Menchov is catching Joaquin Rodriguez for four minutes!
Michele Scarponi finishes 1'51 slower than Plaza for 9th so far.
On the virtual general classification,
Menchov has 28 seconds on Heras. He'll be hoping for a minute or so because
the next two stages will suit Heras more.
Mercado finishes in 1:04:24
Here comes Quique Quesada, driving
hard up the finishing straight to end in 1:02:56 for 10th.
Mancebo nears the finish and picks
up speed with the tailwind. He's in his biggest gear now. He takes the last
corner and goes all out to the line, ending in 1:01:31 for second provisionally.
Great ride by Paco.
Heras is defending his jersey well,
but he'll still lose it to Denis Menchov again. The Russian winner of the prologue
is on track for a great time as he drives it through the final part of the course.
Carlos Sastre is also doing a good ride, and should move himself closer to Heras
on GC, although he might not move into second.
David Blanco finishes in 1:03:18
Meanwhile, Menchov has got it really cranked up in the
finale. He has 3 km to go.
Sastre is into the final kilometre
now, on track for a good time.
Sastre finishes off in 1:02:32, just
a little bit slower than Mancebo for third.
Meanwhile, Heras has
picked it up and is still 43 seconds behind Menchov on the road. Menchov is
into the final 500m now.
Denis Menchov drives it all the way
to the line, finishing in 1:00:54 for the best time!! He will win the stage
and the jersey, and he's very happy.
Joaquin Rodriguez comes through after
Menchov, in a relatively ordinary time off 1:06:48, nearly 6 minutes slower
Heras is in the final kilometre now.
Heras takes the last corner, extracts
a bit more juice out of his legs for the final sprint to the line. He finishes
in 1:01:43 for 5th, 49 seconds slower than Menchov. He'll lose the jersey, but
not by too much. 37 seconds on GC.
Well, that wraps it up for the time
trial in Lloret de Mar, where Denis Menchov has ridden back into the golden
jersey. Heras is now in second overall at 37 seconds, with Sastre in third at
1:36. Mancebo and Danielson round out the top five, after both did great rides
Now we have two stages in the Pyrenees coming up, which will
no doubt change things around again. Until tomorrow!
km 21.4 (all riders through)
1 Denis Menchov (Rabobank) 31.14
2 Ruben Plaza Molina (Comunidad Valenciana) 0.01
3 Carlos Sastre (CSC) 0.20
4 Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) 0.27
5 Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) 0.29
6 Jakob Piil (CSC) 0.53
7 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Comunidad Valenciana) 0.55
8 Michele Scarponi (Liberty Seguros)
9 Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) 1.03
10 David Bernabeu (Comunidad Valenciana)
km 35.6 (all riders through)
1 Denis Menchov (Rabobank) 45.00
2 Ruben Plaza Molina (Comunidad Valenciana) 0.09
3 Carlos Sastre (CSC) 0.24
4 Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) 0.40
5 Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros)
6 Tom Danielson (Discovery) 1.18
7 Jakob Piil (CSC)
8 Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) 1.21
9 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Comunidad Valenciana) 1.25
10 Victor Hugo Peña (Phonak) 1.27
Finish - km 48
1 Denis Menchov (Rabobank) 1.00.54
2 Ruben Plaza Molina (Comunidad Valenciana) 0.09
3 Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) 0.37
4 Carlos Sastre (CSC) 0.41
5 Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) 0.49
6 Tom Danielson (Discovery) 1.16
7 Victor Hugo Peña (Phonak) 1.36
8 Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner) 1.39
9 Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) 1.45
10 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Phonak) 1.47
General classification after stage 9
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 34.23.53
2 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 0.37
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 1.36
4 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 1.51
5 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 3.07
6 David Blanco Rodiguez (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 3.23
7 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 3.29
8 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 3.38
9 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 3.46
10 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 4.11
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