60th Vuelta a Espaņa - GT
Spain, August 27-September 18, 2005
Results & report
Stage 12 - Thursday, September 8: Logroņo-Burgos, 133 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Hernan Alvarez
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST
Welcome back to Cyclingnews for Phase
II of our Vuelta a Espaņa coverage, just four stages between now and the next
rest day on Monday. After a well deserved break yesterday, the riders face a
comparatively easy 132 km (shortened from 148 km) between Logroņo and Burgos,
one for the sprinters to do their thing in. Today we might see Quick.Step working
for Tom Boonen, as he has been fairly quiet so far in the Vuelta.
There are two climbs today: Alto de Pradilla (Cat. 3, km 85.8) and Alto de Valmala
(Cat. 3, km 112). The three sprints are at Santo Domingo (km 47), Pradoluengo
(km 89), Villasur de la Herrera (km 110).
The climbs are fairly small
today, but the wind may play a part in breaking things up towards the end. We
14:35 CEST 28km/104km to go
The stage started
at 13:37 with 157 riders signing on today. Gerrit Glomser (Lampre) was the only
rider not starting. It was raining and 17 degrees in Logroņo as the peloton
set off, and that dampened the enthusiasm of the riders a little. But there's
always one, and today it was Luis Pasamontes (Relax) who attacked in the opening
kilometres to get a gap. No-one chased him, and after 9 km, he already had 1'47,
and it's now 3'45 after 27 km. Pasamontes is not really a threat on the general
classification, having started the day in 43rd at 38'41, so he'll be allowed
to go. The sprinters teams can easily control one rider too.
14:40 CEST 34km/98km to go
After 34 km of riding,
Luis Pasamontes is now 4'20 ahead of the peloton, where Fassa Bortolo and Rabobank
are keeping things calm.
14:49 CEST 39km/93km to go
Pasamontes has ridden
38.7 km in the first hour, which is not that quick, but he still has a lead
of 4'45. He's been battling a 20 km/h head/crosswind from the northwest, so
that has obviously slowed him down.
15:01 CEST 48km/84km to go
Pasamontes goes through
the first intermediate sprint at Santo Domingo (km 47) with a five minute or
so lead over Fabio Baldato (Fassa) and Rolf Aldag (T-Mobile). These two sprinters
teams will be working to put Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel in the best
positions to win the stage.
15:09 CEST 56km/76km to go
Evidently, the sprinters
teams don't want to take it too easy today, as they have pegged Luis Pasamontes
at 4'23. It is a very short stage, so gaps do have to be kept down.
15:19 CEST 60km/72km to go
his lonely ride, holding firm at 4'17 over the Cat. 3 Alto de Pradilla. It's
a fairly long climb, but not too steep.
15:29 CEST 65km/67km to go
to climb the Pradilla, neither losing nor gaining time on the bunch. But he's
now halfway through the stage, and that always gives you motivation.
15:38 CEST 70km/62km to go
reaches the summit of the Pradilla with his lead intact at 4'25.
The 25 year old Pasamontes has been a pro for three seasons, always riding for
Relax in some form or another. His only win so far is the Memorial Galera in
2004. Last year, he was 20th overall in the Vuelta a Espaņa, and this year,
he finished 7th in the Vuelta Asturias.
15:46 CEST 79km/53km to go
Pasamontes took the
points on the summit of the Alto de la Pradilla ahead of mountains leader Joaquin
Rodriguez (Saunier Duval), Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step), and Eladio Jimenez (Comunidad
After a hard second hour, the average speed of the
leader is 37.7 km/h, but he still has 4'35 and that's what counts.
15:56 CEST 90km/42km to go
Its' still Fassa and
T-Mobile working at the front of the bunch, with mostly the blue and white jerseys
of Fassa to the fore. The pace has definitely increased now, as the peloton
15:58 CEST 92km/40km to go
Pasamontes is on a
small descent and he gets a small bottle of energy fuel out of his pocket and
swallows it. The skies are still overcast, but it's not raining at all, even
if the roads occasionally show signs of recent dampness.
now gets some encouragement from his team director German Nieto, who is no stranger
to a long solo break.
It's now the gaunt figure of Rolf
Aldag on the front of the peloton, doing a turn on a short climb before slotting
back into fourth wheel behind three Fassas. No sign of Quick.Step today.
The gap is down to 3'57. Pasamontes never had more than 4'45. His teammate Xavier
Florencio is seeing the race doctor at the rear of the bunch.
The results of the second sprint
at Pradoluengo (km 87 ish): 1. Luis Pasamontes (Relax), 2. Julian Sanchez Pimienta
(Fassa), 3. Rolf Aldag (T-Mobile).
16:04 CEST 98km/34km to go
Pasamontes is suffering
on the second climb, the Alto de Valmala. His tongue is out as he struggles
with the gradient with 3'26 of his advantage intact.
A crash in the peloton near the front
creates a big hole. Two or three Discoverys are down, as are a couple of Libertys,
Jakob Piil (CSC). Heras is down, and is waited on by his whole team. He's on
the bike again, but not looking very good.
Heras doesn't look too good - his
left knee is bloodied and very sore. He but he's now picking up speed again.
This could kill his Vuelta chances
Jakob Piil is not getting up either,
and his race could well be over.
The crash happened in the top 10
positions of the bunch.
Heras is now with the race doctor,
who is checking out his knee. He wipes it down, and sprays it, but it's going
to be sore.
Piil is lying down. A soigneur stands nearby with his
bike, but he's surely not going to be needing it. No, he's being taken away
in an ambulance. He's moving at least, but this could be the end of his 2005
season, which has been plagued by bad luck.
16:11 CEST 101km/31km to go
Heras is nearly back
to the peloton, courtesy of an extended visit to the race doctor. The bunch
is not chasing though, as T-Mobile and Illes Balears are at the front, taking
it steady. Menchov is up there in 20th wheel. Most riders who crashed are back.
Pasamontes reaches the top of the Valmala climb. He's got a decent chance now,
due to the crash before.
16:13 CEST 102km/30km to go
José Azevedo appears
to be another rider caught in the crash - it really hasn't been this rider's
Joaquin Rodriguez attacks for the points for second, and
will get them without contest. One of his teammates is third. The gap at the
top is 3'41. Heras is now back with the race doctor.
Heras looks better now, his knee
bandaged. He chases back on to his teammates, who will bring him back to the
Pasamontes still has his work cut out. 3'41 isn't
much with 30 km to go.
16:15 CEST 104km/28km to go
It's Quick.Step and
Illes Balears on the front now, trying to work out whether to chase hard. Heras
is on the tail of the bunch, making his way up the side again.
16:17 CEST 105km/27km to go
Petacchi is also
back in the peloton, having either taken a nature break or being involved in
the crash. He looks OK though, and his teammate Baldato chats with Liberty's
Marcos Serrano briefly, and the chase is back on. Rolf Aldag is back on the
16:19 CEST 106km/26km to go
De Weert (Quick.Step)
and Baranowski (Liberty) are also up there in this mixed train. The road is
not easy here, always up and down and into the cross/headwind. Heras will have
to suffer to finish.
But can Pasamontes hold on? He looks tired,
but there's not long to go.
16:21 CEST 107km/25km to go
Fassa leads the bunch
up the last false flat/climb before the gradual downhill run into Burgos. Pasamontes
is now on the downhill bit, suffering but keeping his tempo up. It's 2'50.
16:23 CEST 108km/24km to go
Aldag does a big
turn with Van Goolen coming through for Quick.Step. The speed is quite high
now, at 55-60 km/h.
Pasamontes rides through Villasur de la Herrera
16:26 CEST 110km/22km to go
The peloton is through
Villasur de la Herrera now, and it doesn't take long to ride from one side of
town to the other. Especially with Jurgen Van Goolen at the front. His teammate
Paolo Bettini is at the back, stretching a bit.
16:27 CEST 111km/21km to go
The bunch lines out
in the right hand gutter for a bit, all single file. Pasamontes has just 1'57
left, and it's almost certain that the sprinters' teams will get him.
16:28 CEST 111km/21km to go
The road twists and
now everyone is in the left hand gutter. It's not going to get any easier until
after the finish line is crossed.
16:29 CEST 112km/20km to go
Pasamontes has his
head so far down that he's looking backwards. That's the problem with headwinds
and being tired. You want to get yourself as aerodynamic as possible.
The Relax rider reaches 20 km to
go, and has 1'30-ish. The chase behind is very solid, with three teams on the
front: Fassa, Quick.Step and T-Mobile.
16:32 CEST 113km/19km to go
The road flattens
out and Luis Pasamontes cops the wind from the side again. He has done a good
ride today - there's not much else you can do if you're on a non-ProTour team
and don't have a sprinter or GC rider.
Mancebo looks quite good,
riding in the combination jersey.
16:33 CEST 114km/18km to go
The gap is melting
quickly - 45 seconds now, and there's no more easing up.
16:34 CEST 115km/17km to go
Menchov sits in 20th
wheel as Discovery moves Danielson and Beltran up to the front. Aldag back at
the head of affairs, riding the lone breakaway down.
16:36 CEST 117km/15km to go
Luis Pasamontes makes
it to 15 km to go with the peloton breathing down his neck at 27 seconds.
16:39 CEST 120km/12km to go
the final sprint at 14 km, ahead of Aldag and Bart Dockx. N bonus seconds, it
looks like. The peloton navigates its way through Ibeas de Juarros.
Benoît Joachim is off the back, waving at the race ambulance to get out of his
16:40 CEST 121km/11km to go
Pasamontes is caught
at 12 km and Benjamin Noval (Discovery) counters, opening up a 100m gap. It
starts to hurt now.
16:41 CEST 122km/10km to go
Noval looks back
and sees the peloton right there, but he doesn't give up. They'll have to catch
The ambulance drives past the peloton, and now Noval, who is
caught. Piil is in the ambulance. It seems as though he has concussion, but
probably nothing broken.
16:42 CEST 123km/9km to go
The peloton is together
with 10 km to go, as one of the Fassas looks behind for Petacchi. This will
almost certainly be a bunch sprint.
16:43 CEST 124km/8km to go
Dockx does a turn,
then the superb Aldag again. The speed is very high, as is normal for the end
of a stage.
16:44 CEST 125km/7km to go
It's Dockx and Van
Goolen swapping off with Aldag, as the Fassa train lines up behind. Steels is
up there. The road here is wide and straight - no dramas.
16:44 CEST 125.5km/6.5km to go
7 clicks left
and Aldag does another strong turn, with Van Goolen coming through again. No-one
has tried to attack again.
16:45 CEST 126km/6km to go
Van Goolen pulls off
at 6 km to go and carves a small hole in the peloton as he goes backwards.
16:46 CEST 127km/5km to go
Aldag is strong today,
but finally he has some support from Andreas Klier. Aldag drops back. CSC is
also up there, with Fassa waiting...
16:46 CEST 127.5km/4.5km to go
Is anyone going
to challenge the Fassa train today? At 4 km to go, they should click into gear.
16:47 CEST 128km/4km to go
The CSC mini train
pulls off at 4 km to go. There's some Liquigas jerseys up front too, for Marco
Zanotti. But all eyes are on Petacchi again.
16:48 CEST 129km/3km to go
The lead Fassa gets
annoyed at the Liquigas rider in front of him, who doesn't do a strong turn.
Now it's Mancebo on the front! Fassa regroups and gets it going at 3 km, challenged
16:48 CEST 129.5km/2.5km to go
It's a tough finish
to control, because it's not too technical. Haselbacher comes up on the blue
Gerolsteiner train as Fassa cranks it up into the headwind.
16:49 CEST 130km/2km to go
The battle for Petacchi's
wheel is between Steels and Zabel, it looks like. Steels has it.
16:50 CEST 131km/1km to go
The four Fassas in
front are challenged by Quick.Step with Boonen and Bettini moving up well. Liquigas
is also up there with Bäckstedt and Zanotti.
Final kilometre and Fassa leads out
with two men, then Petacchi. Steels holds the wheel of Petacchi, but then a
sharp right hander.
16:51 CEST 132km/0km to go
Zabel ends up on the
wheel of Petacchi. Steels is behind Zabel. Velo goes, then Petacchi goes immediately
for a huge win ahead of Zabel and Zanotti. Wow, that was a very strong sprint.
Petacchi had over a bike length on
Zabel there, and Zabel had over a bike length on Zanotti. No question about
who is the best sprinter at this Vuelta: Ale-Jet Petacchi, with his fourth stage
No changes to GC, although Heras suffered a bad blow to his
Vuelta chances by crashing today. That could destroy his chances on the weekend
in the mountains, but you never know...
That's all folks! We'll see
you tomorrow at 14:30 for the 13th stage between Burgos and La Bien Aparecida.
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 3.13.36
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team
3 Marco Zanotti (Ita) Liquigas - Bianchi
4 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step - Innergetic
5 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
6 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Cofidis, le credit par telephone
7 Julian Dean (NZl) Crédit Agricole
8 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
9 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Cofidis, le credit par telephone
10 Tom Steels (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto
General classification after stage 12
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 48.21.11
2 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 0.47
3 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 1.53
4 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 1.57
5 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 3.31
6 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 5.03
7 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Discovery Channel 5.09
8 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick Step - Innergetic 5.45
9 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 5.58
10 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 6.37
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