62nd Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, September 1-23, 2007
Results & report
Stage 7 - September 7: Calahorra - Zaragoza, 176.3km
Complete live report
Live commentary by Gregor Brown
Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST
Hola! Welcome back to another exciting
day at the Vuelta a España.
On paper this stage should be one for
escapes or sprinters given tomorrow's TT and the early, and only, appearance
of a climb. However, riders may have to put their tactical skills on display
in the form of 'abanicos' ('echelons' in Spanish). The high winds in
the area leading to the finish town of Zaragoza are known to bust all but the
strongest of riders.
15:07 CEST 71km/105.3km to go
Two non ProTour
Spaniards are off and away! Jesús Rosendo (Andalucia-Cayasur) and Raul García
de Mateo (Relax-GAM) hold an advantage of 8'50" over the Milram- and Lampre-led
Jesús Rosendo and Raul García de
Mateo immediately went clear as the race started; the Spanish duo have been
doing the escape hustle since kilometre three. At one point, just about 15 minutes
ago, the gap was just over nine minutes strong.
Milram and the others
sprinters' teams will let the boys gather the points and prizes along the way
to Zaragoza, however, when the race comes to its close they will be smashed
like a mosquito (not like a mojito or stage 6 winner Oscarito).
Raúl García De Mateo in 2006
Photo ©: Unipublic
15:24 CEST 84km/92.3km to go
Jesús Rosendo (Andalucia-Cayasur)
and Raul García de Mateo (Relax-GAM) are doing equal turns as the race works
its way through northeastern Spain. They are heading towards the finish, and
sight of tomorrow's time trial. The gap is holding around eight minutes as they
enter into Tarazona.
Raul, 25, has been a professional for three
years, but he has yet to take a race win. He did finish 14th overall in the
of Langkawi in 2006. Jesús, also 25 year old, has no race wins to his name,
but he has won the intermediate sprints competition in the 29th
GP Internacional Torres Vedras. He is in his first year as a professional.
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
There's just no end to the birthday
celebrations in the Vuelta. Today it is Irish rider Philip Deignan of Team Ag2r
Prévoyance, who is turning 24 years old. We have the sneaking suspicion that
the riders are getting younger and younger -- but of course, we are, too. Non-Vuelta
riders celebrating birthdays are Giuseppe Di Grande (Miche), 34, and Bruno Sa
(Paredes Rota dos Móveis), 25.
15:37 CEST 92km/84.3km to go
The race enters
the feed-zone for lunch. Riders are taking onboard as much as they can for energy
to last the remainder of this stage. Right after the feed-zone the riders will
hit the base of the day's only climb, the Puerto de Lanzas Agudas. It is a category
three climb that tops out at 690 metres.
The pace is 40 kilometres per hour
after two hours of racing. After the race left the feed-zone it changed directions.
This change in direction could bring about the dreaded echelons (or 'abanicos'
as they are known here in the Iberian Peninsula). Only the Belgians seem to
be good at riding in echelons. It must be something in the beer and waffle mixture
that allows them to handle their bikes so well. Mmmmmmmm... Beer and waffles.
Under this sun I could use a kriek beer!
For more on the Vuelta's birthday
boy, read Philip
Deignan: So far, so very good.
15:52 CEST 102km/74.3km to go
The advantage of
Raul García de Mateo (Relax-GAM) and Jesús Rosendo (Andalucia-Cayasur) has fallen
to 7'55" at the top of the category three Puerto de Lanzas Agudas (it was 8'10"
at the base). They are pumping it down this descent, which contains some long
and windy stretches.
Quick.Step is adding coals on the chase fire.
Its blue colours blend in well with Lampre's and Milram's. Quick.Step will be
working for World Champion Paolo Bettini or 2005 World Champion Tom Boonen if
the race arrives in a sprint.
We are sad to report that dossard
number 173, Alberto Fernández De La Puebla (Saunier Duval-Prodir). Al had that
crash when the race arrived in Luarca, and since then he has really been struggling.
The Vuelta organizers helped him by offering dental work, but his corrected
teeth were the least of his pains.
Over the climb first was Jesús Rosendo
(Andalucia-Cayasur), followed by Raul García de Mateo (Relax-GAM). Serafín Martínez
(Karpin-Galicia) led the peloton over.
Here is an update on our DNFs and
Stage 1 DNF - Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel
DNF - Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
Stage 4 DNS - Lorenzo Bernucci
Stage 5 DNS - Sergio Paulinho (Por) Discovery Channel
Stage 5 DNF - Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
Stage 5 DNF -
Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole
Stage 7 DNF - Alberto Fernández De La
Puebla (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
16:04 CEST 108km/68.3km to go
The race enters
We are seeing red. Both Raul and Jesus are wearing red kits.
Raul García de Mateo's Relax-GAM team is riding on the classic blue Gios bikes.
Morris Possoni (Lampre-Fondital) leads the peloton, which is 5'26" back.
We are not seeing any echelons form.
The pack is riding in one big colourful group versus being fanned out along
16:12 CEST 116km/60.3km to go
Caisse is gathered
around its current leader, Vladimir Efimkin. He is rolling along in his leader's
maillot oro. Milram is on the front, but right behind the Italy-based
team is Lampre and Caisse d'Epargne.
The wind is at the back of
the riders. Didn't Bob Dylan have a song with such wording?
The sprint in Borja is taken by Raul
García de Mateo (Relax-GAM). He was just taking his turn on the front of the
escape as the two rolled over the line. Marco Marzano (Lampre-Fondital) led
the peloton over the line about five minutes later.
The gap is dropping quickly. It is
now around 3'44". Milram and Lampre continue to do the work.
is no where to be seen but you can bet that Oscar The Cat will be there to pounce
at the end of this stage. The three-time World Champion is a three time winner
in this year's Vuelta.
16:27 CEST 129km/47.3km to go
(Liquigas) is dropping back to the team car. His Swedish national champion jersey
is looking very dark blue. The blue has been made darker to match the Liquigas
kit. He grabs about 10 water bottles for his team-mates. Remember Fabio Sacchi
in the Giro last year? He loaded up with about 26 water bottles!
Piepoli is rolling along in the white
combination top, or maillot.
Thanks for all of your e-mails. Someone
wrote in to ask if anyone has ever won the World Championships four times. No.
No one has ever done that. Oscar Freire will attempt to be the first this September
30 in Stuttgart. There are only four tree-time World Champions. Freire is joined
by Alfredo Binda, Eddy Merckx and Rik I, Rik Van Steenbergen.
Bettini is pumping up the peloton.
He is making his way up the left side of the group. Bettini is on the team of
Tom Boonen, both are one-time World Champions.
Fabio Sabatini (Milram) is pulling
the group along. The sun is coming from the Italian's right. He passes under
a bridge that is lined with cycling-mad fans. They cheer on the domestique who
is working very hard to bring the race to a sprint finish for Ale-Jet. Alessandro
Petacchi has yet to win a stage in this year's Vuelta, but he has taken 17 in
We think that he is really lacking his top end.
16:36 CEST 139km/37.3km to go
A big crash occurs!
Bert Roesems (Predictor-Lotto) and
Enrico Franzoi (Lampre-Fondital) are involved with about 20 riders. Franzoi
gets going. Roesems is in a world of pain. Bingen Fernández (Cofidis) is there
too. He is waiting for a team-mate.
The riders in the peloton eases off
the pace to wait for their fallen comrades.
Bert Roesems (Predictor-Lotto)
is helped off the ground and, likely, onto a stretcher.
He is wincing in pain. The stretcher
is laded into the back of an ambulance. Let's hope he will be okay.
Raul and Jesús keep pumping along with about two minutes in hand.
It looked like Franzoi went down
first after hitting Bert Roesems (Predictor-Lotto). Bingen Fernández (Cofidis)
flew over the top of the two. David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Prodir) looked
to be in the crash too.
Francisco José Terciado (Relax-GAM)
has a bit of road rash from that crash. Poor guy.
(Lampre-Fondital) crashed on day one with Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel).
The American had to abandon but Il Piccolo Principe kept on going. He
did not come here for the GC win, but to win a stage while finding top-form
for the World Championships. His wounds are healing, and we can expect to see
him at the front on Sunday's mountain stage.
Raul García de Mateo (Relax-GAM)
has no time to relax. The gap is nearing one minute after being as high as nine
minutes. The die has been cast.
16:57 CEST 160km/16.3km to go
Milram has complete
control They are dosing their efforts to capture the duo. If they catch it too
soon it leaves the door open for multiple counter-attacks. Lampre may have a
harder time today. We counted two of its men in the crash (but not Cunego).
That being said, there are about four blue-pink boys near the front.
The gap is 41 seconds.
Geoffroy Lequatre (Cofidis) went down in the
crash. He looks banged up.
The gap is now down to 32 seconds.
17:02 CEST 166.3km/10km to go
We are inside the
last ten kilometres. Raul García de Mateo (Relax-GAM) and Jesús Rosendo (Andalucia-Cayasur)
have won. They succeeded in giving their Professional Continental teams a heap-load
of publicity. Bravo Amigos!
17:04 CEST 170.3km/6km to go
Milram is in COMPLETE
control. There are about five men at the front, all of them are doing what they
can to whip the pace to a point that discourages any sort of attacks.
17:06 CEST 171.3km/5km to go
It is 'gruppo compatto'
with five kilometres to go. The duo was caught about two kilometres ago. Milram
keeps about four men on the front.
17:06 CEST 172.8km/3.5km to go
Bettini and Boonen
are up there for Quick.Step.
The damage is done. Riders are suffering
at the back of the stretched peloton.
T-Mobile hits the front again, like
yesterday. The pace seems to slow.
17:08 CEST 174.3km/2km to go
They are working
for André Korff (T-Mobile). Where is Freire? It is hard to see in the sunshine.
17:09 CEST 174.8km/1.5km to go
There are gaps
on the front. A Quick.Step rider makes a gap.
There is a crash.
We could see an unknown winner due
to that crash.
Gilbert is there. So too is Benna.
17:09 CEST 175.5km/0.8km to go
This is a technical
There is a T-Mobile leading it out.
Zabel is there too.
Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne)
did a strong lead but it looks like Davis might get it.
Zabel sneaks in there. Then Davis
Zabel kept the pace high up the left
side of the road, in the shadows. Davis hammered hard on the right and gave
the German a strong run, but he fell short to the veteran. Bettini slotted in
there for third.
Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
and Angelo Furlan (Crédit Agricole) are rolling in, both were involved in the
crash. There will be some upset riders tonight. We could not see the cause of
the crash. Likely it was just due to high speeds and tight roads.
A great win for Milram, after working
so hard in the last days it got a win via Erik Zabel.
joining Cyclingnews for today's coverage of the Vuelta a España. Please
join us again tomorrow for the time trial.
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