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63rd Vuelta a España - GT
Spain, August 30 - September 21, 2008
September 5: Rest Day 1
Change the only stable thing
Five leaders in six days show that the 2008 Vuelta route chosen for the first week was diverse enough to give something to everyone. The race started in the southern heat of Granada and wound its way north over interesting stages. Cyclingnews' Bjorn Haake looked back at the first week and glimpsed ahead to the second week with all its mountain stages.
The race started with an unusual, yet interestingly short 7.7-kilometre team time trial to keep everybody within earshot of yellow. The course was long enough to hand out a true first golden jersey, but short enough to keep the overall situation tense. The time bonuses handed out for each stage (20, 12 and eight seconds for the first three, except for the time trial stages) also kept things dynamic in top of the leader board.
Puncheurs like Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) or Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) had chances of stage wins and/or the leader's jersey just as well as sprinters like Daniele Bennati (Liquigas). An early flat time trial finally saw the overall contenders move forward. Levi Leipheimer took the 42.5-kilometre race against the clock and put on his first ever leader's jersey in a Grand Tour. His Astana teammate Alberto Contador was close by. The mountains will show who will emerge as the leader of the team.
Leipheimer didn't get to enjoy the golden feeling for long, though, as Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) had produced an incredible time trial to be only two seconds behind Leipheimer on GC. Chavanel used his aggressiveness, his strong Cofidis team and the fact that Astana did not want to keep the jersey at all costs so early in the race to take over. There were a total of six possible spots for the bonus (two sprints giving out bonuses to the first three each) and all of those six spots were occupied by Cofidis riders.
The intermediate sprints were paying six, four and two seconds, so Chavanel gained 12 seconds and was ten seconds clear off Leipheimer during the race. All he had to do was to hang on with the front on the difficult run-in into Toledo. He couldn't quite stay in the very top, but his six-second deficit would have given him the jersey regardless. Chavanel however finished with the Leipheimer group.
The points competition was a bit more stable, with Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) taking over from Valverde and keeping the lead through the rest day. The 9-point lead over Valverde isn't a great margin. Tom Boonen is lurking in third, but is not expected to be a factor in the end. Unlike in the Tour, where the points differ depending on the stage's difficulty to favour the sprinters, the Vuelta awards the same points every stage. That is including the time trial, so often high overall contenders also do well in the points classification.
There weren't many mountains yet but classification leader Jesus Rosendo Prado (Andalucía - Cajasur) made the most of the few there were. His 17 points won't hold him for very long, though. Topping a cat. one climb already pays out 16 points. The combination classification rewards the rider who has the best combined placings of the overall, the points and the mountains classification. Paolo Bettini is currently the most diverse rider.
Having five leaders in six days of racing showed how open the Vuelta is this year. The regret that one could have with the organisers is that they stuck a little close with the rule book in stage four. A crash just outside the three-kilometre neutral zone clocked the narrow streets of Puertollano and delayed many riders. Andreas Klöden (Astana), Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre) were some of the prominent names that lost several minutes.
Other than that one cannot complain about the race. The stages were less tailor-made for the sprinters and quite exciting. Even in some of the very remote areas there were some spectators out. Lack of crowds is a notorious problem in the flat stages through the vast Spanish country side. But the next three days will change all that. Starting with the finish in Andorra and heading through the Pyrenees, many aficionados are expected to line the climbs. They will hope to see some great racing and more changes in the general classification.
Stage 1 - August 30: Granada - Granada (TTT), 7.7 km
Things started off in Southern Spain with an unusually short team time trial of less than eight kilometres. Liquigas won this first stage and received all the jerseys. The Italian outfit has experience with team time trials on a technical parcours. It already won a similar 'prologue' in the 2007 Giro d'Italia, albeit one that was three times as long.
There was no repeat of the 2007 controversy, when Enrico Gasparotto stormed into the lead as his captain Danilo Di Luca was stuck behind in the last corner. Filippo Pozzato delivered a classy sprint and even a 'tiger jump' to score the first jersey oro of the 2008 Vuelta.
The surprise of the day was runner-up Euskaltel-Euskadi. Not particularly known for its outstanding racing against the clock, the Basque team was only eight seconds behind in second place. One of the overall favourites, Alejandro Valverde, led his Caisse d'Epargne team home in third, a further second adrift.
The slippery and winding course made several teams take it easier. There was no need to kill yourself as the results had little impact on the overall classification. The last placed team, Andalucia - Cajasur, was only 35 seconds back. It was also the first team to go and reminded all the other teams why prudence was necessary. Andalucia - Cajasur had two riders crash and lose time in the aftermath.
The overall contenders had no trouble managing the course at a reasonable pace. Carlos Sastre and his CSC-Saxo Bank team landed in fifth, just 11 seconds adrift. And Astana with Alberto Contador was 14 seconds behind in ninth spot.
Stage 2 - August 31: Granada - Jaén, 176.3km
Alejandro Valverde started the Vuelta the same way he started the Tour de France. In the latter race he won the first stage by one second over the chasers. In Jaén his lead was twice as much over a peloton who couldn't come to terms with Valverde's powerful surge in the final metres. The stage win gave Valverde the overall race lead as well. Former leader Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) finished fifth and was unable to get into the top three that were guaranteed to receive time bonuses.
Italians Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) were second and third. On such a finish Rebellin and Ballan would be given similar chances to Valverde. That alone shows how strong the rider from Murcia was, powering home ahead of a fast but disorganised peloton. Valverde's teammate Joaquím Rodríguez launched a strong attack just outside the final kilometre. That gave Caissse two options for a win. Luckily for Valverde, his cards came up.
Valverde acknowledged the team's perfect tactics. "The team has worked phenomenally. Joaquím Rodríguez did great work; he played his trick and punished the others." That allowed Valverde to celebrate a stage win in front of his wife and son, who were in attendance at the finish line.
The Spaniard had received advice for the stage from an unlikely source – one of his big rivals for a stage win. "Oscar Freire told me it was an arrival that favoured me," Valverde revealed after the stage. Freire must have already known he wouldn't be in contention. He ended the day in 98th spot.
Before the mad dash to the line, a copy cat of a typical Tour de France stage saw a break go clear early. Spaniards Jesús Rosendo (Andalucía-Cajasur) and Egoi Martínez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) moved off the front first. They were later joined by Frenchman Cyril Lemoine (Crédit Agricole) and Russian Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff Credit Systems). When the inevitable catch was about to take place, Martínez moved away by himself, 42 kilometres from the finish. Even though Rosendo moved back up to Martínez, the duo had no chance against the fast charging peloton. They were brought back with a good 20km remaining.
The following counter attacks came fast, furious and numerously, spoiling the plan from Liquigas to exhibit some kind of control of the finale. Eventually, the peloton got ready for a bunch sprint, but Valverde took advantage of the difficult finish up to Jaén (at 530m of altitude).
Valverde took over the points classification, along with the overall lead. His team Caisse d'Epargne also ruled the teams classification on a day that saw the Spanish
Stage 3 - September 1: Jaén - Córdoba, 168.6km
Tom Boonen of Quick Step won the sprint into Córdoba cleanly, easily out-sprinting Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) and his other rivals. His clean and fair sprint was in contrary to his reckless driving. He won't care much about the fine of 412.50 euro. But the whole controversy along with the cocaine affair ensues that his 2008 season will be at least as much remembered for his non-cycling headlines as for his great wins this season.
As for the great victories, the Vuelta stage came with little doubt about his tactics. "I chose Bennati's wheel…Daniele is in great shape and I knew he would be the man to beat," Boonen said after the stage.
Bennati certainly would have liked to win the stage, but the consolation prize of the leader's jersey kept the smile on the Italian’s face. He took over the lead from Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), who didn't put up a fight. Valverde let the fast men sprint it out and savely watched it from afar.
The Caisse d’Epargne leader already made his intentions of not wanting to defend the leader's jersey clear early on. He did not contest any of the intermediate sprints, thus letting Bennati close in on the overall lead.
The day was dominated by the escape of Manuel Ortega Ocaña (Andalucía-Cajasur), who crossed the Puerto de San Jerónimo (cat 3) two minutes ahead of the peloton. One rider was closer, World Champion Paolo Bettini, at 1'45. But Bettini was also caught by the peloton, which settled in for the bunch sprint.
The points classification stayed a tight affair, with three riders equal on points. Valverde, Boonen and Erik Zabel (Team Milram) all had 25 points at the day's end. Jesus Rosendo Prado (Andalucía - Cajasur) kept his lead in the mountains classification as Caisse also held on to its lead in the teams classification.
Stage 4 - September 2: Córdoba - Puertollano, 170.3km
One day after taking the golden jersey Bennati also delivered a stage win for his team and himself. Reversing roles this time, Bennati came off Tom Boonen's wheel and easily outsprinted the Belgian. Boonen came in second, ahead of Koldo Fernández (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Danilo Napolitano (Lampre). Boonen moved up to second on GC, but already 22 seconds off the pace. With tomorrow's time trial, the GC will certainly be shuffled.
Bennati emphasised how well the team works together. "In Liquigas it is a case of 'all for one, one for all'." He was especially happy to report that there can be more than one leader. "Many, for example, doubted the coexistence between me and Pozzato. Instead, we demonstrated that by working together and helping each other, we can win a lot."
Erik Zabel (Team Milram) finished fifth and stayed third in the points classification, but Bennati (51 points) and Boonen (45) have a decent lead now ahead of time trial.
Jesus Rosendo Prado (Andalucía - Cajasur) was warmed up well to receive maximum points at the first climb of the day after only seven kilometres. He still snatched two points at the second and final climb of the day and holds a commanding lead in the mountains jersey. But the real mountains will start soon and changes are expected.
Caisse was passed by Quick Step in the teams classification, with Quick Step's Paolo Bettini also heading the combination ranking.
The guys at the top of the leader board were not kidding around today, trying to score time bonuses at the intermediate sprints. Bennati edged out Valverde at the first sprint for second place. Contador shot ahead of the peloton and finished third at the second sprint.
The day was overshadowed by two crashes in the end. The first came with less than 10 kilometres to go. Just when most of the chasing riders had reached the tail end of the peloton, another crash in the narrow streets delayed many riders.
Incredibly, the race organisers decided the crash happened outside the three-kilometre zone. Riders who were stuck did not receive the same time as the winner. Some didn't care, like Damiano Cunego. He hadn't made the overall his goal. "It's always a pity to lose time, but it's not a drama since my target is to try to do well in some stages."
Carlos Sastre was ripped up badly, but lost no time. Others were not happy at all. Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) had to wait for a spare wheel for a long time, as the team cars were stuck behind in the madness. He lost 4'36, some 20 seconds more than compatriot Andreas Klöden. That left Astana with one less option for a possible overall victory.
Stage 5 - September 3: Ciudad Real - Ciudad Real (ITT), 42.5km
Unsurprisingly, the time trial brought a change in the overall lead. Astana's Levi Leipheimer won the event against the clock and also took out his first ever leader's jersey in a Grand Tour. But Leipheimer had to put up a fight as Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) ended the stage only 12 seconds slower in second place. It is the same place he now occupies in the overall, just two seconds behind Leipheimer.
Leipheimer is coming off a bronze medal on the tough time trial course at the Olympics. "I've been feeling very strong for the last couple of weeks, since the Olympics of course."
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) showed that he definitely has improved in the individual event, scoring fifth place and staying third overall, 30 seconds adrift from Leipheimer. Valverde was more than satisfied. "I started very fast in the first section to try to gain some time there. In the last section, where there was a headwind, it was more difficult for me, but I think this is one of the best time trials I ever raced."
Leipheimer's teammate Alberto Contador ended the day 49 seconds back and his trailing by 47 seconds over Leipheimer won't concern him too much heading into the mountains. It does leave many options for Astana.
Carlos Sastre lost more time, a minute and a half, to be precise. But he is not known for his time trialling abilities and drew strength from the result. "The feeling after the time trial is a positive one," he said. "Now I look at the future with a bit more optimism than I did in recent days."
One rider who was not expected to shine today produced a remarkable ride. Sprinter Tom Boonen went all out and finished in 13th. That gave him three points and left him trailing Bennati by the same amount. The question was if he lost too much energy ahead of the flat sixth stage.
Astana and CSC Saxo Bank took over from Caisse in the teams classification.
Stage 6 - September 4: Ciudad Real - Toledo, 150.1km
Paolo Bettini showed he still has what it takes to win a stage on a very difficult run-in. Bettini answered an early challenge by Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) and held of the late surge of Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne). A splintered peloton came in mostly limbing, but one rider was happy to have only lost six seconds: Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis). The Frenchman gained 12 seconds at intermediate sprints and took over the yellow jersey.
Bettini knew exactly what his strengths are. "It was not an easy finish, but I've had this date marked on my calendar since the start in Granada." Gilbert was the first to give it a go and looked set to win, but Bettini managed to come around the Belgian. Valverde was closing in on both of them, but his positioning was the next the best to begin with. "Gilbert at first and then Bettini attacked just before the curve on the left. I lost some metres there."
Riders usually are disappointed when they don't reach their goal of a stage win, but for the new GC leader Chavanel, things were different. "I didn't come here to think about leading the race. In fact, I came here hoping to win a stage. This is a surprise and also an honour to me." Chavanel was two seconds behind heading into the stage. Two sprints with six, four and two seconds each proved enough incentive for Cofidis to bring back the early breakaway. Then Cofidis stamped its authority on the intermediate sprints, placing a rider on each if the six possible spots.
The subsequent 12 seconds received versus 0 from Leipheimer gave Chavanel the virtual golden jersey. He managed to survive the treacherous and difficult finale and proudly headed into the rest day in gold.
The break of the day was made up of Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Ivan Mayoz (Xacobeo Galicia) and Volodymyr Diudia (Team Milram). They took after only seven kilometres, but somehow they had a feeling their efforts would be cut short earlier than usual. Mayoz acknowledged that. "I tried, but I knew for Cofidis it was a great opportunity to get the golden jersey and they needed to neutralise the breaks before the first two sprints."
A flurry of attacks by riders like Yannick Talabardon (Crédit Agricole), David Herrero (Xacobeo Galicia), Nicolas Roche (Crédit Agricole), Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) did much to splinter the peloton in many pieces. But it didn't stop Paolo Bettini and Sylvain Chavanel of reaching their dreams.
General classification after stage 6 1 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 17.35.35 2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 0.10 3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0.26 4 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0.57 5 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 1.37 6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 1.42 7 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 1.44 8 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank 2.01 9 Dominique Cornu (Bel) Silence - Lotto 2.06 10 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2.20 11 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 2.27 12 Ezequiel Mosquera Miguez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 2.29 13 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre 2.30 14 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 2.35 15 Andry Grivko (Ukr) Team Milram 2.37 16 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank 2.39 17 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre 2.40 18 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 19 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 2.43 20 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Tinkoff Credit Systems 21 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 2.53 22 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 2.54 23 Nikita Eskov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 2.58 24 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 3.01 25 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 3.02 26 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Silence - Lotto 3.04 27 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 28 Gustavo Cesar Veloso (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 3.06 29 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux 30 David Garcia Dapena (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 3.17 31 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Quick Step 3.21 32 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Crédit Agricole 3.26 33 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 3.37 34 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Astana 3.52 35 Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 3.55 36 Iñigo Cuesta Lopez De Castro (Spa) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 4.01 37 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 4.02 38 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 4.13 39 Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank 4.18 40 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Silence - Lotto 4.21 41 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto 4.39 42 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 4.43 43 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step 4.49 44 David Herrero Llorente (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 4.53 45 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 4.55 46 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom 47 Gustavo Dominguez Lemos (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 5.01 48 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Astana 5.07 49 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas 5.08 50 Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 5.10 51 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 5.14 52 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Rabobank 5.20 53 Vincent Jérôme (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 5.22 54 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 5.27 55 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Xacobeo Galicia 5.33 56 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 5.54 57 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 5.56 58 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 5.59 59 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 6.00 60 Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 6.02 61 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 6.04 62 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence - Lotto 6.11 63 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 6.32 64 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 6.37 65 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 6.51 66 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Crédit Agricole 7.00 67 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre 7.09 68 Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 7.14 69 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre 7.21 70 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Gerolsteiner 7.44 71 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 7.49 72 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux 7.53 73 Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 8.02 74 Jose Ruiz Sanchez (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 8.03 75 Sergio Miguel Paulinho Moreira (Por) Astana 8.06 76 Andrea Tonti (Ita) Quick Step 8.21 77 Carlos Panadero Castano (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 78 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole 8.24 79 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 8.45 80 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Crédit Agricole 8.49 81 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step 8.52 82 José Luis Arrieta Lujambio (Spa) AG2R La Mondiale 8.55 83 Roy Sentjens (Bel) Silence - Lotto 8.57 84 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Crédit Agricole 9.14 85 Manuel Ortega Ocana (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 86 Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Quick Step 9.20 87 Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 9.28 88 Iñigo Landaluze Intxaurraga (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 9.43 89 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 9.45 90 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 9.51 91 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Silence - Lotto 10.06 92 Sébastien Joly (Fra) Française des Jeux 10.20 93 Serafin Martinez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 10.36 94 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 10.37 95 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 11.12 96 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 12.02 97 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner 12.23 98 Marc De Maar (Ned) Rabobank 12.26 99 Iban Mayoz (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 12.28 100 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 12.36 101 José Antonio Carrasco Ramirez (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 12.43 102 Matej Jurco (Svk) Team Milram 12.54 103 Bingen Fernandez Bustinza (Spa) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 13.08 104 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas 13.14 105 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 13.16 106 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 13.22 107 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 13.24 108 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 13.42 109 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 14.31 110 Davide Viganò (Ita) Quick Step 14.34 111 Walter Fernando Pedraza Morales (Col) Tinkoff Credit Systems 14.49 112 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 14.54 113 Theo Eltink (Ned) Rabobank 14.59 114 Christian Kux (Ger) Team Milram 15.17 115 José Luis Carrasco Gamiz (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 15.25 116 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas 15.26 117 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 15.46 118 Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux 16.04 119 Mathieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française des Jeux 16.53 120 Claudio Corioni (Ita) Liquigas 17.06 121 Martin Velits (Svk) Team Milram 18.02 122 Rémy Di Grégorio (Fra) Française des Jeux 18.26 123 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas 18.28 124 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Française des Jeux 125 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 18.30 126 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Astana 19.05 127 Stephan Schreck (Ger) Gerolsteiner 19.28 128 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 19.34 129 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence - Lotto 20.11 130 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Crédit Agricole 20.24 131 Mickael Delage (Fra) Française des Jeux 22.18 132 Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 22.37 133 Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Rabobank 22.41 134 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre 135 José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 22.46 136 Mathias Frank (Swi) Gerolsteiner 23.07 137 Bart Dockx (Bel) Silence - Lotto 23.10 138 Alexandre Usov (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale 24.17 139 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Française des Jeux 24.46 140 Sebastian Schwager (Ger) Team Milram 25.13 141 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Team Milram 26.30 142 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 26.32 143 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre 144 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas 26.46 145 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Lampre 26.52 146 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 27.14 147 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana 27.19 148 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 28.10 149 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Crédit Agricole 28.28 150 Juan Javier Estrada Ruiz (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 28.46 151 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 28.59 152 Christophe Kern (Fra) Crédit Agricole 29.10 153 Volodymyr Diudia (Ukr) Team Milram 29.31 154 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Liquigas 30.04 155 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step 30.20 156 Emanuele Bindi (Ita) Lampre 30.51 157 Cycril Lemoine (Fra) Crédit Agricole 31.24 158 José Antonio Lopez Gil (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 31.26 159 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quick Step 31.30 160 Francisco Jose Martinez Perez (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 32.07 161 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 32.14 162 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 33.00 163 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana 33.11 164 Artur Gajek (Ger) Team Milram 34.50 165 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Gerolsteiner 36.14 166 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Liquigas 37.14 167 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom 47.27 Points classification 1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 63 pts 2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 54 3 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 48 4 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto 42 5 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 37 6 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 34 7 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step 33 8 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 30 9 Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 30 10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux 27 11 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 25 12 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre 25 13 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Crédit Agricole 24 14 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole 17 15 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas 17 16 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 16 17 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 16 18 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom 14 19 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 14 20 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre 14 21 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 11 22 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas 10 23 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 10 24 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 10 25 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 9 26 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 9 27 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step 9 28 Manuel Ortega Ocana (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 8 29 José Antonio Lopez Gil (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 8 30 Davide Viganò (Ita) Quick Step 8 31 Martin Velits (Svk) Team Milram 8 32 Dominique Cornu (Bel) Silence - Lotto 7 33 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 7 34 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Gerolsteiner 7 35 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 6 36 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 6 37 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 5 38 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 4 39 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Rabobank 4 40 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 4 41 Alexandre Usov (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale 4 42 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Française des Jeux 3 43 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank 2 44 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2 45 David Garcia Dapena (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 2 46 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2 47 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre 2 48 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 2 49 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 1 50 Nikita Eskov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 1 51 Iñigo Landaluze Intxaurraga (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 1 52 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 1 53 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 1 54 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 1 Mountains classification 1 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 17 pts 2 Manuel Ortega Ocana (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 7 3 Walter Fernando Pedraza Morales (Col) Tinkoff Credit Systems 7 4 Iban Mayoz (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 6 5 José Antonio Lopez Gil (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 6 6 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 6 7 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step 4 8 Cycril Lemoine (Fra) Crédit Agricole 4 9 Francisco Jose Martinez Perez (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 4 10 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 2 11 Serafin Martinez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 2 Combination classification 1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step 57 pts 2 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 81 3 Manuel Ortega Ocana (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 115 4 José Antonio Lopez Gil (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 192 5 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur 200 6 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 222 Teams classification 1 Astana 52.32.35 2 Team CSC - Saxo Bank 0.42 3 Caisse d'Epargne 2.23 4 Gerolsteiner 3.00 5 Silence-Lotto 3.25 6 Quick Step 3.40 7 Tinkoff Credit Systems 3.55 8 Rabobank 4.08 9 Cofidis, le Credit Par Telephone 4.41 10 Euskaltel - Euskadi 4.58 11 Bouygues Telecom 5.12 12 Xacobeo - Galicia 5.35 13 Française Des Jeux 5.45 14 Lampre 5.56 15 Liquigas 6.03 16 AG2R La Mondiale 6.15 17 Credit Agricole 7.35 18 Team Milram 13.12 19 Andalucia - Cajasur 14.37