50th Vuelta a Colombia - 2.5

Colombia, June 11 - 26, 2000

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Stage 7 - June 17: Medellín, ITT 25 km

Live report

Medellín (8:15 Colombia time). This beautiful city nestled among the mountains is in a festive mood this morning as thousands of people begin lining up the route of the 25.2 km time trial today in the relatively flat course. Marlon Pérez (Aguardiente Antioqueño) and Duvan Ramírez (05 Orbitel) are among the favorites for today. The TT on the flats could also be the Cubans' last chance for a stage win. Medellín is the capital of the State of Antioquia, home of Colombia's most elite climbers. It was expected that one of their own would be first into the city yesterday. However, it was Montaña, from Bogotá who soloed in ahead of the pelotón. "I wanted the victory, and it was given to me," he said somewhat self-effacingly for such a feat.

"It is a matter of conscience after such a bad day on Thursday. I had imagined everything except to lose so much time." He was referring to his performance on Thursday's stage to Yarumal, the first mountain stage, where he lost 21 minutes to the leaders. Ivan Palacio (05 Orbitel), wearer of the tri-colored jersey is an "Antioqueño" making the city proud today.

Once again Latvian Andris Nauduzs announced his withdrawal from the competition after riding past the finish line 20 minutes behind the leader. Selle team captain said that Nauduzs has a previous commitment next week, the national championship in Latvia, in which he is now the favorite. Further, Nauduzs will race in the TT today, and tomorrow will head back to Latvia. Although he is now 77th in the G.C. he leaves with his head high having four consecutive wins in the Vuelta a Colombia, a feat accomplished only by Colombian legend Ramón Hoyos Vallejo.

Medellín (12:45 p.m. Colombia time). Montaña threatened but Marlon Pérez was the ace. Even after yesterday's extraordinary solo effort into Medellín, Raúl Montaña (Aguardiente Nectar) held the best time for much of this 27.5 km time trial. However, it was TT favorite Marlon Pérez (Aguardiente Antioqueño) who finished with a remarkable lead of 43 sec. over 2nd place finisher Montaña. Pérez averaged 50.6 kph. Javier Zapata (05 Orbitel) surprised with 3rd place, 56 sec. behind. Duván Ramírez (05 Orbitel), another favorite to win the stage was 4th at 1.02. Palacio, race leader, came in at 2.01 good enough to retain the tri-colored jersey. Elder Herrera, Palacio's team mate, was the biggest surprise of the day, climbing to 2nd overall in the G.C.

Tomorrow's stage is a long 152,9 km loop to the east of Medellín, with three mountain primes, and a very fast descent back into Medellín.

Live reports by Haroldo Camacho


1. Marlon Perez (Col) Aguardiente Antioqueño   32.36 (50.6 km/h)
2. Raul Montaña (Col) Aguardiente Nectar	0.43
3. Javier Zapata (Col) 05 Orbitel		0.56
4. Duván Ramírez (Col) 05 Orbitel		1.02
Hector Ivan Palacio (Col) 05-Orbitel		2.01

General classification after stage 7:

1. Hector Ivan Palacio (Col) 05-Orbitel
2. Elder Herrera (Col) 05 Orbitel