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Henderson takes weather-shortened stage at Murcia

Heavy winds wreaked havoc in Thursday’s second stage at the Vuelta a Murcia in Spain, prompting officials to cut the distance and then halt the race due to blustery weather. Dangerous winds topping 80kph before the race started prompted race organizers to trim the distance by nearly 75km and eliminate the day’s main obstacle at the Cat. 1 Alto de San Juan. 2009 Vuelta a MurciaStage 2: Las Torres de Cotillas to Caravaca

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Vuelta a Murcia Stage 2: The sun came out, but it remained wet and windy.

Vuelta a Murcia Stage 2: The sun came out, but it remained wet and windy.

Photo: Graham Watson

Heavy winds wreaked havoc in Thursday’s second stage at the Vuelta a Murcia in Spain, prompting officials to cut the distance and then halt the race due to blustery weather.

Dangerous winds topping 80kph before the race started prompted race organizers to trim the distance by nearly 75km and eliminate the day’s main obstacle at the Cat. 1 Alto de San Juan.

2009 Vuelta a Murcia
Stage 2: Las Torres de Cotillas to Caravaca
Shortened to 65 km (40.4 miles) due to weather


Stage winner: Greg Henderson (Columbia- Highroad) in 2:07:27
Stage winner’s average speed: 30.6 kph (19.01 mph)
Overall leader: Henderson
Sprint leader: Henderson
Mountains leader: Jose Lopez Gil
Team GC leader: Rabobank
Up Next: Stage 3 is a 16.3 km individual time trial in San Pedro del Pinatar.

Once the shortened stage was underway, however, officials ended the race at 65km into the reduced 100km course due to worsening conditions.

Officials then decided to pace the peloton toward the finish line in Caravaca de la Cruz at a neutral speed protected by team and official cars. Once near the city, the peloton regrouped for the final 20km and only raced the final 3km at race speed.

Under these unusual circumstances, Kiwi sprinter Greg Henderson out-kicked Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) to claim victory. Garmin-Slipstream’s Julian Dean came through third.

“We raced for about 50 kilometers but then it got very windy and guys were getting blown off the road so the organizers decided to neutralize most of the stage,” Henderson said later. “They then told us that the racing would start again just three kilometers from the line. When we reached that point of the course, everybody knew that was when racing would start so there’d been a lot of fighting for position beforehand. On top of that it had just started to rain and the road surfaces weren’t brilliant, so it was all very tense.”

Vuelta a Murcia Stage 2: Henderson gets a win.

Vuelta a Murcia Stage 2: Henderson gets a win.

Photo: Graham Watson

“I took one right-hand curve well,” added Henderson, “and then was about fifth or sixth back coming into a second bend, a sharp left-hander, with about 350 meters to go. Me and Hoffie [sports director Tristan Hoffman] had looked at the route book during the stage to get an idea of the finish and he’d told me to take this corner full gas. It was only when I came into the corner in fifth or sixth place at full gas and noticed at the last moment that everybody else was braking that I got worried!”

Overnight leader and yesterday’s winner Graeme Brown (Rabobank) finished sixth and dropped to third overall. Pérez, third in the opening stage, slots into second overall.

Henderson – a winner at the Clásica de Almería on Sunday – will carry the leader’s jersey into Friday’s 16km individual time trial at San Pedro del Pinatar.

Vuelta a Murcia Stage 2: Much of Thursday's stage was neutralized.

Vuelta a Murcia Stage 2: Much of Thursday’s stage was neutralized.

Photo: Graham Watson

“It’s easily my best early season ever, a couple of years ago I got a couple of second places in the Tour of California, but this is where I’m getting the wins,” Henderson said. “I’ve done a good hard block of training since the Tour of Qatar, and my condition is real ly good.”

Forecasters are calling for a chance of showers on Friday and, yes, more wind.

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage 2 | (GC after stage 2 ) | (Team GC) | (Points competition) | (Mountain competition)

1. Greg Henderson (NZl), Columbia-High Road 2:07:27
2. Rubén Pérez (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, same time
3. Julian Dean (NZl), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
4. David Calatayud (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
5. Tom Leezer (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
6. Graeme Brown (Aus), Rabobank, s.t.
7. Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
8. Mathew Goss (Aus), Saxo Bank, s.t.
9. Mathieu Drujon (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
10. Manuel Cardoso (Por), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
11. Pieter Weening (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
12. Egoitz García (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
13. Aitor Galdós (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
14. Aitor Pérez Arrieta (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
15. Bert Grabsch (Ger), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
16. Manuel Ortega (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
17. Edgar Miguel Pinto (Por), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
18. Konstantin Siutsou (Blr), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
19. Diego Milán (Spa), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
20. José Antonio Carrasco (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
21. Gert Dockx (Bel), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
22. Vicente García De Mateo (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, s.t.
23. Oleg Chuzhda (Ukr), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
24. Frantisek Rabon (Cze), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
25. Salvador Guardiola (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
26. Morris Possoni (Ita), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
27. Tom Danielson (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
28. Rubén Plaza (Spa), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
29. Jason Donald (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
30. Andrés Vigil (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
31. Gonzalo Rabuñal (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
32. Christian Meier (Can), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
33. José Herrada López (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
34. Craig Lewis (USA), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
35. Javier Chacón (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
36. Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel), Saxo Bank, s.t.
37. Carlos Nozal (Spa), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
38. Jorge Azanza (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
39. Jesús Merino (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
40. Timothy Duggan (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
41. Nuno Ribeiro (Por), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
42. Juan José Haedo (Arg), Saxo Bank, s.t.
43. Lars Ytting Bak (Den), Saxo Bank, s.t.
44. Blake Caldwell (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
45. Francisco Pérez (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
46. Dmytro Chuzhda (Ukr), Andorra-Grandvalira, s.t.
47. Carlos Torrent (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, s.t.
48. Marcos García (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
49. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
50. Rui Sousa (Por), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
51. Raúl García De Mateo (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, s.t.
52. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
53. Héctor Guerra (Spa), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
54. Luis Pasamontes (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
55. Ángel Vicioso (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
56. Luca Paolini (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
57. Pedro Merino (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
58. Eloy Teruel (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
59. Ángel Vallejo (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, s.t.
60. Alessandro Donati (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
61. Stefano Garzelli (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
62. Hubb Duyn (Ned), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
63. Jaume Rovira (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, s.t.
64. Michael Mørkøv (Den), Saxo Bank, s.t.
65. Jonathan Bellis (GBr), Saxo Bank, s.t.
66. Bauke Mollema (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
67. Xavier Tondo (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
68. Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
69. Antonio Tauler (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
70. Gustavo César Veloso (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
71. Sergio De Lis (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
72. Javier Benítez (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
73. Massimo Codol (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
74. José Joao Mendes (Por), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
75. Juan Javier Estrada (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
76. Dario Andriotto (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
77. Dennis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, s.t.
78. Stef Clement (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
79. Nicolas Portal (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
80. Anders Lund (Den), Saxo Bank, s.t.
81. Koos Moerenhout (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
82. Amets Txurruka (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
83. José Vicente García (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
84. Claudio Casas (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
85. José Ruiz (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
86. Manuel Vázquez (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
87. José Antonio Redondo (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
88. David Herrero (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
89. Pedro Vera (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
90. Jason McCartney (USA), Saxo Bank, s.t.
91. Xabier Zandio (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
92. Aitor Aznar (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, s.t.
93. Carlos Castaño (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
94. Alberto Losada (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
95. Igor Antón (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
96. Mikel Nieve (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
97. José Antonio López (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
98. Lucas Euser (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
99. Didac Ortega (Spa), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
100. Mikel Astarloza (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
101. Iván Raña (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.

GC standings after stage 2 | (Top)

1. Greg Henderson (NZl), Columbia-High Road 7:14:04
2. Rubén Pérez (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
3. Graeme Brown (Aus), Rabobank, s.t.
4. Tom Leezer (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
5. Mathew Goss (Aus), Saxo Bank, s.t.
6. David Calatayud (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
7. Mathieu Drujon (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
8. Bert Grabsch (Ger), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
9. Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
10. Aitor Pérez Arrieta (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
11. Rubén Plaza (Spa), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
12. Edgar Miguel Pinto (Por), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
13. Frantisek Rabon (Cze), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
14. Craig Lewis (USA), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
15. Konstantin Siutsou (Blr), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
16. Lars Ytting Bak (Den), Saxo Bank, s.t.
17. Jorge Azanza (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
18. Francisco Pérez (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
19. Luis Pasamontes (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
20. Luca Paolini (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
21. José Antonio Carrasco (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
22. Tom Danielson (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
23. José Herrada López (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
24. Diego Milán (Spa), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
25. Gert Dockx (Bel), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
26. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
27. Gonzalo Rabuñal (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
28. Carlos Nozal (Spa), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
29. Hubb Duyn (Ned), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
30. Stefano Garzelli (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
31. Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel), Saxo Bank, s.t.
32. Ángel Vallejo (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, s.t.
33. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
34. Eloy Teruel (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, s.t.
35. Xavier Tondo (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
36. Dennis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, s.t.
37. David Herrero (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
38. Pieter Weening (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
39. Pedro Merino (Spa), Spanish National, s.t.
40. Jaume Rovira (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, s.t.
41. Sergio De Lis (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
42. Nicolas Portal (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
43. Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
44. Koos Moerenhout (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
45. Carlos Castaño (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, s.t.
46. Massimo Codol (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
47. Dario Andriotto (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
48. Mikel Astarloza (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
49. Didac Ortega (Spa), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.
50. José Vicente García (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
51. Lucas Euser (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
52. Ángel Vicioso (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur,at 0:11
53. Michael Mørkøv (Den), Saxo Bank,at 0:11
54. Xabier Zandio (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne,at 0:13
55. Julian Dean (NZl), Garmin-Slipstream,at 0:21
56. Marcos García (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia,at 0:21
57. Pedro J Vera (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia,at 0:21
58. José Antonio López (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur,at 0:21
59. Juan José Haedo (Arg), Saxo Bank,at 0:42
60. Manuel Cardoso (Por), Liberty Seguros, at 1:49
61. Salvador Guardiola (Spa), Spanish National, at 1:49
62. Jason Donald (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:49
63. Morris Possoni (Ita), Columbia-High Road, at 1:49
64. Egoitz García (Spa), Spanish National, at 1:49
65. Aitor Galdós (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:49
66. Oleg Chuzhda (Ukr), Contentpolis-Murcia, at 1:49
67. Christian Meier (Can), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:49
68. Nuno Ribeiro (Por), Liberty Seguros, at 1:49
69. Vicente García De Mateo (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, at 1:49
70. Blake Caldwell (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:49
71. Javier Chacón (Spa), Spanish National, at 1:49
72. Dmytro Chuzhda (Ukr), Andorra-Grandvalira, at 1:49
73. Héctor Guerra (Spa), Liberty Seguros, at 1:49
74. Rui Sousa (Por), Liberty Seguros, at 1:49
75. Timothy Duggan (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:49
76. Raúl García De Mateo (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, at 1:49
77. Carlos Torrent (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, at 1:49
78. Gustavo César Veloso (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, at 1:49
79. José Joao Mendes (Por), Liberty Seguros, at 1:49
80. Javier Benítez (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, at 1:49
81. Amets Txurruka (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:49
82. Antonio Tauler (Spa), Spanish National, at 1:49
83. Juan Javier Estrada (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, at 1:49
84. Bauke Mollema (Ned), Rabobank, at 1:49
85. Alberto Losada (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 1:49
86. José Antonio Redondo (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, at 1:49
87. Mikel Nieve (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:49
88. Anders Lund (Den), Saxo Bank, at 1:49
89. Manuel Vázquez (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, at 1:49
90. José Ruiz (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, at 1:49
91. Igor Antón (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:49
92. Manuel Ortega (Spa), Andalucia-Cajasur, at 4:17
93. Andrés Vigil (Spa), Spanish National, at 4:17
94. Jesús Merino (Spa), Spanish National, at 4:17
95. Jonathan Bellis (GBr), Saxo Bank, at 4:17
96. Alessandro Donati (Ita), Acqua e Sapone, at 4:17
97. Claudio Casas (Spa), Contentpolis-Murcia, at 4:17
98. Aitor Aznar (Spa), Andorra-Grandvalira, at 4:17
99. Jason McCartney (USA), Saxo Bank, at 4:17
100. Iván Raña (Spa), Xacobeo Galicia, at 4:17
101. Stef Clement (Ned), Rabobank, at 10:43

Team GC | (Top)

1. (NED) Rabobank in 21h42’12”
2. (USA) Team Columbia – High Road at m.t.
3. (ESP) Caisse D’epargne at m.t.
4. (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi at m.t.
5. (ITA) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo at m.t.
6. (POR) Liberty Seguros at m.t.
7. (DEN) Team Saxo Bank at m.t.
8. (NED) Garmin – Slipstream at m.t.
9. (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo at m.t.
10. (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia at m.t.
11. (NED) Andalucía – Cajasur at 11::
12. (NED) Selección Española at 01:49::
13. (NED) Andorra – Grandavalira at m.t.

Points standings | (Top)
1. Greg Henderson (NZL) Team Columbia – High Road 45 points
2. Rubén PÉrez Moreno (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi 36 points
3. Graeme Brown (AUS) Rabobank 35 points
4. Tom Leezer (NED) Rabobank 24 points
5. Matthew Goss (AUS) Team Saxo Bank 22 points
6. David Calatayud (ESP) Selección Española 20 points
7. Mathieu Drujon (FRA) Caisse D’epargne 16 points
8. Julian Dean (NZL) Garmin – Slipstream 16 points
9. Giuseppe Palumbo (ITA) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo 13 points
10. Luca Paolini (ITA) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo 10 points
11. Manuel Cardoso (POR) Liberty Seguros 9 points
12. Luis Pasamontes (ESP) Caisse D’epargne 8 points
13. David Herrero Llorente (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia 7 points
14. Pedro J. Vera Alcaraz (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo 6 points
15. Lars Ytting Bak (DEN) Team Saxo Bank 5 points
16. Pieter Weening (NED) Rabobank 5 points
17. Hubb Duyn (NED) Garmin – Slipstream 4 points
18. Egoitz GarcÍa Echeguigel (ESP) Selección Española 4 points
19. Rubén Plaza Molina (ESP) Liberty Seguros 3 points
20. José Antonio LÓpez Gil (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur 3 points
21. Aitor GaldÓs Alonso (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi 3 points
22. Aitor Perez Arrieta (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo 2 points
23. Francisco PÉrez SÁnchez (ESP) Caisse D’epargne 2 points
24. Bert Grabsch (GER) Team Columbia – High Road 1 point
25. Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia – High Road 1 points
26. Jose Haerrada Lopez (ESP) Contentpolis-AMPO 1 point
27. Marcos GarcÍa FernÁndez (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia 1 point
.

Mountain standings | (Top)

1. LÓpez Gil José Antonio (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur 3 points
2. Vera Alcaraz Pedro J. (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo 2 points
3. Marcos GarcÍa FernÁndez (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia 1 points