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Photo ©: Bettini

60th Vuelta a España - GT

Spain, August 27-September 18, 2005

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Stage 13 - Friday, September 9: Burgos-La Bien Aparecida, 196 km

Complete live report

Commentary by Hedwig Kröner, with additional reporting from Hernan Alvarez

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:00 CEST

14:32 CEST   
Welcome back to another day of Live coverage from the Vuelta a España. Today's stage 13 will take us from Burgos to La Bien Aparecida over 196 kilometres, with the main difficulty being a Cat. 1 climb (Puerto de la Sia) at km 131 before the riders take on two minor Cat 3 hills close to the finish.

14:38 CEST   
The first news of this morning concerned of course three-times Vuelta winner Roberto Heras, who crashed badly in yesterday's stage. The Liberty captain needed 15 stitches to his knee and thigh wounds, but was alright to start all over again today. "It's OK," Heras told reporters this morning. "I'm in good spirits and if the wounds allow me to do so, I will carry on. It has been a change of plans but you have to count on that because that's cycling." It will be a crucial stage for Heras to see how he can continue to cope with racing - if not, Golden jersey wearer Denis Menchov will have to cling to another wheel in the next mountains, very possibly Francisco Mancebo's.

14:43 CEST   
152 riders departed at noon local time in Burgos, and the first kilometres of the race were very fast, allowing nobody to jump away although there were plenty of attacks. For sure, looking at today's profile, a good break group could certainly make it to the finish as General Classification will probably not be played with on that kind of course.

14:53 CEST   
After 22 kilometres, and due to the extremely high pace helped by a tailwind and a descending false flat, a crash occurred inside the bunch while it was flying along at around 80 km/h...

A handful of riders went down, including Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears), but he was apparently not injured and able to continue. Davitamon's Tom Steels, meanwhile, had to abandon the race as he was taken to hospital - apparently unconscious - in an ambulance. Dariusz Baranowski (Liberty) was also affected but continued, as well as Thorwald Veneberg (Rabobank), who also suffered only small injuries.

Steels' condition has nevertheless been reported as not serious. We'll keep you posted as soon as we find out anything.

15:04 CEST   
After the crash, the race went on more calmly. At kilometre 45, Constantino Zaballa (Saunier Duval) finally started what would be the first real break of the day, taking with him such important names as Magnus Bäckstedt (Liquigas) and even Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo). The group continued to grow until there were 32 men, whose advance also continued to increase.

15:06 CEST   
The full composition of the break is: Marcus Burkhardt, Francisco José Lara and Daniele Nardello (T-Mobile), Jurgen Van Goolen and Paolo Bettini (Quickstep), Patrick Calcagni, Marco Zanotti, Matej Mugerli and Magnus Bäckstedt (Liquigas), Lorenzo Bernucci and Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo), Mario Aerts, Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano, Gert Steegmans and Koos Moerenhout (Davitamon), Rafael Casero, Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver and Constantino Zaballa (Saunier Duval), Frédéric Finot (Française des Jeux), David Bernabeu (Comunidad Valenciana), Alexandr Kolobnev and Bram De Groot (Rabobank), Anthony Geslin (Bouygues), Jimmy Casper (Cofidis), Nicki Sörensen and Andrea Peron (CSC), Michael Barry (Discovery), Javier Pascual Rodriguez and David Latasa (Comunidad Valenciana), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Illes Balears) and Angel Vicioso (Liberty).

15:10 CEST   
Shortly after these riders left the bunch behind, Manuel Beltran (Discovery), another victim of yesterday's crash, as well as Francisco Javier Vila Errandonea (Lampre) abandoned.

The break's gap was 1.20 minutes when they came through the first intermediate sprint in Moneo (km 83), where 'Ale-Jet' Petacchi took the points.

15:23 CEST   
Due to an obstacle barring the initially planed race route, (a lorry had broken down on the road of Alto de la Sía and wasn't going to be towed away in time), the stage was deferred at km 102. Instead of going up the Puerto de la Sía, the riders climbed the Puerto de los Tornos, which marked as Cat. 2.

On the way up, David Latasa (Comunidad Valenciana), Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Davitamon) and Constantino Zaballa (Saunier Duval) dropped their companions, taking on the climb together. The peloton moved up on the rest of the break and caught them before the top, where the new three-men break had an advance of about one minute.

After the top, the alternative route meant a descent to Ramales de la Victoria and then to Arredondo, where the bunch will continue on the initial course. This means an additional 5 additional kilometres to the parcours; 201 instead of 196 kilometres for the riders today.

15:32 CEST   
The trio was left free to go, and got a pretty stable advantage of about 2.30 going down the mountain.

As they attacked the next climb, the Alto Cruz Usano (km 149), Oscar Pereiro (Phonak) went on a counter-attack on the ascent and followed the break closely at the top, with José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Illes Balears), Gorka Gonzalez (Euskaltel) and Gilberto Simoni (Lampre) also chasing just in front of the main pack.

15:40 CEST    153km/48km to go
But the Simoni group was caught, and Pereiro couldn't bridge the gap to the front - which condemned him to chase on his own. At the moment (km 153), Pereiro's at 1.15 minutes, with the pack following at 2.38.

15:46 CEST   
Another counter-attack has formed: José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Illes Balears), Gorka Gonzalez (Euskaltel), Gilberto Simoni (Lampre) are trying to get to the front again. Joined them in their quest have Paco Lara (T-Mobile), Benoît Vaugrenard (Francaise des Jeux), Pablo Lastras (Illes Balears), Angel Gomez and David De La Fuente (Saunier), Ruben Plaza (Comunidad Valenciana), Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Phonak), Joan Horrach (Illes Balears) and Devis Miorin (Liquigas).

15:52 CEST    159km/42km to go
On the way up today's third climb at km 159, Oscar Pereiro has joined the leading riders David Latasa (Comunidad Valenciana), Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Davitamon) and Constantino Zaballa (Saunier Duval). Zaballa takes the KOM points at the top ahead of Pereiro and Ardila Cano.

15:55 CEST    165km/36km to go
The Vuelta organisation has just announced that because of the route modifications, which meant five more kilometres than initially planned, the end of the stage has been shortened by three kilometres. So it's 198 instead of 201. What a mess...

15:59 CEST    167km/34km to go
The gap between the leaders and the bunch has significantly diminished. The bunch has caught the counter-attack, and another chase started: Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel), Pablo Lastras and Joan Horrach (Illes Balears), Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile) set out.

The bunch is currently only 30 seconds behind the leaders.

16:08 CEST    175km/23km to go
On the descent, another attack of 19 riders has emerged, including Paolo Bettini (Quickstep), Nicki Sörensen (CSC), Unai Osa (Illes Balears) and Michele Scarponi (Liberty). The peloton is at 1.35 from the four, still leading riders.

16:14 CEST    175km/23km to go
But the situation is very tight, with those 19 riders already caught by the bunch. Another four managed to bridge the gap, however, with incessant attacks coming from behind. So the leading group is now: David Latasa (Comunidad Valenciana), Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Davitamon), Constantino Zaballa (Saunier Duval), Oscar Pereiro (Phonak), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel), Pablo Lastras and Joan Horrach (Illes Balears), Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile), riding just over one minute ahead of the peloton.

The race is also way ahead of schedule, as the guys really have been flying today.

16:18 CEST    178km/20km to go
Oscar Sevilla is now working on the front, then Ardila and Lastras. They look over each other's shoulders from time to time, but they've still got 1.28 minutes.

Illes Baleras are driving the main train behind, with Heras looking patched up but good - and guess who's on his wheel...?

16:21 CEST    181km/17km to go
A recap on the weather today: sunny, above 25°, not much wind at all.

Paolo Bettini's chase group between the leaders and the bunch has just been caught by the peloton. The effort was in vain.

Looks like the 8 riders in front still have a good chance of getting to the finish before the bunch - we'll see.

16:27 CEST    182km/16km to go
As other in-between groups get caught by the bunch, new attacks go, but the pace is very high on these very straight roads. Alessandro Petacchi sets out personally in pursuit of the leaders, followed by a handful.

16:31 CEST    185km/13km to go
The peloton is still just over one minute behind as Petacchi gets caught again. Was that an extra pre-World's workout?

16:38 CEST   
Illes Balears are still driving the peloton before the final phase of the stage, where a short Cat. 3 climb awaits the riders.

16:39 CEST   
Apparently the stage is only 193 kilometres long today, I'll change it again. No comment.

16:46 CEST    189km/4km to go
The main bunch behind is taking it easy now - except for Christophe Kern (Bouygues), who's attacked, quickly joined by three.

In front, Sevilla, Pereiro and two others have started the final ascent and decided to go for it.

16:49 CEST    190km/3km to go
Now, Pereiro takes off as there is not much understanding about who should be working there. But Ardila manages to go with him.

16:51 CEST    192km/1km to go
Ardila challenges Pereiro, and Samuel Sanchez isn't far. Now he's joined the two for the final 1000 metres.

16:53 CEST    193km/0km to go
Ardila is on the front, and sprints up to the KOM point, which is just 200 metres before the finish line. He lifts his arms, but realises right away that it's too soon! So Sanchez continued, and won the stage in front of Pereiro and Ardila.

16:57 CEST   
This is unbelievable - Sanchez just looked back and laughed; he couldn't believe it neither. That's what happens when there's missing information...

The favourites came in together, so there's no changes on GC before tomorrow's dreaded stage to the Lagos de Covadonga (Cat. HC). Join us again for that epic moment, where we will see if Heras can make a difference!



1 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                              4.03.40
2 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems                         0.04
3 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Davitamon - Lotto                   0.08
4 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) T-Mobile Team                                          
5 Joan Horrach (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne                      0.25
6 Pablo Lastras (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne                     0.31
7 David Latasa (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                                0.46
8 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems            0.47
9 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                       0.49
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC                                                                           

General classification after stage 13
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank                                       52.25.40
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                                  5.47
7 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana                          6.00
8 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick Step - Innergetic                      6.19
9 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems                           6.47
10 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) T-Mobile Team                                     6.51

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