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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

92nd Liège-Bastogne-Liège - PT

Belgium, April 23, 2006

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El invencible

Action-man Alejandro first Spaniard to win La Doyenne

By Anthony Tan in Ans

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

A childhood nickname given to him by one of his friends continues to hold true. His performance last Wednesday was stunning; today was simply confirmation that it was no fluke, as Alejandro Valverde claimed yet another Spring Classic with victory in La Doyenne and became the first Spanish rider to do so. Two days shy of his 26th birthday, this rider from Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears now adds one of the five monuments to his rapidly-growing palmarès, and can approach the 2006 Tour de France with supreme confidence in his own ability.

Asked about his tactics in the final kilometres, Valverde said: "Well, I can tell you it was easy, because before that, we had [Joaquin] Rodriguez in the lead and I didn't have to do anything except wait. And after that, when [Patrik] Sinkewitz attacked, I was on his wheel and when we got to the last finishing straight, I just had to pass him.

"I knew I was one of the fastest riders," he continued, "but there was also [Paolo] Bettini and Martin Perdiguero who are also very fast, so I was confident but not absolutely certain; you have to finish first to be sure."

The 178 centimetre-tall, 61 kilogram boy-wonder from Las Lumbreras, Murcia was again asked about his comments made last Wednesday, where he told the press he rated his mountain-top victory at last year's Tour de France above his win in Flèche Wallonne. 'Do you still feel the same way?' he was asked.

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Answered Valverde: "Flèche Wallonne was very important, being a ProTour race, but this is a bigger race with a longer history, and also the fact that I'm the first Spanish rider [to win]. However, beating Armstrong in the Tour was also very important, so the three [wins] are all important but different; there are no words to express how I feel after each of these victories."

If it wasn't for this man nicknamed 'El invencible', Paolo Bettini may well have taken his third win in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Being one of fastest finishers at the end of hard race, it appeared Il Grillo was banking on a small bunch sprint, reacting rather than forcing or attacking throughout the day. Clearly, though, he was unable to match the speed of Valverde; maybe he'll think differently next time.

Said Quick.Step team manager Patrick Lefevre: "Bettini rode a nice race; he did what he had to do."

"On the Côte du Sart-Tilman, he caused pain to everybody with his acceleration. Sadly though, they got caught and so he lost a lot of energy for the sprint. There he was in the right wheel, he was just not strong enough to overtake Valverde. Maybe the team should've had somebody else in the break of twenty riders, though I noticed most of them were team leaders so you can't expect miracles from the guys," added Lefevre.

Armed with a podium place and a string of recent victories in the Giro d'Oro, Giro del Trentino and Settimana Ciclista Coppi-Bartali, Bettini's compatriot Damiano Cunego can be counted on as one of Ivan Basso's biggest rivals at the upcoming Giro d'Italia. However, the latter was equally impressive - possibly more so - today, setting the pace on La Redoute and the final climb to Ans, although still not showing the explosiveness his team manager Bjarne Riis was boasting about at last Thursday's press conference.

Finally, how did Valverde get his nickname?

"When I started racing from when I was 10 years old till 13, I never lost a race; I did around 18 or 20 races a year and I won all of them," he said casually.

A new ProTour leader

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: Brecht Decaluwé
(Click for larger image)

Until this week, one may have thought Tom Boonen's ProTour leader's jersey was safe at least till Le Tour. But two wins within the space of a week has elevated Alejandro Valverde to the top of the leaderboard, now seven points clear of Boonen (Quick.Step) and 31 ahead of Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital). There's been plenty of goings on in the middle and lower order, too: CSC's Frank Schleck is now fourth (100 points) and Patrik Sinkewitz from T-Mobile is fifth (90), while today's most aggressive rider, Michael Boogerd, has moved into the top ten, the Rabo pro occupying ninth spot with 75 points.

"Of course," said Valverde when asked if he would defend his newly acquired jersey. "The ProTour is very important, but I won't change my calendar. Next week I do the Tour de Romandie; after that, I rest for one month, then I will be back at the Dauphiné and then the Tour.

"It's a very hard race, but I know there are some stages that are very good for me," he said about his upcoming appointment in Switzerland. "The rest of my team is also very strong and I hope it can be my turn to help one of my team-mates win something there."

How it unfolded

The start
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Like Wednesday's La Flèche Wallonne, sunny, blue skies greeted the peloton gathered at the Place Saint-Lambert for the 92nd edition of the oldest classic of them all, Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

195 riders left Liege's Place Saint-Lambert with the exception being Marcus Fothen (Gerolsteiner), who became a dad at 7.30 this morning and needed to sleep, not race. "Mother and child are well, and we are very happy," said Pa Fothen. For the rest, plenty were looking for the early breakaway in order to have some hope of surviving the hilly finale, and it took just 16 kilometres before a group of 13 tried to break clear, although unsuccessful.

The chase by the peloton didn't discourage further attacking, however, and after a few more attempts, a counter-attack from Frenchman Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues Telecom) and Belgian Serge Pauwels (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport) at km 34 became the impetus for a larger breakaway that would shape events for the following five hours. The 24-man chase group included: Pauwels' team-mate Martin Wynants, Marcos Serrano (Liberty Seguros-Würth), Jens Voigt (CSC), Michael Rogers, Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile), Juan Antonio Flecha, Alexandre Kolobnev (Rabobank), Torsten Hiekmann (Gerolsteiner), Addy Engels (Quick.Step-Innergetic), Salvatore Commesso (Lampre-Fondital), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Discovery Channel), Christophe Brandt (Davitamon-Lotto), Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta, Nicolas Portal (Caisse d'Epargne), Luis Perez Rodriguez (Cofidis), Remi Pauriol (Credit Agricole), Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Arkaitz Duran Arroca (Saunier Duval), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), Stephane Goubert (AG2R), Bert De Waele, Steven Kleynen, Jean-Paul Simon (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) and Ryan Cox (Barloworld) - who became one with the pair up front in Hotton (km 62), also the stage finish for the fourth stage of this year's Giro d'Italia.

The peloton
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

With 20 out of 25 teams represented, 69 kilometres covered and the gap tipping over the seven-minute mark, it became obvious the peloton had decided not to chase, although 10 kilometres later, the time gap had stabilised to around six minutes. The break's notable exceptions were Phonak and Milram, whose domestiques were doing what they could to keep the gap within reach.

Approaching the Côte de Saint Roch, the third of 12 categorised climbs and the race's midway point, the lead of the front group of 26 was still five and a half minutes. But with nine difficult climbs awaiting those bound for the return leg, the break was by no means home and hosed. Aiding the peloton's chances was the fact that a number of the teams up front did not have their best riders represented, including Liberty Seguros, CSC, Lampre-Fondital and Quick.Step, and a century of kilometres out from the finish in Ans, the lead had been cut to exactly three minutes.

Passing Trois-Ponts (km 170, 92km to go) and sensing a recapture, Perez (Cofidis) and Wesemann (T-Mobile) attacked their breakaway companions with Voigt (CSC) chasing, before the latter attacked again, deciding to go it alone as he did in the Amstel Gold Race one week ago; over the top of the Côte de Wanne, Wese's lead was 1'55 on the main bunch.

Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

10 kilometres later on the Côte de Stockeu, the favourites began moving to the head of a dwindling peloton, with Sorensen, Kroon (both CSC), Cunego (Lampre-Fondital), Boogerd (Rabobank) and Bettini (Quick.Step) all there. Giro favourite Ivan Basso (CSC) suffered an untimely puncture before the Côte de la Haute-Levée, but with plenty of help from his team, the Italian was back in the fold. However, just prior to Basso rejoining the bunch, Belgian Rik Verbrugghe (Cofidis) shot off the peloton, catching Martin Wynants (Chocolade Jacques) and Steven Kleynen (Landbouwkrediet) on the way; at km 190 (72km to go), Wesemann was 1'25 ahead of the first chase group with Verbrugghe's group closing in five kilometres later.

Just before the 200 kilometre mark, the peloton, now driving, had caught all but one rider - the indefatigable Steffen Wesemann, who was still enjoying a minute and a half's advantage. But just over the top of the Côte de la Vecquée, the scene of last year's winning move, the German's day out came to an abrupt halt after 180+ kilometres, swept up and brushed away by a fast-moving peloton, which was due to tackle the infamous 2.1 kilometre, 8.4 percent Côte de la Redoute en masse...

Perdiguero and Bettini
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Right then, Garate, Horner, Bettini, Schleck, Kroon, Basso, Merckx, Sinkewitz, Boogerd, Vinokourov, Cunego, Valverde, Evans and Horner were part of a estimated fifty-strong lead group, with the second just over a minute in arrears. Attacks came from Cunego, Bettini, Kessler, but with such a large bunch, no-one was prepared to risk everything and go full-gas. More than anything, it was some very solid hard tempo from Basso that slimmed this group down to roughly 15 riders over the top.

The Côte de Sprimont (km 233, 29km to go) was next, and Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) decided to take his chances on the 1.4 km climb, the move also inspiring Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) to join him. Rather interesting was the situation behind, as the first and second chase groups merged before the third-to-last climb of the Côte du Sart-Tilman - Tilff.

More interesting, however, was the situation up front as Rodriguez and Boogerd began believing in themselves when their advantage crept over the half-minute mark, and by the crest of the 3.6 kilometre climb, the pair was 40 seconds in front. Boogerd in particular was forcing the pace, making Rodriguez suffer, while back in the chase, Bettini attacked, briefly having Valverde for company until the former was alone.

The podium
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Taking the less-travelled road to the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, the front duo was flying, still with a 28 second lead, but attacks from Kashechkin, Di Luca, Perdiguero and Sinkewitz on the climb saw that lead evaporate. Hitting the Côte d'Ans at one and a half kilometres to go, 12 riders were left in contention: Perdiguero (Phonak), Boogerd (Rabobank), Sinkewitz (T-Mobile), Rodriguez, Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), Horner (Davitamon-Lotto), Cunego (Lampre-Fondital), Basso, Schleck (CSC), Bettini (Quick.Step), Di Luca (Liquigas) and Kashechkin (Liberty Seguros).

Sinkewitz was first to try his luck; then Basso; then Schleck; then Boogerd; then Basso again shortly before the final left-hander, 300 metres before the line - but last Wednesday's winner Alejandro Valverde simply bided his time, coming off Sinkewitz's wheel with 150 metres to go and holding off a desperate-looking Bettini and the 'Kid' Cunego to score what could be the first of a few victories in La Doyenne in years to come.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by AFP Photo

Images by Luc Claessen/www.ctm-images.com

Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti

Images by Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net

Results - 262 km

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears    6.21.32 (41.202 km/h)
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic                       
3 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                              
4 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) T-Mobile Team                              
5 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                                    
6 Martin Perdiguero M.Angel (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems            
7 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                      
8 Christopher Horner (USA) Davitamon - Lotto                        
9 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas                                 0.04
10 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                    0.07
11 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team         0.12
12 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears       0.24
13 David Etxebarria (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team          0.28
14 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank                                  0.29
15 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                     0.31
16 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas                                 
17 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Team Milram                                  
18 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC                                     
19 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                          
20 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                     
21 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Barloworld                                   
22 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir                 0.45
23 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                          0.47
24 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team                         0.51
25 Pedro Arreitunandia (Spa) Barloworld                         0.57
26 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                      1.18
27 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Credit Agricole                     1.21
28 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                
29 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Lampre-Fondital                            
30 Alexandre Vinokourov (Liberty Seguros - Würth Team)          1.31
31 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone          
32 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas                              2.13
33 Axel Merckx (Bel) Phonak Hearing Systems                     4.29
34 Didier Rous (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                           4.33
35 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Ag2R Prevoyance                          
36 Ruben Lobato (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir                        
37 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel Team                      
38 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux                        
39 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) T-Mobile Team                               
40 Iker Camano (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                            
41 Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto                          
42 Serge Baguet (Bel) Quick Step - Innergetic                       
43 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quick Step - Innergetic                       
44 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team                  
45 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir            5.26
46 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone          6.58
47 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole                      7.31
48 Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld                                
49 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Credit Agricole                        9.53
50 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Quick Step - Innergetic            10.51
51 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                        
52 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                     11.00
53 Beat Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                                    
54 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears         
55 David De La Fuente (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir                  
56 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                       
57 Jose Luis Arrieta (Spa) Ag2R Prevoyance                          
58 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel                               
59 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                           
60 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Rabobank                                 
61 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto                        
62 Steve Zampieri (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                      
63 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Team Milram                                
64 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                                    
65 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Quick Step - Innergetic                     
66 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto                        
67 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Francaise Des Jeux                         
68 Mario Aerts (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto                              
69 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                
70 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                          
71 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Unibet.Com                                 
72 Stephane Goubert (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                           
73 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Liquigas                                     
74 José Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel Team                        
75 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Credit Agricole                               
76 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Lampre-Fondital                             
77 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone              
78 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                    
79 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                         
80 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon - Lotto                              
81 Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros - Würth Team)                  
82 Angel Vicioso (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team                 
83 Uros Murn (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems                           
84 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Fondital                              
85 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank                               
86 Benoit Salmon (Fra) Agritubel                                    
87 Steve Morabito (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                 16.36
88 Benoit Joachim (Lux) Discovery Channel Team                 17.25
89 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Team Milram                             
90 Johan Coenen (Bel) Unibet.Com                                    
91 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport                 
92 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole                        
93 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Davitamon - Lotto                          
94 Antonio Colom (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears               
95 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                             
96 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Liquigas                                  
97 Ryan Cox (RSA) Barloworld                                        
98 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                   
99 Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                            
100 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile Team                              
101 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC                                    
102 Marcos Serrano (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team               
103 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step - Innergetic                       
104 Matej Jurco (Svk) Team Milram                                   
105 Frédéric Finot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux    
DNF Jose Antonio Redondo (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team
DNF Peter Lüttenberger (Aut) Team CSC
DNF Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC
DNF Christian Vandevelde (USA) Team CSC
DNF Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team
DNF Bernhard Kohl (Aut) T-Mobile Team
DNF Steffen Wesemann (Swi) T-Mobile Team
DNF Thomas Ziegler (Ger) T-Mobile Team
DNF Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank
DNF Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
DNF Thomas Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner
DNF Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner
DNF Marcus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner
DNF Torsten Hiekmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner
DNF José Antonio Garrido (Spa) Quick Step - Innergetic
DNF Hubert Schwab (Swi) Quick Step - Innergetic
DNF Matteo Carrara (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
DNF Fumuyuki Beppu (Jpn) Discovery Channel Team
DNF Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Discovery Channel Team
DNF Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Discovery Channel Team
DNF Bart Dockx (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto
DNF Jonathan Patrick Mc Carty (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems
DNF Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems
DNF Victor Hugo Pena (Col) Phonak Hearing Systems
DNF Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears
DNF Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears
DNF Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears
DNF Vicente Reynes (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears
DNF Daniel Musiol (Ger) Team Milram
DNF Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Team Milram
DNF Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram
DNF Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Team Milram
DNF Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone
DNF Cristian Moreni (Ita) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone
DNF Luis Perez-Rodriguez (Spa) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone
DNF Anthony Charteau (Fra) Credit Agricole
DNF Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole
DNF Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Credit Agricole
DNF Freddy Bichot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
DNF Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux
DNF Gustav Larsson (Swe) Francaise Des Jeux
DNF Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
DNF Joseba Albizu (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNF Andoni Aranaga (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNF Unai Etxebarria (Ven) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNF Aitor Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNF José Alberto Benitez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir
DNF Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir
DNF Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir
DNF Jose Angel Gomez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir
DNF Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom
DNF Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
DNF Franck Renier (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
DNF Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
DNF Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas
DNF Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
DNF Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Liquigas
DNF Philip Deignan (Irl) Ag2R Prevoyance
DNF Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance
DNF John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance
DNF Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2R Prevoyance
DNF Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Unibet.Com
DNF Angel Castresana (Spa) Unibet.Com
DNF Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Unibet.Com
DNF Matthé Pronk (Ned) Unibet.Com
DNF Erwin Thijs (Bel) Unibet.Com
DNF Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Unibet.Com
DNF Koen Barbe (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport
DNF Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport
DNF Jens Renders (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport
DNF Wesley Van Der Linden (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport
DNF Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport
DNF Frederik Willems (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport
DNF Maarten Wynants (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport
DNF Andy Cappelle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF Jean-Claude Lebeau (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF Sven Renders (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF Jean Paul Simon (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF Johan Verstrepen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF Mauro Facci (Ita) Barloworld
DNF Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA) Barloworld
DNF Hugo Sabido (Por) Barloworld
DNF Tom Southam (GBr) Barloworld
DNF Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Agritubel
DNF Aivaras Baranauskas (Ltu) Agritubel
DNF Manuel Calvente (Spa) Agritubel
DNF Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) Agritubel
DNF Moises Duenas Nevado (Spa) Agritubel
DNF Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Spa) Agritubel

ProTour standings

1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears    136 pts
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step - Innergetic                            129
3 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                             105
4 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                        100
5 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                 90
6 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                    89
7 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC                                     84
8 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                                       75
9 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram                                72
10 Antonio Colom Mas (Spa) Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears              71
11 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic                       70
12 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic                         66
13 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC                                        60
14 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team            60
15 José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir             53
16 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems                           52
17 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                        51
18 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) T-Mobile Team                                50
19 Francisco Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa) Lampre-Fondital              48
20 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole                                  44
21 Leif Hoste (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team                 42
22 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems         42
23 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team                     40
24 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                                35
25 Luca Paolini (Ita) Liquigas                                         35
26 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Française Des Jeux                             32
27 David Kopp (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                       30
28 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank                         30
29 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto                             30
30 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team           30
31 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team         29
32 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                                   29
33 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                             26
34 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone         23
35 José Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team               22
36 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                           17
37 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas                                       16
38 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas                                     15
39 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                          15
40 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux                           15
41 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                                  14
42 Christopher Horner (USA) Davitamon-Lotto                            12
43 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole                             10
44 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto                                   10
45 Bert Roesems (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto                                  10
46 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team                       9
47 David Etxebarria Alkorta (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team          7
48 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir                         5
49 Erki Pütsep (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance                                    5
50 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Française Des Jeux                           5
51 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                          5
52 Andreas Klier (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                    5
53 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team     5
54 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team                 5
55 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) T-Mobile Team                                   4
56 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                 4
57 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram                                         4
58 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears        3
59 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                               3
60 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                                      3
61 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                          3
62 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone             2
63 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                                 2
64 Thomas Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team            2
65 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone              2
66 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                            2
67 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                                        2
68 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Fondital                                  2
69 Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir                          2
70 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto                                  2
71 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                 1
72 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC                                     1
73 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                    1
74 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir                    1
75 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                 1
76 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux                                 1
77 Bradley Mcgee (Aus) Française Des Jeux                               1
78 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir          1
1 Team CSC                                                            152 pts
2 Rabobank                                                            134
3 T-Mobile Team                                                       131
4 Lampre-Fondital                                                     126
5 Quick Step-Innergetic                                               121
6 Gerolsteiner                                                        113
7 Davitamon-Lotto                                                     113
8 Liberty Seguros-Würth Team                                          109
9 Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears                                      109
10 Phonak Hearing Systems                                             108
11 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team                                 107
12 Team Milram                                                         87
13 Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone                                    87
14 Euskaltel-Euskadi                                                   78
15 Credit Agricole                                                     77
16 Saunier Duval-Prodir                                                72
17 Française des Jeux                                                  68
18 Liquigas                                                            57
19 Bouygues Telecom                                                    56
20 AG2R Prevoyance                                                     41
1 Spain                                                               397 pts
2 Italy                                                               348
3 Belgium                                                             213
4 Netherlands                                                         203
5 Germany                                                             169
6 Switzerland                                                         142
7 United States Of America                                            129
8 Luxembourg                                                          100
9 Norway                                                               45
10 Austria                                                             32
11 France                                                              26
12 Australia                                                           22
13 Portugal                                                            22
14 Russian Federation                                                   6
15 Kazakhstan                                                           5
16 Estonia                                                              5