Events

Roberto!!!!

Roberto Heras (U.S. Postal Service) delivered the time trial of his life to win Saturday's penultimate stage of the Vuelta a España and vaulted into the overall lead after erasing a seemingly insurmountable gap to Isidro Nozal (ONCE). A year after losing the 2002 edition on a final-day time trial, Heras is about to claim his second career Vuelta title after obliterating Nozal's lead of 1 minute, 55 seconds, in an emotional victory that puts him 28 seconds into the race leader's golden jersey with one stage to go. "I wanted to win the stage but instead we saw a miracle," said Heras, who won

By Andrew Hood

Heras puts the hammer down

Heras puts the hammer down

Photo: AFP

Roberto Heras (U.S. Postal Service) delivered the time trial of his life to win Saturday’s penultimate stage of the Vuelta a España and vaulted into the overall lead after erasing a seemingly insurmountable gap to Isidro Nozal (ONCE).

A year after losing the 2002 edition on a final-day time trial, Heras is about to claim his second career Vuelta title after obliterating Nozal’s lead of 1 minute, 55 seconds, in an emotional victory that puts him 28 seconds into the race leader’s golden jersey with one stage to go.

Still in shock: Heras on the podium

Still in shock: Heras on the podium

Photo: Graham Watson

“I wanted to win the stage but instead we saw a miracle,” said Heras, who won in 25:08 (26.7 kph), 14 seconds faster than Alejandro Valverde (Kelme). “I sincerely believed it would be too much time, but this climb is a traitor because it’s steep at the bottom and top and there’s no time for recovery in the false flats.”

Heras hammered up the narrow, 11.2km climb in the forested mountains west of Madrid and quickly opened up a 30-second gap on Nozal in the opening 3km. Nozal was hanging on at the 6km time check, 48 seconds slower but still safely in the lead.

But Heras – who’s been steadily chipping away at Nozal, who held a 5:13 lead after the Albacete time trial in Stage 13 – flew up the final half of the course while the young ONCE rider was visibly struggling.

Nozal finally cracks

Nozal finally cracks

Photo: Graham Watson

The final few kilometers were decisive. Heras widened the gap from 1:02 with 5km to go. Nozal, victorious in the first two individual time trials, limped across the line 43rd at 2:23 slower.

“After losing the Vuelta in the final time trial last year and winning the Vuelta in the final time trial this year, it’s an immense pleasure,” said U.S. Postal’s sport director, Johan Bruyneel. “From the first kilometer we saw we had a difference. In the last 2km, Roberto was sensational and Nozal couldn’t keep up.”

Historic double, ONCE meltdown
With Sunday’s flat finale ending in downtown Madrid, Heras’s imminent victory will go along with Lance Armstrong’s win at the Tour de France, giving the American team two grand-tour victories in the same season with two riders.

While it’s common for one strong man to win two grand tours in one season – Marco Pantani was the last, winning the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 1998 – it’s rare for a team to boast two winning captains. The last to pull off the feat was the Renault-Gitane team in 1983, when Bernard Hinault won the Vuelta and Laurent Fignon won the Tour.

Heras broke into tears when he realized he had erased the difference to Nozal and would claim another Vuelta to go with his breakthrough 2000 overall title. But while it was all tears of joy for U.S. Postal Service, there were tears of another type for ONCE in a disastrous stage for the team one day after sport director Manolo Saiz was kicked out of the Vuelta for his embarrassing temper tantrum in Friday’s climbing stage. Nozal lost the overall, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano ceded the final podium spot to Valverde and the team forfeited the team classification to iBanesto.com.

“If you can’t do it, you can’t,” a dejected Nozal told Spanish radio. “There was a lack of strength in my legs. Nothing more. I’ll be back. This Vuelta has been great for me. While I won’t win, I’m more motivated than ever to keep racing bicycles.”

Valverde shot into third overall after Galdeano came through 41st at 2:19 slower. Perhaps more so than Nozal, Valverde is the revelation of this Vuelta.

“In yesterday’s stage (up Navacerrada) when we saw Nozal in trouble, I thought Roberto could win this Vuelta,” said Valverde, who won two mountain stages. “Now I will keep working on progressing step by step and see if I cannot win one of the ‘grandes’ one day.”

A long road to victory
The biggest crowds of the Vuelta turned out to watch the penultimate stage, which climbed from the 16th-century monastery at El Escorial up the steep 11.2km climb to Alto de Abantos in the pine-covered mountains west of Madrid.

Photo: Graham Watson

Jesus Maria Manzano (Kelme) didn’t take the start, leaving 159 riders in the Vuelta.

David Millar (Cofidis) set an early fast time at 26:17, but Fabian Jekker (Milaneza) came through with 25:23 that stood after such riders as Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank), Carlos Sastre (CSC) and Santos Gonzalez (Domina Vacanze) couldn’t knock it off.

Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank) had an excellent ride (eighth at 48 seconds slower), further proof that he’s riding into form coming into October’s road world championships, when he’ll ride both the time trial and road race.

King of the Mountains champion Felix Cardenas (Labarca 2) edged Jekker by one second with 25:22, but Valverde came through less than a second faster to hold the fastest time.

Only Heras stood a chance to win the stage.

Heras turned on the afterburners late and roared through the finish line with the stage win secure. Now it was a waiting game to see if Nozal could hang on. The shy, soft-spoken Heras broke into tears when it became obvious he was going to take the overall lead.

“This Vuelta has been more difficult than my victory in 2000. There, the race was decided at the Angliru and it was more controlled,” Heras said. “This year has been much harder to fight every chance I could. I feel for Nozal. I know what it’s like to lose on the final day in a time trial. It’s a feeling of powerlessness.”

The Vuelta wraps up Sunday in the crowded streets of downtown Madrid. Valverde also took over the lead of the points jersey and the all-rounder will be sure to be in the hunt for the sprint.

But sprinter thoroughbreds Erik Zabel (Telekom) and Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) – not to mention Fred Rodriguez (Caldirola) – survived the mountains and are sure to go head-to-head in what could be an exciting Vuelta finish.


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Results

1. Roberto Heras (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 25:08

2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:14

3. Felix Cardenas (Col), Labarca-2 Café, at 0:14

4. Fabian Jeker (Swi), Milaneza – MSS, at 0:15

5. Santos Gonzalez (Sp) Domina Vacanze, at 0:22

6. Roberto Laiseka (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:32

7. Dario Frigo (I) Fassa Bortolo, at 0:34

8. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank, at 0:48

9. Oscar Sevilla (Sp) Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:58

10. Unai Osa (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 1:03

11. Carlos Sastre (Sp) CSC, at 1:06

12. David Millar (GB) Cofidis, at 1:09

13. Leonardo Piepoli (I) iBanesto.com, at 1:09

14. Aitor Osa (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 1:10

15. Marcos Serrano (Sp) ONCE – Eroski, at 1:16

16. Félix Garcia Casas (Sp) Bianchi, at 1:16

17. Constantino Zaballa (Sp) Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 1:24

18. Jorge Ferrio (Sp) Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 1:28

19. Francisco Mancebo (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 1:29

20. Jose Luis Rebollo (Sp) Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 1:31

21. José Gutierrez (Sp) Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 1:36

22. Juan Miguel Mercado (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 1:39

23. Klaus MÖller (Dk) Milaneza – MSS, at 1:39

24. Michael Rasmussen (Dk) Rabobank, at 1:40

25. Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Sp) Domina Vacanze, at 1:41

26. David Etxebarria (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:46

27. Manuel Calvente (Sp) CSC, at 1:48

28. Michele Scarponi (I) Domina Vacanze, at 1:57

29. Daniel Atienza (Sp) Cofidis, at 1:58

30. Oscar Pereiro (Sp) Phonak, at 2:01

31. Antonio Tauler (Sp) Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 2:03

32. Floyd Landis (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 2:06

33. Fabrizio Guidi (I) Bianchi, at 2:10

34. Guido Trentin (I) Cofidis, at 2:14

35. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp) Cofidis, at 2:14

36. Luis Perez (Sp) Cofidis, at 2:14

37. Joan Horrach (Sp) Milaneza – MSS, at 2:15

38. José Jufre (Sp) Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 2:18

39. David Lopez (Sp) Labarca-2 Cafe, at 2:18

40. Txema Del Olmo (Sp) Milaneza – MSS, at 2:19

41. Igor Glez. Galdeano (Sp) ONCE – Eroski, at 2:19

42. Mikel Pradera (Sp) ONCE – Eroski, at 2:21

43. Isidro Nozal (Sp) ONCE – Eroski, at 2:23

44. Santiago Perez (Sp) Phonak, at 2:25

45. Mario Aerts (B) Telekom, at 2:26

46. Angel Vicioso (Sp) ONCE – Eroski, at 2:27

47. Manuel Beltran (Sp) U.S. Postal Service, at 2:30

48. Jurgen Van Goolen (B) Quick Step-Davitamon, at 2:31

49. Cesar Garcia Calvo (Sp) Labarca-2 Cafe, at 2:31

50. Cristian Moreni (I) Alessio, at 2:33

51. Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz) Cofidis, at 2:34

52. Gorka Gonzalez (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:39

53. Unai Etxebarria (Vz) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:42

54. Iker Flores (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:42

55. Aitor Garmendia (Sp) Bianchi, at 2:43

56. Patrick Sinkewitz (G) Quick Step-Davitamon, at 2:45

57. Igor Pugaci (MDA) Saeco, at 2:45

58. Benjamín Noval (Sp) Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 2:45

59. Angelo Lopeboselli (I) Cofidis, at 2:46

60. Daniele Righi (I) Lampre, at 2:47

61. Christian Werner (G) Telekom, at 2:50

62. Francisco José Lara (Sp) Bianchi, at 2:51

63. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp) Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 2:51

64. José Luis Rubiera (Sp) U.S. Postal Service, at 2:54

65. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B) Quick Step-Davitamon, at 2:56

66. David Latasa (Sp) Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 2:57

67. Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank, at 2:59

68. Michael Barry (CAN) U.S. Postal Service, at 2:59

69. Kyryl Pospyeyev (Ukr) Domina Vacanze, at 3:02

70. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Fassa Bortolo, at 3:02

71. Francisco Vila (Sp) Lampre, at 3:03

72. Angel Edo (Sp) Milaneza – MSS, at 3:04

73. David Navas (Sp) Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 3:07

74. Alberto Martinez (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:14

75. Bobby Julich (USA) Telekom, at 3:15

76. Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Fassa Bortolo, at 3:16

77. Jörg Jaksche (G) ONCE – Eroski, at 3:16

78. José Luis Martinez (Sp) Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 3:17

79. Ronald Mutsaars (Nl) Rabobank, at 3:19

80. Pablo Lastras (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 3:20

81. Tom Boonen (B) Quick Step-Davitamon, at 3:21

82. Matteo Tosatto (I) Fassa Bortolo, at 3:24

83. Francisco Cabello (Sp) Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 3:26

84. Niki Aebersold (Swi) Phonak, at 3:28

85. Pedro Cardoso (P) Milaneza – MSS, at 3:29

86. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp) Lampre, at 3:30

87. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp) ONCE – Eroski, at 3:32

88. Bram Tankink (Nl) Quick Step-Davitamon, at 3:32

89. Torsten Hiekmann (G) Telekom, at 3:35

90. Steffan Wesemann (G) Telekom, at 3:36

91. Erik Zabel (G) Telekom, at 3:36

92. Pedro Diaz Lobato (Sp) Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 3:37

93. Gorka Arrizabalaga (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:37

94. Bingen Fernandez (Sp) Cofidis, at 3:40

95. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Lampre, at 3:42

96. Benoit Joachim (Lux) U.S. Postal Service, at 3:44

97. Simone Bertoletti (I) Lampre, at 3:45

98. Nacor Burgos (Sp) Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 3:47

99. Denis Lunghi (I) Alessio, at 3:47

100. Addy Engels (Nl) Rabobank, at 3:50

101. Gustavo Otero (Sp) Labarca-2 Cafe, at 3:50

102. Francisco Gutierrez (Sp) Labarca-2 Cafe, at 3:53

103. Karsten Kroon (Nl) Rabobank, at 3:53

104. Oscar Laguna (Sp) Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 3:55

105. Jan Boven (Nl) Rabobank, at 3:55

106. Bert Grabsch (G) Phonak, at 3:58

107. Carlos Torrent (Sp) Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 3:59

108. Thomas Bruun (Dk) CSC, at 4:01

109. Juan Fuentes (Sp) Saeco, at 4:02

110. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 4:03

111. Jan Hruska (Cz) ONCE – Eroski, at 4:07

112. Raphael Schweda (G) Bianchi, at 4:07

113. Gianluca Sironi (I) Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 4:08

114. Pedro Horrillo (Sp) Quick Step-Davitamon, at 4:09

115. Peter Luttenberger (A) CSC, at 4:10

116. Nicki Sorensen (Dk) CSC, at 4:11

117. Giovanni Lombardi (I) Domina Vacanze, at 4:11

118. Stephan Schreck (G) Telekom, at 4:12

119. Guido Trenti (USA) Fassa Bortolo, at 4:12

120. Juan José De Los Angeles (Sp) Fassa Bortolo, at 4:13

121. Gonzalo Bayarri (Sp) Phonak, at 4:16

122. David CaÑada (Sp) Quick Step-Davitamon, at 4:18

123. Alexandre Usov (Blr) Phonak, at 4:19

124. Paulo Barroso (P) Milaneza – MSS, at 4:19

125. Giampaolo Cheula (I) Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 4:21

126. Renato Silva (P) Milaneza – MSS, at 4:22

127. Alessandro Petacchi (I) Fassa Bortolo, at 4:22

128. Santiago Blanco (Sp) Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 4:22

129. Max Van Heeswijk (Nl) U.S. Postal Service, at 4:23

130. Christian Pepoli (I) Saeco, at 4:26

131. Gonçalo Amorim (P) Milaneza – MSS, at 4:28

132. José Luis Arrieta (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 4:28

133. Germán Nieto (Sp) Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 4:30

134. Pietro Zucconi (Swi) Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 4:32

135. Matthew White (Aus) U.S. Postal Service, at 4:32

136. Francisco Cerezo (Sp) Labarca-2 Cafe, at 4:34

137. Ivan Herrero (Sp) Labarca-2 Cafe, at 4:35

138. Carlos Golbano (Sp) Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 4:36

139. Eladio Jimenez (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 4:36

140. Joaquin Lopez (Sp) Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 4:42

141. Alessandro Bertolini (I) Alessio, at 4:47

142. Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 4:50

143. Iñaki Isasi (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4:53

144. Gianpaolo Mondini (I) Domina Vacanze, at 4:54

145. Stefano Casagranda (I) Alessio, at 4:55

146. Bekim Christensen (Dk) CSC, at 5:14

147. Alberto Vinale (I) Alessio, at 5:15

148. Mariano Piccoli (I) Lampre, at 5:19

149. David De La Fuente (Sp) Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 5:20

150. José Garcia Acosta (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 5:28

151. Steven De Jongh (Nl) Rabobank, at 5:36

152. Simone Masciarelli (I) Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 5:42

153. José Maestre (Sp) Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 5:44

154. Angelo Furlan (I) Alessio, at 5:52

155. Filippo Simeoni (I) Domina Vacanze, at 6:10

156. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank, at 6:13

157. Thorsten Rund (G) Bianchi, at 6:22

158. Michael Sandstod (Dk) CSC, at 6:48

159. Rafael Casero (Sp) Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 7:11

Overall standings after one helluva stage
1. Roberto Heras (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 65:40:33

2. Isidro Nozal (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, at 0:23

3. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 2:25

4. Igor Glez. Galdeano (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, at 3:27

5. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 4:47

6. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 5:51

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

8. Felix Cardenas (Col), Labarca-2 Cafe, at 6:33

9. Unai Osa (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 6:51

10. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, at 7:56

11. Santos Gonzalez (Sp), Domina Vacanze, at 9:08

12. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 9:52

13. Michele Scarponi (I), Domina Vacanze, at 10:13

14. Marcos Serrano (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, at 12:51

15. Félix Garcia Casas (Sp), Bianchi, at 14:18

16. Txema Del Olmo (Sp), Milaneza – MSS, at 14:38

17. Oscar Pereiro (Sp), Phonak, at 17:05

18. Iker Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 18:31

19. Guido Trentin (I), Cofidis, at 29:34

20. José Jufre (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 33:30

21. Dario Frigo (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 39:35

22. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), Cofidis, at 41:18

23. Leonardo Piepoli (I), iBanesto.com, at 46:45

24. Manuel Calvente (Sp), CSC, at 47:54

25. Aitor Osa (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 49:39

26. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, at 56:51

27. Christian Werner (G), Telekom, at 1:00:48

28. Joan Horrach (Sp), Milaneza – MSS, at 1:02:00

29. David Etxebarria (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:04:47

30. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 1:06:52

31. Alberto Martinez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:07:29

32. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, at 1:09:41

33. Klaus MÖller (Dk), Milaneza – MSS, at 1:10:24

34. José Gutierrez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 1:11:09

35. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 1:12:21

36. Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Domina Vacanze, at 1:13:44

37. Kyryl Pospyeyev (Ukr), Domina Vacanze, at 1:17:42

38. Gorka Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:18:28

39. Gonçalo Amorim (P), Milaneza – MSS, at 1:19:54

40. Pedro Cardoso (P), Milaneza – MSS, at 1:30:39

41. Carlos Torrent (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 1:35:10

42. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 1:37:32

43. Jose Luis Rebollo (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 1:41:57

44. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak, at 1:45:58

45. Benjamín Noval (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 1:47:13

46. David Latasa (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 1:49:39

47. David Lopez (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe, at 1:50:59

48. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 1:54:06

49. Cristian Moreni (I), Alessio, at 1:54:56

50. Denis Lunghi (I), Alessio, at 1:55:10

51. Mario Aerts (B), Telekom, at 2:00:48

52. Francisco Vila (Sp), Lampre, at 2:00:53

53. David CaÑada (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 2:00:53

54. Unai Etxebarria (Vz), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:01:29

55. Pablo Lastras (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 2:01:48

56. Juan Miguel Mercado (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 2:01:59

57. Jorge Ferrio (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 2:03:57

58. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Rabobank, at 2:04:12

59. Francisco José Lara (Sp), Bianchi, at 2:08:29

60. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:08:55

61. Santiago Blanco (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 2:09:40

62. Peter Luttenberger (A), CSC, at 2:09:42

63. José Luis Martinez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 2:10:21

64. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo, at 2:10:37

65. Fabian Jeker (Swi), Milaneza – MSS, at 2:12:02

66. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 2:12:58

67. Angel Vicioso (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, at 2:13:44

68. Renato Silva (P), Milaneza – MSS, at 2:13:56

69. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre, at 2:14:41

70. Angel Edo (Sp), Milaneza – MSS, at 2:15:18

71. David Navas (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 2:16:30

72. Erik Zabel (G), Telekom, at 2:19:28

73. Patrick Sinkewitz (G), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 2:21:36

74. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 2:22:18

75. Torsten Hiekmann (G), Telekom, at 2:23:55

76. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 2:25:01

77. Beat Zberg (Swi), Rabobank, at 2:29:30

78. Michael Barry (CAN), U.S. Postal Service, at 2:30:26

79. Giovanni Lombardi (I), Domina Vacanze, at 2:30:47

80. José Luis Rubiera (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 2:33:26

81. Benoit Joachim (Lux), U.S. Postal Service, at 2:34:04

82. Fabrizio Guidi (I), Bianchi, at 2:34:56

83. Juan José De Los Angeles (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, at 2:37:34

84. Carlos Golbano (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 2:38:46

85. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis, at 2:39:38

86. Rafael Casero (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 2:39:44

87. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, at 2:40:33

88. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak, at 2:40:40

89. Nacor Burgos (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 2:41:50

90. Angelo Lopeboselli (I), Cofidis, at 2:43:13

91. Joaquin Lopez (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 2:46:29

92. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:47:02

93. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 2:47:06

94. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 2:47:41

95. Bobby Julich (USA), Telekom, at 2:47:48

96. Francisco Cerezo (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe, at 2:47:55

97. Antonio Tauler (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 2:49:45

98. Gorka Arrizabalaga (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:50:04

99. Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre, at 2:52:37

100. Karsten Kroon (Nl), Rabobank, at 2:52:41

101. Stephan Schreck (G), Telekom, at 2:54:35

102. David Millar (GB), Cofidis, at 2:55:06

103. Serguei Ivanov (Rus), Fassa Bortolo, at 2:55:19

104. Raphael Schweda (G), Bianchi, at 2:55:57

105. Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz), Cofidis, at 2:56:34

106. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 3:00:22

107. Giampaolo Cheula (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 3:02:14

108. José Garcia Acosta (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 3:02:58

109. Oscar Laguna (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 3:03:31

110. Steffan Wesemann (G), Telekom, at 3:04:28

111. Cesar Garcia Calvo (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe, at 3:05:11

112. Alessandro Bertolini (I), Alessio, at 3:05:46

113. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 3:08:42

114. Addy Engels (Nl), Rabobank, at 3:08:55

115. Gustavo Otero (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe, at 3:11:24

116. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 3:12:42

117. Pedro Diaz Lobato (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, at 3:15:26

118. Filippo Simeoni (I), Domina Vacanze, at 3:16:54

119. Mikel Pradera (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, at 3:16:59

120. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 3:18:22

121. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Saeco, at 3:18:54

122. Aitor Garmendia (Sp), Bianchi, at 3:19:03

123. Jan Hruska (Cz), ONCE – Eroski, at 3:19:33

124. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 3:20:22

125. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre, at 3:21:28

126. Simone Masciarelli (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 3:22:33

127. Matthew White (Aus), U.S. Postal Service, at 3:22:38

128. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 3:23:31

129. Jörg Jaksche (G), ONCE – Eroski, at 3:24:13

130. Ivan Herrero (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe, at 3:24:33

131. Gianpaolo Mondini (I), Domina Vacanze, at 3:28:24

132. Paulo Barroso (P), Milaneza – MSS, at 3:28:57

133. Pietro Zucconi (Swi), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 3:29:05

134. Matteo Tosatto (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 3:29:13

135. Stefano Casagranda (I), Alessio, at 3:30:14

136. Bekim Christensen (Dk), CSC, at 3:31:00

137. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank, at 3:31:55

138. Ronald Mutsaars (Nl), Rabobank, at 3:33:12

139. Max Van Heeswijk (Nl), U.S. Postal Service, at 3:33:15

140. Gianluca Sironi (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 3:33:27

141. Thorsten Rund (G), Bianchi, at 3:34:21

142. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank, at 3:35:42

143. Simone Bertoletti (I), Lampre, at 3:36:44

144. Niki Aebersold (Swi), Phonak, at 3:38:58

145. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Phonak, at 3:38:59

146. Steven De Jongh (Nl), Rabobank, at 3:39:16

147. Igor Pugaci (MDA), Saeco, at 3:40:03

148. Christian Pepoli (I), Saeco, at 3:40:11

149. Thomas Bruun (Dk), CSC, at 3:44:56

150. Angelo Furlan (I), Alessio, at 3:47:30

151. Alberto Vinale (I), Alessio, at 3:48:16

152. Michael Sandstod (Dk), CSC, at 3:50:06

153. Guido Trenti (USA), Fassa Bortolo, at 3:50:07

154. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Lampre, at 3:50:29

155. Germán Nieto (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 3:51:51

156. David De La Fuente (Sp), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, at 3:53:23

157. Gonzalo Bayarri (Sp), Phonak, at 3:55:35

158. Francisco Gutierrez (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe, at 3:57:44

159. José Maestre (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 4:26:12

Points
1. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 152 Pts.

2. Erik Zabel (G), Telekom, 151 Pts.

3. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 135 Pts.

4. Felix Cardenas (Col), Labarca-2 Cafe, 123 Pts.

5. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, 99 Pts.

6. Isidro Nozal (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, 92 Pts.

7. Roberto Heras (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 83 Pts.

8. Unai Osa (Sp), iBanesto.com, 81 Pts.

9. Angel Edo (Sp), Milaneza – MSS, 70 Pts.

10. David Millar (GB), Cofidis, 69 Pts.

11. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 68 Pts.

12. Unai Etxebarria (Vz), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 67 Pts.

13. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 65 Pts.

14. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 65 Pts.

15. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 64 Pts.

16. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 64 Pts.

17. Igor Glez. Galdeano (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, 61 Pts.

18. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, 57 Pts.

19. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), iBanesto.com, 56 Pts.

20. Klaus MÖller (Dk), Milaneza – MSS, 55 Pts.

21. Dario Frigo (I), Fassa Bortolo, 53 Pts.

22. Pedro Diaz Lobato (Sp), Paternina – Costa De Almeria, 52 Pts.

23. Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Domina Vacanze, 52 Pts.

24. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 47 Pts.

25. David Etxebarria (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 42 Pts.