Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

62nd Vuelta a España - GT

Spain, September 1-23, 2007

Main Page    Results & report      Stage Details      Previous Stage   Next Stage

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

15:02 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 peloton.

15:14 CEST   
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
(Click for larger image)

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 Tour 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.

Philip Deignan
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
Click for larger image

15:27 CEST   
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.

15:41 CEST   
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!

15:45 CEST   
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.

15:55 CEST   
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.

15:56 CEST   
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.

15:59 CEST   
Here is an update on our DNFs and DNSs:
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

16:04 CEST    108km/68.3km to go
The race enters Malejan.

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.

16:06 CEST   
We are not seeing any echelons form. The pack is riding in one big colourful group versus being fanned out along the road.

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?

16:15 CEST   
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.

16:19 CEST   
The gap is dropping quickly. It is now around 3'44". Milram and Lampre continue to do the work.

Rabobank 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
Magnus Backstedt (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!

16:28 CEST   
Piepoli is rolling along in the white combination top, or maillot.

16:31 CEST   
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.

16:33 CEST   
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.

16:36 CEST   
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 the past.

We think that he is really lacking his top end.

16:36 CEST    139km/37.3km to go
A big crash occurs!

16:37 CEST   
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.

16:39 CEST   
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.

16:40 CEST   
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.

16:43 CEST   
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.

16:50 CEST   
Francisco José Terciado (Relax-GAM) has a bit of road rash from that crash. Poor guy.

Damiano Cunego (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.

16:53 CEST   
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.

16:58 CEST   
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.

17:07 CEST   
The damage is done. Riders are suffering at the back of the stretched peloton.

17:07 CEST   
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.

17:09 CEST   
We could see an unknown winner due to that crash.

17:09 CEST   
Gilbert is there. So too is Benna.

17:09 CEST    175.5km/0.8km to go
This is a technical finish!

17:10 CEST   
There is a T-Mobile leading it out. Zabel is there too.

17:10 CEST   
Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne) did a strong lead but it looks like Davis might get it.

17:11 CEST   
Zabel sneaks in there. Then Davis and Bettini.

17:13 CEST   
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.

17:16 CEST   
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.

17:20 CEST   
A great win for Milram, after working so hard in the last days it got a win via Erik Zabel.

Thanks for joining Cyclingnews for today's coverage of the Vuelta a España. Please join us again tomorrow for the time trial.


Back to top