Events

Brajkovic leads Vuelta as Valverde flies to stage win

Discovery Channel put a rider atop the overall Vuelta a España standings in Friday’s 154.2km seventh stage up the grinding Alto de el Morredero climb, but it wasn’t the rider they expected to see in the gold jersey. Tom Danielson’s bid to become the first American to win the Vuelta took a serious blow after struggling halfway up the 18km climb to lose more than three minutes while teammate Janez Brajkovic continued to show savvy beyond his 22 years and calmly rode his way into the overall lead. “This is my first grand tour and I came here to help Tom and to gain experience,” said Brajkovic,

By Andrew Hood

The peloton let the break get nearly 12 minutes before picking up the chase.

The peloton let the break get nearly 12 minutes before picking up the chase.

Photo: Graham Watson

Discovery Channel put a rider atop the overall Vuelta a España standings in Friday’s 154.2km seventh stage up the grinding Alto de el Morredero climb, but it wasn’t the rider they expected to see in the gold jersey.

Tom Danielson’s bid to become the first American to win the Vuelta took a serious blow after struggling halfway up the 18km climb to lose more than three minutes while teammate Janez Brajkovic continued to show savvy beyond his 22 years and calmly rode his way into the overall lead.

“This is my first grand tour and I came here to help Tom and to gain experience,” said Brajkovic, who now leads Spanish superstar Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) by five seconds and Carlos Sastre (CSC) by 10. “There was no way I thought I would be in the leader’s jersey at the end of the first week.”
FullResults

Danielson, 28, lost contact with the leaders about halfway up the climb to finish 36th at 3:28. The Coloradan started the Vuelta with high hopes of finishing among the top three on the podium, but tumbled out of the top 10 to 18th and is now 4:15 down on general classification.

Discovery Channel sport director Johan Bruyneel said Danielson’s troubles and Brajkovic’s surprising performances have prompted a change in the team’s tactics.

“We have no explanation. [Tom] started at the bottom of the climb and just didn’t feel good. We don’t know what’s wrong. He’s not sick,” Bruyneel told VeloNews. “There is still a lot of Vuelta to race. We are still in the first week. It’s [Janez’] first big tour and it would be a surprise to see if he can maintain where he is now. As long as he’s going good, we’ll ride for him.”

Brajkovic rode confidently up the long, uneven climb and even had the panache to attack a lead group of about 10 riders with about 2km to go. That attracted the attention of the revived Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), who counter-attacked with 1km to go and looked to have the win in his legs.

Vino' on the attack

Vino’ on the attack

Photo: Graham Watson

Valverde, however, sprang clear of the leaders to streak past a fading Vino with 200 meters to go, taking an impressive victory — but he couldn’t shake the stubborn Brajkovic.

The win was “Balaverde’s” first since a stage at the Tour of Romandie in April. With time bonuses and the seven seconds he took on Brajkovic, he pulled within five seconds of the overall lead.

“It was like riding a classic out there today, a lot of attacks and changes of rhythm,” Valverde said. “The win is very positive because I helped gain some time on the others, that’s the most important thing.”

Overnight leader Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) – who started the stage with a four-second lead on Brajkovic – lost contact with the leaders with about 10km to go and lost 1:58 to drop to ninth at 1:47 back.

How far can Janez go?
With two strong performances in the opening pair of mountain stages under his belt, suddenly everyone is looking at Brajkovic with new eyes.

“We cannot look past Brajkovic,” said Eusebio Unzue, sport director at Caisse d’Epargne. “Despite being young and inexperienced, he’s showing everyone he is strong for the moment.”

With his renowned time-trialing ability (he beat Thomas Dekker in the U23 world time-trial championships in 2004) and with riders such as Denis Menchov and Oscar Pereiro already too far back, the young Slovenian is looking more and more like a podium contender.

“I have no idea how far I can go,” said Brajkovic, who shot to prominence when he followed the attacking Di Luca in stage five. “I don’t think I can win this Vuelta, but I will take it day by day and see what happens.”

It's good to be the king

It’s good to be the king

Photo: AFP

Bruyneel cautioned that Brajkovic is just learning the ropes in what’s his grand-tour debut. The longest professional race he’s completed is the 10-day Tour de Suisse, where he finished fifth overall in June (interestingly, all four riders who finished ahead of him – Jan Ullrich, Koldo Gil, Jorg Jaksche and Angel Vicioso – have been linked to the Operación Puerto doping investigation).

“It’s a surprise to have him in the jersey and it’s amazing what he’s doing now,” Bruyneel said. “We know he’s a big talent and it’s obvious he knows how to race. That fact that he’s able to stay with the best guys and even attack at the final is impressive.”

Still, Bruyneel added: “Right now, we are not thinking about winning the Vuelta with him.”

Brajkovic has already been impressive in what’s his first full season as pro, notching five top-five results, including fifth at the Swiss tour and fourth at the Volta a Catalunya. Those races are simply at a different level than the Vuelta, Bruyneel cautioned.

“With still two weeks to go for such a young guy, it’s an unknown factor. We don’t know how he’s going to recover or if he can stay strong,” he said, adding the tidbit that Brajkovic is already signed to a contract for 2007. “What he’s shown now, it’s more than enough that he can become a big champion. … Even if he loses the jersey tomorrow, he’s already surpassed all expectations this season. It signals a great rider for the future.”

Brajkovic seems to be taking it all with aplomb. He’s bubbling with the confidence of a 22-year-old who shows no signs of being intimidated by his surroundings.

When asked about what scares him most about the Vuelta, he replied: “The only thing I am scared of is bad weather.”

Brajkovic can sleep well; forecasters are calling for more clear skies.

Still no breaks for breaks
Nice crowds turned out to cheer on the 182 riders remaining in the peloton as it rolled out of León and pushed west toward the rugged mountains towering above Ponferrada, a city known for its hearty red wine and its 14th-century castle built by the Knights Templar.

Bodrogi leads a doomed effort

Bodrogi leads a doomed effort

Photo: Graham Watson

If there’s a code to break in this Vuelta, it’s how a breakaway can hold off the peloton. Despite valiant efforts every day, no one has managed to hold off the sprinters or the top favorites attacking out of the main bunch in the mountains.

After a frenetic start, three riders extracted themselves at 24km to set the day’s main action: David Loosli (Lampre), Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole).

The leaders held a gap of 7:47 after the first hour with an average speed of 46.8kph as the course rolled west past dessicated wheat fields. Steve Zampieri (Phonak) pulled the plug at 95km. The gap held steady through the day’s second intermediate sprint and fell to six minutes as the leaders neared the base of the 18km climb.

The opening 4km were the hardest, with ramps as steep as 15 percent. Several riders were put into trouble early, including defending champion Denis Menchov (Rabobank) and Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne).

“I already knew after La Covatilla that I wouldn’t be able to follow the best. My form clearly isn’t as good as it was during the Tour, which is normal,” Menchov told VeloNews before the start. “We’ll see how it goes today, but I think my best chances might be to try win a stage at some point.”

Loosli still held a four-minute lead at 15km to go, but the speed among the top riders doomed his efforts. He was eventually reeled in with less than 3km to go.

But Di Luca was unable to keep his grip on the lead.

But Di Luca was unable to keep his grip on the lead.

Photo: Graham Watson

Caisse d’Epargne put Joaquin Rodriguez and Vladimir Karpets on the front and quickly blew apart the front pack. Brajkovic was spit out the back early, but fought back on thanks to help from Devolder. Danielson, however, lost contact and never managed to claw his way back on.

Caisse d’Epargne and Discovery each had three riders, Astana had Vinokourov and Andrey Kashechkin, but Team CSC’s Carlos Sastre was quickly isolated without teammates after hard pulls by Rodriguez.

“It’s satisfying to be where you need to be do and do your job well,” Rodriguez said. “We are all here to work for Alejandro and we think he can win the race.”

The climb snaked up the barren, treeless mountain, with steep ramps punctuated by relatively modest inclines, allowing riders such as Ryder Hesjedal (Phonak) and Brajkovic to hook back on.

With Danielson fading fast, Discovery still had Beltran (here followed by Valverde) and Brajkovic in reserve

With Danielson fading fast, Discovery still had Beltran (here followed by Valverde) and Brajkovic in reserve

Photo: Graham Watson

With about 10km to go, Luis Peréz (Cofidis) went on the attack, drawing out Vinokourov and Beltrán. Di Luca’s run in the gold jersey ended despite a brave effort; he finished 22nd at 1:58 back.

A further kilometer up the road, Valverde rocketed out, seemingly putting Sastre into the red zone, but the stubborn CSC man refused to buckle under the pressure despite a face of torture. Another flatter section brought things together before a final selection was made with under 3km to go.

Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) tried to attack twice, but Beltrán marked his wheel. Brajkovic had the audacity to attack with 2km to go, a move marked by Vinokourov, who counter-attacked with 1km to go in what looked like the winning move.

“I just didn’t have enough to win, but I am content because I am feeling better every day,” Vinokourov said. “I had good sensations throughout the stage and I am getting better. I believe I will be even stronger Sunday. Valverde isn’t a surprise, I know him well, but we’ll see what happens Sunday.”

What happened today was this: Valverde shot out of a group of seven with about 200m to go and slingshot past the dying Kazakh to take his first win since a stage at the Tour de Romandie in April.

The 61st Vuelta continues Saturday with the hilly 181.6km eighth stage from Ponferrada to Lugo deep in northwest Spain. It’s the first time in years that the Vuelta has turned into Galicia, the home region of Tour de France runner-up Oscar Pereiro. Next year’s Vuelta will start in Galicia.

The undulating stage includes just one rated climb – the Cat. 3 Alto de Ares at 88km – but the narrow, hilly roads could serve up a good chance for a breakaway to finally hold off the ravenous Vuelta peloton.

Top 10
1. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne-I.B., 4:01:05
2. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 0:04
3. José Angel Gomez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:06
4. Janez Brajkovic (Slo), Discovery Channel, at 0:07
5. Manuel Beltran (Sp), Discovery Channel, same time
6. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Astana, at 0:12
7. Luis Pérez (Sp), Cofidis, at 0:16
8. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Astana, s.t.
9. Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel, at 0:23
10. Ruggero Marzoli (I), Lampre, at 0:29

Full ResultsOverall
1. Janez Brajkovic (Slo), Discovery Channel, 26:48:27
2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne-I.B., at 0:05
3. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 0:10
4. José Angel Gomez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:22
5. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Astana, at 0:23
6. Manuel Beltran (Sp), Discovery Channel, at 0:51
7. Ruggero Marzoli (I), Lampre, 1:17
8. Bernhard Kohl (A), T-Mobile, 1:37
9. Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:47
10. Iban Mayo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:27


To see how the stage developed, simply click here to open our Live Update Window.

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage 7

Name (Nac), Tea

1. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., 154km in 4:01:05

2. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 0:04

3. José Ange Gomez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:06

4. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Discovery Channel, at 0:07

5. Manuel Beltran (Sp), Discovery Channel, at 0:07

6. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Astana, at 0:12

7. Luis PÉrez (Sp), Cofidis, at 0:16

8. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Astana, at 0:16

9. Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel, at 0:23

10. Ruggero Marzoli (I), Lampre, at 0:29

11. Iban Mayo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:29

12. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank, at 0:38

13. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre, at 0:41

14. Josep Jufre (Sp), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:44

15. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 0:46

16. Bernhard Kohl (A), T-Mobile, at 0:48

17. Evgeni Petrov (Rus), Lampre, at 0:52

18. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Phonak, at 1:10
19. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, at 1:10

20. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre, at 1:26

21. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 1:46

22. Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 1:58

23. David Arroyo (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 1:58

24. Stéphane Goubert (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 1:58

25. Jesús HernÁndez (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 2:04

26. Xabier Zandio (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 2:09

27. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 2:36

28. Igor Anton (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:40

29. Samuel SÁnchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:40

30. Theo Eltink (Nl), Rabobank, at 2:42

31. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Credit Agricole, at 2:51

32. Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz), Astana, at 3:03

33. Sergio Paulinho (P), Astana, at 3:05

34. Carlos Barredo (Sp), Astana, at 3:23

35. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Discovery Channel, at 3:28

36. Thomas Danielson (USA), Discovery Channel, at 3:28
37. Daniel Becke (G), Milram, at 3:28

38. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Credit Agricole, at 3:28

39. Paolo Bettini (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 3:50

40. José Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 3:54

41. Iñigo Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 3:54

42. Hubert Dupont (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 3:54

43. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4:02

44. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Credit Agricole, at 4:15

45. Dario David Cioni (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 4:16

46. Daniel Moreno (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 4:21

47. Christopher Horner (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, at 4:21

48. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 4:26

49. Ángel Vallejo (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 4:33

50. Mauricio Ardila (Col), Rabobank, at 4:38

51. Thierry Marichal (B), Cofidis, at 4:41

52. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, at 4:41

53. Pierre Drancourt (B), Bouygues Telecom, at 4:46

54. Juan José Cobo (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 5:22

55. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Discovery Channel, at 5:22

56. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, at 5:27

57. Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis, at 5:41

58. Pieter Mertens (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 6:06

59. Lars Ytting Bak (Dk), CSC, at 6:12

60. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, at 6:12

61. Jérôme Pineau (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 6:12

62. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, at 6:47

63. Pieter Weening (Nl), Rabobank, at 6:47

64. Florian Stalder (Swi), Phonak, at 6:47

65. Frédéric Bessy (F), Cofidis, at 6:47

66. Jérémy Roy (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 6:47

67. Benoît Joachim (Lux), Discovery Channel, at 8:02

68. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 8:02

69. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), CSC, at 8:07

70. David George (RSA), Relax-Gam, at 8:25

71. Sébastien Joly (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 9:03

72. Walter Beneteau (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 9:03

73. Eric Leblacher (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 9:17

74. Enrico Franzoi (I), Lampre, at 0:10:32

75. Jorge GarcÍa (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 0:10:32

76. Nacor Burgos (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 0:10:32

77. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Discovery Channel, at 0:10:32

78. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, at 0:10:32

79. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 0:10:32

80. Andrea Moletta (I), Gerolsteiner, at 0:10:32

81. Sébastien Minard (F), Cofidis, at 0:10:54

82. Benoît Poilvet (F), Credit Agricole, at 0:10:54

83. David CaÑada (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:10:54

84. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:10:54

85. David Millar (GB), Saunier Duval, at 0:12:45

86. Oscar Pereiro (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 0:12:45

87. Torsten Hiekmann (G), Gerolsteiner, at 0:14:26

88. Anthony Geslin (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 0:14:26

89. José Antonio Redondo (Sp), Astana, at 0:14:58

90. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), CSC, at 0:16:22

91. Stuart O'Grady (Aus), CSC, at 0:16:22

92. Aketza PeÑa (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:16:22

93. Alessandro Spezialetti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 0:16:22

94. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:16:22

95. Bernhard Eisel (A), Francaise des Jeux, at 0:20:49

96. Erik Zabel (G), Milram, at 0:20:49

97. René Haselbacher (A), Gerolsteiner, at 0:20:49

98. Ian Mcleod (RSA), Francaise des Jeux, at 0:20:49

99. Marco Velo (I), Milram, at 0:20:49

100. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Milram, at 0:20:49

101. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile, at 0:20:49

102. Matteo Carrara (I), Lampre, at 0:20:49

103. André Greipel (G), T-Mobile, at 0:20:49

104. Franck Renier (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 0:20:49

105. Matteo Tosatto (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:20:49

106. Bastiaan Giling (Nl), T-Mobile, at 0:20:49

107. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Rabobank, at 0:20:49

108. Fabien Patanchon (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 0:20:49

109. Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Phonak, at 0:20:49

110. Raúl GarcÍa De Mateo (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 0:20:49

111. Mathieu Claude (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 0:20:49

112. Fabio Sacchi (I), Milram, at 0:20:49

113. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, at 0:20:49

114. Claudio Corioni (I), Lampre, at 0:20:49

115. Michael Barry (CAN), Discovery Channel, at 0:20:49

116. Luis FernÁndez Oliveira (Sp), Phonak, at 0:20:49

117. Robert FÖrster (G), Gerolsteiner, at 0:20:49

118. Wim De Vocht (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:20:49

119. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor), CSC, at 0:20:49

120. Thomas Ziegler (G), T-Mobile, at 0:20:49

121. Enrico Poitschke (G), Milram, at 0:20:49

122. Assan Bazayev (Kaz), Astana, at 0:20:49

123. Geoffroy Lequatre (F), Cofidis, at 0:20:49

124. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana, at 0:20:49

125. Rony Martias (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 0:20:49

126. Alberto Ongarato (I), Milram, at 0:20:49

127. Cyril Dessel (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 0:20:49

128. Olivier Kaisen (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:20:49

129. Jean-Patrick Nazon (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 0:20:49

130. Joan Horrach (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 0:20:49

131. Mads Kaggestad (Nor), Credit Agricole, at 0:20:49

132. Ángel GÓmez GÓmez (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:20:49

133. Scott Davis (Aus), T-Mobile, at 0:20:49

134. David Navas (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 0:20:49

135. Sebastian Siedler (G), Milram, at 0:20:49

136. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), CSC, at 0:20:49

137. Steve Morabito (Swi), Phonak, at 0:20:49

138. Markel Irizar (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:20:49

139. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, at 0:20:49

140. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Bouygues Telecom, at 0:20:49

141. Francisco José Ventoso (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:20:49

142. Mario De Sarraga (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 0:20:49

143. José Vicent Garcia Acosta (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 0:20:49

144. Sébastien Rosseler (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:20:49

145. Alberto BenÍtez (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:20:49

146. Uros Murn (SLO), Phonak, at 0:20:49

147. Leonardo Duque (Col), Cofidis, at 0:20:49

148. Daniele Nardello (I), T-Mobile, at 0:20:49

149. Davide Vigano (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:20:49

150. Kevin De Weert (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:20:49

151. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 0:20:49

152. Lorenzo Bernucci (I), T-Mobile, at 0:20:49

153. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), CSC, at 0:20:49

154. Anthony Charteau (F), Credit Agricole, at 0:20:49

155. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:20:49

156. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Credit Agricole, at 0:20:49

157. Björn Leukemans (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:20:49

158. Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (F), Cofidis, at 0:20:49

159. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Credit Agricole, at 0:20:49

160. Cyril Lemoine (F), Credit Agricole, at 0:20:49

161. Bingen FernÁndez (Sp), Cofidis, at 0:20:49

162. Inaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:20:49

163. Danilo Napolitano (I), Lampre, at 0:20:49

164. Luca Paolini (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 0:20:49

165. José Antonio Garrido (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:20:49

166. Rubén PÉrez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:20:49

167. Kjell CarlstrÖm (FIN), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 0:20:49

168. Magnus Backstedt (Swe), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 0:20:49

169. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre, at 0:20:49

170. Francesco Failli (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 0:20:49

171. Dario Andriotto (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 0:20:49

172. Marcel Strauss (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 0:20:49

173. Luis León Sánchez (Sp), Astana, at 0:20:49

174. Bart Dockx (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:20:49

175. Frédéric Finot (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 0:20:49

176. Markus Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner, at 0:20:49

177. Addy Engels (Nl), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:20:49

178. Kevin Van Impe (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:20:49

179. William Walker (Aus), Rabobank, at 0:20:49

180. Christophe Kern (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 0:20:49

181. Iñigo Landaluze (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:20:49

Overall

1. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Discovery Channel, at 26:48:27

2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 0:05

3. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 0:10

4. José Angel Gomez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:22

5. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Astana, at 0:23

6. Manuel Beltran (Sp), Discovery Channel, at 0:51

7. Ruggero Marzoli (I), Lampre, at 1:17

8. Bernhard Kohl (A), T-Mobile, at 1:37

9. Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 1:47

10. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Astana, at 2:28

11. Iban Mayo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:37

12. Josep Jufre (Sp), Davitamon-Lotto, at 2:49

13. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Phonak, at 3:05

14. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre, at 3:13

15. Samuel SÁnchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:33

16. Luis PÉrez (Sp), Cofidis, at 3:40

17. Jesús HernÁndez (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 4:04

18. Thomas Danielson (USA), Discovery Channel, at 4:15

19. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 4:21

20. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank, at 4:29

21. Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel, at 4:31

22. Igor Anton (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4:38

23. Evgeni Petrov (Rus), Lampre, at 4:41

24. Sergio Paulinho (P), Astana, at 4:48

25. David Arroyo (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 5:11

26. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, at 5:59

27. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, at 6:08

28. Xabier Zandio (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 6:40

29. Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz), Astana, at 6:48

30. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Discovery Channel, at 7:10

31. Daniel Becke (G), Milram, at 7:49

32. Carlos Barredo (Sp), Astana, at 7:54

33. Juan José Cobo (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 8:03

34. Theo Eltink (Nl), Rabobank, at 8:34

35. Mauricio Ardila (Col), Rabobank, at 9:15

36. Iñigo Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 9:55

37. José Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 10:05

38. Christopher Horner (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, at 10:20

39. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 10:26

40. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Credit Agricole, at 10:33

41. Jérôme Pineau (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 11:11

42. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), CSC, at 12:17

43. Sébastien Joly (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 12:23

44. Pieter Weening (Nl), Rabobank, at 12:39

45. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, at 13:04

46. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Discovery Channel, at 13:04

47. Ángel Vallejo (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 13:31

48. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 13:47

49. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, at 14:23

50. Lars Ytting Bak (Dk), CSC, at 14:33

51. David Millar (GB), Saunier Duval, at 15:44

52. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Discovery Channel, at 16:15

53. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 16:29

54. Thierry Marichal (B), Cofidis, at 17:07

55. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 17:42

56. Daniel Moreno (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 18:17

57. Benoît Poilvet (F), Credit Agricole, at 18:25

58. Oscar Pereiro (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 18:26

59. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, at 18:34

60. Andrea Moletta (I), Gerolsteiner, at 19:13

61. Dario David Cioni (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 19:23

62. Benoît Joachim (Lux), Discovery Channel, at 19:40

63. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, at 19:54

64. Hubert Dupont (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 20:02

65. Eric Leblacher (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 21:52

66. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 23:23

67. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 23:44

68. Frédéric Bessy (F), Cofidis, at 23:50

69. Sébastien Minard (F), Cofidis, at 24:13

70. Paolo Bettini (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 24:34

71. Kevin De Weert (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 25:23

72. David George (RSA), Relax-Gam, at 25:44

73. Torsten Hiekmann (G), Gerolsteiner, at 27:34

74. Pieter Mertens (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 28:32

75. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre, at 29:34

76. Erik Zabel (G), Milram, at 29:35

77. Lorenzo Bernucci (I), T-Mobile, at 30:06

78. Luis León SÁnchez (Sp), Astana, at 30:08

79. Michael Barry (CAN), Discovery Channel, at 30:19

80. Stéphane Goubert (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 30:20

81. Daniele Nardello (I), T-Mobile, at 30:21

82. Raúl GarcÍa De Mateo (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 30:24

83. Walter Beneteau (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 31:33

84. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Credit Agricole, at 32:09

85. Pierre Drancourt (B), Bouygues Telecom, at 33:07

86. David Cañada (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 33:13

87. Joan Horrach (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 33:48

88. José Antonio Garrido (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 33:53

89. Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis, at 34:00

90. Luis FernÁndez Oliveira (Sp), Phonak, at 34:05

91. Steve Morabito (Swi), Phonak, at 34:05

92. Matteo Carrara (I), Lampre, at 34:11

93. Florian Stalder (Swi), Phonak, at 35:09

94. Jérémy Roy (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 35:10

95. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), CSC, at 35:37

96. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 36:24

97. José Antonio Redondo (Sp), Astana, at 37:16

98. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, at 37:28

99. Anthony Geslin (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 37:57

100. Alberto BenÍtez (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 38:39

101. Enrico Franzoi (I), Lampre, at 38:42

102. Nacor Burgos (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 39:04

103. Jorge GarcÍa (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 39:04

104. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Credit Agricole, at 39:57

105. Luca Paolini (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 41:01

106. Iñigo Landaluze (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 41:04

107. Alessandro Spezialetti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 41:26

108. Scott Davis (Aus), T-Mobile, at 41:49

109. Inaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 41:51

110. Francisco José Ventoso (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 42:33

111. Assan Bazayev (Kaz), Astana, at 43:02

112. Matteo Tosatto (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 43:05

113. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile, at 43:06

114. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Bouygues Telecom, at 43:15

115. Cyril Dessel (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 43:22

116. Ian Mcleod (RSA), Francaise des Jeux, at 43:43

117. William Walker (Aus), Rabobank, at 43:53

118. Stuart O'Grady (Aus), CSC, at 44:00

119. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), CSC, at 44:17

120. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 44:32

121. Aketza PeÑa (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 44:46

122. Jean-Patrick Nazon (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 46:23

123. Ángel GÓmez GÓmez (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 46:44

124. Bart Dockx (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 46:52

125. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Credit Agricole, at 47:38

126. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor), CSC, at 48:44

127. Marco Velo (I), Milram, at 48:47

128. André Greipel (G), T-Mobile, at 48:48

129. José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 48:51

130. Fabio Sacchi (I), Milram, at 48:52

131. Davide Vigano (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 48:54

132. Bastiaan Giling (Nl), T-Mobile, at 48:55

133. Thomas Ziegler (G), T-Mobile, at 48:55

134. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Rabobank, at 48:57

135. Rubén PÉrez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 48:57

136. René Haselbacher (A), Gerolsteiner, at 48:58

137. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, at 48:58

138. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), CSC, at 48:58

139. Sébastien Rosseler (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 48:59

140. Markel Irizar (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 49:02

141. Markus Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner, at 49:03

142. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, at 49:04

143. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre, at 49:05

144. Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Phonak, at 49:06

145. Uros Murn (SLO), Phonak, at 49:06

146. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 49:06

147. Francesco Failli (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 49:06

148. Bernhard Eisel (A), Francaise des Jeux, at 49:07

149. Franck Renier (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 49:08

150. Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (F), Cofidis, at 49:08

151. Geoffroy Lequatre (F), Cofidis, at 49:09

152. Frédéric Finot (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 49:12

153. Bingen FernÁndez (Sp), Cofidis, at 49:14

154. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana, at 49:15

155. Claudio Corioni (I), Lampre, at 49:17

156. Fabien Patanchon (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 49:28

157. Leonardo Duque (Col), Cofidis, at 49:29

158. Magnus Backstedt (Swe), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 49:29

159. Addy Engels (Nl), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 49:38

160. Kjell CarlstrÖm (FIN), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 49:51

161. Robert FÖrster (G), Gerolsteiner, at 49:57

162. Kevin Van Impe (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 49:58

163. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Milram, at 50:03

164. Dario Andriotto (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 50:16

165. Björn Leukemans (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 50:36

166. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Credit Agricole, at 50:40

167. Alberto Ongarato (I), Milram, at 50:43

168. Rony Martias (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 51:22

169. Danilo Napolitano (I), Lampre, at 51:34

170. Sebastian Siedler (G), Milram, at 51:50

171. David Navas (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 52:10

172. Wim De Vocht (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 52:23

173. Christophe Kern (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 52:39

174. Olivier Kaisen (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 53:49

175. Mathieu Claude (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 54:57

176. Mario De Sarraga (Sp), Relax-Gam, at 55:58

177. Marcel Strauss (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 57:02

178. Anthony Charteau (F), Credit Agricole, at 1:03:31

179. Cyril Lemoine (F), Credit Agricole, at 1:04:40

180. Enrico Poitschke (G), Milram, at 1:06:06

181. Mads Kaggestad (Nor), Credit Agricole, at 1:09:05