Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Vuelta a Espana

2008 Vuelta a España: Live Updates – Stage 20

01:22 PM: Good day and welcometo VeloNews.com's Live Coverage of the 20th stage of the 2008 Vuelta a España, a 17.1-kilometer individual time trial from La Granja de San Ildefonso to the summit of the Category 1 Puerto de Navacerrada.Riders will be leaving the starting house beginning at 2:45 p.m. We have posted a complete list of riders and their departure times: www.velonews.com/article/83409

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

  • 01:22 PM: Good day and welcome

    to VeloNews.com’s Live Coverage of the 20th stage of the 2008 Vuelta a España, a 17.1-kilometer individual time trial from La Granja de San Ildefonso to the summit of the Category 1 Puerto de Navacerrada.

    Riders will be leaving the starting house beginning at 2:45 p.m. We have posted a complete list of riders and their departure times: www.velonews.com/article/83409

    This could be the most decisive stage of the Vuelta’s final week, either allowing Alberto Contador to secure his overall victory of this grand tour, or opening the door of opportunity to his closest challengers, one of whom could be his own Astana teammate, Levi Leipheimer.

    We will be closely following the progress of the the top contenders today, foregoing the opportunity to track all 131 riders.

    Most riders will be leaving the start house at one-minute intervals, but that will change for the final 20 riders, who will start at two-minute intervals:
    110. Rinaldo Nocentini Ag2r-La Mondiale, departs at 4:34
    111. Andreas Klöden Astana, departs at 4:35
    112. Sandy Casar Française Des Jeux, departs at 4:36
    113. Javier Moreno Bazán Andalucia-Cajasur, departs at 4:38
    114. John Gadret Ag2r-La Mondiale, departs at 4:40
    115. David Arroyo Caisse d’Epargne, departs at 4:42
    116. Jurgen Van Goolen Team CSC-Saxo Bank, departs at 4:44
    117. Juan Manuel Garate Quick Step, departs at 4:46
    118. David García Dapena Xacobeo-Galicia, departs at 4:48
    119. Nicolas Roche Credit Agricole, departs at 4:50
    120. Marzio Bruseghin Lampre, departs at 4:52
    121. Daniel Moreno Fernández Caisse d’Epargne, departs at 4:54
    122. Oliver Zaugg Gerolsteiner, departs at 4:56
    123. David Moncoutie Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone, departs at 4:58
    124. Egoi Martínez Euskaltel-Euskadi, departs at 5:00
    125. Joaquín Rodríguez Oliver Caisse d’Epargne, departs at 5:02
    126. Alejandro Valverde Caisse d’Epargne, departs at 5:04
    127. Robert Gesink Rabobank, departs at 5:06
    128. Ezequiel Mosquera Xacobeo-Galicia, departs at 5:08
    129. Carlos Sastre Team CSC-Saxo Bank, departs at 5:10
    130. Levi Leipheimer Astana, departs at 5:12
    131. Alberto Contador Astana, departs at 5:14

  • 01:45 PM: Drop us a line

    If you have a question, a comment or even a complaint, feel free to hit the Contact our editors link below the Live Update Window.

    We promise to read them all, answer as many as we can and even post a few during today’s coverage.

  • 03:31 PM: Today’s route

    The opening 10km are up false flats as the road parallels the range out of San Ildefonso, summer palace of the Bourbon kings of Spain.

    The road then turns upward and winds through impressive pine forests that should protect the riders from sun and wind before hitting the more-exposed ridgeline to the summit.

    Officials say it should take about 36 minutes to climb the entire route, but Contador is one who will likely go a little faster than that.

    “We’re finally at the decisive day,” Contador said. “I know the road well as I raced and trained on it often. I will have a lot of family and friends, so that will give me extra motivation. I have a lead of 1:17 and that should be enough, but maybe I can even add to it a little bit.”

    Could Leipheimer overcome Contador to win? That’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened in the Vuelta.

    Leipheimer also knows the climb fairly well, having won the Clásica de los Puertos on the same road a week before the Vuelta started.

    “I think the biggest gaps of all the Vuelta will come on that stage,” Leipheimer said about the time trial. “It’s not all uphill. The first 10km are up gradual, rolling roads to get to the base of the real climb. I know that climb pretty well. I’ve been up it quite a few times.”

  • 03:46 PM: Riders on route

    Competitors have been on the road since 2:45 and we’re beginning to get some idea how times will shape up today. As we said, the prediction is that the course should take about 36 minutes to cover.

    There is a time check at nine kilometers and another at 12km. Kevin Van Impe (Quick Step) has the best time at nine, hitting that mark at 11:33. Dmitriy Murayev (Astana) hit the 12km mark at 20:42. Murayev has the best finishing time so far, too, hitting the line at 37:01. He now has just one stage of the Vuelta remaining.

  • 03:49 PM: Ignatiev

    Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff) is setting a good tempo on the course. He’s now the best at 12km, with a 19:53, but he trails Christophe Kern by six seconds at the finish.

    At the finish, the top times are shaping up:
    1. Christophe Kern (Credit Agricole) in 36:20
    2. Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff) at 0:06
    3. Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff) at 0:13
    4. Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre) at 0:15
    5. Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas) at 0:29

  • 04:00 PM: With 36 riders now finished

    the top times remain unchanged:
    1. Christophe Kern (Credit Agricole) in 36:20
    2. Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff) at 0:06
    3. Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff) at 0:13
    4. Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre) at 0:15
    5. Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas) at 0:29

  • 04:09 PM: The points leader

    of the Vuelta, Greg Van Avermaet, is now nearing the first time check.

    He looks set to take the points jersey, assuming he makes it to Madrid tomorrow:
    Overall Points
    1. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) Silence-Lotto 142 Points
    2. Alberto Contador (ESP) Astana 117 Points
    3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d’Epargne 113 Points
    4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 91 Points
    5. Larrea Koldo Fdez De (ESP) Euskaltel-Euskadi 74 Points
    6. Paolo Bettini (ITA) Quick Step 66 Points
    7. Sébastien Hinault (FRA) Credit Agricole 60 Points
    8. Joaquín Rodríguez Oliver (ESP) Caisse d’Epargne 60 Points
    9. Ezequiel Mosquera (ESP) Xacobeo – Galicia 57 Points
    10. Erik Zabel (GER) Milram 56 Points

  • 04:13 PM: With 47 riders finished

    The leader board has changed very little, with only Olivier Kaisen breaking in to the top five:
    1. Christophe Kern (Credit Agricole) in 36:20
    2. Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff) at 0:06
    3. Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff) at 0:13
    4. Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre) at 0:15
    5. Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto), at 0:25

  • 04:15 PM: Sebastian Lang

    has finished with the fifth-best time of the day, now 24 seconds off of the time set by Kern.

  • 04:16 PM: The bike choices

    the course poses an interesting choice for riders. With a flat opening stretch but a climb at the end, many riders are opting with straight road bikes with light wheels, as opposed to time trial rigs.

  • 04:24 PM: With 58 riders finished

    the leader board is beginning to evolve a bit:
    . Christophe Kern (Credit Agricole) in 36:20
    2. Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff) at 0:06
    3. Martin Velits (Milram), at 0:08
    4. Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff) at 0:13
    5. Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre) at 0:15

  • 04:27 PM: Today’s weather

    is quite nice. It’s warm, in the high 70s, and there is no real wind out there. Weather is not a factor in today’s stage and conditions are ideal for a time trial.

  • 04:28 PM: No change in the top five

    there are 66 riders across the line and the top five remain unchanged.

  • 04:35 PM: Starting times for the top riders

    Just a reminder of the scheduled start times for the top GC riders today:
    120. Marzio Bruseghin Lampre, departs at 4:52
    121. Daniel Moreno Fernández Caisse d’Epargne, departs at 4:54
    122. Oliver Zaugg Gerolsteiner, departs at 4:56
    123. David Moncoutie Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone, departs at 4:58
    124. Egoi Martínez Euskaltel-Euskadi, departs at 5:00
    125. Joaquín Rodríguez Oliver Caisse d’Epargne, departs at 5:02
    126. Alejandro Valverde Caisse d’Epargne, departs at 5:04
    127. Robert Gesink Rabobank, departs at 5:06
    128. Ezequiel Mosquera Xacobeo-Galicia, departs at 5:08
    129. Carlos Sastre Team CSC-Saxo Bank, departs at 5:10
    130. Levi Leipheimer Astana, departs at 5:12
    131. Alberto Contador Astana, departs at 5:14

  • 04:38 PM: Kloden

    is on the route. He’s riding his road bike, with small aero bar extensions.

  • 04:41 PM: New leaders

    Tinkoff’s Nikita Eskov came in with the top time and then he was almost immediately knocked out of the hot seat by Andalucia-Cajasur’s Jose Ruiz Sanchez.

  • 04:45 PM: The new top five



    1. Jose Ruiz Sanchez (Andalucia-Cajasur), 36:12
    2. Nikita Eskov (Tinkoff), 36:13
    3. Christophe Kern (Credit Agricole) in 36:20
    4. Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff) 36:26
    5. Martin Velits (Milram), 36:28

  • 04:46 PM: New leader

    Silence-Lotto’s Dominique Cornu has set a new best time at the finish.


    1. Dominique Cornu (Silence Lotto), 36:01
    2. Jose Ruiz Sanchez (Andalucia-Cajasur), 36:12
    3. Nikita Eskov (Tinkoff), 36:13
    4. Christophe Kern (Credit Agricole) in 36:20
    5. Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff) 36:26

  • 04:49 PM: Whoa

    Petrov has come through with a new top time 35:35.


    1. Evgeni Petrov (Tinkoff), 35:35
    2. Dominique Cornu (Silence Lotto), 36:01
    3. Jose Ruiz Sanchez (Andalucia-Cajasur), 36:12
    4. Nikita Eskov (Tinkoff), 36:13
    5. Christophe Kern (Credit Agricole) in 36:20

  • 04:52 PM: Ch, ch, ch, changes…

    …in the leader board.

    Okay, we have a new leader: Ruben Perez (Euskaltel) has set the new fastest time, covering the course in 35:15


    1. Ruben Perez (Euskaltel), 35:15
    2. Evgeni Petrov (Tinkoff), 35:35
    3. Dominique Cornu (Silence Lotto), 36:01
    4. Jose Ruiz Sanchez (Andalucia-Cajasur), 36:12
    5. Nikita Eskov (Tinkoff), 36:13

  • 04:55 PM: Kloden

    has set a new best time at the 12km mark.

  • 04:56 PM: Marzio Bruseghin

    is on route. He’s a strong time trialist and he’s won TT’s like this one before.

  • 04:59 PM: Moncoutie

    is on route. He has the KOM jersey and all he has to do is finish in Madrid tomorrow to win it.

  • 05:00 PM: Remaining riders

    124. Egoi Martínez Euskaltel-Euskadi, departs at 5:00
    125. Joaquín Rodríguez Oliver Caisse d’Epargne, departs at 5:02
    126. Alejandro Valverde Caisse d’Epargne, departs at 5:04
    127. Robert Gesink Rabobank, departs at 5:06
    128. Ezequiel Mosquera Xacobeo-Galicia, departs at 5:08
    129. Carlos Sastre Team CSC-Saxo Bank, departs at 5:10
    130. Levi Leipheimer Astana, departs at 5:12
    131. Alberto Contador Astana, departs at 5:14

  • 05:02 PM: The current top five

    1. Pérez Moreno, 35:15
    2. Petrov, at 20
    3. Kiryienka, at 41
    4. Cornu, at 46
    5. Grivko, at 57

  • 05:04 PM: Rodriguez

    is the first rider we’ve seen leave the start house with a disc wheel. We wonder what effect it will have on the hill.

  • 05:05 PM: Mikel Astarloza

    has broken into the top five, trailing his teammate by 29 seconds.

    Valverde is now on the road and the crowd is going wild for the national champion.

  • 05:06 PM: Valverde currently

    trails Robert Gesink by 11 seconds. He’s looking to break into the top five if he can make up those 11 seconds on the young Dutch rider.

  • 05:09 PM: Mosquera

    the fourth-placed GC man is on the road now. So Sastre, Leipheimer and Contador remain.

  • 05:11 PM: Sastre

    Carlos Sastre, the Tour de France champion, is on the road. He has a 54-second buffer on Mosquera. Can he hold it?

    Meanwhile Kloden has set the new high mark at the finish, with a 35:03.

  • 05:12 PM: Casar

    has come through with the second best time of the day is 35:16.

  • 05:12 PM: Leipheimer

    is on the road.

  • 05:13 PM: Leipheimer

    is riding a regular road bike with small aero extensions on his drop bars.

  • 05:15 PM: Top five at the finish

    1. Klöden 35:03
    2. Pérez Moreno 12
    3. Casar 14
    4. Petrov 32
    5. César Veloso 34

  • 05:15 PM: Contador

    is riding. We should have a good idea who will win the Vuelta within the next 35 minutes or so.

  • 05:21 PM: Mosquera

    hits the first time check with an 11:08, the 15th best of the day. Not great, but that’s the flat part and not his specialty.

  • 05:22 PM: Rodriguez

    made a bike switch, ridding himself of the TT rig and has a climbing bike. Interesting approach.

  • 05:23 PM: Whoa

    Sastre hit the time check with the third best time of the day, so he’s taken eight seconds out of Mosquera.

  • 05:24 PM: Valverde

    has blasted through the second time check with a time 22 seconds faster than Kloden’s.

  • 05:24 PM: Leipheimer

    has blasted through the first time check with a time of 10:32.

  • 05:26 PM: Contador

    hits the first time check with a time of 10:43, eleven seconds slower than Leipheimer. He’s still 1:06 ahead of Leipheimer on GC then.

  • 05:28 PM: That first time check

    1. Leipheimer, 10:32
    2. Contador, at 11
    3. Casar, at 21
    4. Valverde, at 23
    5. Sastre, at 24

  • 05:29 PM: Bruseghin

    Has set a new top time at the finish, with 34:37, 26 seconds better than Klöden.

  • 05:30 PM: Sastre at 12km

    has the second fastest time at the second time check. He is just 12 seconds off of Valverde’s time. Gesink, by the way, is 26 seconds back.

  • 05:31 PM: Leipheimer

    sets a new best time at the second time check, beating Valverde’s time by 34 seconds.

  • 05:33 PM: Contador

    reaches the second time check in a time 11 seconds slower than Leipheimer, the same difference that at 8km.

  • 05:35 PM: The times at 12km

    1. Leipheimer, 18:21
    2. Contador, at 0:11
    3. Valverde, at 0:34
    4. Sastre, at 0:42
    5. Mosquera, at 0:52

  • 05:37 PM: Moncoutie

    has the new best time at the finish. He shows that he is a deserving KOM winner. He put in a 34:15. Rodriguez, by the way, hit the line seven seconds behind that.

  • 05:39 PM: Valverde!

    finishes with a 33:37, so he’s the new leader.

    Gesink is coming up next. He needs to finish within 11 seconds to hold his place on GC.

  • 05:42 PM: The difference

    unofficially, Leipheimer is putting a little time into Contador, but only about 18 seconds.

    Meanwhile, Gesink has finished out of the time he needed to hold his spot on GC. Valverde has moved into the top five.

  • 05:43 PM: Mosquera

    comes through with a time of 34:21, 44 seconds behind Valverde, which is enough for him to hold his fourth place on GC.

    Sastre is coming in next.

  • 05:45 PM: Sastre saves his podium spot

    Sastre has a time of 34:08, good enough for second best, and to hold third place on GC. Leipheimer is up next.

  • 05:46 PM: Leipheimer!

    is charging through with a time of 33:06, 31 seconds faster than Valverde.

  • 05:47 PM: Contador is closing in on the finish

    He looks to have secured the overall win, but Leipheimer will take the stage.

  • 05:49 PM: Contador

    takes a time of 33:37, second place on the day, 31 seconds off of Leipheimer’s time, but he knows he’s won the Vuelta.

  • 05:51 PM: The final top five on the stage

    1. Levi Leipheimer (Astana), 33:06
    2. Alberto Contador (Astana), at 0:31
    3. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne), at 0:31
    4. Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank), at 1:02
    5. David Moncoutie (Cofidis), at 1:09

  • 05:52 PM: The overall standings.

    1. Alberto Contador (ESP) Astana, in 77:21:52
    2. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana, at 0:46
    3. Carlos Sastre (ESP) CSC, at 4:12
    4. Ezequiel Mosquera (ESP) Xacobeo – Galicia
    5. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d’Epargne

  • 05:56 PM: Well that was interesting.

    It looks like Alberto Contador – at the age of just 25 – will become only the fifth rider in the history of the sport to win all three grand tours and he’s poised to do it in the shortest time in history.

    Be sure to tune in tomorrow to see if he seals the deal.

    Be sure to check back in with VeloNews.com for results, a complete stage report from Andrew Hood and photos from Graham Watson.

    See you tomorrow.