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59th Circuito De Getxo - Memorial Ricardo Otxoa - 1.3
Spain, July 31, 2004
Gert Vanderaerden backs himself to take the txapela in Getxo
By Martin Hardie in Getxo
Mr Bookmaker's Gert Vanderaerden backed himself to slip away from his breakaway companions a little over 1 kilometre from the finish, and held them off with 5 seconds to spare in todays's traditional circuit of Getxo on the outskirts of the Basque capital of Bilbao.
The finish and the first kilometre of the route followed the tourist wharves and the beach at Getxo which today was full of tanned and not-so-tanned bodies taking advantage of the sweltering conditions. By the time the race made its way around the 16.85 km circuit for the third time and started the short but steep climb away from the beach, more than half of the race was already looking like they missed the boat as a group of about 40 riders made the ascent ahead of the peloton already holding a gap of over 2'30.
The front group had a fair representation from all the teams and included names such as eventual winner Vanderaerden, one of the Spanish season's most attacking riders, Saunier's Constantino Zaballa, Aitor Osa, Allan Davis, Gorka González, Alberto Martínez, Isidro Nozal, last weekend's winner, David Herrero, Kelme's Alejandro Valverde and Juan Carlos Domínguez (Saunier Duval). The peloton appeared to be putting in a chase when the gap swelled to over 3'30, but by the seventh of the 11 laps they had started to drag it back. That was the highpoint of the chase and those left behind realized that their day was going to be better spent checking out the assortment of bodies covered and uncovered on display along the side of the road and the beach.
With three laps to go, the front of the race started to become a little animated with repeated moves gaining advantages here and there, some at times of the 15 second type others not so large. As they climbed out from the beach Ruben Plaza and Allan Davis were driving a front group up the steep little crest. They had a gap back to what were their companions, led by Plaza's teammate, Alejandro Valverde of 1'03. The gap back to the rest was over 5 minutes already.
Plaza and Davis managed to get away during the course of the penultimate lap and got to that magical 15 second mark before being dragged back and neutralised with less than 20 km to go. As they came through the straight it had split again with Gorka Gonzalez and Gert Vanderaerden amongst a group of about seven holding an 11 second advantage over the bunch of 20 or so.
Over the climb for the last time, the front broke up a little more and there were between 10-15 riders in contention. with 6 km to go, that group split leaving five ahead. The front group of Zaballa, Ardila, Aitor Osa, Rudenko and Vanderaerden managed to create for themselves a 15 second buffer (were all watches set to 15 seconds today?). And it was Vanderaerden who made the turn and dipped down into the finishing straight first after jumping his rivals some 500 metres earlier. He managed to hold his advantage on the chasers to have time to sit up and revel in the glory of his first win of the season.
The remainder of the front half of the race rolled in over the next eight and a half minutes. Those that had been left to enjoy themselves in the sun, missing the break early in the race, rolled in some 13 minutes later. Amongst them, dressed in bright yellow and looking happy with himself was Saunier Duval's newest signing Joseba Beloki. Beloki told us later that he was happy with his ride, comfortable in his new surroundings and looking forward to getting in shape for September's Vuelta a España.
Images by Oskar Matxin
1 Gert Vanderaerden (Bel) Mr. Bookmaker.Com-Palmans 4.06.43 (45.08 km/h) 2 Constantino Zaballa Gutiérrez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.05 3 Javier Pascual Rodríguez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 4 Maxim Rudenko (Ukr) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf 5 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Liberty Seguros 6 Aitor Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 7 Mauricio Albert Ardila Cano (Col) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf 8 Joaquim Lopez Torrella (Spa) Costa De Almeria-Paternina 0.17 9 Moisés Dueñas Nevado (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 0.22 10 Rubén Plaza Molina (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 0.40 11 Nacor Burgos Rojo (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 12 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros 13 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Team L.P.R.-Piacenza Management Srl 14 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf 15 Andoni Aranaga Azkune (Spa) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf 16 Angel Castresana Del Val (Spa) Mr. Bookmaker.Com-PalmansPalmans 17 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team L.P.R.-Piacenza Management Srl 18 Mikel Gaztañaga (Spa) Cafés Baqué 19 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 20 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo 21 Gorka González Larrañaga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 22 Iñaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 23 Jokin Ormaetxea (Spa) Costa De Almeria-Paternina 24 Alexandr Arekeev (Rus) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo 25 José Alberto Martínez Trinidad (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 26 Francisco Palacios San Emeterio (Spa) Cafés Baqué 27 José Antonio López Gil (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 0.51 28 Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) Liberty Seguros 2.07 29 Alvaro Glez. De Galdeano (Spa) Liberty Seguros 8.33 30 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf 31 Ben Day (Aus) Mr. Bookmaker.Com-PalmansPalmans 32 Rafael Casero Moreno (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 33 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 34 Jon Del Rio (Spa) Costa De Almeria-Paternina 35 David Herrero Llorente (Spa) Costa De Almeria-Paternina 36 Christophe Stevens (Bel) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf 37 Lorenzo Cardellini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo 38 Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Liberty Seguros 39 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Liberty Seguros 40 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 41 Juan Carlos Domínguez Domínguez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 42 Mikel Artetxe Gezuraga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi Outside time limit TC Javier Ramírez Abeja (Spa) Liberty Seguros 13.06 TC Joaquín Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir TC Jonathan González Rios (Spa) Costa De Almeria-Paternina TC Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa) Liberty Seguros TC Ricardo Serrano González (Spa) Cafés Baqué TC Jesús Hernández Blázquez (Spa) Liberty Seguros TC Fernando Torres Martín (Spa) Cafés Baqué TC Unai Elorriaga Zubiaur (Spa) Cafés Baqué TC Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir TC Josep Jufré Pou (Spa) Relax-Bodysol TC José Luis Rebollo Aguado (Spa) Relax-Bodysol TC Alberto López De Munain (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi TC Koldo Fernández Larrea (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi TC Jens Renders (Bel) Mr. Bookmaker.Com-PalmansPalmans TC Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi TC Dioni Galparsoro Martínez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi TC Pedro Díaz Lobato (Spa) Costa De Almeria-Paternina TC Mikel Elgezabal Fernández (Spa) Costa De Almeria-Paternina TC Tom Vannoppen (Bel) Mr. Bookmaker.Com-PalmansPalmans TC Roberto Laiseka Jaio (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi TC David López García (Spa) Cafés Baqué TC Aritz Arruti Basterretxea (Spa) Cafés Baqué TC Daniele Masolino (Ita) Team L.P.R.-Piacenza Management Srl TC Aitor Silloniz Aresti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi TC Aitor Hernández Gutiérrez (Spa) Team L.P.R.-Piacenza Management Srl TC Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Mr. Bookmaker.Com-PalmansPalmans TC Luca Nardello (Ita) Team L.P.R.-Piacenza Management Srl TC Lander Euba Ziarrusta (Spa) Costa De Almeria-Paternina TC Peter Wuyts (Bel) Mr. Bookmaker.Com-PalmansPalmans DNF Miguel Angel Martín Perdiguero (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prod DNF Jon Odriozola Mugarza (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca DNF Francisco Cabello Luque (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca DNF Geert Verheyen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques Wi DNF Elio Aggiano (Ita) Team L.P.R.-Piacen DNF David Navas Chica (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto DNF David Latasa Lasa (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca DNF Isaac Gálvez López (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto DNF Koldo Gil Pérez (Spa) Liberty Seguros DNF Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears-Banesto DNF Claudio Astolfi (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo DNF Kyrylo Pospyeyev (Ukr) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo DNF Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo DNF Carlos García Quesada (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca DNF José Iván Gutiérrez Palacios (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto DNF Pedro Arreitunandia Quintero (Spa) Cafés Baqué DNF Aitor Pérez Arrieta (Spa) Cafés Baqué DNF Jorge García Marín (Spa) Cafés Baqué DNF Dermot Nally (Irl) Costa De Almeria-Paternina DNF Aketza Peña (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi DNF Claudio Lucchini (Ita) Team L.P.R.-Piacen DNF Crescenzo D´Amore (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo DNF Ivan Degasperi (Ita) Team L.P.R.-Piacen DNF Zbigniew Piatek (Pol) Chocolade Jacques Wi DNF Javier Pérez Pereira (Spa) Costa De Almeria-Paternina DNF Roger Hammond (GBr) Mr. Bookmaker.Com-Palmans
2003 1 Roberto Lozano Montero (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 185 kms in 4.07.38 (44.897 km/h) 2 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 3 Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 2002 1 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 185 kms in 4.09.22 (44.597 km/h) 2 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Itera 3 Jan Hruska (Cze) Once - Eroski 2001 1 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio 175 kms in 3.58.59 (43.936 km/h) 2 Francisco Cabello (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 3 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Domo-Farm Frites 2000 1 Cesar Garcia Calvo (Spa) Fuenlabrada 183 kms in 4.10.25 2 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio 3 Rafael Diaz (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 1999 1 Jesper Skibby (Den) Home-Jack & Jones 188.4 kms in 4.22.52 2 Michel Lafis (Swe) TVM-Farm Frites 3 Paco Mancebo (Spa) Banesto 1998 1 Marcel Wust (Ger) Festina 188.4 kms in 4.25.17 2 Jeremy Hunt (GB) Banesto 3 Oscar Freire (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 1997 1 Jeremy Hunt (GB) 188.4 kms in 4.32.36 (41.467) 2 Angel Edo (Spa) 3 Sergej Smetanine (Rus) 1996 1 Arsenio Gonzalez (Spa) 187 kms in 4.10.55 (44.716) 2 Sergej Smetanine (Rus) 3 Angel Edo (Spa) 1995 1 Mika Hietanen (Fin) 200 kms in 4.23.49 (45.577) 2 Manuel Fernandez-Gines (Spa) 3 Christian Henn (Ger) 1994 1 Orlando Rodriguez (Por) 200.4 kms in 4.34.14 2 Juan-Carlos Gonzalez (Spa) 3 José Rodriguez (Spa) 1993 No race 1992 1 Mathieu Hermans (Ned) 174 kms in 3.54.47 2 Johan Museeuw (Bel) 3 Mario Manzoni (Ita) 1991 1 Adri Van der Poel (Ned) 174 kms in 3.54.25 2 Johnny Weltz (Den) 3 J.-C. Gonzales-Salvador (Spa) 1990 1 Victor Gonzalo (Spa) 174 kms in 3.59.47 2 Alfonso Guttierez (Spa) 3 Jean-Pierre Heynderickx (Bel) 1989 1 John Talen (Ned) 175 kms in 3.58.48 2 Edwin Bafcop (Bel) 3 Casimiro Moreda (Spa) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com