62nd Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, September 1-23, 2007
Results & report
Stage 2 - September 2: Allariz - Santiago de Compostela, 148.7km
Complete live report
Live commentary by Susan Westemeyer
Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:45 CEST
Hola amigos de Cyclingnews and welcome back to our live coverage of
the 2007 Vuelta a España. Today the riders will be pilgrimaging into
Santiago de Compostela, but not quite on the famous St. Jacob's path and not
by foot, either. And not even thousands of miles. Just the tiny amount of 148.7
kilometres will bring them from Allariz to Santiago, in Galicia. One of the
greenest parts in Spain, thanks to the rain falls, which he hope will stay away
Buenos Dias! We are in the far northwestern
corner of Spain today, close to the border with Portugal. We have headed our
Seat in the other direction, though, and will be going 150 north to Santiago
We can expect today's stage to turn out much
like yesterday's: a long escape, caught shortly before the end, followed by
a mass sprint. There is one climb about halfway, but it is only Cat. 3. The
stage is by no means flat though -- there are lots of ups and downs along the
188 riders signed in this morning.
The only one missing was Tom Danielson, of Discovery Channel. He was involved
in that crash yesterday about 50 km into the stage, and was unlucky enough to
be the only one seriously injured, suffering a broken collarbone. This just
hasn't been his season -- he missed a lot of time with an intestinal bug, which
he finally cured in time for the Vuelta. He was not only going to work for his
captain Stijn Devolder here, but was looking for his own chances. After all,
he finished sixth here last year. But now the season is over for him.
Damiano Cunego of Lampre was also in that crash yesterday, and took to the start
today with 12 stitches and lots of gauze. His teammate Paolo Tiralongo was also
injured in the crash. Fabio Sabatini of Milram and T-Mobile's veteran climber
Giuseppe Guerini also went down.
15:04 CEST 25km/123.7km to go
got underway at 1:42. Looks like it's going to be another hot one today, it's
already 27°. Good thing we packed our cooler with lots of water and goodies
And the first attack didn't wait long. By km 2, Ual Garcia
de Mateo of Relax-Gam took off. He was quickly joined by Manuel Vazquez (Andalucia-Cayasur)
and Gustavo Dominguez (Karpin Galicia). All three are Professional Continental
teams which are here on wild-card invitations and apparently want to show their
stuff as quickly as possible.
By km 25 they had opened up a lead
of 3'10. They took the points in the first intermediate sprint, with Dominguez
winning ahead of Vazquez and Garcia de Mateo third.
15:07 CEST 40km/108.7km to go
The lead is up to 3.20. Sergio Paulinho of Discovery Channel has made a visit
to the race doctor's car, but we don't know why.
Second place in yesterday's
sprint went to Oscar Freire of Rabobank, who has been having some stomach problems
the last few days. "It was never really a worrisome thing, but you never know,"
said Directeur Sportif Erik Breukink. "He wasn't feeling very well" on Saturday",
but he is expected to keep on improving.
15:18 CEST 46km/102.7km to go
out there! Vazquez has just been stung by a wasp, and has gone back to the race
doctor accompanying the escape group for help. The group now has a 3'17 lead.
Milram's Alessandro Petacchi, who
finished third yesterday, hasn't had an easy year of it. After finally coming
back from his injuries of last season, he won some stages at the Giro before
getting hit with a positive doping test. He had to sit out the Tour de France
before the charges against him were dismissed, but then the case was appealed
to the Court of Appeals for Sport. That has taken its toll on the Italian sprinter,
team manager Gianluigi Stanga said, "It isn't easy for Alessandro to sprint
with a free mind in light of the stress he has had the last three months."
15:27 CEST 54km/94.7km to go
escapees have started their way up the only ranked climb of the day, the Alto
do Parano, Cat. 3, carrying with them a lead of 3'32.
Our finish today is in Santiago
de Compostela, which is also the destination of an important medieval pilgrimage
route (The Camino Santiago). It still has its devotees, as over 100,000 pilgrims
a year still make their way here. The Vuelta has made its way here before, too
but only half a dozen times. The most recent visit was in 1993, when Alex Zülle
won the stage.
15:33 CEST 58km/90.7km to go
Lampre teammates have things well in hand back in the peloton. Enrico Franzoi,
David Loosli, Morris Possoni, and Paolo Tiralongo are leading things and have
brought the lead back down to 3'12.
Today's mountain is a little one
-- only 800 meters high. But the whole stage more or less resembles a sawblade,
with very little rest time for the riders. It evens out a bit towards the end,
but still isn't entirely flat.
15:45 CEST 62km/86.7km to go
are nearly to the top of today's mini-summit, and may have to put on jackets:
the temperature has dropped to a chilly 26° on the mountaintop. And the lead
is falling, too, it is down to 3 minutes.
15:51 CEST 63km/85.7km to go
the top, the Seat has conquered the Alto do Parano. And so have the riders,
with Dominguez coming over first ahead of Garcia and Vazquez. Serafin Martinez
of Karpin Galicia took the fourth place points, so he will retain his mountain
jersey for another day.
16:00 CEST 63.7km/85km to go
The three escapees
have reached the feeding zone, no problem for them to take their bags. We in
the Seat are unpacking our ham sandwiches,to keep them company.
some 3 minutes back in the pack, Bradley McGee has paid a visit to the race
The race is going through some
lovely green sections today, with lots of trees. Quite a contrast to some of
the dry brown stages that we usually associate with the Vuelta!
The peloton is now at the feeding zone, and a number of riders are taking advantage
of the opportunity for a nature break.
16:05 CEST 79.7km/69km to go
The three in front
drive through the village of Forcarei. It is definitely uphill work.....
Cunego arrives with a team-mate
Photo ©: Sirotti
16:09 CEST 83km/65.7km to go
racing hour held a pace of 40 km/h, and the second hour was 39.1 km/h. That
seems to suit Damiano Cunego, who is nursing his injuries but riding comfortably
near the back of the peloton.
Meanwhile, the blue sky is slowly disappearing
behind a series of clouds. We hope this doesn't portend something wet.
16:16 CEST 88km/60.7km to go
We're in a flatter
section right now, and the lead has dropped to just over two minutes. Bradley
McGee has pad another visit to the race doctor's car, but there is still no
word on what his problem is.
16:22 CEST 90km/58.7km to go
have hit the ground, Szmyd ((Lampre), Vande Velde (CSC) and Sébastien Minard
(Cofidis). They were in the middle of the peloton, but the others managed to
avoid them. All three got back up and on their way. And Sergio Paulinho has
made another visit to the race doctor, too.
The crash slowed the peloton a little,
and the break has a 2'50 advantage again.
If it comes down to the expected
mass sprint finish today, T-Mobile won't be as well represented as it had hoped.
The German team has sent two sprinters to the race, Andre Greipel, who won the
first two stages of the Sachsen Tour, and veteran Andre Korff. Korff was supposed
to be lead-out man for his younger colleague but it may not work out that way.
When he arrived at the airport in Spain on Wednesday, he fell and hurt his foot.
"The foot is pretty swollen," according to Directeur Sportif Brian Holm. "Andre
has problems putting his cycling shoe on, but he wants to continue."
16:34 CEST 109km/39.7km to go
three escapees ride into A Escada to the applause of a family on the sidewalk.
They are quickly out the other side of the village.
Sorry,that must have been just
a suburb of A Estrada, the escape group is now riding uphill in downtown.
Sébastien Minard's left leg matches his Cofidis jersey -- red. It probably doesn't
feel real good.
Milram and Rabobank have both
sent riders up to share the lead with Lampre. Do they perhaps have hopes of
a mass sprint? Oh yes, now who were those riders yesterday in the top three......
Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) waves
to the crowd
Photo ©: Sirotti
16:42 CEST 113.7km/35km to go
We nearly crashed
the Seat trying to figure out a banner that read "SCAR PEREIRO"" -- but it made
sense again when the policeman standing in front of it stepped away and we could
see the O in OSCAR. The lead is now 2'30.
Milram, Rabobank and Lampre have
really turned up the speed. We are going so fast we don't have time to read
the signs telling us where we are. The lead is, of course, starting to go down
and is just over two minutes.
And the lead is under two minutes,
with Niki Terpstra of Milram leading the charge. The young Dutchman won the
moutain jersey in the Deutschland Tour.
16:55 CEST 122.7km/26km to go
The lead is under
a minute now, and the follow cars are coming out from behind the break, so they
won't be in the way. It won't be long now.
16:57 CEST 24,7km/124.7km to go
The three managed
to stay away for the final sprint, with the peloton just 1'05 behind them.
The last km could be a little tricky
today, as it features a traffic circle with a turn to the right, then a slight
left and a "straight curve" before running slightly uphill the last 400 meters
to the finish line.
17:03 CEST 127.7km/21km to go
The peloton has
cut the lead to 1'09 and is content to leave it there for the time being --
no point in overtaking the leaders too soon, someone might just the wrong idea
and make another break, which is not at all what the sprinter teams have in
Alberto Fernandez of Saunier Duval
went down, but bounced right back up.
17:08 CEST 128.7km/20km to go
Angel Gomez Gomez
of Saunier Duval can't wait any longer and shoots out to try his chances, as
the trio in front passes under the 20 km banner.
Gomez Gomez is quickly catching up
with the escapees, he is only 10 seconds behind them.
17:14 CEST 133.7km/15km to go
Gomez Gomez has
caught the three and they all ride together -- but the thundering horde isn't
all that far back.
17:17 CEST 138.7km/10km to go
The four leaders
are fighting desperately as they all ride up up up, and Dominguez takes off
to try and hold a lead. But he can't do it, and now Martinez takes off.
Martinez crosses the finish line
for the next to last time with a slim lead of two seconds or so. The rise up
to the finish line looks to be more than expected.
Gustavo Cesar is the next to seek
his luck, opening a slight lead.
17:21 CEST 140.7km/8km to go
He was joined by
Martinez, but they had no chance, as the peloton relentlessly caught them.
17:24 CEST 143.7km/5km to go
Many are trying
to break out from the fast-moving peloton, but nobody is able to get away. Liquigas
is currently leading the charge.
17:26 CEST 144.7km/4km to go
One Milram rider
is in front, followed by a mess of pea-green Liquigas jerseys. They are tearing
through town at 60 km/h.
17:29 CEST 146.7km/2km to go
As expected, T-Mobile's
Korff is at the very back of the peloton. He won't be puling a sprint for Greipel
17:30 CEST 1,7km/147.7km to go
The leaders have
gone so fast that they have pulled the peloton apart. And a big crash takes
out 12 to 15 riders, slowing down the rest.
Race leader Benatti was one of those
taken down, and he is having words with a Euskaltel rider
Freire wins out a group of 20.
It was a messy and uncoordinated
finish, since the peloton was torn apart by that crash. Erik Zabel tried to
set up his team-mate Petacchi, but Freire was faster.
3 Caisse D'Epargne riders make their
way up to the finish, with a teammate holding a hand on Oscar Pereiro's back
to help him. The 3-km rule was in effect, so all the riders should get the same
Gracias for joining us today! We
look forward to another good stage tomorrow, but without another one of those
1 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step - Innergetic
3 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis
4 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
5 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
6 Rene Mandri (Est) Ag2r Prévoyance
7 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Bouygues Telecom
8 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
9 Renaud Dion (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance
10 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) T-Mobile
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