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Menchov takes over at Murcia

Spanish rider Rubén Plaza (Liberty Seguros) won Saturday’s “etapa reina” climbing stage at the Vuelta a Murcia in Spain and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) surged into the overall lead. Plaza was first out of a group of 10 riders that pulled clear after topping over the Cat. 1 Collado Bermejo some 22km from the finish line in Alhama de Murcia. Coming through second was Jesús Herrada (Contentpolis) while Menchov crossed the line third in the 156km fourth stage.

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Spanish rider Rubén Plaza (Liberty Seguros) won Saturday’s “etapa reina” climbing stage at the Vuelta a Murcia in Spain and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) surged into the overall lead.

Plaza was first out of a group of 10 riders that pulled clear after topping over the Cat. 1 Collado Bermejo some 22km from the finish line in Alhama de Murcia. Coming through second was Jesús Herrada (Contentpolis) while Menchov crossed the line third in the 156km fourth stage.

Overnight leader Frantisek Rabon (Columbia-Highroad) couldn’t match the pace and slipped out of contention with one stage left to go in the five-day Spanish race.

Menchov, a two-time winner of the Vuelta a España, now holds a 20-second lead to Plaza, with Rabobank teammate Peter Weening in third overall at 35 seconds back.

Sunday’s 142km fifth and final stage between San Javier and Murcia provides some potentially explosive terrain, with a string of three third-category climbs sprinkled along the route before a flat run into Murcia.

The final hump comes just 11km from the line, offering Plaza a chance to try to wrestle away the jersey from the dominate Rabobank team.

Results

Stage Results: | (GC Results)

1. Rubén Plaza Molina (ESP) Liberty Seguros
2. José Herrada LÓpez (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo at s.t.
3. Dennis Menchov (RUS) Rabobank at s.t.
4. Jaume Rovira Pons (ESP) Andorra – Grandavalira at s.t.
5. Konstantin Siutsou (BLR) Team Columbia – High Road at s.t.
6. Ezequiel Mosquera (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia at s.t.
7. Luis Pasamontes (ESP) Caisse D’epargne at s.t.
8. Xavier Tondo Volpini (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur at s.t.
9. Mikel Nieve Iturralde (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi at s.t.
10. Pieter Weening (NED) Rabobank at s.t.
11. Héctor Guerra GarcÍa (ESP) Liberty Seguros at 31::
12. Ángel Vallejo DomÍnguez (ESP) Andorra – Grandavalira at 01:15::
13. Laurens Ten Dam (NED) Rabobank at s.t.
14. Carlos Nozal Vega (ESP) Liberty Seguros at s.t.
15. Gustavo CÉsar Veloso (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia at 01:23::
16. Francisco PÉrez SÁnchez (ESP) Caisse D’epargne at s.t.
17. Matthew Goss (AUS) Team Saxo Bank at 01:50::
18. Manuel VÁzquez Hueso (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo at s.t.
19. Marcos GarcÍa FernÁndez (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia at s.t.
20. Alberto Losada Alguacil (ESP) Caisse D’epargne at s.t.
21. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin – Slipstream at 04:54::
22. Manuel Ortega OcaÑa (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur at s.t.
23. José Ruiz SÁnchez (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur at 07:03::
24. Stef Clement (NED) Rabobank at 11:00::
25. Xabier Zandio Echaide (ESP) Caisse D’epargne at 11:06::
26. Didac Ortega Orts (ESP) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo at s.t.
27. José Antonio Redondo Ramos (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur at s.t.
28. Stefano Garzelli (ITA) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo at s.t.
29. Bauke Mollema (NED) Rabobank at s.t.
30. Michael Morkov (DEN) Team Saxo Bank at 11:31::
31. Amets Txurruka Ansola (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi at s.t.
32. Aitor Perez Arrieta (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo at 18:03::
33. Gonzalo RabuÑal RÍos (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia at s.t.
34. Edgar Miguel Lemos Pinto (POR) Liberty Seguros at s.t.
35. Pedro Merino Criado (ESP) Selección Española at s.t.
36. José Vicente GarcÍa Acosta (ESP) Caisse D’epargne at s.t.
37. Hubb Duyn (NED) Garmin – Slipstream at s.t.
38. Jose Joao Mendes (POR) Liberty Seguros at s.t.
39. Christian Meier (CAN) Garmin – Slipstream at s.t.
40. Nuno Ribeiro (POR) Liberty Seguros at s.t.
41. Diego MilÁn JimÉnez (ESP) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo at s.t.
42. Blake Caldwell (USA) Garmin – Slipstream at s.t.
43. Dario Andriotto (ITA) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo at s.t.
44. Giuseppe Palumbo (ITA) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo at s.t.
45. Rubén PÉrez Moreno (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi at s.t.
46. José Antonio Carrasco RamÍrez (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur at s.t.
47. Alessandro Donati (ITA) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo at s.t.
48. Jorge Azanza Soto (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi at s.t.
49. Massimo Codol (ITA) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo at s.t.
50. Tom Leezer (NED) Rabobank at s.t.
51. Koos Moerenhout (NED) Rabobank at s.t.
52. Morris Possoni (ITA) Team Columbia – High Road at s.t.
53. Lucas Euser (USA) Garmin – Slipstream at s.t.
54. Frantisek Rabon (CZE) Team Columbia – High Road at s.t.
55. Timothy Duggan (USA) Garmin – Slipstream at s.t.
56. Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia – High Road at s.t.
57. Ángel Vicioso Arcos (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur at s.t.
58. Luca Paolini (ITA) Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo at s.t.
59. Arnold Jeannesson (FRA) Caisse D’epargne at 18:18::
60. Carlos CastaÑo Panadero (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia at 26:51::
61. David Herrero Llorente (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia at s.t.
62. Mateo Raúl GarcÍa De (ESP) Andorra – Grandavalira at s.t.
63. Mateo Vicente GarcÍa De (ESP) Andorra – Grandavalira at s.t.
64. Claudio Casas Gallego (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo at s.t.
65. Carlos Torrent Tarres (ESP) Andorra – Grandavalira at s.t.
66. Pedro J. Vera Alcaraz (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo at s.t.
67. Rui Sousa Barbosa (POR) Liberty Seguros at s.t.
68. Aitor Aznar Torres (ESP) Andorra – Grandavalira at s.t.
69. Antonio Tauler Llull (ESP) Selección Española at s.t.
70. Oleg Chuzhda (UKR) Contentpolis – Ampo at s.t.
71. Andrés Vigil Vidal (ESP) Selección Española at s.t.
72. Egoitz GarcÍa Echeguigel (ESP) Selección Española at s.t.
73. Juan Javier Estrada Ruiz (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur at s.t.
74. Salvador Guardiola Tora (ESP) Selección Española at s.t.
75. Javier BenÍtez Pomares (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo at s.t.
76. Dmytro Chuzhda (UKR) Andorra – Grandavalira at s.t.
77. Javier ChacÓn Quesada (ESP) Selección Española at s.t.
78. José Antonio LÓpez Gil (ESP) Andalucía – Cajasur at s.t.
79. Iván RaÑa Fuentes (ESP) Xacobeo Galicia at s.t.
80. Mathieu Drujon (FRA) Caisse D’epargne at s.t.
81. Greg Henderson (NZL) Team Columbia – High Road at s.t.
82. Jonathan Bellis (GBR) Team Saxo Bank at s.t.
83. Lars Ytting Bak (DEN) Team Saxo Bank at s.t.
84. Jurgen Van Goolen (BEL) Team Saxo Bank at s.t.
85. Anders Lund (DEN) Team Saxo Bank at s.t.
86. Gert Dockx (BEL) Team Columbia – High Road at s.t.
87. Graeme Brown (AUS) Rabobank at s.t.
88. David Calatayud (ESP) Selección Española at s.t.
89. Eloy Teruel Rovira (ESP) Contentpolis – Ampo at s.t.
90. Ándres Sergio De Lis (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi at s.t.
91. Igor AntÓn HernÁndez (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi at s.t.
92. Aitor GaldÓs Alonso (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi at s.t.
93. Jason Mccartney (USA) Team Saxo Bank at s.t.
94. Juan José Haedo (ARG) Team Saxo Bank at s.t.
95. Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (ESP) Euskaltel – Euskadi at s.t.
96. Jason Donald (USA) Garmin – Slipstream at s.t.
. Julian Dean (NZL) Garmin – Slipstream
. Bert Grabsch (GER) Team Columbia – High Road


GC Results: | (Stage Results)

1 Dennis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 11.43.20
2 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.20
3 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank 0.35
4 José Herrada López (Spa) Contentpolis – Murcia 0.44
5 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Andalucia – Cajasur 0.45
6 Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne 0.50
7 Jaume Rovira (Spa) Andorra – Grandvalira 0.51
8 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 1.15
9 Carlos Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros 1.58
10 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank 1.59
11 Francisco Pérez (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne 2.06
12 Konstantin Siutsou (Blr) Team Columbia – Highroad
13 Mathew Goss (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 2.07
14 Ángel Vallejo (Spa) Andorra – Grandvalira 2.17
15 Héctor Guerra (Spa) Liberty Seguros 2.35
16 Gustavo César Veloso (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 3.29
17 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 3.52
18 Marcos García (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 4.21
19 Alberto Losada (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne 5.00
20 Manuel Vázquez (Spa) Contentpolis – Murcia 5.03
21 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Slipstream 5.18
22 José Ruiz (Spa) Andalucia – Cajasur 10.10
23 Manuel Ortega (Spa) Andalucia – Cajasur 10.45
24 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 11.40
25 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank 12.08
26 Didac Ortega (Spa) Acqua e Sapone 12.34
27 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne 12.39
28 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank 14.19
29 José Antonio Redondo (Spa) Andalucia – Cajasur 14.38
30 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 14.52
31 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team Columbia – Highroad 17.38
32 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank 18.08
33 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank 18.27
34 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia – Highroad 18.28
35 Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 18.37
36 Hubb Duyn (Ned) Garmin-Slipstream 18.42
37 Rubén Pérez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 18.53
38 José Vicente García (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne 18.56
39 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 18.58
40 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 19.04
41 José Antonio Carrasco (Spa) Andalucia – Cajasur 19.11
42 Gonzalo Rabuñal (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 19.23
43 Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 19.25
44 Aitor Pérez Arrieta (Spa) Contentpolis – Murcia 19.27
45 Jorge Azanza (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 19.33
46 Diego Milán (Spa) Acqua e Sapone 19.49
47 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Caisse D’Epargne 19.51
48 Edgar Pinto (Por) Liberty Seguros 19.56
49 Ángel Vicioso (Spa) Andalucia – Cajasur 20.13
50 Pedro Merino (Spa) Spanish National Team 20.20
51 Lucas Euser (USA) Garmin-Slipstream 20.27
52 Timothy Duggan (USA) Garmin-Slipstream 20.38
53 José Mendes (Por) Liberty Seguros 21.01
54 Christian Meier (Can) Garmin-Slipstream 21.20
55 Blake Caldwell (USA) Garmin-Slipstream 21.23
56 Morris Possoni (Ita) Team Columbia – Highroad 21.38
57 Nuno Ribeiro (Por) Liberty Seguros 22.15
58 Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank 22.23
59 Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 24.04
60 Eloy Teruel (Spa) Contentpolis – Murcia 27.14
61 Greg Henderson (NZl) Team Columbia – Highroad 27.16
62 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Team Saxo Bank 27.27
63 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 27.34
64 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Saxo Bank 27.43
65 Sergio De Lis (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 27.47
66 David Herrero (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 27.51
67 Gert Dockx (Bel) Team Columbia – Highroad 28.10
68 David Calatayud (Spa) Spanish National Team 28.14
69 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 28.15
70 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse D’Epargne 28.29
71 Carlos Castaño (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 28.53
72 Antonio Tauler (Spa) Spanish National Team 29.02
73 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank 29.18
74 Pedro J. Vera (Spa) Contentpolis – Murcia 29.40
75 Oleg Chuzhda (Ukr) Contentpolis – Murcia 29.49
76 Egoitz García (Spa) Spanish National Team 29.50
77 Javier Benítez (Spa) Contentpolis – Murcia 29.52
78 Igor Antón (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 30.08
79 José Antonio López (Spa) Andalucia – Cajasur 30.09
80 Jason Donald (USA) Garmin-Slipstream 30.10
81 Carlos Torrent (Spa) Andorra – Grandvalira 30.25
82 Aitor Galdós (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
83 Javier Chacón (Spa) Spanish National Team 30.31
84 Dmytro Chuzhda (Ukr) Andorra – Grandvalira
85 Vicente García De Mateo (Spa) Andorra – Grandvalira 30.36
86 Salvador Guardiola (Spa) Spanish National Team 30.56
87 Juan Javier Estrada (Spa) Andalucia – Cajasur 30.57
88 Raúl García De Mateo (Spa) Andorra – Grandvalira 31.02
89 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank 31.20
90 Rui Sousa (Por) Liberty Seguros 31.43
91 Jason Mccartney (USA) Team Saxo Bank 31.46
92 Jonathan Bellis (GBr) Team Saxo Bank 32.16
93 Andrés Vigil (Spa) Spanish National Team 33.05
94 Aitor Aznar (Spa) Andorra – Grandvalira 33.12
95 Iván Raña (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 33.44
96 Claudio Casas (Spa) Contentpolis – Murcia 34.12