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62nd Vuelta a España - GT

Spain, September 1-23, 2007

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Stage 5 - September 5: Cangas de Onís - Reinosa, 157.4km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST

15:02 CEST   
Hola! Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 5 of the Vuelta a España. The stage today, from Cangas de Onís to Reinosa, will not decide the Vuelta with its last peak coming at kilometre 136 but it will likely make one contender a 'non-contender.'

Three category two climbs (or 'altos') dot the parcours before the final category one blast up the Puerto de la Palombera. Any rider wishing to have a chance today might want to channel the forces of German Dietrich Thurau who won an almost identical stage in 1976.

15:07 CEST    70km/87.4km to go
It is gruppo compatto at the moment, 70 kilometres into the race. The peloton has been neutralizing every escape attempt.

We are adjusting the music in the Cyclingnews Seat 1.2. We had some Spanish music playing but now have switched over to a French group we discovered during the Tour de France -- Phoenix.

Two riders in the peloton are celebrating birthdays today: Relax-Gam's Daniel Moreno has turned 26, and CSC's Chris Anker Sørensen has turned 23 today. Happy Birthday to both of them!

15:09 CEST    72km/85.4km to go
Wait! There is an attack by Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir). 'Litu' has a go at kilometre 71 and the peloton, controlled by Caisse d'Epargne, is letting him get an advantage.

15:11 CEST   
The likeable Spaniard, who speaks English well, is heading up the day's first climb.

15:14 CEST   
There were a lot of attacks today but none seemed to gain ground. Litu was involved in the first successful move that went at kilometre 15. In the move was David Herrero (Karpin-Galicia), Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Andreas Klier (T-Mobile), Ángel Vallejo (Relax-GAM), Thomas Lövkvist (Française Des Jeux) and Litu. However, the move was short-lived.

15:17 CEST    73km/84.4km to go
Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir) pushes on while Serafín Martínez (Karpin-Galicia) and Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel-Euskadi) give chase.

15:20 CEST    75km/82.4km to go
Serafín Martínez (Karpin-Galicia) and Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel-Euskadi) have joined Litu, along with Mauricio Ardila Cano (Rabobank), Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne) and Daniel Moreno (Relax-GAM). The peloton trails behind at 12 seconds as the six have topped the category two Collado de la Hoz.

15:22 CEST    79km/78.4km to go
The group does not like this move either! Litu persists as the others are caught. Juan Manuel Gárate (Quick.Step - Innergetic) is hot on his compatriot's heels. Recall that it was Gárate who was in yesterday's powerful 30-man move.

The riders have completed two hours of racing at a pace of 40.6km/h.

Menchov puts the hurt on
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15:26 CEST   
A reader asks "How is Menchov doing at the moment?" Well, we can report that he is in the pack. The Russian is a past winner of the Vuelta a España and knows that he has to keep his cool, saving himself for the mountain top finishes and time trials. Along with Sastre, he showed himself to be one of the strongest men in the race yesterday.

15:33 CEST    83km
CSC commands the pace as the escape is re-formed. Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel-Euskadi), David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Prodir) and Stéphane Goubert (Ag2r Prévoyance) join the front runners, but the pack reacts quickly. Now there is only birthday boy Daniel Moreno (Relax-GAM) and De La Fuente persisting.

15:44 CEST   
Over the Collado de la Hoz (km 74) the order was
1 Mauricio Ardila Cano (Rabobank)
2 Serafín Martínez (Karpin-Galicia)
3 Juan Manuel Gárate (Quick.Step - Innergetic)
4 Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
5 Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne)
6 Vladimir Karpets (Caisse d'Epargne)

15:47 CEST    97km/60.4km to go
But the riders have now covered the second climb of the day, Collada de Ozalba, and a solid escape has formed. In the 10-man move we have David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Daniel Moreno (Relax-GAM), Josep Jufré (Predictor-Lotto), Volodimir Gustov (Team CSC), Carlos Barredo (Quick.Step - Innergetic), Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), Marco Marzano (Lampre-Fondital), David López García (Caisse d'Epargne), Karsten Kroon (Team CSC) and Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir).

15:55 CEST    101km/56.4km to go
Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile) and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) make a push for the 10-man group but as they do the who move breaks to pieces. As the third climb starts only Niki Terpstra (Milram) and Karsten Kroon (Team CSC) are able to hold on to any sort of gap. They have 10 seconds.

16:08 CEST    103km/54.4km to go
Karsten Kroon (Team CSC) is making the move with Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir) trailing behind by 10". The pack is a further 1'30" back of the duo. Kroon is approaching the top of this climb, the Collada de Carmona, and Litu is holding on so that he might stand a chance of catching on while they make their way downhill.

16:13 CEST    112km/45.4km to go
Kroon and Litu have joined on the descent. The duo leads by 1'52".

16:18 CEST    117.4km/40km to go
What a great day here in Northern Spain. The duo is riding in sunshine but the gruppo is riding in the shade of the mountains. Evans has about five Predictor riders around him. He really suffered yesterday, but we are still in the first week, so don't count out the Aussie.

16:20 CEST   
Litu is leading Kroon. The two are switching pulls to share the workload. Caisse leads the peloton at 3'45" behind. The gap is growing. Finally, we had a long morning of attacks with no success.

16:24 CEST   
The final climb of the day is about to start. The Puerto de la Palombera runs for 15.6 kilometres and then there is another 20 kilometres before the finish in Reinosa.

The average is 38.5 km/h after three hours of racing.

José Vicente Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne) leads the bunch.

16:25 CEST    122.4km/35km to go
The Saunier team car pulls up beside Litu. The Spaniard tops off with food and had a quick chat with the DS. We are not sure who is driving the car, maybe Matxin?

16:26 CEST   
Thanks for all your e-mails today! We will reply to them as we can.

16:28 CEST   
This is a very beautiful countryside. Litu and Kroon cannot see the forest through the trees that are around them. There are many, many trees here in this area of Spain. Those will disappear when we travel towards the south of Spain.

The Puerto de la Palombera tops out at 1,260 metres.

16:30 CEST   
Want to know about VAM? Read today's news item, Efimkin does 1600 metres/hour.

16:37 CEST   
Litu to Popo: Yaroslav Popovych is not in this race but the Ukrainian will be riding for Predictor next year. It will be a welcome not for Aussie Cadel Evans. Horner has been Evans' main mountain goat in the Tour but Popo could be the added 'goat' to help him win the Tour de France. Evans finished second in 2007 in the Tour.

Many of the other Discovery Channel riders are still looking for teams as the American squad will disband at the end of this season.

Ireland to Spain: Kroon was in the Tour of Ireland two weeks ago and is now in the action here in the Iberian Peninsula. He is with Litu and their gap is at 3'41".

16:38 CEST   
Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole) is suffering at the back of the pack. The Italian from Verona was involved in a crash yesterday right as the race was starting the final climb. Vai Pietro!!!

16:42 CEST   
Rabobank is taking over the pace-making from Caisse d'Epargne. They are cruising up this climb at 25 km/h. At the back, riders are popping left and right. like Alessandro Petacchi (Milram). He is with Alberto Ongarato and Stéphane Augé (Cofidis).

16:44 CEST   
Both Freire and Litu are from this region. Maybe Rabobank is working for Oscar the Cat? It does not seem like a finish for the three-time World Champion.

Joost Posthuma and Pedro Horrillo lead for Rabobank. Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) is there right behind Menchov.

16:47 CEST    130km/27.4km to go
Poor Cunego! The guy is wrapped in bandages from his crash in day one. He noted at the finish of yesterday's stage that he hopes to shine in the later part of the Vuelta. The reason is two-fold: He would like to win a stage, but he also show to Italian DS Franco Ballerini that he has a place on the Squadra Azzurra.

Aussie Adam Hansen (T-Mobile) is going along smoothly towards the back of this pack.

16:48 CEST   
Litu is on his own. Where is Kroon?

16:50 CEST   
Back in the pack a Saunier rider shoots out of the pack. It is Marchante! He quickly joins with Litu, who has sat up. The Cantabria-born rider, Litu, continues to fall back. Marchante charges towards Kroon.

16:52 CEST   
The group is strung out! The Rabobank-led group is letting Marchante have his space. The Spaniard lost some time yesterday and is not an immediate threat.

Kroon is zig-zagging on the upper part of this sun-drenched climb.

Marchante is going at 26 km/h.

16:58 CEST   
Karsten Kroon (Team CSC) leads José Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval-Prodir) by 1'24", and the peloton is another 40" back. What the is Marchante doing? It seems like a crazy move for a GC leader. He can't really make it to the finish on his own. Caisse or Rabobank won't allow a GC rider like Marchante to gain extra time on a stage like this.

We used 'Litu' a lot; It was in reference to Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir).

17:00 CEST   
Kroon is nearing the top of this climb. The climb tops out at 21.2 kilometres to go to the line.

That is 21 kilometres for Marchante to stay clear. Not a chance! The group is going about one kilometre faster per hour than our escapees. Marchante is going at 27 kilometres per hour.

17:01 CEST    136.2km/21.2km to go
Kroon tops the 1,260m-high Puerto de la Palombera.

17:02 CEST   
Here comes Marchante. He passes the Puerto at 45" back.

Kroon is going at 61km/h on the backside of this climb.

17:03 CEST   
The peloton passes the top of the Puerto at 1'25".

17:03 CEST   
The peloton passes the top of the Puerto at 1'25".

17:07 CEST   
Marchante is clocked at 85km/h! He is jamming down the Puerto on his white Scott machine.

These roads are incredibly beautiful here in Spain. What a great location for this Grand Tour! We hope you are enjoying our live coverage? Are you using the WAP? If not, have a look below for instructions.

Kroon holds on to 47" over Marchante.

17:12 CEST    12km to go
Marchante has given up the push, he sits up and is re-joined by the Rabobank and Caisse-led group.

17:15 CEST    149.4km/8km to go
Kroon bangs it along solo. The sun beats down on his right side. The 31 year-old Dutchman has won a stage in a Grand Tour in the past. In 2002 he won a stage of the Tour de France, as well as holding on to the mountains jersey for a while.

He only has 34 seconds on the pack.

17:17 CEST    150.4km/7km to go
Lampre is helping the chase now for Bennati. The gap is falling fast. Kroon is going to have a hard time to stay clear.

17:17 CEST    151.4km/6km to go
The sun is now on his back side as he passes the six kilometre banner.

17:17 CEST   
The gap at six kilometres is only 25 seconds!

17:18 CEST   
Is this going to be a finish for Bennati or Freire? Or?

17:19 CEST    152.4km/5km to go
Kroon goes up a small riser to the five kilometre banner. The gap is nine seconds.

17:20 CEST   
Kroon is going to be caught. He is looking back while his hands are in the drops of his bars. The peloton is lined down the right side of the road.

17:21 CEST   
In the last 350m there is a 90° right-hander up to the finish.

Kroon has now been caught.

17:22 CEST    154.4km/3km to go
FDJ and Cofidis have men on the front. Bettini is the front group. Brace yourself, this is going to be a nutty finish. Look for Bettini to profit from the tricky finish. Bennati is on super-form and could hit out for another Vuelta win.

We are going for Bennati on this finish.

17:23 CEST   
The riders take a right hander.

17:23 CEST   
Milram is helping out too. Maybe Zabel is here.

17:24 CEST    156.4km/1km to go
The riders pass the one kilometre banner with a Milram man leading.

17:24 CEST   
It is hard to see the action with the sun and shadows.

17:24 CEST   
Cofidis leads.

17:25 CEST   
Gilbert takes the right hander first.

17:25 CEST   
It is Bettini, Bennati and Freire, left to right. It looks like Freire got it on the far right of the road.

17:25 CEST   
Freire takes his second win in this Vuelta!

17:27 CEST   
Gilbert faded on the left as Freire powered on the far right. Bennati gave the Spaniard a run but could not match him. World Champion Bettini showed well but lacked a little bit for the win.

17:28 CEST   
Franco Ballerini will have to give a nod to Bennati for the Worlds' team. The sprinter from Abruzzo looks sharp.

Gilbert ended in fourth (we think). And Zabel looked to be in fifth.

17:35 CEST   
Thanks for joining us today. Please check back for a full stage report and results.


Provisional results

1 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
3 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française Des Jeux

General classification after stage 5

1 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne

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