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62nd Vuelta a España - GT

Spain, September 1-23, 2007

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Stage 20 - September 22: Villalba-Villalba (ITT), 20km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:20 CEST

15:02 CEST   
Hola and welcome to the coverage of the second to last stage of the 62nd Vuelta.

15:02 CEST   
The dead-flat power-test starting and finishing in Collado Villalba should be a chance for a TT man to display his legs while it is not likely to change the GC dramatically due to its distance of 20 kilometres. However, today it is the last day before the parade stage in Madrid and any time differences could be significant in determining the final podium.

15:06 CEST   
Swede Magnus Backstedt (Liquigas) rolls over the line with the fastest time, 22.51. That time puts him on top of the provisional standings, 22" faster than Niki Terpstra (Milram).

15:09 CEST   
The next riders to go off will be Marco Marzano (Lampre-Fondital), José Luis Carrasco (Andalucía-Cajasur), Addy Engels (Quick.Step - Innergetic), Torsten Hiekmann (Gerolsteiner)...

15:14 CEST   
Alexandre Usov (Ag2r Prévoyance) comes in, just under the time by Magnus Backstedt (Liquigas).

15:18 CEST   
Jason McCartney of Discovery Channel is next to start. The American, who took the win in Villacarrillo, may be one to put in a good time today.

15:29 CEST   
Philippe Gilbert (Française Des Jeux) has shot out of the start house.

15:31 CEST   
Philippe Gilbert could be leading Belgium in the Worlds next weekend. Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) are not available for various reasons. National DS Carlo Bomans could make the announcement soon.

15:32 CEST   
Italian Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital) is next to go. The rider from Arezzo has two victories in the bag in this year's Vuelta. He will want to save something for tomorrow's sprint stage into Madrid.

15:43 CEST   
Adam Hansen (T-Mobile) posted a very impressive time, just 16" shy of Santos Gonzalez (Karpin-Galicia)!

15:44 CEST   
We have another birthday to celebrate today: Tim Klinger, of Team Gerolsteiner. The 23-year-old second-year pro has had a hard time of it in the Vuelta. In the 16th stage he developed problems with his right thigh, and had to fall back, with the result that he came in dead last, nearly 12 minutes down. He put in a lot of hours with his physio, with the result that he has been able to keep on riding. We wonder whether the team will toast him with bubbly champagne or with the sponsor's bubbly water?

15:45 CEST   
Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) comes home...

15:46 CEST   
The American just misses out on top spot; he is seven seconds behind Santos Gonzalez (Karpin-Galicia).

15:50 CEST   
Alexandr Kolobnev (Team CSC) bolts out of the start house.

15:51 CEST   
He was really working hard over the last couple of days for Sastre. As was the other CSC boys, like American Christian Vande Velde (Team CSC).

Johannes Fröhlinger (Gerolsteiner) takes off...

15:52 CEST   
The young German rider is in his first season as a professional rider, AKA, neo-pro.

15:56 CEST   
You know Fröhlinger is a "real" Gerolsteiner -- he was born in Gerolstein.

15:59 CEST   
Franco Pellizotti takes off. His nick name is Delfino di Bibione (The Dauphin of Bibione).

16:05 CEST   
Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) comes to the line. He is on a good ride.

16:06 CEST   
Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) he clocks in at 22 seconds slower than current leader Santos Gonzalez (Karpin-Galicia).

16:16 CEST   
Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) takes to the start house.

16:17 CEST   
This short TT course could suit the Czech.

16:18 CEST   
Next off are Luis Pérez Rodriguez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Hubert Dupont (Ag2r Prévoyance), Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) and Oliver Zaugg (Gerolsteiner).

16:24 CEST   
Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom) is coming home... He is close to setting the fastest time. He had the second fast time at the second check point.

16:25 CEST   
The Dutchman does it! He finishes with the fastest time... 22.25.

16:29 CEST   
Daniel Moreno (Relax-GAM) is in the start house. The Spaniard came oh so close yesterday, finishing second to Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi).

16:31 CEST   
Maxime Monfort (Cofidis) starts his ride. The Frenchman has been in all the major moves in this race.

16:36 CEST   
Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas) takes off out of the start house.

We see Carlos Barredo (Quick.Step - Innergetic) go flying by. He is powering along on his Specialized TT machine.

16:39 CEST   
The Asturias native will try to hold to his place in the top 10 GC spot. It is a performance that has made him one of the revelations of this race. For more on him read our pre-season interview with him, Moving to the classics team.

Vladimir Karpets (Caisse d'Epargne) takes off. His hair is long... it flies out of his TT cap.

16:40 CEST   
Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) bangs out of the start house. The Spaniard did a rock star performance when he pounded out the rhythm for Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) yesterday in stage 19.

16:41 CEST   
Barredo goes third fastest through the time check. Bravo! Barredo is one of the nicest guys in the peloton, and always love to chat to the Cyclingnews crew when we see him at the races.

16:43 CEST   
'EZ' Ezequiel Mosquera (Karpin-Galicia) gets ready to start. He would like to put time on Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne) but it will be very hard. The Russian is faster in the TTs than the Spaniard. Nonetheless, the rider has had a great race.

16:43 CEST   
Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) comes home.

16:44 CEST   
He is plugging away... He closes in on the line with a time of 22.49, for fifth. 24" back on the leader, Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom).

16:46 CEST   
Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) starts. He is going to try to steal third overall from Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto). It is a short time trial. Evans is a better TT man, but one never knows.

16:48 CEST   
Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) starts. He will have to fight hard. Remember that Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) finished second in the TT in last year's Vuelta a España.

16:49 CEST   
Sastre fires out of the blocks.

16:50 CEST   
He is loved. The fans cheer loudly for him. He will have to ride strong to protect his 2nd overall from Evans. The Spaniard is a good time trial rider, and should put in a good time.

16:50 CEST   
Golden Menchov is in the start house. Our last rider to start.

16:51 CEST   
The Russian, barring any crazy mishap, should win the Vuelta tomorrow. It would be his second time to win the Vuelta.

16:54 CEST   
Sastre is spinning nicely. He flies through the corners with ease on these good sized roads.

16:55 CEST   
He is riding next to a highway, almost keeping up with the cars.

16:58 CEST    7.3km/12.7km to go
Sastre goes through the first time check, at 7.3km, in 21st. He may be having a slow start, but he will surely post a good final time. Magnus Backstedt (Liquigas) still holds the fast time at that first check.

16:59 CEST    7.3km/12.7km to go
Denis Menchov (Rabobank) looks good. He comes through that same check in third.

17:01 CEST    20km/0km to go
Karpets finishes, 12" down on our current leader.

17:05 CEST    15km/5km to go
Evans loses 13" at the second time check. He could lose his podium spot to Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi).

17:06 CEST   
Evans is really sweating in an effort to save his podium.

17:07 CEST   
Ezequiel Mosquera (Karpin-Galicia) finishes 1'09" back.

Here comes Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)...

17:08 CEST   
Sánchez comes in 14 up on Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom). That was a fast time! 22.11!

17:08 CEST   
Evans passes the one kilometre banner.

17:09 CEST   
Evans comes in...

17:09 CEST   
He rounds the last right-hander. He is going to lose the podium spot.

17:09 CEST   
He finishes 19" back.

17:10 CEST   
Menchov powers along under a light rain storm.

17:11 CEST   
Here come Sastre...

17:12 CEST   
14th fastest, 14" down for the Spaniard. He is chased down by the gathered media.

17:14 CEST   
Menchov comes in second, 12" back on Sam Sánchez. Three stage wins for 'Samu' in this year's Vuelta.

17:16 CEST   
A nice ride for Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel), he made into the top 10.

17:21 CEST   
Thanks for joining us today on the Vuelta's final TT. It was a great win the Spaniard, who went two-for-two over the last two days.

17:21 CEST   

Provisional results
1 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
3 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom
4 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick.Step - Innergetic
5 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Karpin-Galicia
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
7 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel
8 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
9 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis
10 Adam Hansen (Aus) T-Mobile

General classification after stage 20

1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
2 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC
3 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
5 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Karpin-Galicia
6 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
8 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9 Manuel Beltrán (Spa) Liquigas
10 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick.Step - Innergetic

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