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62nd Vuelta a España - GT

Spain, September 1-23, 2007

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Stage 14 - September 15: Puerto Lumbreras - Villacarrillo (Parque Natural Sierra de Cazorla), 207km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:40 CEST

15:07 CEST    115km/61.4km to go
Hola! Welcome back to the live coverage of the Vuelta a España. Neither today's stage nor Sunday's stage to Granada offer mountain top finishes but they both have plenty of climbing along the way. The first of the weekend's tests will be the 200-plus-kilometre run to Villacarrillo. The four category three climbs of María (km 39), Pinar (km 96), Santiago-Pontes (km 123) and Villanueva del Arzobispo (km 192) should see the race shattered into small groups.

We currently have an escape free with six minutes. We will provide you with the names shortly.

15:12 CEST   
We have 11 men on the loose in southern Spain! The boys took off when an earlier escape was captured. Away in the move are José Vicente Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne), Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne), Christian Vande Velde (Team CSC), Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi), David Garcia (Karpin-Galicia), Thomas Lövkvist (Française Des Jeux), Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel), Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), Juan Manuel Gárate (Quick.Step - Innergetic), Philip Deignan (Ag2r Prévoyance) and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas).

15:12 CEST    122km/85km to go
We have passed three hours of racing with an average speed of 38.1km/h.

15:14 CEST   
The escape, with two USA riders, is near the top of the category three Alto Santiago-Pontes.

Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom) is calling for the team doctor. He will be check out.

15:15 CEST   
Opps, that is Alessandro Vanotti (Liquigas) and not his team-mate, Roman Kreuziger, who is in the 11-man move.

15:19 CEST   
Serafín Martínez (Karpin-Galicia) and Josep Jufré (Predictor-Lotto) have pulled out of the race. Serafín Martínez (Karpin-Galicia) held the mountains jersey for a few days, but the stress of the race had gotten to him. Josep, a strong ally for team-mate Evans, had been going really well. He abandoned for unknown reasons at kilometre 55.

15:21 CEST    123km/84km to go
Carlos Castaño (Karpin-Galicia) did not start today, while Italian sprint-gun, Angelo Furlan (Crédit Agricole), called it quits after 30 kilometres into the race.

The gap is now over seven minutes, at 7'05".

15:27 CEST   
Our DNS and DNF list is growing as we make our way through the three-week tour. Here is the current list of riders no longer with us.
Stage 1 DNF - Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel
Stage 3 DNF - Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
Stage 4 DNS - Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) T-Mobile
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
Stage 7 DNF - Bert Roesems (Bel) Predictor-Lotto
Stage 9 DNF - Arkaitz Durán (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
Stage 9 DNF - Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas
Stage 9 DNF - Bradley McGee (Aus) Française Des Jeux
Stage 9 DNF - Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
Stage 10 DNS - Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
Stage 10 DNF - Ian McLeod (RSA) Française Des Jeux
Stage 10 DNF - Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel
Stage 10 DNF - Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
Stage 12 DNS - Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
Stage 12 DNF - Cyrille Monnerais (Fra) Française Des Jeux
Stage 12 DNF - Egoi Martínez (Spa) Discovery Channel
Stage 12 DNF - Rony Martias (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
Stage 13 DNS - Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom
Stage 13 DNS - Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step - Innergetic
Stage 13 DNS - Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
Stage 14 DNS - Carlos Castaño (Spa) Karpin-Galicia
Stage 14 DNF - Angelo Furlan (Ita) Crédit Agricole
Stage 14 DNF - Josep Jufré (Spa) Predictor-Lotto
Stage 14 DNF - Serafín Martínez (Spa) Karpin-Galicia

15:33 CEST   
The riders are over the top of the 3rd category Alto Santiago Pontones. David Garcia (Karpin-Galicia) led the escape over. The Spaniard was followed by Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel), Philip Deignan (Ag2r Prévoyance) and Juan Manuel Gárate (Quick.Step - Innergetic).

The riders will have a quick riser before starting the fast downhill run, through Hornos. At the bottom of this run the final clime of the day will start. The Villanueva del Arzobispo, topping out 15 kilometres remaining, should provide a chance for the escape group to be cut in half as the riders vie for victory heading towards Villacarrillo.

15:37 CEST    134km/73km to go
7'20" is the current time gap back to the peloton. It looks likely that won of these 11 men will be crowned victor in Villacarrillo. The town has never seen a Vuelta finish before. It is located in the Jaén province, next to the Cazorla, Segura y las Villas natural park, and produces very good olive oil. We will buy a couple of bottles to use with our Bananas and Nutella.

15:42 CEST   
Jaén is also known as the World Capital of Olive Oil! It is claimed to be the biggest producer of the liquid gold.

15:48 CEST   
Both Americans, Vande Velde and McCartney, are win-less this season. The former has had a great year, riding solidly throughout the season, including a second overall in the Tour of Georgia. He has been working selflessly here at the Vuelta for team leader Carlos Sastre, however, the 31 year-old from Illinois has been in some key escapes. Vande Velde will be riding for Vaughters's Slipstream team next year.

Time to change music in the Seat 1.2.

15:50 CEST    145km/62km to go
As we are putting Paolo Nutini in the stereo of our car Philippe Gilbert (Française Des Jeux) hits the deck. The Belgian was part of the key five-man freedom charge (escape) only two days ago. Let's hope he will be okay.

15:51 CEST   
The winner of a stage in this year's Tour du Limousin is up and running. Well, up and riding. He is re-joining the peloton, so we can assume the crash was not too painful.

16:02 CEST   
This boys are really suffering on this rolling terrain. Garate is showing a players' face. He knows how to role the dice when the game gets going. Recall that it was this Spaniard who wrestled with Italy's Bertagnolli for the win in the One-Day Clásica San Sebastián.

16:04 CEST    152km/55km to go
The gap is at its maximum so far. Rabobank leads the peloton, who seems to be taking a rest day, at 7'30" behind the 11-man move. Tomorrow will be a serious day for the GC men, and today is too hard for the sprinters to give it a go. All in all, it is a day for an escape.

16:07 CEST    154.4km/52.6km to go
The riders are hitting the 'sprint' in Hornos. This is an uphill affair. It seemed much more like a categorized climb. In fact, our Seat 1.2 was having a little bit of trouble making it up.

The gap keeps growing. It is now around 7'40".

16:10 CEST   
Pedro Horrillo (Rabobank) is leading the charge of the peloton.

16:14 CEST   
We have more updates on the riders who have abandoned today's stage. Jesús Hernández (Relax-GAM) has just pulled out after four hours of racing (average 38.2km/h). Dimitri Champion (Bouygues Telecom) and Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole) pulled out earlier on in the race. Champion is one of the few neo-pros in this race, while Caucchioli is more experienced. A lot has been expected of him since he finished third in the Giro d'Italia.

7'31" is the gap over the sprint (errr, climb). Rabobank does pace-making.

16:16 CEST   
A USA one-two. Escapee Christian Vande Velde (Team CSC) led Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) over the line at the sprint. Third over the line was David Garcia (Karpin-Galicia).

16:18 CEST   
Jesús Rosendo (Andalucia-Cayasur) is wrapped up like a mummy! He crashed a few stages back, and he is wearing a lot of bandages.

16:24 CEST    164km/43km to go
The citizens of Cañada Morales line the roads as the race passes through. There are some clouds above, but it is a lot nicer than yesterday. Heavy rains really dampened yesterday's race.

Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) has won this year. Recall that he won the Amstel Gold race.

Back in the gruppo, Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) is messing about. He is calling his team's car. He seemed to have stopped for a minute but it looked very strange. Maybe he just had a wheel change due to a flat tire.

16:25 CEST   
Four hours and 20 minutes of racing. The boys up front are using a double line rotation. They look really smooth despite struggling on the front all day.

16:26 CEST   
These roads are amazing, but they are really demanding. It is either up or down, left or right.

16:26 CEST   
Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) is riding at the back of the escape group.

16:28 CEST   
For more on Schumacher's win in the Dutch One-day Classic, read The sky is the limit for Schumacher.

16:31 CEST    165km/42km to go
Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank) is handing out the water bottles and food to his team-mates. The Dutch Champion has just returned from the team car. He is easily spottable in his Red, white and blue top.

16:39 CEST    178km/29km to go
Wow. The gap is now over eight minutes. We have just clocked 8'23". The one of the 11 men should win this race. Who will win? Caisse will play its cards with two riders in the move. Soon we should see the harmony in the escape explode. Some of these men will go on the attack to whittle down the group's size.

Former USA Champ, Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel), sits at the back of the escape. He is looking for the team car.

16:42 CEST    179km/28km to go
Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) will be a favourite come September 30, at the World Championships. The German will be racing on essentially a home course. He lives some 20 kilometres from the Stuttgart course.

16:45 CEST   
This year, the 26 year-old German has also won a stage in the Tirreno-Adriatico and a stage (and overall) in the Bayern Rundfahrt.

16:51 CEST    182km/25km to go
The roads are amazing here. These roads would be great to bring your bike for a week. Lots of classic Spanish scenery: brown roadsides with olive trees dotting the hills.

Rabobank is practically camouflaged in its team kit. It has all of its men on the front of the peloton, protecting the lead of its captain Menchov.

16:54 CEST   
Maryan Hary (Cofidis) is back in the team cars grabbing water bottles for his mates. The race is going to go into overdrive when it its this last categorized climb. The riders need to have enough water in their tanks when the heat is turned up. Of course, in the front group it will be more testing.

Christian Vande Velde (Team CSC) launches! The 10 men are chasing him.

16:57 CEST    187km/20km to go
Vande Velde's move comes to a close. Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) immediately counters. The USA boys are launching the artilleries to form the split from this escape group. McCartney does not have a team for 2008, so he could be hoping that a directeur sportif will spot his talents.

Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) is doing the majority of the chasing. He brings across two others, Philip Deignan (Ag2r Prévoyance) and Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne).

16:58 CEST   
Vande Velde is coming across. Thomas Lövkvist (Française Des Jeux) and Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi) are suffering.

17:02 CEST   
Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) throws it down again from this re-formed group.

17:03 CEST   
Philip Deignan (Ag2r Prévoyance) countered, and is on his own. Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) is chasing.

17:03 CEST   
The German pulls back the young rider.

17:04 CEST    191km/16km to go
Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne) bangs it off the front. Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) is the man to react again. The Irishman is still pumping solo on the front.

17:05 CEST    192km/15km to go
Juan Manuel Gárate (Quick.Step - Innergetic) attacks and passes Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne) and Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner). He catches Philip Deignan (Ag2r Prévoyance) right at the top of the Villanueva del Arzobispo.

There are now 15 kilometres to race.

17:07 CEST   
José Vicente Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne) hits out as the descent starts. The others can't give him much of an advantage because he has a huge engine, which can enable him to power on the downhills and flats.

17:08 CEST   
At three kilometres to go the riders are on the northern side of the town. In the last kilometre is straight, with the last 300 metres slightly uphill.

17:08 CEST   
José Vicente Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne) is powering at 42 km/h. Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) looks at Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) and seems to say, 'come on, let's nail this move down.'

17:11 CEST   
Juan Manuel Gárate (Quick.Step - Innergetic) joins José Vicente Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne). The escape is breaking up. No one really wants to work together to bring back the two Spaniards. There is a group of five closing on the front duo.

17:12 CEST    197km/10km to go
Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) makes the juncture. He leads Juan Manuel Gárate (Quick.Step - Innergetic). José Vicente Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne) has given up.

Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne) and Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) goes.

17:13 CEST   
Schumacher is always on the moves of Zandio.

McCartney is solo, off the front.

17:14 CEST    199km/8km to go
Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel), has about fives seconds on a group of eight, which includes Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi).

17:15 CEST   
David Garcia (Karpin-Galicia) is between the American and the chase of eight men.

17:16 CEST    201km/6km to go
McCartney has 30" at six kilometres remaining.

17:16 CEST   
Keep an eye on Schumacher. He looks super strong.

17:19 CEST    202km/5km to go
Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) has his hands on his brake hoods. He is putting everything he has into this move. David Garcia (Karpin-Galicia) is at 25 seconds. The gap to the rest is really ballooning.

We have not seen Christian Vande Velde (Team CSC). We believe he has been shelled in these blasts.

17:19 CEST   
The gap is 40" for McCartney.

17:21 CEST   
Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) is going head to head with David Garcia (Karpin-Galicia). He will be in trouble if the Spaniard bridges. Garcia will have to fly like super man to catch this lone American.

His fore-arms are on the bar's tops. Socks white. Face covered in sweat and tears. Jason is going full-bore.

17:22 CEST    205km/2km to go
He hits a small dig at two km to go. He passes a bull ring.

17:22 CEST   
This last part is going to hurt.

17:22 CEST   
He has 27" on Garcia at 2km to go! There is 49" to the chase.

17:23 CEST   
His sunglasses are hooked into his helmet. We can see the determination in his eyes. There is not one glimmer of surrender in those American eyes.

17:24 CEST   
The 2004 USA Champion is going to take this stage in Villacarrillo.

17:24 CEST   
Garcia should hold on to second.

17:25 CEST   
The crowds are huge here in the finish town. A warm welcome for McCartney. He takes victory after five hours and 21 minutes.

17:25 CEST   
He pumps his arms in the air. A grand win.

17:26 CEST   
That was Thomas Lövkvist (Française Des Jeux) in second! Not Garcia!

The sprint for third is taken by Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner).

17:32 CEST   
McCartney adjusted his top, gave a huge smile, clapped his hands and then pumped his fists in the air as he approached the line. He has closed out his tenure with Discovery Channel in style. He was not the USA champion, but won the USA Olympic trials in 2004. It was his first win on the big euro scene, and his first win in 2007.

17:32 CEST   
We are waiting for the gruppo to cross the line.

17:35 CEST   
Luis Pérez Rodriguez (Andalucia-Cayasur) is charging, but Allan Davis (Discovery Channel) takes it.

17:40 CEST   
An amazing win by the 34 year-old American. Please check back later for a full report and photos.

Thanks for joining us on this stage of the Vuelta. Adios!

Provisional results
1 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel
2 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Française Des Jeux
3 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner

General classification after stage 14

1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
2 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
4 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC
5 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Karpin-Galicia
6 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
8 Manuel Beltrán (Spa) Liquigas
9 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel
10 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick.Step - Innergetic

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