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Thursday’s EuroFile: Valverde takes over at Valencia; Big break at di Lucca; Planning for Het Volk

There was no stopping Alejandro Valverde (CV-Kelme) as he shot to his second win a row and into the overall leader’s jersey as he won a wet and messy stage into Sagunto to claim the third stage of the Tour of Valencia. Valverde timed his move perfectly, came off the fifth wheel and sprung to his third victory of the season. With the 10-second time bonus, he nudged ahead of Toni Colom (Illes Balears) by one second to take the leader’s jersey. “I have good form now and I want to take advantage of it,” said Valverde, who came across ahead of sprint specialists Isaac Galvez (Illes Balears) and

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By Andrew Hood

Photo: Graham Watson

There was no stopping Alejandro Valverde (CV-Kelme) as he shot to his second win a row and into the overall leader’s jersey as he won a wet and messy stage into Sagunto to claim the third stage of the Tour of Valencia.

Valverde timed his move perfectly, came off the fifth wheel and sprung to his third victory of the season. With the 10-second time bonus, he nudged ahead of Toni Colom (Illes Balears) by one second to take the leader’s jersey.

“I have good form now and I want to take advantage of it,” said Valverde, who came across ahead of sprint specialists Isaac Galvez (Illes Balears) and Angel Edo (Milaneza-MSS). “It wasn’t an easy finish with many traffic circles but my team is riding well right now. Tomorrow is a difficult day, so if I’m not riding well maybe someone else from my team can take over.”

Photo: Graham Watson

The race early on was animated by an escape featuring nine riders, including Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) and Aldofo Garcia Quesda (CV-Kelme), which built up a lead topping 5 minutes at 100km. Cold wind and rain pelted the group as they hit the Cat. 2 Alto de Oronet and the main bunch got within two minutes thanks to hard driving by Phonak and Illes Balears. It comes back together at 183km and several riders tried to escape in vain in the final kilometers, including former U.S. Postal rider Matthew White (Cofidis).

Colom came through 11th but lost out on the time bonuses to forfeit the lead he’s held since winning the opening stage. CV-Kelme’s David Blanco sits third overall.

“Valverde obviously is flying right now so there’s no stopping him,” Colom said. “We’re going to keep fighting and tomorrow’s stage will help settle matters.”

The race continues Friday with the 159km fourth stage from Sagunto to the summit finish atop the Cat. 1 Alto de Campello.

62nd Volta a Communidad Valenciana
Stage 3, Calpe to Puerto de Sagunto

1. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), CV-Kelme, 197km in 4:43:25
2. Isaac Galvez (Sp), Illes Balears
3. Angel Edo (Sp), Milaneza-MSS
4. Josu Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel
5. David Blanco (Sp), CV-Kelme, all same time33. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Liberty Seguros, at 0:04Overall standings after three stages
1. Valverde, 11:45:29
2. Toni Colom (Sp), Illes Balears, at 0:01
3. Blanco, at 0:02
4. Jose Alberto Martinez (Sp), Relax-Bodysol, at 0:14
5. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, s.t.70. Vande Velde, at 12:38

Bertolini takes over in Lucca
Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio-Bianchi) won Thursday’s third stage of the Tour of Lucca in Italy. Bertolini was part of a breakaway that tore away from the main bunch in the stage over the Tuscan hills outside of Lucca.

Officially, only 18 riders were classified, with the rest either not finishing or finishing beyond the time limit. Race judges are deciding on whether or not to include the rest of the field in the final stage Friday.

Giro della Provincia di Lucca, Stage 3
For full stage results, click here
1. Alessandro Bertolini (I), Alessio-Bianchi
2. Thomas Ziegler (G), Gerolsteiner, at 1:51
3. Matteo Tossato (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 2:54
4. Vladimir Moholevic (Cro), Alessio-Bianchi, at 2:58
5. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, at 3:02Overall standings after 3 stages
1. Bertolini 12:52:13
2. Ziegler, at 1:51
3. Tossato, at 2:54
4. Moholevic, at 2:58
5. Sorensen, at 3:02

Saeco putting on finishing touches
Team Saeco have a busy two days of racing lined up in Belgium and Switzerland at the weekend with riders competing in Belgium and Switzerland.The trip to Flanders will be very important for the team with directeur sportif Guido Bontempi in charge of the classics riders for the traditional Belgian season opener Het Volk on Saturday and then Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday.Het Volk will be an important race for Dario Pieri one of the favorites for the cobbled classics in April, after his second place behind Peter Van Petegem in Paris-Roubaix last year. Pieri was second in the Tour of Flanders in 2000 and so will also be studying the Flanders course as he gets ready for the Tour of Flanders.Alongside Pieri, Team Saeco will also have an in-form Gabriele Balducci, Giosuè Bonomi, Jorg Ludewig, Salvatore Commesso, Antonio Bucciero and Stefano Casagranda.In Switzerland directeur sportif Bruno Vicino will lead a team in Saturday’s GP Chiasso and then in Sunday’s GP Lugano.In both races Team Saeco will field a powerful team with Gilberto Simoni, Mirko Celestino, Damiano Cunego, Gerrit Glomser, Leonardo Bertagnolli, David Loosli Andreas Matzbacher and Evgeni Petrov. The eighth rider will be Sylwester Szmyd at the GP Chiasso and Nicola Gavazzi at the GP Lugano.Stages announced for Languedoc-Roussillon
Race organizers announced the stages Thursday for the first Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon race set for May. The race replaces the Midi Libre event which wasn’t held last year due to financial problems.Stages
May 19, Stage 1: Maury – Port-Vendres (Pyrenees-Orientales), 168km
May 20, Stage 2: Port-Leucate – Narbonne (Aude), 195km
May 21, Stage 3: Ganges (Hèrault) – Aigues-Mortes (Gard), 180km
May 22, Stage 4: Pont-du-Gard (Gard) – Mende (Lozére), 180km
May 23, Stage 5: Florac (Lozére) – Ste (Hèrault), 209 km
Knaven won’t start Het Volk
Servais Knaven will not start Saturday’s Omloop Het Volk, his Quick Step team reported Thursday. The winner of the Tour de France 2003 stage into Bordeaux has been suffering with the flu and a sore throat.”I cannot take part to the Het Volk and probably I won’t be at the start of Kuurne – Bruxelles-Kuurne on Sunday,” he said. “Last year too, I got sick during the eve of the Het Volk. In the next days I hope to recover well for next big races.”The team announced Bram Tankink will replace Knaven.Het Volk start listQuick Step
1 Johan Museeuw (Bel)
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita)
3 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hon)
4 Tom Boonen (Bel)
5 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel)
6 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel)
7 Bram Tankink (Ned)
8 Stefano Zanini (Ita)Lotto-Domo
11 Peter Van Petegem (Bel)
12 Robbie McEwen (Aus)
13 Nico Eeckhout (Bel)
14 Hans De Clercq (Bel)
15 Serge Baguet (Bel)
16 Leon van Bon (Ned)
17 Wim Vansevenant (Bel)
18 Aart Vierhouten (Ned)
Chocolade Jacques-Wincor-Nixdorf
21 Igor Abakoumov (Bel)
22 Bert Hiemstra (Ned)
23 Jans Koerts (Ned)
24 Gerben Löwik (Ned)
25 Chris Peers (Bel)
26 Jan Van Velzen (Ned)
27 Geert Verheyen (Bel)
28 Bart Voskamp (Bel)Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
31 Tom Steels (Bel)
32 Jacky Durand (Fra)
33 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita)
34 Geert Van Bondt (Bel)
35 Tony Bracke (Bel)
36 Ludo Dierckxens (Bel)
37 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
38 Ludovic Capelle (Bel)
Mr Bookmaker-Palmans-Collstrop
41 Johan Coenen (Bel)
42 Andy De Smet (Bel)
43 Roger Hammond (GBr)
44 Geert Omloop (Bel)
45 Jo Planckaert (Bel)
46 Erwin Thijs (Bel)
47 Kristof Trouvé (Bel)
48 Michel Van Haecke (Bel)Vlaanderen-T-Interim
51 Paul Van Hyfte (Bel)
52 Geoffrey Demeyere (Bel)
53 Jan Kuyckx (Bel)
54 Wim Van Huffel (Bel)
55 David Meys (Bel)
56 Jehudi Schoonacker (Bel)
57 Wesley Van Speybroeck (Bel)
58 Frederik Willems (Bel)
61 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita)
62 Paolo Bossoni (Ita)
63 Mateo Carrara (Ita)
64 Alessandro Ballan (Ita)
65 Andrej Hauptman (Slo)
66 Samuele Marzoli (Ita)
67 Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita)
68 Romans Vainsteins (Lat)Fassa Bortolo
71 Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
72 Francesco Chicchi (Ita)
73 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa)
74 Kim Kirchen (Lux)
75 Alberto Ongarato (Ita)
76 Roberto Petito (Ita)
77 Guido Trenti (USA)
78 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel)
81 Gabriele Balducci (Ita)
82 Giosuè Bonomi (Ita)
83 Antonio Bucciero (Ita)
84 Stefano Casagrande (Ita)
85 Paolo Fornaciara (Ita)
86 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita)
87 Jörg Ludewig (Ger)
88 Dario Pieri (Ita)Alessio-Bianchi
91 Bo Allan Andresen (Den)
92 Magnus Backstedt (Swe)
93 Fabio Baldato (Ita)
94 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe)
95 Ruslan Ivanov (Mol)
96 Angelo Furlan (Ita)
97 Cristian Moreni (Ita)
98 Scott Sunderland (Aus)
AG2R Prevoyance
101 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)
102 Laurent Brochard (Fra)
103 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra)
104 Stéphane Berges (Fra)
105 Andy Flckinger (Fra)
106 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr)
107 Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra)
108 Erki Pütsep (Est)Credit Agricole
111 Stéphane Auge (Fra)
112 Julian Dean (NZl)
113 Sébastien Hinault (Fra)
114 Thor Hushovd (Nor)
115 Lilian Jegou (Fra)
116 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz)
117 Damien Nazon (Fra)
118 Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
121 Jimmy Casper (Fra)
122 Arnaud Coyot (Fra)
123 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra)
124 Peter Farazijn (Bel)
125 Stuart O’Grady (Aus)
126 Hayden Roulston (Nzl)
127 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel)
128 Janek Tombak (Est)
131 Freddy Bichot (Fra)
132 Baden Cooke (Aus)
133 Bernhard Eisel (Aut)
134 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra)
135 Christophe Mengin (Fra)
136 Fabien Sanchez (Fra)
137 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra)
138 Matthew Wilson (Aus)
Brioches La Boulangere
141 Franck Bouyer (Fra)
142 Anthony Charteau (Fra)
143 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra)
144 Anthony Geslin (Fra)
145 Christophe Kern (Fra)
146 Rony Martias (Fra)
147 Alexandre Naulleau (Fra)
148 Franck Renier (Fra)T-Mobile Team
151 Mario Aerts (Bel)
152 Rolf Aldag (Ger)
153 Serguei Ivanov (Rus)
154 Andreas Klier (Ger)
155 Daniele Nardello (Ita)
156 Jan Schaffrath (Ger)
157 Stephan Schreck (Ger)
158 Steffen Wesemann (Ger)
Team CSC
161 Frank Hoj (Den)
162 Jimmi Madsen (Den)
163 Lars Michaelsen (Den)
164 Michael Sandstöd (Den)
165 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den)
166 Tristan Hoffman (Ned)
167 Vladimir Goussev (Rus)
168 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr)US Postal-Berry Floor
171 Antonio Cruz (USA)
172 Stijn Devolder (Bel)
173 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus)
174 Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
175 George Hincapie (USA)
176 Benoît Joachim (Lux)
177 Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus)
178 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned)
181 Steven De Jongh (Ned)
182 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned)
183 Matthew Hayman (Aus)
184 Robert Hunter (RSA)
185 Karsten Kroon (Ned)
186 Roy Sentjens (Ned)
187 Bobbie Traksel (Ned)
188 Marc Wauters (Bel)Bankgiroloterij
191 Lars Ytting Bak (Den)
192 Marco Bos (Ned)
193 Addy Engels (Ned)
194 Allan Johansen (Den)
195 Jorgen Bo Petersen (Den)
196 Matthé Pronk (Ned)
197 Remco Van der Ven (Ned)
198 Eelke Van der Wal (Ned)
201 Rojo Nacor Burgos (Spa)
202 Cabre Xavier Florencio (Spa)
203 Nico Mattan (Bel)
204 Bert Roesems (Bel)
205 Sébastien Rosseler (Bel)
206 James Vanlandschoot (Bel)
207 Johan Van Summeren (Bel)
208 Preben Van Hecke (Bel)Phonak Hearing Systems
211 Daniele Bennati (Ita)
212 Oscar Camenzind (Swi)
213 Martin Elmiger (Swi)
214 Bert Grabsch (Ger)
215 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra)
216 Uros Murn (Slo)
217 Grégory Rast (Swi)
218 Johann Tschopp (Swi)

Photo Gallery


Giro della Provincia di Lucca, Stage 3
1. Alessandro Bertolini (I), ALB, 4:11:58
2. Thomas Ziegler (G), Gerolsteiner, at 1:47
3. Matteo Tosatto (I), Fassa Bortolo, 2:48
4. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), ALB, 2:48
5. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, 2:52
6. Gabriele Balducci (I), Saeco, 3:15
7. Emanuele Sella (I), Ceramiche Panaria-Margres, 3:48
8. Nicola Gavazzi (I), Saeco, 6:11
9. Kyrylo Pospyeyev (Ukr), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe. 6:34
10. Oscar Pozzi (I), Tenax, 8:02
11. Francesco Secchiari (I), Domina Vacanze, 8:20
12. Elio Aggiano (I), LPR, 8:24
13. Florent Brard (F), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo, 8:29
14. Pavel Tonkov (Rus), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 8:31
15. Nicolas Vogondy (F),, 8:33
16. Przemyslaw Niemec (Pol), Miche, 8:34
17. Igor Pugaci (MDA), De-Nardi, 13:02
18. Dean Podgornik (SLO), Tenax, 16:16


Giuseppe Palumbo (I), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe
Crescenzo D’Amore (I), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe
Andrea Ferrigato (I), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe
Bo Hamburger Dk , Acqua & Sapone – Caffe
Ruggero Marzoli (I), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe
Rinaldo Nocentini (I), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe
Gerhard Trampusch A , Acqua & Sapone – Caffe
Pietro Caucchioli (I), Alessio – Bianchi

Franco Pellizotti (I), Alessio – Bianchi
Andrea Noe’ (I), Alessio – Bianchi
Ellis Rastelli (I), Alessio – Bianchi
Andrea Tafi (I), Alessio – Bianchi
Stefano Ciuffi (I), Amore & Vita
Ivan Fanelli (I), Amore & Vita
Jamie Burrow (GB) , Amore & Vita
Kjell Carlstrom (Fin), Amore & Vita
Mateusz Mroz (Pol), Amore & Vita
Jonas Ljungblad (S), Amore & Vita
Giuliano Figueras (I), Ceramiche Panaria-Margres
Luca Mazzanti (I), Ceramiche Panaria-Margres
Paolo Lanfranchi (I), Ceramiche Panaria-Margres
Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr), Ceramiche Panaria-Margres
Scott Davis (Aus), Ceramiche Panaria-Margres
Andoni Aranga Azkune Sp , Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo
Ardila Cano Mauricio Alberto Col , Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo
Raivis Belohvosciks Lat , Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo
Dave Bruylandts (B), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo
Jurgen Van De Walle (B), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo
Zbigniew Piatek (Pol), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo
Maxim Rudenko (Ukr), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo
Gonzalez Martinez Freddy Exc Col , Colombia Selle-Italia
Perez Arango Marlon Alirio Col , Colombia Selle-Italia
Ruber Alveiro Marin Col , Colombia Selle-Italia
Huberlino Mesa Estepa Col , Colombia Selle-Italia
Raffaele Illiano (I), Colombia Selle-Italia
Leonardo Scarselli (I), Colombia Selle-Italia
Serhiy Honchar (Ukr), De-Nardi
Simone Cadamuro (I), De-Nardi
Graziano Gasparre (I), De-Nardi
Leonardo Giordani (I), De-Nardi
Michele Gobbi (I), De-Nardi
Mirco Lorenzetto (I), De-Nardi
Devis Miorin (I), De-Nardi
Mario Cipollini (I), Domina Vacanze
Gabriele Colombo (I), Domina Vacanze
Martin Derganc (Slo), Domina Vacanze
Gian Matteo Fagnini (I), Domina Vacanze
Alessio Galletti (I), Domina Vacanze
Massimiliano Mori (I), Domina Vacanze
Mario Scirea (I), Domina Vacanze
Dario David Cioni (I), Fassa Bortolo
Massimo Codol (I), Fassa Bortolo
Dario Frigo (I), Fassa Bortolo
Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo
Filippo Pozzato (I), Fassa Bortolo
Fabio Sacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo
Marco Velo (I), Fassa Bortolo
Sandy Casar (F),
Carlos Dacruz (F),
Nicolas Fritsch (F),
Philippe Gilbert (B),
Mark Renshaw (Aus),
Robin Jean-Cyril (F),
Giuseppe Di Grande (I), Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave
Jure Golcer (Slo), Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave
Bostjan Mervar (Slo), Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave
Sulpizi Giuliano (I), Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave
Robert Forster G , Gerolsteiner
Uwe Hardter G , Gerolsteiner
Danilo Hondo G , Gerolsteiner
Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner
Marcus Fothen G , Gerolsteiner
Georg Totschnig A , Gerolsteiner
Jan Svorada (Cz), Lampre
Wladimir Belli (I), Lampre
Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre
Vila Errandonea Francisco Ja Sp , Lampre
Daniele Righi (I), Lampre
Marco Pinotti (I), Lampre
Simone Bertoletti (I), Lampre
Santo Anza (I), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago
Sergiy Adyeyev (Ukr), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago
Lorenzo Bernucci (I), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago
Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago
Cristian Gasperoni (I), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago
Yuri Mitlushenko (Ukr), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago
Sereiy Lagutin UZB , Landbouwkrediet – Colnago
Ruslan Gryschenko (Ukr), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago
Christophe Brandt (B), Lotto-Domo
Axel Merckx (B), Lotto-Domo
Ief Verbrugghe (B), Lotto-Domo
Rik Verbrugghe (B), Lotto-Domo
Piotr Wadecki (Pol), Lotto-Domo
Maurizio Varini (I), MIE
Fabio Borghesi (I), MIE
Dmitri Semov (Rus), MIE
Balazs Rohtmer Hun , MIE
Antonio D’Aniello (I), MIE
Massimiliano Martella (I), MIE
Leonardo Caneschi (I), MIE
Danilo Di Luca (I), Saeco
Paolo Fornaciari (I), Saeco
Alessandro Spezialetti (I), Saeco
Eddy Mazzoleni (I), Saeco
Andrea Tonti (I), Saeco
Andrea Peron (I), CSC
Bekim Christensen Dk , CSC
Fabrizio Guidi (I), CSC
Frank Schleck Lux , CSC
Brian Vandborg Dk , CSC
Manuel Calvente Gorbas Sp , CSC
Michele Bartoli (I), CSC
Massimo Boglia (I), LPR
Angelo Lopeboselli (I), LPR
Daniele Contrini (I), LPR
Daniele Masolino (I), LPR
Andrei Karpatchev (Rus), LPR
Radoslav Rogina (Cro), Tenax
Kristjan Fajt (Slo), Tenax
Daniele Pietropolli (I), Tenax
Nicola Loda (I), Tenax
Zoran Klemencic (Slo), Tenax
Stefano Garzelli (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola
Marco Zanotti (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola
Dario Andriotto (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola
Oscar Mason (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola
Andrea Masciarelli (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola
Simone Masciarelli (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola
Marco Milesi (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola