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Bettini grabs Vuelta stage; Heras secure in jersey

Quick Step’s Paolo Bettini was forced to dig deep to win the 16th stage of the Vuelta a España on Tuesday. The 2004 Olympic champion almost ran out of space as Fassa Bortolo’s feared sprint ace Alessandro Petacchi, who has already won four stages in this year’s Vuelta, came surging up on the outside at the end of the 162.5km stage from Leon to Valladolid in northern Spain. Already the winners of four stages in this year's Vuelta, Petacchi's Fassa Bortolo team lost control of the stage on a slight ascent close to the finish and Bettini made his move 300 meters from the line, narrowly

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Photo: Graham Watson

Quick Step’s Paolo Bettini was forced to dig deep to win the 16th stage of the Vuelta a España on Tuesday.

The 2004 Olympic champion almost ran out of space as Fassa Bortolo’s feared sprint ace Alessandro Petacchi, who has already won four stages in this year’s Vuelta, came surging up on the outside at the end of the 162.5km stage from Leon to Valladolid in northern Spain.

Already the winners of four stages in this year’s Vuelta, Petacchi’s Fassa Bortolo team lost control of the stage on a slight ascent close to the finish and Bettini made his move 300 meters from the line, narrowly foiling Petacchi’s counter-charge in the ensuing 20-man bunch sprint.

“Winning my first ever stage in the Tour of Spain has been like a liberation for me,” the 31-year-old Bettini told Reuters. “Petacchi knew he had to wait for me to accelerate then timed his counterattack very well. But I was able to fend him off because I wanted to win so much.

“After my toughest ever season, this is more important than taking a classic.”

In the race for the main prize of the golden jersey, Spain’s Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) managed to stay out of trouble on what was a mainly flat stage. The three-time winner retained his lead of 4 minutes and 30 seconds over Russian Denis Menchov (Rabobank) with Spaniard Carlos Sastre (Team CSC) third overall at 4:50.

The day’s only significant escape never really managed to develop into anything threatening. Jorge Garcia (Relax Fuenlabrada), Thorwald Veneberg (Rabobank), Bart Dockx (Davitamon-Lotto), Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis), Marcus Ljungqvist (Liquigas-Bianchi), André Korff (T-Mobile), Sébastien Chavanel (Bouygues Telecom and Matteo Tosatto (Fassa Bortolo) never got more than a minute on the main field.

Photo: Graham Watson

Behind the escapees, the pace over the opening hour stayed high, averaging nearly 50kph, and the break was eventually pulled back well before the feed zone at 80km.

Super sprinter Petacchi, who gave his rivals a glimpse of hope a few days ago when organizers initially announced his departure from the race – only to see the Italian take the start – looked to be on his way to claiming his fifth stage win of this year’s race as the finish line appeared after a tight, final bend.

Another few meters and...

Another few meters and…

Photo: Graham Watson

However, while his disciplined team provided a stellar leadout en route to the finish line, a number of attacks and a slight grade near the finish conspired to upset the sprinter’s plans.

A late burst by Spaniard Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) appeared briefly promising, but it only served to prompt Bettini into making a move himself. The diminutive Italian soon overtook Sanchez, but had to dig deep in the final 100 meters to hold off Petacchi, who was coming up steadily on his left . Petacchi finished second ahead of Spaniard Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Phonak).

Petacchi said he will stay in the Vuelta through to the finish on September 18 in order to maintain his “rhythm and form” going into the world championship road race in Madrid a week later. The 31-year-old Italian is one of the favorites on a course many say suits his talents to a T.

Preliminary Stage Results
1. Paolo Bettini (I), Quick Step, 162.5km in 3:40:56
2. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo
3. M. A. Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Phonak
4. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Saunier Duval
5. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi
6. Mauricio Ardila (Col), Davitamon-Lotto
7. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile
8. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears
9. Thomas Ziegler (G), Gerolsteiner
10. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros
FullResults

What knee?

What knee?

Photo: Graham Watson

Overall
1. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 65:28:36
2. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, 4:30
3. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 4:50
4. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears, 6:45
5. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), ECV, 8:02
6. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), T-Mobile, 11:16
7. Ruben Plaza (Sp), ECV, 11:39
8. Tom Danielson (USA), Discovery Channel, 12:15
9. Juan Miguel Mercado (Sp), Quickstep, 13:32
10. Santos Gonzalez (Sp), Phonak, 14:20
FullResults


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Results

Preliminary Stage Results
1. Paolo Bettini (I), Quickstep, 162.5km in 3:40:56

2. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo

3. M. A. Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Phonak

4. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Saunier Duval

5. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

6. Mauricio Ardila (Col), Davitamon-Lotto

7. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile

8. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears

9. Thomas Ziegler (G), Gerolsteiner

10. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros

11. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC

12. Santos Gonzalez (Sp), Phonak

13. Gert Steegmans (B), Davitamon-Lotto

14. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Liquigas-Bianchi

15. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears

16. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), ECV

17. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), T-Mobile

18. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank

19. Juan Miguel Mercado (Sp), Quickstep, all same time

20. Michele Scarponi (I), Liberty Seguros, at 0:09

21. Ruben Plaza (Sp), ECV

22. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, at 0:10

23. David Blanco (Sp), ECV

24. Tom Danielson (USA), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

25. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

26. Gorka Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

27. Mario Aerts (B), Davitamon-Lotto

28. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Credit Agricole,

29. Angel Vicioso (Sp), Liberty Seguros, at 0:12

30. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC

31. Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis

32. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis

33. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre, at 0:17

34. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Saunier Duval

35. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis

36. Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, at 0:19

37. Luis Pasamontes (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada

38. Jose Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, at 0:22

39. Rafael Nuritdinov (UZB), Domina Vacanze

40. Joan Horrach (Sp), Illes Balears

41. Unai Osa (Sp), Illes Balears

42. Nacor Burgos (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada

43. Koos Moerenhout (Nl), Davitamon-Lotto

44. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

45. David CaÑada (Sp), Saunier Duval

46. Marco Velo (I), Fassa Bortolo

47. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Lampre

48. Christophe Kern (F), Bouygues Telecom

49. Nicolas Vogondy (F), Credit Agricole

50. Benjamin Noval (Sp), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

51. Matej Jurco (SVK), Domina Vacanze

52. Michael Barry (CAN), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

53. Alessandro Cortinovis (I), Domina Vacanze

54. Rafael Casero (Sp), Saunier Duval

55. Jérémy Roy (F), Francaise des Jeux

56. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quickstep

57. Martin Elmiger (Swi), Phonak

58. Anthony Geslin (F), Bouygues Telecom

59. Volker Ordowski (G), Gerolsteiner

60. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), Liquigas-Bianchi

61. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre

62. David Latasa (Sp), ECV

63. Jorge Garcia (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada

64. Francisco PÉrez (Sp), Illes Balears

65. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros

66. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner

67. Mikel Pradera (Sp), Illes Balears

68. Ian Mcleod (RSA), Francaise des Jeux

69. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), ECV

70. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Rabobank

71. Daniele Nardello (I), T-Mobile

72. David Lopez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

73. Aketza PeÑa (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

74. Julian Sanchez Pimienta (Sp), Fassa Bortolo

75. Andreas Klier (G), T-Mobile

76. Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (F), Cofidis

77. Marcus Burghardt (G), T-Mobile

78. René Haselbacher (A), Gerolsteiner

79. Matej Mugerli (SLO), Liquigas-Bianchi

80. Magnus Backstedt (Swe), Liquigas-Bianchi

81. Devis Miorin (I), Liquigas-Bianchi

82. Alberto Ongarato (I), Fassa Bortolo

83. Guido Trenti (USA), Quickstep, 1:03

84. Francisco José Ventoso (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:03

85. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:03

86. Oscar Pereiro (Sp), Phonak, 1:03

87. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), Rabobank, 1:03

88. Giampaolo Caruso (I), Liberty Seguros, 1:03

89. Uwe Peschel (G), Gerolsteiner, 1:03

90. Moises DueÑas (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, 1:03

91. André Korff (G), T-Mobile, 1:03

92. Rolf Aldag (G), T-Mobile, 1:03

93. Sergio Ghisalberti (I), Domina Vacanze, 1:03

94. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp), ECV, 1:03

95. Victor Hugo PeÑa (Col), Phonak, 1:03

96. Arnaud Coyot (F), Cofidis, 1:03

97. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 1:03

98. David Bernabeu (Sp), ECV, 1:03

99. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 1:03

100. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:03

101. Charles Wegelius (GB), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:03

102. Marco Zanotti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:03

103. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros, 1:03

104. Frédéric Finot (F), Francaise des Jeux, 1:03

105. Joseba Beloki (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:03

106. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, 1:03

107. Matteo Tosatto (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:11

108. Lorenzo Bernucci (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:15

109. Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:15

110. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 1:19

111. José Vicent Garcia Acosta (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:19

112. Mauro Gerosa (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:19

113. Bart Dockx (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:19

114. Andreas Matzbacher (A), Lampre, 1:19

115. Bernhard Kohl (A), T-Mobile, 1:19

116. Ignacio Gutierrez (Sp), Phonak, 1:19

117. Nick Gates (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:19

118. Jimmy Casper (F), Cofidis, 1:19
Overall
1. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 65:28:36

2. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, 4:30

3. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 4:50

4. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears, 6:45

5. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), ECV, 8:02

6. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), T-Mobile, 11:16

7. Ruben Plaza (Sp), ECV, 11:39

8. Tom Danielson (USA), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, 12:15

9. Juan Miguel Mercado (Sp), Quickstep, 13:32

10. Santos Gonzalez (Sp), Phonak, 14:20

11. Michele Scarponi (I), Liberty Seguros, 14:53

12. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 15:33

13. Mauricio Ardila (Col), Davitamon-Lotto, 15:56

14. David Blanco (Sp), ECV, 22:31

15. M. A. Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Phonak, 24:14

16. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, 30:06

17. Unai Osa (Sp), Illes Balears, 30:11

18. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, 30:20

19. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre, 34:42

20. Mario Aerts (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 34:51

21. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Credit Agricole, 34:57

22. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 36:06

23. Victor Hugo PeÑa (Col), Phonak, 37:57

24. Christophe Kern (F), Bouygues Telecom, 40:21

25. Joan Horrach (Sp), Illes Balears, 43:21

26. Koos Moerenhout (Nl), Davitamon-Lotto, 43:45

27. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 46:30

28. Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, 46:39

29. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 47:26

30. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears, 50:38

31. Oscar Pereiro (Sp), Phonak, 50:59

32. Luis Pasamontes (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, 51:08

33. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 54:56

34. Paolo Bettini (I), Quickstep, 1:00:47

35. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:01:28

36. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:06:34

37. Julian Sanchez Pimienta (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 1:07:14

38. David Bernabeu (Sp), ECV, 1:08:13

39. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 1:09:14

40. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quickstep, 1:10:52

41. David CaÑada (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:11:34

42. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, 1:14:16

43. Francisco PÉrez (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:14:49

44. Michael Barry (CAN), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, 1:14:51

45. Joseba Beloki (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:14:58

46. Jose Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, 1:15:05

47. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), ECV, 1:16:24

48. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis, 1:16:30

49. Benjamin Noval (Sp), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, 1:16:39

50. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:17:12

51. Angel Vicioso (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:17:20

52. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, 1:20:07

53. Rolf Aldag (G), T-Mobile, 1:20:43

54. Nicolas Vogondy (F), Credit Agricole, 1:21:49

55. Gorka Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:21:58

56. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), Rabobank, 1:22:39

57. Moises DueÑas (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, 1:24:32

58. Thomas Ziegler (G), Gerolsteiner, 1:26:26

59. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp), ECV, 1:27:18

60. Charles Wegelius (GB), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:30:07

61. Rafael Casero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:32:10

62. Giampaolo Caruso (I), Liberty Seguros, 1:32:20

63. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Lampre, 1:33:17

64. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:36:32

65. Daniele Nardello (I), T-Mobile, 1:37:27

66. Nacor Burgos (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, 1:38:05

67. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile, 1:40:44

68. Mikel Pradera (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:45:53

69. Marcus Burghardt (G), T-Mobile, 1:45:58

70. Ignacio Gutierrez (Sp), Phonak, 1:46:43

71. Jorge Garcia (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, 1:49:02

72. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros, 1:53:01

73. Jérémy Roy (F), Francaise des Jeux, 1:53:29

74. David Latasa (Sp), ECV, 1:54:25

75. Anthony Geslin (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:59:46

76. Alberto Ongarato (I), Fassa Bortolo, 2:01:03

77. David Lopez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:01:10

78. Lorenzo Bernucci (I), Fassa Bortolo, 2:01:22

79. Alessandro Cortinovis (I), Domina Vacanze, 2:03:40

80. Francisco José Ventoso (Sp), Saunier Duval, 2:04:26

81. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 2:06:46

82. Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 2:08:16

83. Andreas Matzbacher (A), Lampre, 2:11:20

84. José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Sp), Illes Balears, 2:12:30

85. Aketza PeÑa (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:12:59

86. Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis, 2:14:10

87. Guido Trenti (USA), Quickstep, 2:14:34

88. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 2:15:00

89. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 2:16:35

90. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Fuenlabrada, 2:18:54

91. Bart Dockx (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 2:19:44

92. Matej Mugerli (SLO), Liquigas-Bianchi, 2:20:12

93. Sergio Ghisalberti (I), Domina Vacanze, 2:22:12

94. Marco Velo (I), Fassa Bortolo, 2:22:52

95. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre, 2:23:02

96. Bernhard Kohl (A), T-Mobile, 2:25:05

97. Uwe Peschel (G), Gerolsteiner, 2:25:39

98. Volker Ordowski (G), Gerolsteiner, 2:28:17

99. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Rabobank, 2:28:56

100. Andreas Klier (G), T-Mobile, 2:31:00

101. Devis Miorin (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 2:31:29

102. Matteo Tosatto (I), Fassa Bortolo, 2:33:00

103. Martin Elmiger (Swi), Phonak, 2:33:08

104. Ian Mcleod (RSA), Francaise des Jeux, 2:34:58

105. Arnaud Coyot (F), Cofidis, 2:37:41

106. Mauro Gerosa (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 2:39:34

107. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), Liquigas-Bianchi, 2:41:04

108. Gert Steegmans (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 2:41:55

109. Marco Zanotti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 2:42:30

110. Magnus Backstedt (Swe), Liquigas-Bianchi, 2:44:15

111. Rafael Nuritdinov (UZB), Domina Vacanze, 2:46:42

112. Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (F), Cofidis, 2:49:15

113. André Korff (G), T-Mobile, 2:50:16

114. René Haselbacher (A), Gerolsteiner, 2:54:48

115. Nick Gates (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto, 2:55:33

116. Matej Jurco (SVK), Domina Vacanze, 3:06:29

117. Jimmy Casper (F), Cofidis, 3:09:32

118. Frédéric Finot (F), Francaise des Jeux, 3:12:12