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Freire proves fastest in Vuelta’s sixth stage

Another day, another jersey. Ever since Saturday's opening team time trial the U.S. Postal team has been in what team director Johan Bruyneel describes as "a very comfortable position." "The time trial gave us the lead and we really don't feel like we need to protect it," Bruyneel told VeloNews before the start of Thursday's 157km stage from Benicarló to Castellón de la Plana. "We're here to see what happens, but there really is no pressure on any of us." Pressure or not, the Posties again succeeded in keeping one of their own in the leader's jersey when a group of nearly 80 riders charged

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Freire took advantage of the hard work his Rabobank team did in the wind

Freire took advantage of the hard work his Rabobank team did in the wind

Photo: AFP

Another day, another jersey.

Ever since Saturday’s opening team time trial the U.S. Postal team has been in what team director Johan Bruyneel describes as “a very comfortable position.”

“The time trial gave us the lead and we really don’t feel like we need to protect it,” Bruyneel told VeloNews before the start of Thursday’s 157km stage from Benicarló to Castellón de la Plana. “We’re here to see what happens, but there really is no pressure on any of us.”

Pressure or not, the Posties again succeeded in keeping one of their own in the leader’s jersey when a group of nearly 80 riders charged to the finish line in the beach resort of Castellón de la Plana. Two-time world champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank) took a tight sprint against T-Mobile’s Erik Zabel, but Manuel Beltran and Floyd Landis cruised in with the peloton to keep the top two spots on GC in Postal hands.

Freire enjoyed his win, but is focused on world's

Freire enjoyed his win, but is focused on world’s

Photo: Graham Watson

Freire, too, is having a relaxed time at the Vuelta this year, entering his national tour “with no intention of finishing.” Instead, the Rabobank sprinter is eyeing the upcoming world championships in Verona, the site of his first of two rainbow victories.

“Today it was important for me to win in here in Spain,” Freire said. “I enjoy the idea of winning in a Spanish race in front of a Spanish audience, but my eyes are on Verona and that is where I want to concentrate.”

While an 80-rider field sprint was not much of a threat to the status quo, Thursday was a day that had the potential to disrupt the order of things at the Vuelta. The short 157km stage was typical opening-week fare in the Spanish national tour: an early afternoon start, some short and surprisingly difficult climbs thrown in for good measure and a frantic sprint to the finish.

Confirmation that opportunity lay ahead on the road from Benicarló came when Roberto Heras, of all people, tried his legs and scored a win on the day’s first intermediate sprint at Maestre, just 14km into the day’s stage. Heras (Liberty Seguros) is not exactly in the hunt for sprinter’s points at the Vuelta, but the race’s defending champion said he thought he might take a chance at getting away early and hitting the day’s first two climbs – the Category 3 Puerto de la Moirona (cresting at 48.8km) and the Cat. 2 Col de la Bandereta (at 67.8km) – with a bit of a buffer.

The peloton, of course, would have none of that, and Heras’s effort scored him only the four sprint points at Maestre, edging out Juan Manuel Garate (Lampre) and Ruben Molina Plaza (Kelme) in the process.

Quinziato and Hulsmans work a two-man break

Quinziato and Hulsmans work a two-man break

Photo: Graham Watson

Heras’s effort, however, signaled a change of tempo for the day, and the attacks came fast and furious after that, driving the pace up to a remarkable 42.9 kph for an opening hour of quite hilly racing. Eventually the duo of Manuel Quinziato (Lampre) and Kevin Hulsmans (Quick Step-Davitamon) managed to build a small advantage over the field as the route wound its way from beachfront resort to olive-grove-covered hills further inland.

With head- and cross-winds reaching 20mph along the way, the two managed to build a lead of some six minutes over the field as they worked their way toward the day’s final hurdle, the Cat. 2 Alto del Desireto de las Palmas. The 6km haul to 450 meters could have been a significant factor in the Vuelta – had it not summited more than 25km from the finish.

Instead, a feisty Rabobank-led chase along the flats narrowed the two leaders’ margin to barely significant as they wound their way up the fan-lined climb. Well before the summit, both men were swept up by a hard-charging cadre of climbers, but even their efforts had limited impact as the ensuing 6km descent offered ample opportunity for the daring to rejoin the leaders.

Throughout the descent and the 19km of flat to the finish, the lead group grew by leaps and bounds. From the top of the summit, when Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears-Banesto) crossed with a 23-second lead on a group of 15 chasers, until the finish – when 78 riders were credited with the same finishing time as the leader – those who lost contact on the climb fought their way back into the lead group.

As the peloton cruised along the hotel-laden roads of yet another Mediterranean resort, Freire said he “knew exactly what to do” as the sprint neared.

The chase split the bunch into echelons

The chase split the bunch into echelons

Photo: Graham Watson

“I had to keep an eye on Zabel,” he said. “Without Petacchi (by now more than eight minutes off the back) Zabel was my biggest concern. I knew that I had to relax, stay calm and focus on Zabel.”

With 500 meters to go, the course took a hard right turn and Freire was precisely in the right spot … just meters off of the German’s wheel. After a quick jaunt through one of Europe’s ever-present roundabouts, Zabel began his sprint. With 200 meters to go, the German jumped on his pedals, swung wide to the left and accelerated hard. Freire jumped with him, with points leader Stuart O’Grady (Cofidis) right behind.

Freire kept his sights on Zabel ... and it paid off

Freire kept his sights on Zabel … and it paid off

Photo: Graham Watson

Side by side Freire and Zabel charged to the line, and it wasn’t until a couple bike lengths from the finish that Freire moved ahead. Both men lunged to the line, but the Spaniard clearly had the momentum and crossed half a wheel ahead of Zabel.

“Like I said, I wanted to win at least one stage here at the Vuelta,” Freire said. “I ride for a Dutch team and don’t often get the chance to win here at home.”

Nonetheless, Spain’s national tour isn’t the season’s top priority for the Rabobank man.

“This year especially I wanted to focus on the world championship,” he said. “It is especially important to me personally because I won my first there (in Verona, Italy) in 1999. That win changed my career… it changed my life. It would be spectacular to go back now and win in Verona again.”

So as Freire celebrated a win in Spain, his countryman, Postal’s Manuel Beltran, enjoyed a second day in the leader’s jersey. It was another bonus from the opening TTT and one Beltran and Landis are under no pressure to defend.

“We aren’t the favorites here,” Bruyneel said. “Guys like Heras, Sastre, Valverde… they are. We can wait until the mountains and see what happens.”

As Landis remarked Thursday morning as he put on the Vuelta’s climber’s jersey before the start, “Our focus – as it always is – was the Tour de France. Anything we do here, anything we get here, is bonus.”

Race note:
While the U.S Postal has enjoyed an uninterrupted run of leader’s jerseys since Saturday’s start, it hasn’t all been golden for the only American team at the Vuelta.

Late Wednesday night, reporters speeding along the highway from that day’s finish in Morella to Thursday’s start town in Benicarló, noticed a rather prominent mechanical problem along the way. The team’s luxurious bus was spewing smoke from the engine compartment. Late in the evening, the rig was still parked at the side of the road, some 30km from Benicarló.

Sure enough on Thursday, the Posties arrived at the start in ones and twos, stuffed into team cars for the ride from their hotel. When asked for details, Bruyneel was somewhat circumspect, saying only “it’s getting fixed.”

Another passenger on the bus, however, was a bit more open.

“The thing caught fire!” he said. “The engine was burning… it looks like the turbo overheated. Either way, it’s kinda old-school coming to the start this way, eh?”

Indeed it was, as riders usually used to hiding out in the air-conditioned comfort of their team bus were forced to do face time with reporters like the old days. The poor suckers.


Results are posted.

To see how the race developed, open our Live Update Window.

Photo Gallery

Results

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS – STAGE 6

1. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 3:48:23

2. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile

3. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Cofidis

4. Cristian Moreni (I), Alessio-Bianchi

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

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

7. Stefano Garzelli (I), Vini Caldirola

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

9. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre

10. Luis Pasamontes (Sp), Relax Bodysol

11. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon

12. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis

13. Roberto Sgambelluri (I), Vini Caldirola

14. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo

15. Damiano Cunego (I), Saeco

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

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

18. José Gutierrez (Sp), Phonak

19. José Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax Bodysol

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

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

22. Mikel Pradera (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto

23. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

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

25. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Saunier Duval

26. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros

27. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Bodysol

28. Dario David Cioni (I), Fassa Bortolo

29. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis

30. Peio Arreitunandia (Sp), Cafes Baque

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

32. Gonzalo Bayarri (Sp), Phonak

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

34. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros

35. David CaÑada (Sp), Saunier Duval

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

37. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), Saeco

38. Jose Luis Rebollo (Sp), Relax Bodysol

39. Christophe Oriol (F), Ag2R Prevoyance

40. Guido Trentin (I), Cofidis

41. Victor Hugo PeÑa (Col), U.S. Postal Service

42. Denis Menchov (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto

43. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros

44. Patrick Sinkewitz (G), Quick Step-Davitamon

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

46. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Phonak

47. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo

48. Joseba Beloki (Sp), Saunier Duval

49. Cadel Evans (Aus), T-Mobile

50. Iñigo Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance

51. Rubén Plaza (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca

52. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros

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

54. Klaus MÖller (Dk), Alessio-Bianchi

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

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

57. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC

58. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC

59. David Plaza (Sp), Cafes Baque

60. Giampaolo Caruso (I), Liberty Seguros

61. Sylvester Szymyd (Pol), Saeco

62. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak

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

64. Tyler Hamilton (USA), Phonak

65. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak

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

67. Steve Zampieri (Swi), Vini Caldirola

68. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

69. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Saunier Duval

70. Manuel Calvente (Sp), CSC

71. Koldo Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros

72. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis

73. Francisco Garcia (Sp), Cafes Baque

74. Jörg Jaksche (G), CSC

75. Joaquin Lopez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria

76. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval

77. Joan Horrach (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto

78. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile

79. Ricardo Serrano (Sp), Cafes Baque, 3:20

80. Kevin De Weert (B), Rabobank, 3:20

81. Hernan Buenahora (Col), Cafes Baque, 3:20

82. J.antonio Pecharroman (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 3:20

83. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, 3:20

84. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 3:20

85. Felix Cardenas (Col), Cafes Baque, 3:20

86. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 3:20

87. Johan Van Summeren (B), Relax Bodysol, 3:20

88. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis, 3:20

89. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Alessio-Bianchi, 3:20

90. Igor Astarloa (Sp), Lampre, 3:23

91. Michele Scotto (I), Lampre, 3:23

92. Peter Luttenberger (A), CSC, 3:23

93. Fabio Sacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 3:23

94. Marco Milesi (I), Vini Caldirola, 3:23

95. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3:23

96. David Latasa (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 3:23

97. David Herrero (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 3:23

98. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3:23

99. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Vini Caldirola, 3:23

100. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus), U.S. Postal Service, 3:23

101. Antonio Cruz (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 3:23

102. Luca Paolini (I), Quick Step-Davitamon, 3:23

103. Alessandro Cortinovis (I), Lampre, 6:34

104. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Saeco, 6:34

105. Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre, 6:34

106. Aitor Perez (Sp), Cafes Baque, 6:34

107. Alberto Martinez (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 6:34

108. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 6:34

109. Rafael Casero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 6:34

110. Pavel Tonkov (Rus), Vini Caldirola, 6:34

111. Joseba Albizu (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 6:34

112. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 6:34

113. Guido Trenti (USA), Fassa Bortolo, 8:29

114. Marco Velo (I), Fassa Bortolo, 8:29

115. Jan Hruska (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 8:29

116. José Julia (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 8:29

117. Julián Sanchez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 8:29

118. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Quick Step-Davitamon, 8:29

119. Bert Roesems (B), Relax Bodysol, 8:29

120. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 8:29

121. Michael Barry (CAN), U.S. Postal Service, 8:29

122. Max Van Heeswijk (Nl), U.S. Postal Service, 8:29

123. David Zabriskie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 8:29

124. Alberto Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 8:29

125. Alberto Ongarato (I), Fassa Bortolo, 8:29

126. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, 8:29

127. Pieter Weening (Nl), Rabobank, 8:29

128. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 8:29

129. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 8:29

130. Stephane Goubert (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 8:29

131. Frank Hoj (Dk), CSC, 8:29

132. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, 8:29

133. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 12:54

134. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Rabobank, 12:54

135. Fabian Jeker (Swi), Saunier Duval, 12:54

136. Julien Laidoun (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 12:54

137. Joost Posthuma (Nl), Rabobank, 12:54

138. Ronald Mutsaars (Nl), Rabobank, 12:54

139. Alessandro Spezialetti (I), Saeco, 12:54

140. Angelo Furlan (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 12:54

141. Martin Hvastija (SLO), Alessio-Bianchi, 12:54

142. Aitor Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 12:54

143. Andy Flickinger (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 12:54

144. Ion Del Rio (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 12:54

145. Nacor Burgos (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 12:54

146. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), CSC, 12:54

147. Ivan Parra (Col), Cafes Baque, 12:54

148. Heberth Gutierre (Col), Cafes Baque, 12:54

149. Antonio Colom (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 12:54

150. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), T-Mobile, 12:54

151. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio-Bianchi, 12:54

152. Marius Sabaliauskas (Lit), Saeco, 12:54

153. Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis, 12:54

154. Santos Gonzalez (Sp), Phonak, 12:54

155. Ellis Rastelli (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 12:54

156. Igor Glez. Galdeano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 12:54

157. Stéphane Berges (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 12:54

158. Robert Hunter (RSA), Rabobank, 12:54

159. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank, 12:54

160. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), Cofidis, 12:54

161. Mauro Gerosa (I), Vini Caldirola, 12:54

162. Erki PÜtsep (Est), Ag2R Prevoyance, 12:54

163. Marco Zanotti (I), Vini Caldirola, 12:54

164. Dario Andriotto (I), Vini Caldirola, 12:54

165. Giosue Bonomi (I), Saeco, 12:54

166. Thomas Bruun (Dk), CSC, 12:54

167. Brian Vandborg (Dk), CSC, 12:54

168. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak, 12:54

169. Mikel Artetxe (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 12:54

170. Rene Andrle (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 12:54

171. Tomas Konecny (Cz), T-Mobile, 12:54

172. Paolo Fornaciari (I), Saeco, 12:54

173. Nicolas Inaudi (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 12:54

174. Carlos Torrent (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 12:54

175. José Garrido (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 12:54

176. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 12:54

177. Danilo Di Luca (I), Saeco, 12:54

178. Arnaud Coyot (F), Cofidis, 12:54

179. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre, 12:54

180. José Garcia Acosta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 12:54

181. Josu Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 21:42

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 6

1. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 22:35:39

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

3. Denis Menchov (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 0:04

4. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 0:09

5. Cadel Evans (Aus), T-Mobile. :16

6. Benoit Joachim (Lux), U.S. Postal Service, :23

7. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, :39

8. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, :47

9. Victor Hugo PeÑa (Col), U.S. Postal Service, :47

10. Tyler Hamilton (USA), Phonak, :50

11. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, :52

12. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak, 1:01

13. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:07

14. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 1:07

15. Dario David Cioni (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:14

16. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:17

17. Damiano Cunego (I), Saeco, 1:23

18. Koldo Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:28

19. Rubén Plaza (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 1:32

20. David Blanco (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 1:34

21. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile, 1:39

22. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 1:42

23. Pablo Lastras (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 1:43

24. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 1:43

25. Joan Horrach (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 1:43

26. José Gutierrez (Sp), Phonak, 1:48

27. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Phonak, 1:48

28. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 1:49

29. M.a. Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:50

30. Angel Gomez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 1:50

31. Joseba Beloki (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:50

32. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:59

33. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre, 2:08

34. Stefano Garzelli (I), Vini Caldirola, 2:09

35. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 2:11

36. Jörg Jaksche (G), CSC, 2:11

37. Manuel Calvente (Sp), CSC, 2:11

38. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 2:15

39. Peio Arreitunandia (Sp), Cafes Baque, 2:20

40. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 2:22

41. Luis Pasamontes (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 2:28

42. Guido Trentin (I), Cofidis, 2:36

43. Iñigo Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 2:36

44. Christophe Oriol (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 2:36

45. David CaÑada (Sp), Saunier Duval, 2:37

46. David Plaza (Sp), Cafes Baque, 2:41

47. Klaus MÖller (Dk), Alessio-Bianchi, 2:47

48. Francisco José Lara (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 2:48

49. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 2:55

50. Roberto Sgambelluri (I), Vini Caldirola, 2:59

51. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3:14

52. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3:14

53. Sylvester Szymyd (Pol), Saeco, 4:08

54. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 4:20

55. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Saunier Duval, 5:48

56. Giampaolo Caruso (I), Liberty Seguros, 5:51

57. Francisco Garcia (Sp), Cafes Baque, 6:00

58. Felix Cardenas (Col), Cafes Baque, 6:01

59. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros, 6:07

60. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 7:06

61. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, 7:10

62. Michele Scotto (I), Lampre, 7:45

63. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 7:46

64. Patrick Sinkewitz (G), Quick Step-Davitamon, 8:04

65. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis, 8:10

66. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Alessio-Bianchi, 8:14

67. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak, 8:23

68. Unai Osa (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 8:35

69. Luca Paolini (I), Quick Step-Davitamon, 8:42

70. José Miguel Elias (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 8:46

71. Johan Van Summeren (B), Relax Bodysol, 9:07

72. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), Saeco, 9:21

73. David Herrero (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 9:22

74. Cristian Moreni (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 9:28

75. Peter Luttenberger (A), CSC, 9:32

76. Gonzalo Bayarri (Sp), Phonak, 10:07

77. Aitor Perez (Sp), Cafes Baque, 10:33

78. Steve Zampieri (Swi), Vini Caldirola, 10:58

79. Jorge Ferrio (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 11:01

80. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 11:01

81. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 11:20

82. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 11:35

83. Kevin De Weert (B), Rabobank, 11:36

84. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 11:41

85. Fabio Sacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 12:15

86. J.antonio Pecharroman (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 12:38

87. Antonio Cruz (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 13:13

88. Hernan Buenahora (Col), Cafes Baque, 13:13

89. David Latasa (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 13:21

90. Alessandro Cortinovis (I), Lampre, 14:11

91. Tomas Konecny (Cz), T-Mobile, 14:12

92. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Vini Caldirola, 14:51

93. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 15:23

94. Danilo Di Luca (I), Saeco, 15:35

95. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), Cofidis, 15:46

96. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, 16:15

97. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Quick Step-Davitamon, 16:33

98. Pieter Weening (Nl), Rabobank, 16:36

99. Alberto Martinez (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 17:15

100. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 17:23

101. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus), U.S. Postal Service, 17:36

102. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Cofidis, 17:37

103. Mikel Pradera (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 17:37

104. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile, 17:39

105. Julián Sanchez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 17:53

106. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, 17:58

107. Jose Luis Rebollo (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 18:22

108. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo, 18:22

109. Joaquin Lopez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 18:42

110. David Fernandez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 18:44

111. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis, 19:38

112. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 20:50

113. Stephane Goubert (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 21:10

114. Joseba Albizu (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 21:18

115. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), CSC, 21:23

116. Antonio Colom (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 21:31

117. Michael Barry (CAN), U.S. Postal Service, 21:38

118. Rafael Casero (Sp), Saunier Duval, 21:50

119. Ivan Parra (Col), Cafes Baque, 22:06

120. Nacor Burgos (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 22:10

121. Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre, 22:29

122. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak, 23:11

123. Ricardo Serrano (Sp), Cafes Baque, 23:16

124. Igor Glez. Galdeano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 23:22

125. Julien Laidoun (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 23:23

126. Heberth Gutierre (Col), Cafes Baque, 24:11

127. Joost Posthuma (Nl), Rabobank, 24:32

128. Ronald Mutsaars (Nl), Rabobank, 24:54

129. Max Van Heeswijk (Nl), U.S. Postal Service, 25:04

130. Marco Milesi (I), Vini Caldirola, 25:08

131. David Zabriskie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 25:10

132. Ion Del Rio (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 25:11

133. Igor Astarloa (Sp), Lampre, 26:40

134. Marco Velo (I), Fassa Bortolo, 26:47

135. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, 26:48

136. Frank Hoj (Dk), CSC, 26:50

137. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 26:52

138. Jan Hruska (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 27:03

139. Marius Sabaliauskas (Lit), Saeco, 27:15

140. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio-Bianchi, 27:23

141. Pavel Tonkov (Rus), Vini Caldirola, 27:27

142. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Saeco, 27:31

143. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 27:39

144. Alberto Ongarato (I), Fassa Bortolo, 29:29

145. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 29:33

146. Alberto Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 29:45

147. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), T-Mobile, 30:07

148. Guido Trenti (USA), Fassa Bortolo, 30:13

149. Bert Roesems (B), Relax Bodysol, 30:14

150. José Julia (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 30:33

151. Santos Gonzalez (Sp), Phonak, 30:36

152. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 31:25

153. Mikel Artetxe (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 32:18

154. Angelo Furlan (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 32:21

155. Martin Hvastija (SLO), Alessio-Bianchi, 32:21

156. Erki PÜtsep (Est), Ag2R Prevoyance, 32:27

157. Nicolas Inaudi (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 32:27

158. Marco Zanotti (I), Vini Caldirola, 32:33

159. Mauro Gerosa (I), Vini Caldirola, 32:33

160. Robert Hunter (RSA), Rabobank, 32:37

161. Carlos Torrent (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 32:39

162. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Rabobank, 32:54

163. Aitor Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 33:03

164. Dario Andriotto (I), Vini Caldirola, 33:52

165. Stéphane Berges (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 34:02

166. Rene Andrle (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 34:02

167. Alessandro Spezialetti (I), Saeco, 34:13

168. Ellis Rastelli (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 34:30

169. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre, 34:32

170. José Garrido (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 34:43

171. José Garcia Acosta (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 35:23

172. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank, 36:09

173. Arnaud Coyot (F), Cofidis, 36:14

174. Giosue Bonomi (I), Saeco, 36:18

175. Andy Flickinger (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 36:18

176. Paolo Fornaciari (I), Saeco, 37:05

177. Fabian Jeker (Swi), Saunier Duval, 38:00

178. Thomas Bruun (Dk), CSC, 40:11

179. Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis, 42:09

180. Brian Vandborg (Dk), CSC, 42:38

181. Josu Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 47:57

SPRINT POINTS – OVERALL AFTER STAGE 6

1. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Cofidis, 76 Pts.

2. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile, 72 Pts.

3. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 71 Pts.

4. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 51 Pts.

5. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 50 Pts.

6. Denis Menchov (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 41 Pts.

7. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 30 Pts.

8. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 27 Pts.

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

10. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 25 Pts.

11. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 21 Pts.

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

13. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 20 Pts.

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

15. David Fernandez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 20 Pts.

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

17. Giosue Bonomi (I), Saeco, 20 Pts.

18. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 19 Pts.

19. Stefano Garzelli (I), Vini Caldirola, 19 Pts.

20. Angelo Furlan (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 17 Pts.

21. Victor Hugo PeÑa (Col), U.S. Postal Service, 16 Pts.

22. Max Van Heeswijk (Nl), U.S. Postal Service, 15 Pts.

23. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 14 Pts.

24. Cristian Moreni (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 14 Pts.

25. Damiano Cunego (I), Saeco, 13 Pts.

MOUNTAIN POINTS OVERALL AFTER STAGE 6

1. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 17 Pts.

2. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, 16 Pts.

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

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

5. David Fernandez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 9 Pts.

6. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 9 Pts.

7. Martin Hvastija (SLO), Alessio-Bianchi, 7 Pts.

8. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 6 Pts.

9. Denis Menchov (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 6 Pts.

10. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 5 Pts.

11. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 5 Pts.

12. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 4 Pts.

13. Julien Laidoun (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 4 Pts.

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

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

16. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 3 Pts.

17. Francisco José Lara (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 3 Pts.

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

19. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 2 Pts.

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

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

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

23. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 1 Pts.

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

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

COMBINED POINTS- OVERALL AFTER STAGE 6

1. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 18 Pts.

2. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 18 Pts.

3. Denis Menchov (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 18 Pts.

4. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 23 Pts.

5. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 26 Pts.

6. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 30 Pts.

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

8. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 44 Pts.

9. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 59 Pts.

10. Damiano Cunego (I), Saeco, 64 Pts.

11. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 67 Pts.

12. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre, 70 Pts.

13. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 85 Pts.

14. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Relax Bodysol, 104 Pts.

15. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 106 Pts.

16. David Fernandez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 130 Pts.

17. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 140 Pts.

18. Unai Osa (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 152 Pts.

19. David Zabriskie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 175 Pts.

20. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 179 Pts.

21. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, 184 Pts.

22. Julien Laidoun (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 191 Pts.

TEAM OVERALL AFTER STAGE 6

1. U.S. Postal Service, 67:47:44

2. T-Mobile, 1:50

3. Kelme – Costa Blanca, 2:08

4. Illes Balears-Banesto, 2:09

5. Phonak, 2:52

6. Liberty Seguros, 3:11

7. Saunier Duval, 4:37

8. CSC, 4:42

9. Saeco, 5:55

10. Cofidis, 5:59

11. Cafes Baque, 6:55

12. Relax Bodysol, 8:35

13. Fassa Bortolo, 9:03

14. Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 9:50

15. Quick Step-Davitamon, 11:28

16. Vini Caldirola, 12:40

17. Euskaltel-Euskadi, 17:22

18. Lampre, 18:21

19. Ag2R Prevoyance, 18:39

20. Alessio-Bianchi, 18:51

21. Rabobank, 29:06