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61st Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, August 26-September 17, 2006
Stage 1 - August 26: Málaga - Málaga TTT, 7.3 km
Team CSC muy rápido
Big career moment for Sastre as he takes leader's jersey
By Shane Stokes in Málaga
The date was out by just over four months but when a delighted CSC squad sang Happy Birthday to Carlos Sastre in the waiting area prior to strutting their stuff on the podium as winners of the team time trial, they were marking another significant moment in the Spanish rider's life. In crossing the line first at the end of the flat, lighting fast 7.3 kilometre test, the 31 year old took the first big race leader's jersey of his career and marked himself out as one of the big riders to watch in this Vuelta.
"I am very pleased," he said at the post-race press conference. "I have thought about wearing this jersey from when I was a very young rider. This is a great win for Team CSC, it was a really good effort from everyone today.
"We have a team that is very motivated, very strong and we showed that here. There are twenty days left of a very hard Vuelta ahead of us but it is sure that the team will work one hundred percent for the win."
CSC were off second to last and scorched the course, impressively thrashing the time of GC rivals Caisse d'Epargne - Illes Balears by seven seconds and going a further second quicker than longtime leaders Team Milram. That left just Rabobank to go, but Denis Menchov's squad was found wanting and finished back in twelfth place, giving Sastre an early lead and, more importantly, a significant psychological boost on this opening day of the race.
The affable Spaniard was impressed by the CSC display. "Today I just had to follow the motorbike that was my team. They were very strong but I also felt very good today and am very happy. It is the first time that I have worn a leader's jersey.
"After today there is a time difference but the first significant differences will come in the first day in the mountains. That day will be very hard…it is a very tough stage."
Sastre was asked how this compared to his fourth place finish in the Tour de France, but he said that he is completely focused on going forward rather than looking to the past. "The Tour de France finished one month ago," he answered. "I don't think about the Tour any more, we are at the Vuelta a España now and I want to think about what is ahead, in the future."
He doesn't count on his team fighting tooth and nail to defend the Maillot Oro from this point onwards. "It will be very hard to keep this leader's jersey over the next few days," he stated, knowing well that it is better to let it go and then claim it back once the road pitches skywards later in the race.
Team boss Bjarne Riis was smiling at the finish. "I am very happy. It was a fantastic win for us and the team were very strong," he told Cyclingnews. "They were very, very fast in the last three or four kilometres…it was very nice to watch. We have a very good team here at this Vuelta.
He was asked at the press conference if it was decided beforehand that Sastre would lead them home. "I think it is correct that Carlos was first over the line. We talked about that yesterday. The team will work one hundred percent for Carlos and so it is right that he is leading now."
Like the rest of the team, Stuart O'Grady was delighted with the result. "I am rapt. It is one of the best feelings, winning an event with your team-mates. It is a team effort and everyone put in one hundred percent. It is nice to win, that is for sure.
"We rode a perfect race. We took it really easy for the first kilometre, when we were going around a couple of corners heading away from the stadium, but just wound it up from there. We were going fast, very, very fast."
Caisse d'Epargne directeur sportif Alfonso Galilea was happy with his team's ride, while also being a little frustrated to lose out on the win. "We had the best time, but CSC have just gone quicker," he said at the finish. "We think that we have done a very good time time trial but CSC has come to the Vuelta with a team of very, very good time trial riders. It is a short team time trial and it is very difficult to fight against a team like that here.
"But in this moment we are happy. We will finish second or maybe third, depending on how Rabobank get on. So I think it is a very good time for us and I am happy with that."
How it unfolded
The first stage of the 2006 Vuelta was a rather unique affair in terms of what is customary in major stage races. It resembled a prologue in terms of its length, 7.3 kilometres, but differed significantly in that it was run off as a team time trial.
First off from the start at Málaga’s Estadio de Atletismo was the Relax-Gam team but they had the briefest of spells at the top of the leaderboard before the second team, Lampre-Fondital went a full 16 seconds quicker. There was a light breeze coming off the sea along the flat, lightning fast course and teams were exceeding 65 kilometres per hour at points, driving hard on the straight roads while holding back slightly on the few technical corners.
The sixth team off, Credit Agricole, were the next leaders but their time of 7’49 was pipped by the next team to go, namely T-Mobile. However the German squad is without their biggest hitters here and it wasn’t long before another Teutonic lot, Team Milram, went three seconds quicker. Their squad is built around super-sprinters Alessandro Petacchi, on his way back after a bad knee injury sustained in the Giro, and Erik Zabel, and flat-out speed is their speciality. Could they hold on for the win?
Gerolsteiner - plunged into disarray after one of the team took a bad line around a corner and wiped out captain Davide Rebellin - then Quick.Step, Saunier Duval and Euskaltel came and went before big guns Discovery Channel got under way with their GC hope Tom Danielson. They equalled Milram at the intermediate time check but were a second behind at the finish at Paseo de Los Curas/Paseo La Farola; close but no cigarillo. Alexandre Vinokourov’s Astana team were next but they too fell short, finishing five seconds adrift of the motoring milkmen.
All eyes were on the Spanish squad Caisse D’Epargne- Illes Balears and with GC hopes Alejandro Valverde and Oscar Pereiro spurring the team onwards, they scorched in to the finish to record a time of 7’43 and set a new best. Yet their celebrations were short-lived as straight away CSC tore up the course and set a phenomenal pace of 57.632 kilometres an hour to go a full seven seconds faster; the celebrations started straight away and with the final team, Rabobank, finishing 18 seconds down in twelfth place, Carlos Sastre’s men in black got off to the best possible start. One stage down, 20 to go, but they will be happy tonight.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Shane Stokes/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Ed Tarwinski
1 Team CSC 7.36 (57.63 km/h) 2 Caisse D'Epargne-IB 0.07 3 Team Milram 0.08 4 Discovery 0.09 5 T-Mobile Team 0.11 6 Astana 0.12 7 Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.13 8 Credit Agricole 9 Liquigas 10 Quick Step-Innergetic 0.15 11 Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.18 12 Rabobank 13 Gerolsteiner 0.19 14 Lampre-Fondital 0.21 15 Bouygues Telecom 0.24 16 Davitamon-Lotto 0.25 17 Phonak Hearing System 0.27 18 Ag2R Prevoyance 19 Francaise de Jeux 0.28 20 Cofidis 0.30 21 Relax-GAM 0.37 Individuals 1 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 7.36 2 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team CSC 3 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC 4 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team CSC 5 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC 6 Iñigo Cuesta (Spa) Team CSC 7 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Team CSC 8 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC 9 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 0.04 10 José Vicent Garcia Acosta (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 0.07 11 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 12 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 13 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 14 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 15 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 16 Pablo Lastras (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 17 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 0.08 18 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram 19 Marco Velo (Ita) Team Milram 20 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukr) Team Milram 21 Daniel Becke (Ger) Team Milram 22 Sebastian Siedler (Ger) Team Milram 23 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Team Milram 24 Egoi Martinez (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.09 25 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 26 Benoît Joachim (Lux) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 27 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 28 Michael Barry (Can) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 29 Thomas Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 30 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 31 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 32 Joan Horrach (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 0.10 33 Bastiaan Giling (Ned) T-Mobile Team 0.11 34 Stephan Schreck (Ger) T-Mobile Team 35 André Korff (Ger) T-Mobile Team 36 Scott Davis (Aus) T-Mobile Team 37 André Greipel (Ger) T-Mobile Team 38 Thomas Ziegler (Ger) T-Mobile Team 39 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) T-Mobile Team 40 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) T-Mobile Team 41 Daniele Nardello (Ita) T-Mobile Team 42 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Team 0.12 43 Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz) Astana Team 44 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Team 45 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Team 46 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana Team 47 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Team 48 Sergio Paulinho (Por) Astana Team 49 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Astana Team 50 José Antonio Redondo (Spa) Astana Team 51 Francisco José Ventoso (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.13 52 David Cañada (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 53 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 54 Juan José Cobo (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 55 David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval-Prodir 56 José Ange Gomez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 57 David De La Fuente (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 58 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole 59 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole 60 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Credit Agricole 61 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Credit Agricole 62 Mads Kaggestad (Nor) Credit Agricole 63 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Credit Agricole 64 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole 65 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole 66 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Credit Agricole 67 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Liquigas 68 Charles Wegelius (GBr) Liquigas 69 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas 70 Luca Paolini (Ita) Liquigas 71 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Liquigas 72 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 73 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic 0.15 74 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic 75 Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic 76 Davide Vigano (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic 77 José Antonio Garrido (Spa) Quick Step-Innergetic 78 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic 79 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic 80 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic 81 Alberto Benítez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 82 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.16 83 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.18 84 Markel Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 85 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 86 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 87 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 88 Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 89 Rubén Pérez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 90 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 91 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 92 Pedro Horrillo (Spa) Rabobank 93 Mauricio Ardila (Col) Rabobank 94 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank 95 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank 96 Theo Eltink (Ned) Rabobank 97 William Walker (Aus) Rabobank 98 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 99 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 100 Andrea Moletta (Ita) Gerolsteiner 0.19 101 Torsten Hiekmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 102 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner 103 René Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner 104 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner 105 Sven Montgomery (Swi) Gerolsteiner 106 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 0.21 107 David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Fondital 108 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Fondital 109 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Lampre-Fondital 110 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 111 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 112 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 113 Francesco Failli (Ita) Liquigas 0.22 114 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Liquigas 115 Iñigo Landaluze (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 116 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.24 117 Franck Renier (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 118 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 119 Rony Martias (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 120 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom 121 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 122 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 0.25 123 Christopher Horner (USA) Davitamon-Lotto 124 Pieter Mertens (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 125 Josep Jufre (Spa) Davitamon-Lotto 126 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Davitamon-Lotto 127 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 128 Pierre Drancourt (Bel) Bouygues Telecom 0.26 129 Uros Murn (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems 0.27 130 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 131 Miguel A. Martín Perdiguero (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 132 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Phonak Hearing Systems 133 Steve Morabito (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 134 Steve Zampieri (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 135 Luis Fernández Oliveira (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 136 Florian Stalder (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 137 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 138 Alexandre Usov (Blr) AG2R Prevoyance 139 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 140 Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 141 Iñigo Chaurreau (Spa) AG2R Prevoyance 142 José Luis Arrieta (Spa) AG2R Prevoyance 143 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) AG2R Prevoyance 144 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 145 David Navas (Spa) AG2R Prevoyance 146 Frédéric Finot (Fra) Française des Jeux 0.28 147 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux 148 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Française des Jeux 149 Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Française des Jeux 150 Eric Leblacher (Fra) Française des Jeux 151 Sébastien Joly (Fra) Française des Jeux 152 Aketza Peña (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.29 153 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Phonak Hearing Systems 154 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 0.30 155 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 156 Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 157 Luis Pérez (Spa) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 158 Bingen Fernández (Spa) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 159 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 160 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 161 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 0.33 162 Claudio Corioni (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 163 Enrico Poitschke (Ger) Team Milram 164 Fabien Patanchon (Fra) Française des Jeux 0.34 165 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 0.36 166 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 167 Bart Dockx (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 168 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Française des Jeux 169 Mario De Sarraga (Spa) Relax-Gam 0.37 170 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Relax-Gam 171 Jorge García (Spa) Relax-Gam 172 Ángel Vallejo (Spa) Relax-Gam 173 Jesús Hernández (Spa) Relax-Gam 174 Nacor Burgos (Spa) Relax-Gam 175 José Miguel Elias (Spa) Relax-Gam 176 Raúl García De Mateo (Spa) Relax-Gam 177 Ian Mcleod (RSA) Française des Jeux 0.38 178 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.40 179 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas 0.41 180 Ángel Gómez Gómez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 181 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Team Milram 0.44 182 Christophe Kern (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.51 183 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step-Innergetic 0.54 184 Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.55 185 David George (RSA) Relax-Gam 1.08 186 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 1.13 187 Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 1.22 188 Marcel Strauss (Swi) Gerolsteiner 2.50 189 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner Points 1 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 25 pts 2 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team CSC 20 3 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC 16 4 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team CSC 14 5 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC 12 6 Iñigo Cuesta (Spa) Team CSC 10 7 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Team CSC 9 8 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC 8 9 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 7 10 José Vicent Garcia Acosta (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 6 11 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 5 12 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 4 13 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 3 14 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 2 15 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 1 Teams 1 Team CSC 22.48 2 Caisse D'Epargne - Illes Balears 0.21 3 Team Milram 0.24 4 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.27 5 T- Mobile Team 0.33 6 Astana 0.36 7 Saunier Duval - Prodir 0.39 8 Credit Agricole 9 Liquigas 10 Quick Step - Innergetic 0.45 11 Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.54 12 Rabobank 13 Gerolsteiner 0.57 14 Lampre - Fondital 1.03 15 Bouygues Telecom 1.12 16 Davitamon - Lotto 1.15 17 Phonak Hearing Systems 1.21 18 Ag2r Prevoyance 19 Française des Jeux 1.24 20 Cofidis, le Credit Par Telephone 1.30 21 Relax - GAM 1.51 Individuals km 3.3 1 Caisse D'Epargne-IB 3.33 2 Team Milram 0.01 3 Discovery 4 Astana 0.02 5 Liquigas 6 Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.03 7 Gerolsteiner 8 Team CSC 9 Quick Step-Innergetic 0.04 10 Euskaltel-Euskadi 11 Credit Agricole 12 T-Mobile Team 13 Rabobank 0.05 14 Lampre-Fondital 0.09 15 Phonak Hearing System 0.10 16 Davitamon-Lotto 17 Bouygues Telecom 0.11 18 Francaise de Jeux 19 Cofidis 0.12 20 Ag2R Prevoyance 0.13 21 Relax-GAM