62nd Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, September 1-23, 2007
Results & report
Stage 3 - September 3: Viveiro - Luarca, 153km
Complete live report
Live commentary by Susan Westemeyer and Bjorn Haake
Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:45 CEST
Hello and welcome back to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the 2007
Vuelta a España. Today the riders will face some hilly terrain, to better
prepare them for the stage to the Lakes tomorrow. But today a bunch sprint is
still possible, so that Daniele Bennati, still smarting from his crash yesterday,
can try for another victory. He had to give up the golden jersey without a fight
and will hope to at least get another stage win. This shouldn't take away from
Oscar Freire, who did a brilliant sprint yesterday and even Bennati would have
had a hard time coming around the Spaniard.
The stage today will give the
sprinters one more chance to strut their stuff before the mountains get serious
tomorrow. To bring them in the mood, we have four small climbs today, none of
them over 450 meters high, and three of them in the first third of the stage.
But much of the stage is still that up-and-down of the past few days, and a
lot of riders will be having aches and pains from the crashes yesterday.
There were a lot of casualties in yesterday's stage, but all of them have started
today. Oscar Pereiro of Caisse d'Epargne went down in the mass crash in the
finale, and was helped across the finish line, where he said that his right
hip hurt but that he assumed it would be all right. He was the last one to sign
in today. Carlos Castano of Karpin Galicia was the worst off -- he had a dislocated
shoulder, which doctors had to pop back in, right there on the course. But he
is riding again today!
Former leader Daniele Bennati was another
one involved in that crash, which cost him his golden jersey. His right hand
is bandaged but he is willing to give it another try today.
15:06 CEST 48km/105km to go
action started early on. The peloton started in on the first climb only 3 km
into the stage. That was the San Andre de Boimente, a Cat. 3 climb. And the
first attack came only 1 km later, from Angel Vallejo ( Relax-Gam.) He was quickly
joined by David De La Fuenta (Saunier Duval) and Serafin Martinez, who won the
mountain jersey when he was in the first stage's escape group.
pack went over the top of the climb 1'37 ahead of the peloton, with Martinez
leading the way to protect his jersey. The rest of the standings were Vallejo,
De La Fuenta, Gustavo Cesar (Karpin), Chris Sorensen (CSC) and Joost Posthuma
At km 33 they went over the second climb, the Puerto
Cruz da Campa, in this order: Martinez, De La Fuente, Vallejo and Marc de Maar
(Rabobank), with a lead of 3'37.
Carlos Castano has gone to
visit the race doctor, so his shoulder injury from yesterday must still be giving
And they are nearly at the top of the third climb,
with a lead of 3'50 over the peloton.
Rabobank's Oscar Freire is wearing
the leader's golden jersey instead of his usual orange-and-blue combination.
"Yesterday, I didn't feel well throughout and it showed. Today was a much better
performance and I'm really happy with it," he said after yesterday's stage.
. "The objective was to win one stage. ... I've done that so I don't feel any
more pressure to win any more."
15:11 CEST 48.7km/104.3km to go
And they are
all over the top of the third climb as well, with Vallejo taking the points
this time, ahead of Martinez, De La Fuente and De Maar.
Freire took to the podium three times
yesterday, for his stage win, the overall lead, and to put on the points jersey
-- a classification he leads by by 20 points. "It is fantastic to achieve this
so early on in the Vuelta," the Rabobank rider said.
15:16 CEST 53km/100km to go
De La Fuente took
the trio through the day's intermediate sprint, with Vallejo and Martinez in
that order behind him. Their lead is now 3'20.
And the riders are
beginning to feel some wind in their faces, which may well affect them today.
We can expect a change of weather as we draw nearer to the mountains. The riders
will probably be happy to say goodbye to the glaring sun and 30" of the last
two days. Today they will face overcast skies with "perhaps" occasional sun,
northeasterly winds and temperatures between 16° and 19°.
Needless to say, Rabobank is
happy with its star sprinter. "It was about time for him to win a stage again
after all those second places. Twice in the Tour, Hamburg and the first Vuelta-ride.
We had all the confidence in Oscar's abilities today and fortunately that turned
out to be right," said directeur sportif Erik Breukink. "It is good for the
rest in the team, which was also one of the main reasons for us to let him start
here. And, he might of course win some more races."
Christian Vande Velde of CSC
took a bang on his head when he went down yesterday, but the team assures us
he is ok. The American went down early in the race. "I think Christian suffered
the worst injuries, but he seemed ok, though. I'm sure he'll be fine," said
CSC DS Kim Andersen. Alexandre Kolobnev went down in the mass crash, but captain
Carlos Sastre managed somehow to avoid it and finish 19th. " Carlos didn't quite
know how he managed to avoid the crash, but he did, which was the main thing,"
The big crash in the last few
kms in the second stage didn't surprise some people. "You could almost expect
it. The streets on the closing round course were very narrow. It only takes
one rider taking too much of a chance, and then it happens," said T-Mobile DS
Brian Holm. He had one rider, Lorenzo Bernucci, in the leading group, and was
just thankful that none of the others was injured in the big pile-up. Gerolsteiner's
DS Reimund Dietzen echoed those sentiments, saying, "Thankfully, none of us
were involved in the crash."
15:30 CEST 61km/92km to go
The lead is down to
3'20 as Rabobank controls the peloton while not letting the escapees get too
Erik Zabel finished fourth
in yesterday's stage and might have done better it he'd known he was alone.
"I started to early, about 250 meters before the line, because I thought Petacchi
was behind me," he said. His Italian colleague called to him to sprint for himself,
"but that was pretty hard in the wind."
Danielson crashed yesterday
Photo ©: Bjorn Haake
15:37 CEST 68km/85km to go
The riders have left
the province of Galicia and entered the province of Asturias. The lead is down
And here's an update on Discovery Channel's Tom Danielson:
the team reports that he broke his shoulder and is expected to undergo surgery
next week. This is really not his season, since he missed the Tour de France
with a nasty intestinal problem. What's that old line: "If it weren't for bad
luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all....." His teammate and captain Stijn Devolder
was one of those who hit the pavement in the finale, but managed to come away
15:40 CEST 70km/83km to go
It's lunchtime along
the racecourse, with the lead continuing to drop to 2'58. The riders are also
getting the full blast of the wind in their faces now.
15:45 CEST 73km/80km to go
After two hours of
racing, the average speed is 35.6 km. The wind is coming in strong off the ocean
to the riders' left, and will be with them the rest of the way. Rabobank has
brought the lead down to 2'50.
15:50 CEST 77km/76km to go
Freire can work
wonders: he takes a turn at the front of the peloton and lo and behold, the
lead falls again! Now it is down to 2'37.
The race started today in Viveiro,
a debut in the Vuelta. Viveiro is a small coast town on the very northwestern
tip of Spain. Its population of some 15,0000 triples in the summer as tourists
come to hit the beaches. But the finish town of Luarca has hosted the race three
times, most recently exactly 60 years ago. Luarca is a small town, with under
6000 inhabitants. As its tourist office describes it, "Built around an S-shaped
cove sitting between sheer cliffs, the historic quarter of Luarca, its promenade
and the port are all worth visiting. A small river divides the town in two,
although several narrow bridges are there to unite it."
in case the riders have a little spare time this evening, they can sample some
local traditions in the "chigres" or taverns, "where visitors can learn the
art of drinking cider."
There's a birthday boy in the
peloton: Jason McCartney of Discovery Channel has turned 34 today. He still
has not yet announced his plans for next year. A contract with a new employer
would sure be a nice birthday present!
16:05 CEST 80km/73km to go
The lead is back to
3 minutes. It will probably stay steady around there for a while, until the
sprint teams decide it is time for them to start getting their guys into position.
Let's hope that today's
finish doesn't go crash-bang-boom like yesterday's. In the final km, there are
several curves in the first 700meters, followed by a 90 degree left hand turn.
There is a slight right hand curve 100 meters later, leading up to the 200 m
straightaway to the end line.
And who is going to win that final
sprint? Write in to commentator @ cyclingnews.com (take out the blank spaces!)
and let us know. Freire? Bennati again? Petacchi? Zabel?
Tom Boonen is talking to Mario Aerts,
while the peloton is led by Rabobank. Freire's boys are doing a good job on
the front, nit letting the gap grow too large.
There are some clouds in the background,
but it should stay dry. The winds aren't too bad either, but nonetheless Karpets
hair is flying wildly out his helmet as the peloton rides a long, straight road
down at a brisk pace.
Freire is moving up on the left side
of the peloton. Well, he won't find his Rabos there, as they are all lined up
on the right. How did he miss the red-white-blue Dutch champion jersey of Koos
The pace has increased as the road
tilts slightly upwards and the lead to the trio is reduced to less than two
and 1/2 minutes. Horrillo, riding for Rabobank, is currently at 80 percent of
his hear rate, showing that the pace isn't too leisurely, as the field is strung
out single file on the front.
The three in the front, David De
La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Ángel Vallejo (Relax-GAM) and Serafín Martínez
(Karpin-Galicia), are out of the saddle as the terrain is rolling, flanked by
fields on both sides of the road. Moerenhout is trying to figure out how many
bottles he can take. He's got one in each pocket and one safely stuck in the
back of his jersey. Probably not a new world record just yet, as the Dutch champion
moves back up the peloton on the left hand side of the road
16:27 CEST 102km/51km to go
The ardoissier is
showing 2'10 now for the break. Not so good news for the three in front who
have still more than 50 kilometres to race.
The road is also pretty wide, which
isn't good for the break, either. Rabobank is still powering at the front, their
orange socks gleaming in the Spanish afternoon sun. Lampre is also there, hoping
for a sprint and another Bennati victory.
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Schumacher smiles as he talks into
his race radio. Good thing he is in a better mood than earlier today, when he
very upset to find out that Henn, his directeur sportif, will not be available
at the Worlds.
16:36 CEST 103km/50km to go
Jorge Garcia (Relax)has
flatted. Meanwhile, Lampre has moved up to share the work with Rabobank. The
wind is blasting right into the rider's faces now.
16:41 CEST 105km/48km to go
The lead is
now under two minutes, at 1'50. Lampre and Rabobank continue to put the pressure
16:44 CEST 111.6km/41.4km to go
The trio goes
through the second intermediate sprint of the day. Vallejo sprints out to take
the points ahead of De La Fuente and Martinez.
The peloton is starting up the final
climb of the day, and some other jerseys are starting to show up at the front:
Gerolsteiner, Credit Agricole, Discovery Channel.
This is just a Cat. 3 climb, but
the three in front have been on their own for a long time, and aren't finding
the going easy. Even after the peak, there are lots of little ups and downs
on the way to the finish line.
Quick.Step moves into the lead of
the peloton, with World Champion Paolo Bettini right there to help.
Denis Trubetskoy of the
Ukraine is picking Erik Zabel today, noting his expertise in the hills.
Jan Peter Bultman from the Netherlands is going for Bettini.
The hill is turning out to be nastier
than expected. The lead has shrunk to some 43 seconds, and Quick.step's high
pace is dropping a lot of riders off the back of the peloton.
Martinez can't do it any more either,
and has to let the other two go.
Some of the non-climbers are having
a tough time. T-Mobile's Andre Korff was one of the first off the back, and
he is joined by such names as Stéphane Augé, Hary (Cofidis) and Bodrogi (Crédit
Agricole). Boonen and Petacchi are also finding it difficult to follow suit.
17:04 CEST 130km/23km to go
Vallejo and De La
Fuentes sprinted for the mountain ranking, with the Relax rider taking the points.
The peloton is not far behind.....
17:06 CEST 125km/28km to go
Paolo Bettini and
Stefan Schumacher are helping to lead the chase, but it is Euskaltel who leads
things as the peloton slurps up the two former leaders.
The Basque climbers are setting a
blistering pace down the final climb. The peloton is strung out behind them
in single file.
The speed has now split the peloton,
with a group of about 50 staying up with the Euskaltel leaders.
Euskaltel races at 68 km/h past a
17:15 CEST 133km/20km to go
Horrillo finds the
downhill easier, with his heart rate at only 170 bpm's. On the climb he was
at 190 and close to his maximum. But many have not been able to follow the brisk
pace and the peloton is a lot smaller than it used to be, but some riders are
now catching the back end, with a daredevil descent.
A Quick-Step rider takes off -- who
is it it? He doesn't really seem to be trying to get away, though.
17:19 CEST 133km/20km to go
A crash as the peloton
passes under the 20 km banner. Traffic cones on the street take down Haimar
Zubeldia, who takes a long long time to get up.
Zubeldia's left shoulder is hurting,
but he is back on his bike, even if he is moving rather slowly. No chances for
17:21 CEST 135km/18km to go
Barredo and Hulsmans
are leading the charge of a peloton of about 60 riders, with another pack behind
The peloton has reached Luarca. The
shocked Euskaltel riders, who had virtually the whole team on the front, have
now moved to the back of the field. But they haven't sent anybody back for Zubeldia.
17:26 CEST 139km/14km to go
They may be in town,
but they are still climbing, and riding on some narrow roads with sharp curves.
Lampre has taken over the lead, and
the pace stays high Duque's heartbeat is 192, or 94%.
17:29 CEST 141km/12km to go
Quick.Step is driving
the peloton again and the large group safely negotiates its way around a large
Claude has dropped out of the race.
A defect for Relax, with a teammate turning over his bike as replacement.
17:34 CEST 8.5km/144.5km to go
It was Daniel
Moreno (Relax) with a flat tyre, but gets a quick change - from his team-mate.
He also tries to push his captain back on to get going, but it's not easy running
with those cleats. Moreni is underway and a couple of team-mates are waiting
to pace him back
17:35 CEST 146km/7km to go
Hope none of the riders
are afraid of heights -- they are crossing a very long and very high bridge
over the valley.
17:36 CEST 147km/6km to go
A lot of the riders
who had fallen back have caught up again. It's not all 188, but a nice big group.
It goes up again the last 3 km, with
a rise of 7,5 %. That could be a rude shock to some of the sprinters.
17:38 CEST 148km/5km to go
The peloton tears
through a largely deserted downtown.
Quick.Step is trying to get Bettini
in a good position, which is why they are riding hard in the front. But watch
out for Schumacher, too, who has won the Amstel Gold race on a similar climb
to that which we find in today's finish
two riders crashed right at the top
of the climb on the turn. Two Saunier Duval riders went down and just moved
directly to the side of the road. One is holding his mouth.
And Bettini pays his team back for
their hard work, taking the win, over the protest of Freire.
Freire claims he was blocked in by
Bettini. It looks like the Spaniard came in second. Allan Davis of Discovery
third, and Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) fourth.
Former World Champion Oscar Freire
was definitely not happy with current World Champion Paolo Bettini and let him
know about it, sharing his opinion after the two crossed the finish line.
They may not be amigos right now, but we hope that our amigos out there have
enjoyed today's stage and will join us again tomorrow. We go up in the big mountains
tomorrow, so our Seat is off to the garage tonight to make sure it is up to
1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step - Innergetic
2 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery Channel
4 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
5 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française Des Jeux
6 Rene Mandri (Est) Ag2r Prévoyance
7 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
9 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas
10 Francisco José Terciado (Spa) Relax-GAM
General classification after stage 3
1 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step - Innergetic
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery Channel
4 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
Back to top