Events

Cardenas wins at Vuelta; Heras keeps lead; Valverde cracks

The hometown roads of La Covatilla high above his childhood home of Béjar were good to Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) in Wednesday’s four-climb 17th stage -- but perhaps not good enough. Heras gained valuable time on archrival Alejandro Valverde (Valenciana-Kelme) – 2 minutes, 10 seconds to be exact – but the verdict is still out on whether it will be enough for Heras to win his third Vuelta a España in five years. Even Heras cautioned that he’d like to have more time going into Sunday’s final time trial. “Today we made a big step toward my team and myself winning the Vuelta, but there

By Andrew Hood

Cardenas wins the stage...

Cardenas wins the stage…

Photo: Graham Watson

The hometown roads of La Covatilla high above his childhood home of Béjar were good to Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) in Wednesday’s four-climb 17th stage — but perhaps not good enough.

Heras gained valuable time on archrival Alejandro Valverde (Valenciana-Kelme) – 2 minutes, 10 seconds to be exact – but the verdict is still out on whether it will be enough for Heras to win his third Vuelta a España in five years.

Even Heras cautioned that he’d like to have more time going into Sunday’s final time trial.

... but Heras and especially Perez made the day's biggest gains...

… but Heras and especially Perez made the day’s biggest gains…

Photo: Graham Watson

“Today we made a big step toward my team and myself winning the Vuelta, but there are still some important stages to come so we have to take it day by day,” said Heras,

The long 18km climb to the ski area in the rugged Sierra de Candelario in western Spain provided the expected excitement following Tuesday’s cease fire. Race favorites Heras, Valverde and Santi Pérez (Phonak) delivered on their promise to attack guns a blazing.

The only problem was Valverde misfired and couldn’t follow superior climbers Heras and Pérez. With Colombian Felix Cárdenas (Cafes Baque) chasing victory after being away all day as part of a six-man breakaway, Heras was towed nicely by his Liberty Seguros team up the lower flanks of the brutally steep summit finish.

Heras put down a blistering acceleration with 6km to go and hoped to put the Vuelta on ice. But a stubborn Pérez didn’t follow the script and refused to fold.

In fact, it was Pérez who came away with his chances of the podium deeply enhanced. The two-stage winner dropped a struggling Heras with 3km to go and gapped both his rivals to slip into second overall at 1:13 back.

Valverde struggled across the line 14th at 3:11 back and slipped from second at five seconds back to third at 2:15 back.

Heras can breath easier now, holding a 1:13 lead to climbing specialist Pérez instead of the five-second lead to all-rounder Valverde he started the day with.

Six, five, four then one off the front
Once again, searing heat spiking into the mid-90s blasted the peloton from the start of the stage in Plasencia. With shorter stages and later starts, the Vuelta peloton usually rides in the heat of the afternoon late summer sun.

The break got away early... and shrank all the way to the finish.

The break got away early… and shrank all the way to the finish.

Photo: Graham Watson

With the short course and four rated climbs, riders wasted no time setting the pace. Six riders took advantage to carve out a head start on the difficult course and pulled away to build a nine-minute lead at 70km.

In the break was Constantino Zaballa (Saunier Duval), the best-placed rider at 31:05 back. Also making tracks were Tadej Valjavec (Phonak), José Luis Arrieta (Illes Balears), Felix Cárdenas (Cafes Baque), Alberto Lopez De Munain (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Volodymir Gustov (Fassa Bortolo).

Zaballa lost the nut on the climb up the day’s second climb on the Category 1 Puerto de Honduras, where the leading break crossed the summit with a gap of 6:22. The main bunch looked like a snake winding down the narrow roads.

Up next was the mis-rated Cat. 3 Alto de el Cerro with 38.8km to go. Gustov lost contact heading up the steep climb featuring ramps as steep as 11 percent. Much longer and harder than its rating indicated, several top names such as Damiano Cunego (Saeco) and Alexandre Vinokourov (T-Mobile) struggled off the back.

Liberty Seguros set the pace up the climb, but seeem more interested in saving their energy for the looming battle at La Covatilla than trying to chase down the break. The leading four topped out with 6:20.

With the points he earned along the way, Cárdenas jumped into the King of the Mountains best climber’s jersey. After a long flat run through Heras’s hometown in Bejar, the leading four hit the climb nursing a six-minute lead.

Once into the climb, the peloton continued to shrink.

Once into the climb, the peloton continued to shrink.

Photo: Graham Watson

Early on the climb, Arrieta put down a blistering acceleration that quickly doomed everyone but Cárdenas. Valjavec was dropped but came back on the lower flanks, but Cárdenas made the decisive acceleration with 14km to go. The Colombian had a four-minute lead and held on to win by 29 seconds over Pérez.

“It’s been a very difficult stage and, above all, I wasn’t in my best form because I crashed recently and crashed hurt myself,” Cárdenas said after winning his third Vuelta stage of his career.”I didn’t have the motivation to race this Vuelta, but I was able to take the responsibility of the team and things went well. I’m very satisfied.”

Heras, Pérez gap Valverde
The strategy for Valverde was to stay as close as possible to Heras in today’s and Saturday’s summit finishes with the hope of overcoming the climber in Sunday’s final time trial.

Valverde was hoping to have the same form that pushed him up the Sierra Nevada climbing time trial to second place behind Pérez, but instead struggled against the nimble climbers on the grueling summit finish.

Heras could see Valverde wilting under pressure set by Liberty riders Darius Baranowski and Marcos Serrano on the lower flanks of the climb and punched the accelerator when he sensed Valverde was at his weakest.

“On the climb I heard that Valverde said to García Quesada that he should go slower and that’s when I made my attack, nevertheless I had some difficulties, but I overcame it,” Heras said.

The lead group of about 10 riders fractured under the Heras acceleration. Valverde could count on teammate Carlos García Quesada to help him, but Paco Mancebo (Illes Balears) was also able to take advantage.

Mancebo overcame early struggles on the climb to finish fourth in the stage and pull within one second of Valverde in the overall standing at fourth at 2:16 back.

Floyd Landis (U.S. Postal Service) struggled under the pressure and dropped to 16th in the overall standings while Manuel Beltrán was able to stay in the top 10 in ninth at 11:51 back.

Only Pérez was able to follow Heras and eventually dropped the two-time champion, opening up important differences on the final steep ramps. Thankfully for Heras, the final 2km run to the finish line weren’t nearly as steep and he was able to hold Pérez at 31 seconds.

Pérez has finished second or won the four hard mountain stage so far in the Vuelta and there’s one more left. With Saturday’s summit finish to Navacerrada still on tap, Pérez will be able to attack Heras and Valverde one more time.

Heras is closer to matching Tony Rominger’s record of three Vuelta titles, but even the Liberty Seguros rider won’t believe it until Sunday.

Photo Gallery

Results

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS – STAGE 17

1. Felix Cardenas (Col), Cafes Baque, 4:52:08

2. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak, :29

3. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:01

4. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 1:15

5. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 2:05

6. Angel Gomez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 2:18

7. Jorge Ferrio (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 2:18

8. Francisco José Lara (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 2:18

9. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 2:45

10. M.a. Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 3:03

11. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3:06

12. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 3:11

13. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 3:11

14. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 3:11

15. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 3:11

16. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 3:11

17. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak, 3:11

18. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), T-Mobile, 3:11

19. Ivan Parra (Col), Cafes Baque, 4:06

20. David Plaza (Sp), Cafes Baque, 4:06

21. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 4:08

22. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis, 4:08

23. Stefano Garzelli (I), Vini Caldirola, 4:26

24. Unai Osa (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 5:07

25. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 5:07

26. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, 5:25

27. David Blanco (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 5:27

28. Luis Pasamontes (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 6:17

29. Joan Horrach (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 6:31

30. Joaquin Lopez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 6:31

31. Manuel Calvente (Sp), CSC, 6:43

32. José Gutierrez (Sp), Phonak, 7:32

33. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre, 7:32

34. Francisco Garcia (Sp), Cafes Baque, 7:34

35. Hernan Buenahora (Col), Cafes Baque, 7:34

36. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Phonak, 7:34

37. Alberto Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 8:04

38. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 8:04

39. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros, 8:07

40. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 8:27

41. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile, 10:36

42. Iñigo Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 10:36

43. Rafael Casero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 15:36

44. David CaÑada (Sp), Saunier Duval, 15:36

45. J.antonio Pecharroman (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 15:36

46. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 15:36

47. Klaus MÖller (Dk), Alessio-Bianchi, 15:36

48. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 15:36

49. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile, 15:36

50. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 15:36

51. David Herrero (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 16:26

52. David Latasa (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 16:26

53. Koldo Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 16:26

54. Dario David Cioni (I), Fassa Bortolo, 16:53

55. Damiano Cunego (I), Saeco, 19:26

56. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus), U.S. Postal Service, 20:02

57. José Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 20:21

58. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Saunier Duval, 21:42

59. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Vini Caldirola, 22:00

60. Johan Van Summeren (B), Relax Bodysol, 22:02

61. Giampaolo Caruso (I), Liberty Seguros, 22:18

62. Marius Sabaliauskas (Lit), Saeco, 22:20

63. Jose Luis Rebollo (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 23:35

64. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), Saeco, 24:20

65. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 24:20

66. Cristian Moreni (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 24:27

67. Roberto Sgambelluri (I), Vini Caldirola, 24:39

68. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 25:59

69. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak, 25:59

70. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 25:59

71. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 25:59

72. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Alessio-Bianchi, 25:59

73. Mikel Artetxe (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 25:59

74. Pieter Weening (Nl), Rabobank, 25:59

75. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, 25:59

76. Antonio Colom (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 25:59

77. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 25:59

78. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 25:59

79. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), CSC, 25:59

80. Jan Hruska (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 25:59

81. Alessandro Cortinovis (I), Lampre, 25:59

82. Kevin De Weert (B), Rabobank, 25:59

83. Cadel Evans (Aus), T-Mobile, 25:59

84. Mauro Gerosa (I), Vini Caldirola, 25:59

85. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis, 25:59

86. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo, 25:59

87. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio-Bianchi, 25:59

88. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 25:59

89. Benoit Joachim (Lux), U.S. Postal Service, 27:58

90. Luca Paolini (I), Quick Step-Davitamon, 28:26

91. Marco Milesi (I), Vini Caldirola, 28:47

92. Julián Sanchez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 28:48

93. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 28:48

94. Sylvester Szymyd (Pol), Saeco, 28:48

95. José Garrido (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 28:48

96. Alessandro Spezialetti (I), Saeco, 31:52

97. Mikel Pradera (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 31:52

98. José Garcia Acosta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 31:52

99. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 31:52

100. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 31:52

101. Joost Posthuma (Nl), Rabobank, 31:52

102. Dario Andriotto (I), Vini Caldirola, 31:52

103. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, 31:52

104. Michael Barry (CAN), U.S. Postal Service, 31:52

105. Paolo Fornaciari (I), Saeco, 31:52

106. Peter Luttenberger (A), CSC, 31:52

107. Marco Velo (I), Fassa Bortolo, 31:52

108. Guido Trentin (I), Cofidis, 31:52

109. Aitor Perez (Sp), Cafes Baque, 31:52

110. Frank Hoj (Dk), CSC, 31:52

111. Igor Glez. Galdeano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 31:52

112. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Saeco, 31:52

113. Jörg Jaksche (G), CSC, 31:52

114. Aitor Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 31:52

115. José Julia (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 31:52

116. Victor Hugo PeÑa (Col), U.S. Postal Service, 31:52

117. Heberth Gutierrez (Col), Cafes Baque, 31:52

118. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Rabobank, 31:52

119. David Fernandez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 31:52

120. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 31:52

121. Rubén Plaza (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 31:52

122. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 31:52

123. Antonio Cruz (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 31:52

124. Rene Andrle (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 31:52

125. Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre, 31:52

126. Danilo Di Luca (I), Saeco, 31:52

127. Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis, 31:52

128. Guido Trenti (USA), Fassa Bortolo, 31:52

129. Ellis Rastelli (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 31:52

130. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre, 32:22

OVERALL STANDINGS(AFTER STAGE 17)

1. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 63:28:41

2. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak, 1:13

3. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 2:15

4. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 2:16

5. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 5:55

6. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 7:56

7. Angel Gomez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 10:08

8. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 11:09

9. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 11:51

10. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 12:25

11. David Blanco (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 14:09

12. Stefano Garzelli (I), Vini Caldirola, 17:23

13. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 19:53

14. Francisco José Lara (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 19:54

15. M.a. Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 21:50

16. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 23:05

17. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 25:38

18. Jorge Ferrio (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 28:16

19. Luis Pasamontes (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 29:46

20. David Plaza (Sp), Cafes Baque, 31:16

21. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 32:11

22. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Phonak, 32:12

23. Damiano Cunego (I), Saeco, 32:31

24. Unai Osa (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 33:18

25. Manuel Calvente (Sp), CSC, 34:55

26. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak, 38:17

27. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre, 40:17

28. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, 41:18

29. Joan Horrach (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 43:52

30. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 44:22

31. Ivan Parra (Col), Cafes Baque, 44:39

32. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 44:49

33. Felix Cardenas (Col), Cafes Baque, 48:26

34. Hernan Buenahora (Col), Cafes Baque, 49:09

35. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 49:50

36. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros, 51:38

37. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Saunier Duval, 51:46

38. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 56:15

39. José Gutierrez (Sp), Phonak, 58:36

40. Johan Van Summeren (B), Relax Bodysol, 1:03:26

41. Rubén Plaza (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 1:05:49

42. Francisco Garcia (Sp), Cafes Baque, 1:07:24

43. Victor Hugo PeÑa (Col), U.S. Postal Service, 1:07:31

44. José Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 1:08:08

45. Jörg Jaksche (G), CSC, 1:10:25

46. Iñigo Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 1:10:45

47. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 1:10:57

48. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis, 1:12:13

49. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), T-Mobile, 1:13:41

50. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile, 1:14:14

51. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:15:18

52. Dario David Cioni (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:18:57

53. David CaÑada (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:20:27

54. Cadel Evans (Aus), T-Mobile, 1:21:02

55. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:22:13

56. Jose Luis Rebollo (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 1:24:16

57. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 1:27:39

58. Koldo Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:29:51

59. J.antonio Pecharroman (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 1:30:04

60. Benoit Joachim (Lux), U.S. Postal Service, 1:30:41

61. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 1:30:59

62. Giampaolo Caruso (I), Liberty Seguros, 1:32:10

63. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 1:33:03

64. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile, 1:33:24

65. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus), U.S. Postal Service, 1:34:40

66. Joaquin Lopez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 1:35:55

67. Sylvester Szymyd (Pol), Saeco, 1:36:44

68. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 1:37:52

69. David Latasa (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 1:39:22

70. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 1:39:47

71. Pieter Weening (Nl), Rabobank, 1:41:32

72. Cristian Moreni (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 1:41:46

73. Guido Trentin (I), Cofidis, 1:44:20

74. Kevin De Weert (B), Rabobank, 1:44:53

75. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis, 1:46:26

76. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Vini Caldirola, 1:47:33

77. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, 1:50:53

78. Alessandro Cortinovis (I), Lampre, 1:51:45

79. David Herrero (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 1:52:02

80. Antonio Cruz (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 1:54:04

81. Alberto Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:54:12

82. Roberto Sgambelluri (I), Vini Caldirola, 1:55:15

83. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), Saeco, 1:55:52

84. Klaus MÖller (Dk), Alessio-Bianchi, 1:56:21

85. Peter Luttenberger (A), CSC, 1:56:23

86. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:57:27

87. Aitor Perez (Sp), Cafes Baque, 1:57:52

88. Rafael Casero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 2:01:12

89. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Alessio-Bianchi, 2:03:03

90. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 2:03:58

91. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 2:04:47

92. Michael Barry (CAN), U.S. Postal Service, 2:09:47

93. Marius Sabaliauskas (Lit), Saeco, 2:11:11

94. Luca Paolini (I), Quick Step-Davitamon, 2:11:46

95. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Saeco, 2:12:03

96. David Fernandez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 2:13:31

97. Danilo Di Luca (I), Saeco, 2:15:26

98. Antonio Colom (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 2:16:14

99. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio-Bianchi, 2:16:37

100. José Garrido (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 2:17:21

101. Mikel Pradera (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 2:23:29

102. José Julia (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 2:26:43

103. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 2:28:07

104. Jan Hruska (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 2:28:43

105. Igor Glez. Galdeano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 2:29:12

106. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak, 2:29:42

107. Mauro Gerosa (I), Vini Caldirola, 2:29:54

108. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo, 2:29:56

109. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, 2:31:07

110. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 2:31:47

111. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Rabobank, 2:31:57

112. Marco Milesi (I), Vini Caldirola, 2:34:09

113. Joost Posthuma (Nl), Rabobank, 2:35:07

114. Mikel Artetxe (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:39:48

115. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), CSC, 2:40:10

116. Dario Andriotto (I), Vini Caldirola, 2:41:25

117. José Garcia Acosta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 2:44:14

118. Heberth Gutierrez (Col), Cafes Baque, 2:45:38

119. Rene Andrle (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 2:49:28

120. Julián Sanchez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 2:51:57

121. Frank Hoj (Dk), CSC, 2:52:14

122. Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre, 2:56:58

123. Alessandro Spezialetti (I), Saeco, 2:57:00

124. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre, 3:00:33

125. Guido Trenti (USA), Fassa Bortolo, 3:04:25

126. Marco Velo (I), Fassa Bortolo, 3:07:23

127. Paolo Fornaciari (I), Saeco, 3:09:33

128. Ellis Rastelli (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 3:10:02

129. Aitor Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3:14:26

130. Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis, 3:19:04

POINTS 0VERALL(AFTER STAGE 17)

1. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile, 148 Pts.

2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 128 Pts.

3. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 113 Pts.

4. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 99 Pts.

5. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak, 92 Pts.

6. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 76 Pts.

7. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 57 Pts.

8. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 52 Pts.

9. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 51 Pts.

10. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 51 Pts.

11. David Zabriskie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 49 Pts.

12. Angel Gomez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 44 Pts.

13. Cristian Moreni (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 43 Pts.

14. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 43 Pts.

15. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 43 Pts.

16. Antonio Cruz (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 42 Pts.

17. Felix Cardenas (Col), Cafes Baque, 41 Pts.

18. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 41 Pts.

19. Jorge Ferrio (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 40 Pts.

20. Stefano Garzelli (I), Vini Caldirola, 38 Pts.

21. M.a. Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 37 Pts.

22. Victor Hugo PeÑa (Col), U.S. Postal Service, 36 Pts.

23. David Fernandez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 33 Pts.

24. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), T-Mobile, 30 Pts.

25. Benoit Joachim (Lux), U.S. Postal Service, 29 Pts.

26. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 28 Pts.

27. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 28 Pts.

28. José Julia (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 27 Pts.

29. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak, 27 Pts.

30. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 24 Pts.

31. Luca Paolini (I), Quick Step-Davitamon, 23 Pts.

32. Francisco José Lara (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 20 Pts.

33. Cadel Evans (Aus), T-Mobile, 20 Pts.

34. Michael Barry (CAN), U.S. Postal Service, 20 Pts.

35. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 19 Pts.

36. Damiano Cunego (I), Saeco, 19 Pts.

37. Danilo Di Luca (I), Saeco, 18 Pts.

38. David Blanco (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 17 Pts.

39. Ivan Parra (Col), Cafes Baque, 16 Pts.

40. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio-Bianchi, 15 Pts.

41. Alessandro Spezialetti (I), Saeco, 14 Pts.

42. José Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 13 Pts.

43. Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre, 13 Pts.

44. Rubén Plaza (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 12 Pts.

45. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 12 Pts.

46. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Saeco, 12 Pts.

47. Luis Pasamontes (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 9 Pts.

48. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), Saeco, 9 Pts.

49. Guido Trenti (USA), Fassa Bortolo, 8 Pts.

50. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Vini Caldirola, 7 Pts.

51. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Saunier Duval, 7 Pts.

52. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 7 Pts.

53. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak, 7 Pts.

54. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, 6 Pts.

55. Alberto Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 6 Pts.

56. Joost Posthuma (Nl), Rabobank, 6 Pts.

57. José Garcia Acosta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 6 Pts.

58. Heberth Gutierrez (Col), Cafes Baque, 6 Pts.

59. Kevin De Weert (B), Rabobank, 5 Pts.

60. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 5 Pts.

61. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 5 Pts.

62. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 5 Pts.

63. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre, 5 Pts.

64. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 4 Pts.

65. Alessandro Cortinovis (I), Lampre, 4 Pts.

66. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Alessio-Bianchi, 4 Pts.

67. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 4 Pts.

68. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 4 Pts.

69. Hernan Buenahora (Col), Cafes Baque, 4 Pts.

70. José Gutierrez (Sp), Phonak, 4 Pts.

71. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, 4 Pts.

72. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre, 3 Pts.

73. Roberto Sgambelluri (I), Vini Caldirola, 3 Pts.

74. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros, 2 Pts.

75. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2 Pts.

76. Koldo Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 2 Pts.

77. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 2 Pts.

78. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile, 2 Pts.

79. Aitor Perez (Sp), Cafes Baque, 2 Pts.

80. Rafael Casero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 2 Pts.

81. Antonio Colom (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 2 Pts.

82. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo, 2 Pts.

83. Unai Osa (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 1 Pts.

84. Iñigo Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 1 Pts.

85. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis, 1 Pts.

86. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 1 Pts.

87. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 1 Pts.

MOUNTAIN POINTS – OVERALL(AFTER STAGE 17)

1. Felix Cardenas (Col), Cafes Baque, 126 Pts.

2. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 107 Pts.

3. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak, 102 Pts.

4. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 90 Pts.

5. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 67 Pts.

6. José Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 50 Pts.

7. Francisco José Lara (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 42 Pts.

8. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 42 Pts.

9. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 40 Pts.

10. David Fernandez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 35 Pts.

11. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Saunier Duval, 35 Pts.

12. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak, 34 Pts.

13. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 32 Pts.

14. Jorge Ferrio (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 32 Pts.

15. Angel Gomez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 31 Pts.

16. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 29 Pts.

17. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 28 Pts.

18. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), T-Mobile, 28 Pts.

19. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 23 Pts.

20. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, 20 Pts.

21. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 19 Pts.

22. Unai Osa (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 19 Pts.

23. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 17 Pts.

24. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 17 Pts.

25. Alberto Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 17 Pts.

26. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 16 Pts.

27. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio-Bianchi, 14 Pts.

28. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre, 13 Pts.

29. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Saeco, 12 Pts.

30. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 11 Pts.

31. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 11 Pts.

32. Heberth Gutierrez (Col), Cafes Baque, 11 Pts.

33. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 10 Pts.

34. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo, 10 Pts.

35. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 7 Pts.

36. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Alessio-Bianchi, 6 Pts.

37. David Blanco (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 6 Pts.

38. Stefano Garzelli (I), Vini Caldirola, 6 Pts.

39. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile, 6 Pts.

40. Koldo Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 6 Pts.

41. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre, 5 Pts.

42. José Gutierrez (Sp), Phonak, 4 Pts.

43. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 4 Pts.

44. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Vini Caldirola, 4 Pts.

45. David Zabriskie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 4 Pts.

46. M.a. Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 3 Pts.

47. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 3 Pts.

48. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2 Pts.

49. Ivan Parra (Col), Cafes Baque, 2 Pts.

50. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis, 2 Pts.

51. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 2 Pts.

52. Mikel Pradera (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 2 Pts.

53. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 2 Pts.

54. Rene Andrle (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 2 Pts.

55. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Phonak, 1 Pts.

56. Damiano Cunego (I), Saeco, 1 Pts.

57. Hernan Buenahora (Col), Cafes Baque, 1 Pts.

58. Francisco Garcia (Sp), Cafes Baque, 1 Pts.

59. Benoit Joachim (Lux), U.S. Postal Service, 1 Pts.

60. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1 Pts.

61. Antonio Colom (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 1 Pts.

62. Jan Hruska (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 1 Pts.

COMBINED POINTS – OVERALL(AFTER STAGE 17)

1. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros

2. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak

3. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca

4. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto

5. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros

6. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC

7. Angel Gomez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria

8. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis

9. Jorge Ferrio (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria

10. Felix Cardenas (Col), Cafes Baque

11. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service

12. Francisco José Lara (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria

13. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval

14. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca

15. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca

16. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service

17. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak

18. Stefano Garzelli (I), Vini Caldirola

19. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo

20. M.a. Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Saunier Duval

21. David Blanco (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca

22. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile

23. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), T-Mobile

24. José Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax Bodysol

25. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Saunier Duval

26. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros

27. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto

28. Damiano Cunego (I), Saeco

29. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto

30. Ivan Parra (Col), Cafes Baque

31. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

32. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre

33. Unai Osa (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto

34. David Fernandez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria

35. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca

36. Benoit Joachim (Lux), U.S. Postal Service

37. José Gutierrez (Sp), Phonak

38. Hernan Buenahora (Col), Cafes Baque

39. Alberto Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

40. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio-Bianchi

41. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Vini Caldirola

42. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Saeco

43. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

44. Koldo Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros

45. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

46. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Davitamon

47. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis

48. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Alessio-Bianchi

49. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre

50. Heberth Gutierrez (Col), Cafes Baque

51. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Bodysol

52. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo

53. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre

54. Antonio Colom (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto

55. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca

TEAM STANDINGS – OVERALL(AFTER STAGE 17)

1. Kelme – Costa Blanca, 190:33:31

2. Liberty Seguros, 16:28

3. Illes Balears-Banesto, 24:37

4. Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 34:19

5. Phonak, 41:52

6. Cafes Baque, 52:58

7. U.S. Postal Service, 1:06:53

8. Saunier Duval, 1:18:29

9. CSC, 1:23:29

10. Cofidis, 1:23:57

11. Relax Bodysol, 2:09:35

12. Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:21:21

13. Saeco, 2:27:02

14. T-Mobile, 2:30:22

15. Vini Caldirola, 3:39:12

16. Fassa Bortolo, 3:42:49

17. Rabobank, 3:49:28

18. Quick Step-Davitamon, 3:54:06

19. Lampre, 4:23:35

20. Alessio-Bianchi, 5:01:20