62nd Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, September 1-23, 2007
Results & report
Stage 1 - September 1: Vigo - Vigo, 146.4km
Complete live report
Live commentary by Susan Westemeyer and Gregor Brown
Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:45 CEST
Hola! Welcome to Cyclingnews'
coverage of the 62nd Vuelta a España. The three-week long race kicks off today
with a road stage starting from Vigo, home of Caisse d'Epargne's Oscar Pereiro.
This is the third time for Vigo to host the start of the Vuelta, the last being
40 years ago.
Two category three altos will award the first
points for the mountain's classification but due to their early appearance they
will not likely determine the day, and the fans should see a bunch sprint when
the stage arrives back in Vigo.
15:05 CEST 50km/96.4km to go
Milram has control
of the bunch as they speed along. There is an escape group up the road with
a 1'55" advantage. We will get the names for you in a minute.
Cordero is the race director
Photo ©: Sirotti
Dimitri Champion (Bouygues Telecom),
Geoffroy Lequatre (Cofidis) and Serafín Martínez (Karpin-Galicia) formed an
escape after an early escape of 16 was reeled in. The trio moved clear at kilometre
They jammed it towards the top of the day's first climb, the
Puerto de Vilarchán. Serafín Martínez (Karpin-Galicia) got the first mountain
points on offer in the 62nd Vuelta.
15:13 CEST 60km/86.4km to go
We are travelling
along in a Seat Ibiza 1.2 and the dash board indicator reads just over 30°C.
It is a gorgeous start to the year's last Grand Tour.
man, Serafín Martínez (Karpin-Galicia), just re-joined the escape suffering
from a flat tire. The other two escapees seemed to be waiting for him to re-join
because there are still many kilometres to cover here in Galicia.
Shortly after the day's first climb,
it was Dimitri Champion (Bouygues Telecom) who grabbed the first sprint points
of the Vuelta. At kilometre 43, in Ponte Caldelas, he nabbed the first spot
over the line.
The sprinters for the finale are likely to be Alessandro
Petacchi (Milram), Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital)
and Tom Boonen (Quick.Step - Innergetic). The stage win and overall lead is
up for grabs at the end of the day.
15:22 CEST 70km
We are turning up the air conditioning
in our Seat, as the sun beats down on us and the riders. The lead is staying
steady around the two minute mark.
15:29 CEST 71km/75.4km to go
The leaders are
approaching the feed zone, and holding on to their two minutes. Meanwhile, back
at the ranch, Milram is leading things. Who are they going to be riding for
in the finale, Petacchi or Zabel?
15:38 CEST 82km/64.4km to go
The escape group
has passed through the feed zone and unpacked what they want to eat, storing
the various items in their various pockets. We are unpacking our tuna-salad
sandwiches and cooled bottles of water.
15:43 CEST 78km/68.4km to go
riders back in the peloton have made contact with the pavement, but apparently
without any serious damage.
No news yet on who those riders who
all went down, or exactly what happened. But Milram is still leading the peloton
and keeping the break right around two minutes.
15:55 CEST 85km/61.4km to go
The lead fell to
1'33", but has climbed back up to 2'0". We are now into the second hour of the
race, with an average speed of 41.3 km/h.
16:00 CEST 91km/55.4km to go
Bad news for American
Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel). He was one of the riders involved in the
crash, and he has been force to abandon. He had been targeting this race after
missing out on the Tour de France. We will bring you updates on his condition
has we have them.
16:02 CEST 94km/52.4km to go
Fabio Sabatini (Milram)
is holding on to the doctor's car a the feed-zone approaches. 2004 Giro d'Italia
Champion Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Fondital) was also involved in that crash. His
right side is roughed up. He is being paced back to the gruppo by his
The three in front have built their
lead up to 2.30, but it seems unlikely that they can carry it through to the
end. Too many hungry sprinters are not all that far behind them.
16:18 CEST 97.4km/49km to go
Milram is still
heading up the chase. There are lots of people out watching today's stage, and
the big favourite is, of course, local hero Oscar Pereiro.
Alessandro Ballan (Lampre - Fondital)
Photo ©: Elmar Krings
There had been rumour circulating
that Cunego's team-mate, Alessandro Ballan, has signed for Liquigas. The acid
green team, home of Filippo Pozzato, already signed Daniele Bennati, and it
could make sense that Ballan would switch teams to be at the side of his friend.
Cyclingnews spoke with the 2007 Ronde van Vlaanderen winner this afternoon
as he was traveling to his next race, and he confirmed nothing has been signed.
"There is no new news," said the Italian. "Monday I will know more from Lampre
regarding my contract [renewal]."
Presumably his asking price has
gone up after winning De
Ronde and the Hamburg
Cyclassics this year.
The "three musketeers" in the lead
have started up the final climb of the day, the Alto de Zamans, all of 390 meters.
The lead is now 2.20.
16:28 CEST 101.4km/45km to go
The riders are
starting to feel the effects of the sun and heat. Lequatre, in the lead group,
keeps pouring water over his head.
He had to drop out of the Tour
this year after a crash in the fifth stage. A feed bag got caught in his wheel
and brought him down. He made it to the end of that stage, but couldn't start
the next day.
Oscar Freire (Rabobank) wants to win
Photo ©: Sirotti
If you have any questions or comments
we would love to hear them. Please use the e-mail at the bottom of this page
to drop us a line. Our Seat 1.2 has good power to our notebooks and the data
card seems to be working fine, so we can answer most of your e-mails in a timely
Who will be in the golden jersey at the end of the day?
Serafín Martínez (Karpin-Galicia)
has jumped away here on the climb. He will be gunning for max points to lock
in the lead for the mountains classification.
16:37 CEST 109km/37.4km to go
He led over Zamans
and will be rewarded with the mountains jersey at the end of the stage. The
chase is being led by Caisse d'Epargne.
16:39 CEST 110.4km/36km to go
Martinez will wear
the mountain jersey when the race starts again tomorrow. He keeps on going and
has a lead of 64 seconds on the peloton.
Milram, Quick.Step and Credit Agricole
are among those at the head of the peloton as they pass the football stadium
in Vigo on their way around the city course.
The peloton is moving right along,
but hasn't yet stepped on the gas.
Martinez is still in the lead, with
his two former companions between him and the peloton.
What happened to those crowds we
mentioned earlier? They must all be inside for siesta -- they don't seem to
be standing on the streets watching the race!
The peloton has turned and is riding
past a sparkling white sand beach. Hopefully they can get some of that nice
sea breeze, too.
Martinez is hanging on to a 1.22 lead.
Martinez takes the last sprint of
the day, just as his former companions Champion and Lequatre are absorbed back
into the field. The sprint is also the finish line -- don't worry, there's another
lap to go -- and the peloton crosses it 64 seconds later.
Roy of Française des Jeux tries his luck and shoots out of the peloton.
Roy has caught Martinez and the two
make their way through the city. Roy leads and Martinez may be hoping just to
Quick.Step, Milram and Lampre are
in the head at the peloton, with the magenta T-Mobile jerseys also in sight.
The party is almost over for Martinez -- his lead is down to 18 seconds.
17:08 CEST 132.4km/14km to go
14 km to go and
only 14 seconds lead for Roy and Martinez......
The peloton still isn't going all
out. Sprinter Magnus Backstedt is showing a pulse of 138, only 75 percent of
his max. Roy's pulse is probably higher, he is still doing all the work in the
17:12 CEST 135.4km/11km to go
The crowds have
gathered along the finish line, in the shade, and the peloton crosses the finish
line 36 seconds behind the two leaders. It's the last lap!
Martinez won't have any chance to
win the stage today, but he will get a reward. Tomorrow he can start the stage
in the white jersey of the mountain champion. He won both ranked climbs today
and has 12 points, while his two escape-group companions each have six points.
Roy is alone in the lead now, presumably
Martínez is back in the field. He is only 12 seconds ahead, though.
17:21 CEST 141.4km/5km to go
Only seconds before
Roy is back in the peloton, one of his teammates comes out and flies on past
him. It's Carl de Cruz. The peloton isn't taking it lying down, they have picked
up their speed.
Quick.Step is setting a blistering
pace now as they wind their way through the city.
17:25 CEST 143.9km/2.5km to go
Discovery Channel all near the front of the group.
300 metres to go
Bennati takes it just ahead of Petacchi!
Daniele Bennati of Lampre took the
sprint ahead of Freire and Petacchi. It almost looked like Petacchi stopped
trying once Bennati passed him just ahead of the finish line.
So, as expected, the first stage
ended in a mass sprint, with a worthy winner. The other big names weren't all
that far back and will have their chances in the days to come.
for joining us today, and be sure to come back tomorrow when we watch Daniele
Bennati make his way from Vigo to Luarca in his golden leader's jersey.
1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
2 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Milram
4 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery Channel
5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step Innergetic
6 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Bouygues Telecom
7 Koldo Fernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
9 Rony Martias (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
10 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis
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