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59th Vuelta a España - GT

Spain, September 4-26, 2004

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Vuelta a España fantasy game

Vuelta a España fantasy game

Stage 8 - September 11: Factoría FORD - Factoría FORD (I.T.T.), 40.1 km

Commentary by Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Martin Hardie

Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:15 CEST

14:23 CEST   
Welcome to our live coverage of Stage 8 of the Vuelta, the first individual time trial. Today's stage is almost exactly 40 km, being run on a flat course in Almusafes. Starting and finishing outside the Ford Factory, this stage is tailor made for the powerful riders like Aitor Gonzalez, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, Isidro Nozal, Joseba Beloki and maybe even Bert Roesems. It's 30 degrees and sunny at the start, with very little wind, so we can expect some sub-48 minute times today.

14:42 CEST   
At the moment, Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) has the lead in this 40.1 km time-trial taking place in Almusafes. But this is sure to change during the coming hours. Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) and Bert Grabsch (Phonak), first at km 30, are the next riders expected at the finish.

14:45 CEST   
Gonzalez' time is 48:48, but it is expected that the favourite rider's times will be under 48 minutes, possibly even less.

14:49 CEST   
The top five at the moment are as follows:

1 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 48.48
2 Brian Vandborg (Den) Team CSC 0.18
3 Bert Roesems (Bel) Relax-Bergasol 0.37
4 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty Seguros 0.38
5 Carlos Torrent (Spa) Paternina-Costa De Almeria 1.15

But both Grabsch and Posthuma have recorded faster times than Gonzalez at the 30 km check, although only by a handful of seconds.

14:51 CEST   
Cyclingnews spotted Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola) warming up on the parcours behind his team car. He looks very focused, and will try to limit his losses today as he's not really a renowned chrono rider.

14:54 CEST   
Bert Grabsch (Phonak) beats his teammate Gonzalez with a time of 48'32, followed by Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) at 14 seconds. Gonzalez slips to third place in the provisional results.

14:57 CEST   
There are two time checks today, at km 13 and km 30. Grabsch currently has the best time at each of the checks and also the finish.

15:07 CEST   
Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and Pedro Horillo (Quick.Step) just left the start ramp. Let's see what they can do, as bigger names are yet to come.

15:14 CEST   
Cyclingnews' correspondent Martin Hardie now reports even hotter temperatures: 35° Celsius. That should add to the effort, as the riders also have to watch dehydration after a few consecutive days in that heat.

15:17 CEST   
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, usually a TT rider, is only at position 11 at the finish. He's probably taking it easy, being only 122nd on GC.

15:20 CEST   
CSC's Jörg Jaksche has left the start ramp. The winner of Paris-Nice this year might be able to surprise some, as he did not take part in the Tour and has had plenty of time for preparation.

15:23 CEST   
At 15.24, Joseba Beloki (Saunier) takes on the course. Without too much pressure put on him, maybe he can also move up on GC (1:50 behind Beltran).

15:27 CEST   
No changes at the first placings of the time checks so far; from now on the riders will have 2 minutes between them.

15:35 CEST   
Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo and Tyler Hamilton (Phonak) will take on the course at 16.04 and 16.06, so we might know the stage's winner at about 16.53 CEST.

15:39 CEST   
Jörg Jaksche (CSC) has now taken the lead at km 13. He's definitely going strong, pedaling smoothly and apparently oblivious to heat.

15:47 CEST   
Joseba Beloki (Saunier) has got to the 13 km mark, and is actually 20th, 40 seconds behind. Guess that's why there's no pressure on him.

15:50 CEST   
Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) is next up. With four second places in the sprint stages, he has been one of the unlucky riders so far.

15:53 CEST   
Also starting now is Damiano Cunego (Saeco), a candidate for tomorrow's mountain finish. He is only 1'23 behind Beltran in GC and should therefore try to do well in the time trial.

15:56 CEST   
Isidro Nozal (Liberty) is on the ramp. He lost last year's Vuelta on the second last day on a mountain time trial, but is also looking good this year.

16:00 CEST   
Jaksche lost a bit of his initial speed at km 30, he's now only fourth, 0'16 down of Grabsch.

16:08 CEST   
David Blanco (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme) is not doing too bad: he's 0'11 down of Jaksche at km 13. But we are awaiting the result of Isidro Nozal (Liberty), who is also credited a favourite.

David Plaza has now taken the lead at the first timing, stealing 1 second off Jaksche.

16:11 CEST   
Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo), Tyler Hamilton (Phonak) and Victor Hugo Peña (USPS) are on their way now. Jaksche finished fourth, 28 seconds behind still-leader Grabsch.

16:17 CEST   
Damiano Cunego (Saeco) already lost 0'56 after 13 km. let's hope he's not at 100%, thinking about tomorrow...

Nozal has passed the first time check and puts Plaza at 9 seconds.

16:19 CEST   
The last five riders will start soon. In about one hour, the stage's winner will have a name. Floyd Landis (USPS) leaves the start ramp now.

16:25 CEST   
Carlos Sastre (CSC) has passed the first time check second, doing really well. He is only 1'07 down on GC, too.

Manuel Beltran (USPS) is the last rider to fly out of the starting block, being leader of the race until now. This is probably about to change.

16:32 CEST   
Beloki finished at 2'10, that will wipe away his plans for this Vuelta (if he had any).

Isidro Nozal (Liberty) is 30 seconds faster than David Plaza at the second time check.

Hamilton and Peña both have equal time at km 13, 0'7 before Nozal. This might be a tight finish.

16:35 CEST   
Cadel Evans looks very focused, we will get his time at km 13 soon.

We have a new leader: Ruben Plaza (Kelme) finishes and takes 11 seconds off Grabsch.

16:38 CEST   
The winner of last year's Vuelta, Roberto Heras (Liberty) is in 7th place at km 30.

Floyd Landis has now passed km 13 and takes 4 seconds off Hamilton.

16:42 CEST   
Aitor Gonzalez was 22 seconds behind Landis at the first time check, where Cadel Evans lost 0'42. Gonzalez was also 1 second in front of Heras at the second time check.

Isidro Nozal finishes at 47:53, 0'28 faster than Plaza.

16:44 CEST   
At km 30, Tyler Hamilton puts himself in front with 35:37, 14 seconds faster than Nozal at that point.

16:45 CEST   
Beltran, at km 13, is 25 seconds slower than Landis. This would put him to 11th place on GC.

16:49 CEST   
Sastre finishes with 48:25, third of the stage until now.

Heras is pulling toward the finish too, at 48:53 he is now seventh.

16:51 CEST   
"Triki" Beltran is a little insecure in a roundabout, but he manages to steer around it.

His teammate Benoit Joachim is doing well, fifth at km 13.

16:54 CEST   
Aitor Gonzalez finishes at the same time as Heras.

Hamilton flies: only 47:16! He has a good chance of winning today.

16:57 CEST   
Alejandro Valverde is 12th with 36:41 at km 30.

Peña now gets to the finish in 47:31, second behind Hamilton.

Landis loses a little by km 30, he is only third there.

17:00 CEST   
Cadel Evans has passed km 30 being 19th, while Denis Menchov (Illes Balears) has lost a lot of time at that point - he is 26th there.

His teammate Francisco Mancebo finishes at 48:13.

17:02 CEST   
Beltran passes km 30 last, but in fifth place - he's just 0'28 behind Hamilton!

17:05 CEST   
Benoit Joachim (USPS) is in the finish. With 48:51, he is 10th. Landis sways a little, struggling in the heat.

Evans (T-Mobile) is 16th with 49:05 at the finish.

17:09 CEST   
Here comes Landis: At 47:34, he is third just behind his teammate Peña.

17:10 CEST   
Floyd Landis (USPS) takes the golden jersey of general lead, as Manuel Beltran is the last rider on the road. Tyler Hamilton wins the stage!

17:12 CEST   
Beltran is only 10 seconds slower than Landis - what a ride! He'll be second on GC.


Finish - km 40.1
1 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems                47.16
2 Victor Hugo Peña (Col) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor    0.15
3 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor        0.18
4 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal p/b Berry Floor              0.28
5 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros                          0.37
6 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto               0.57
7 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme                1.05
8 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC                                1.09
9 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems                   1.16
10 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                              1.30

General classification after stage 8

1 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor                   
2 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor      0.10
3 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems                 0.32
4 Victor Hugo Peña (Col) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor    0.44
5 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto               1.18
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme         1.23
7 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros                          1.36
8 Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor      1.40
9 Cadel Evans (Aus) T-Mobile Team                             1.47
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC                               1.58

Intermediate timing

km 13
1 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor       16.17
2 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems                 0.04
3 Victor Hugo Peña (Col) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor        
4 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros                          0.11
5 Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor      0.16
6 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC                                0.20
7 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme                    
8 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) Team CSC                                 0.21
9 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo                          0.22
10 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto              0.24
km 30
1 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems                35.37
2 Victor Hugo Peña (Col) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor    0.05
3 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor        0.12
4 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros                          0.14
5 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal p/b Berry Floor              0.28
6 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC                                0.43
7 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme                0.45
8 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto               0.48
9 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems                   0.54
10 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                              0.59

Mail the commentary team