61st Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, August 26-September 17, 2006
Results & report
Stage 12 – September 7: Aranda de Duero-Guadalajara, 169.3 km
Live Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Shane Stokes
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST
Stage 12 will be a rather flattish
stage with just one climb in the middle of the parcours. The only mountain will
be Alto de Santibañez de Ayllon (1,430 m. above sea level – km 66.4). There
will be two intermediate sprints in Ayllon (km 44.8) and Yunquera de Henares
(km 153). The route is very favourable for the sprinters' teams if they control
the attacks on the climb.
14:40 CEST 41km/128.3km to go
rollin'... we're 40 km into stage 12 between Aranda de Duero and Guadalajara
and we have a breakaway group with the following riders in it: Christopher Horner
(Davitamon-Lotto - best on GC at 13'55), Dmitriy Fofonov (Credit Agricole),
Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team CSC), Ian Mcleod (Française des Jeux), José Luis Arrieta
(AG2R Prevoyance), Kevin Hulsmans (Quick Step-Innergetic), René Haselbacher
(Gerolsteiner), Magnus Bäckstedt (Liquigas). The break started 16 km into the
stage when Haselbacher, Arvesen, Fofonov, and McLeod attacked, and were joined
by the others 9 km later.
The advantage at the moment is 1'12, with
Milram leading the chase.
14:43 CEST 47km/122.3km to go
The only other
breakaway today saw Davitamon-Lotto's young powerhouse Olivier Kaisen attack
after 3 km. He was joined by a dozen others, but the break was brought back
after 13 km. The next attack proved to be a better one.
At the sprint
in Ayllón, the break leads by only 55 seconds, with Bäckstedt winning ahead
of Arvesen and Haselbacher.
Angel Gomez Gomez (Saunier Duval) has
15:29 CEST 87km/82.3km to go
The break is caught
a couple of kilometres from the top of the day's only climb, the Alto de Santibáñez
de Ayllón. Yesterday's winner Egoi Martinez (Discovery) obviously has good legs,
and takes the points ahead of mountains leader Caucchioli, Paolo Bettini and
On the descent, a group of 11 attacks: Vladimir Gusev
(Discovery Channel), Paolo Bettini and Kevin Hulsmans (Quick Step-Innergetic),
Luca Paolini (Liquigas), Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Bart Dockx and Björn
Leukemans (Davitamon-Lotto), Bernhard Eisel and Ian Mcleod (Française des Jeux),
Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner), Jean-Patrick Nazon (AG2R Prevoyance). They
are chased by four riders: David Arroyo and Joan Horrach (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes
Balears), Pieter Mertens (Davitamon-Lotto), and Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole).
Latest abandons: Sven Montgomery and Andrea Moletta (Gerolsteiner).
Arroyo has managed to bridge up to
the leaders, but the other three riders with him have been absorbed by the bunch.
The new 12 man break has 2'35 over the peloton.
An impressive 50.8
km were covered in the first hour!
Smart move by Caisse d'Epargne to
put Arroyo up front. He is the best placed on GC at 14'09, and will again take
the pressure off his team to chase.
The weather today is a bit humid
and overcast. It's even raining in some areas near the parcours, so it's likely
that the riders will get a bit damp. The temperature, which was in the low 30s,
has dropped to around 28 degrees Celsius.
15:43 CEST 92km/77.3km to go
not having a good day of it today. Markus Fothen is their third rider to stop.
The break now has 4'17 on the bunch, with the average speed after two hours
now 44.7 km/h. That second hour was a lot slower than the first.
15:53 CEST 100km/69.3km to go
The break is gaining
ground over the bunch, and it's getting close to crunch time. The peloton doesn't
appear to be interested in bringing this group back.
There are some
interesting names up here, and it's not easy to pick a potential winner. Arroyo
is obviously strong, but this finish won't suit him. Gusev can go if given a
sniff, while Bettini has Hulsmans and Eisel has McLeod to lead him out/keep
it together for a sprint. Dockx and Leukemans are another combination, while
Paolini and Nazon are also fast finishers. And don't forget Haussler, who won
a Vuelta stage (the 19th) last year. The only real unknown is Ruben Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
16:00 CEST 110km/59.3km to go
The break hits
80 km/h on a bit of a descent as everyone works to keep the speed up. This one
will go all the way, as Caisse d'Epargne (who have a rider in the break anyway)
is not chasing.
It is dry and overcast, but we have had some rain.
The gap is 9'18 and growing. That
will prompt some other teams to start chasing soon, as Arroyo will be in the
virtual gold jersey soon.
16:09 CEST 120km/49.3km to go
The Caisse d'Epargne
riders start to shed their jackets and long gloves, as the dark clouds recede
behind the peloton. They're not chasing, but they are riding at the front. Their
tactics have attracted a bit of criticism from other riders, like Sastre, who
think they should take more responsibility for the leader's jersey.
Well they are, except in a different way. This way (putting a good rider in
the break) preserves the team.
The gap goes up over 10 minutes.
16:12 CEST 122.3km/47km to go
Joan Horrach, who
appears to have cut his hair since the Giro, leads the bunch at a fairly sedate
pace, 10'32 behind the break. He doesn't look too concerned, and he shouldn't
be. CSC and Astana should be though.
Eisel punctures, but gets back on
in the lead group. Hulsmans rolls through for his turn, sucking on an energy
16:17 CEST 125.3km/44km to go
The gap goes up
to 11'11 and some Astana jerseys move on up to the front. Barredo and Paulinho
start to work.
And there's a CSC riders up there
too to chase. The gap is 11'27, and that's probably as much as it will get to.
16:21 CEST 127.3km/42km to go
the gap comes back to 11'00. Astana and CSC have been forced to work.
16:24 CEST 128.3km/41km to go
The break continues
to work, although Arroyo ain't doing a whole lot. Except use the brakes.
Astana has all eight riders on the front of the bunch. There's no-one there
from CSC any more. The gap is cut to 10'40.
16:30 CEST 134.3km/35km to go
The break hits
72 km/h again on a descent. The roads here are quite wide and it's fairly straightforward
The bunch is moving at a rapid pace through Cogolludo,
still over 10 minutes behind the break.
16:34 CEST 137.3km/32km to go
Barredo rides up
with bidons for his teammates at the front of the peloton. The third hour is
completed at 46.6 km/h.
Eisel skips a turn at the back of
the break, which is working relatively well together as it hits flatter terrain.
Despite the dark clouds in the background, everyone is in short sleeves, as
it's still fairly warm.
The gap has come back to 9'56 but Astana
has to work to keep it there.
16:40 CEST 144.3km/25km to go
are disappearing fast as the break rides through Humanes with 25 km to go. It's
not one of the most interesting towns en route.
16:42 CEST 145.3km/24km to go
Hulsmans and Bettini
do their turns, then French sprinter Nazon does a soft one, forcing Hulsmans
to come through again.
16:44 CEST 147.3km/22km to go
Astana has backed
off a bit, having neutralised the threat of Arroyo. One of the Milram riders
- Petacchi? - rides up to the front of the bunch to check out what's going down.
Once again, the speed goes up to
78km/h in front. Paolini and Dockx come through for their turns.
16:48 CEST 151.3km/18km to go
The gap has levelled
off at around 10 minutes. The break is still working well, but it won't be too
much longer before someone attacks. The speed is a bit high at the moment.
16:51 CEST 154.3km/15km to go
The break rides
through Yunquera De Henares at high speed along the narrow streets. Arroyo sits
The gap has come back to 9'34 as
Astana rides a bit harder behind. Yakovlev is doing a lot of works, as is Kemps.
Vino and Kashechkin are tucked in behind them.
16:55 CEST 156.3km/13km to go
Eisel does a hard
turn and gets a gap with Paolini. They leave Fontanars. Paolini does a turn,
and a few riders bridge up. Gusev, Arroyo, McLeod, Perez and Dockx have to chase
on. All together.
16:56 CEST 158.3km/11km to go
The break stays
together as Hulsmans does a powerful turn. He wants to have Bettini in the best
possible position at the end. Haussler sits on his wheel, then Nazon.
Nazon isn't just a sprinter either.
He won last year's Memorial Van Steenbergen with a late solo attack.
16:57 CEST 159.3km/10km to go
CSC moves up the
bunch, but it's still Astana doing all the work as they negotiate a tricky roundabout.
The gap is 9'20.
16:59 CEST 161.3km/8km to go
Not much is going
to happen on GC today, as Arroyo won't quite move into the top 10, even with
Hulsmans leads under 8 km to go.
17:00 CEST 162.3km/7km to go
The pace is a constant
50-60 km/h at the moment. Still Hulsmans on the front, with 7 km to go. This
has been a long turn by the Belgian. Millar did one like it the other day, but
it did not pay off for Ventoso.
Michael Boogerd punctures in the
peloton. It'll be a bit of work to chase back on, as the bunch is fully lined
17:01 CEST 162.8km/6.5km to go
to be tiring. And Haussler is the first to attack!
17:02 CEST 163.3km/6km to go
Nice attack, but
Bettini, Paolini and Eisel ride up to the young German. That's going to hurt
17:02 CEST 164.3km/5km to go
allowing Hulsmans to come back. Gusev is the next to attack, but he has everyone
on his wheel.
17:03 CEST 165.3km/4km to go
Gusev eases up and
Paolini counters. Leukemans is the first to react.
Paolini has a gap as the others look
at each other. Bettini probably won't chase (friend, future teammate at the
17:04 CEST 166.3km/3km to go
Paolini looks back
and sees he has a gap. He flies under 3 km to go, but the chase is on behind.
Paolini avoids a traffic obstacle
and takes a left hander. Eisel or McLeod ends up on the footpath, but doesn't
17:05 CEST 167.3km/2km to go
The road goes up
now and Paolini has Bettini and Leukemans or Dockx coming up to him.
17:05 CEST 167.3km/2km to go
to ride, but now the lactic acid is burning in his legs. He goes under 2 km
Dockx and Bettini go under 2 km to
go, just behind Paolini. Then a small group with Perez, Leukemans, Gusev, Nazon
and Arroyo, Eisel?. Gusev counters.
17:07 CEST 168.3km/1km to go
Paolini has his
hands in an odd position on the hoods. The road continues to rise but he's now
past 1 km to go. Tricky corner there.
Nazon has to go under the tape marking
off the corner, losing time to the chasers. Bettini and Dockx must be close
to Paolini, but not close enough.
Bettini isn't working well with Dockx
(understandably). Paolini will surely win.
17:09 CEST 169.3km/0km to go
The final straight
is all gradually uphill. Bettini sits behind Dockx, looking back at Gusev and
Arroyo, who are trying to come up. But it's Paolini who wins!!!!
Bettini lets Dockx take second, then
Gusev is fourth ahead of Arroyo, then Perez, Eisel, Nazon and Haussler.
Well that was some good teamwork
by Luca Paolini and Paolo Bettini, with the latter serving as a spoiler for
Bart Dockx's chase attempt. Bettini didn't take a hard turn with Dockx, allowing
his friend Paolini the win. But a friend like that will be handy to have in
the world championships in a few weeks. That's bike racing. Still, Paolini was
the one who attacked and held it - full credit to him for winning today's stage.
The peloton comes in at 8'54 led by Marzoli and Hushovd. No significant changes
That's all folks! See you tomorrow.
1 Luca Paolini (Ita) Liquigas 3.35.07
2 Bart Dockx (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 0.05
3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic
4 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.08
5 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears
6 Rubén Pérez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.17
7 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Française des Jeux 0.22
8 Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance
9 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.33
10 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 0.39
General classification after stage 12
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 49.38.46
2 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Team 0.27
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 0.44
4 José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.56
5 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Team 1.38
6 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.05
7 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 2.21
8 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.28
9 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 3.02
10 Sergio Paulinho (Por) Astana Team 3.42
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