Vuelta a Espana

Freire’s sprint appears unbeatable as Efimkin keeps Vuelta lead

With a few short weeks before the 2007 world championship road race, Oscar Freire (Rabobank) looks almost unbeatable in the sprint as he aims for his fourth rainbow jersey in Stuttgart on September 30. [nid:40358]The three-time world champ scored his second win in five days in Wednesday’s 157.4km fifth stage at the Vuelta a España with an explosive sprint that left the rest in the peloton shaking their heads in disbelief.

By Andrew Hood

Freire beats two stage winners on his way to his second win of this Vuelta.

Freire beats two stage winners on his way to his second win of this Vuelta.

Photo: Agence France Presse

With a few short weeks before the 2007 world championship road race, Oscar Freire (Rabobank) looks almost unbeatable in the sprint as he aims for his fourth rainbow jersey in Stuttgart on September 30.

Can he keep this up throughout September? A lot of sprinters are hoping he can't.

Can he keep this up throughout September? A lot of sprinters are hoping he can’t.

Photo: Graham Watson

The three-time world champ scored his second win in five days in Wednesday’s 157.4km fifth stage at the Vuelta a España with an explosive sprint that left the rest in the peloton shaking their heads in disbelief.

Freire uncorked a perfectly timed sprint up the right side of the road to bolt past Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital) and defending world champion Paolo Bettini (QuickStep-Innergetic). Those are the only two who have won sprints in this year’s Vuelta besides Freire and the Spaniard appeared to have little trouble dispatching both in his charge to the line.

“Freire is very fast right now,” said Bettini, who beat Freire into Luarca on Monday. “If he’s this fast at the world’s, he’ll be tough to beat. His speed is impressive.”

There were no major shakeups in the overall standings as overnight leader Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d’Epargne) enjoyed his first full day in the leader’s jersey following his solo victory Tuesday at Lagos de Covadonga.

Freire had to suffer up the Cat. 1 Puerto de la Palombera with 21km to go to stay with the main pack to have a chance at fighting it out in a sprint.

The Vuelta left the Asturias region Wednesday

The Vuelta left the Asturias region Wednesday

Photo: Graham Watson

A two-man adventure was reeled in when Karsten Kroon (CSC) was neutralized with 4km to go in a sunny, yet windy day across northern Spain to set up the Vuelta’s fourth sprint in five days.

Freire, who hails from nearby Torrelavega, had extra motivation with his baby, Marcos, waiting at the finish line decked out in a Rabobank team jersey.

“I believed in victory all day long. I tried to get into a breakaway early because I thought it was a good day for a move, but there was too much headwind,” Freire said. “I really suffered up the final climb, but I knew if I could make it up with the leaders, I’d have a good chance. My legs weren’t as fresh as the other day because of that climb.”

Freire is focused on hitting peak form for what would be a record fourth world’s title if he can manage the win in Stuttgart.

The Spanish speedster has missed the past two world’s, however, due to injuries. In 2005, it was because of complications from surgery to remove a nasty saddle sore and last year he was sidelined with complications from physiotherapy that caused him to be dizzy and headaches.

This year, Freire pulled out early from the Tour de France after another saddle sore flared up and caused more discomfort.

Rather than risk surgery or allow it to fester and become worse, Freire took a full week off the bike. That week proved decisive as he’s now been able to prepare with tranquility for the world title.

Near the start in Cangas de Onís

Photo: Graham Watson

“The saddle sore hardened up and since then it hasn’t caused me any problems,” Freire said. “I don’t want to risk another surgery, now or next year. Now I’m preparing exclusively for the world’s and I will not arrive to Madrid, even if I am leading the points category. I would like to win another stage, though.”

Kroon caught
The Vuelta’s fifth stage started under brilliantly sunny skies in Cangas de Onís, a bustling tourist town that serves as a departure point for excursions into nearby Picos de Europa National Park and kayak trips down the frothy Sella River.

Once again, good crowds turned out to watch the stage kickoff, with Discovery Channel losing its second rider after Sergio Paulinho didn’t take the start.

“The Vuelta route this year is perfect and we’ve seen really nice crowds every day,” said Chris Horner (Predictor-Lotto), making the second Vuelta start of his career. “Last year, we were out in the desert on these wide-open roads and we hardly saw any fans at all. This year is very good with the fans. That gives you motivation to suffer more when you know someone is watching.”

With three steep Cat. 2 climbs in the opening 100km, everyone expected another breakaway to make a shot for victory. The peloton wasn’t about to let anyone get too far off the front today, however, and kept a high pace to squelch several early attempts.

Kroon gets off the front on the penultimate climb.

Kroon gets off the front on the penultimate climb.

Photo: Graham Watson

Nothing stuck over the first two Cat. 2s as local rider David de la Fuente – who hails from the finishing town of Reinosa – led the way over the second of the Cat. 2 trio at the La Collada de Ozalba at 88km.

A 12-man escape started to gel on the Ozalba, but quickly disintegrated under pressure from Rabobank. Finally, Karsten Kroon (CSC) and Angel Gomez Gomez (Saunier Duval-Prodir) managed to extract themselves at 100km.

The day’s main obstacle was the Cat. 1 Alto de la Palombera at 136km. Gomez Gomez faded just as his Saunier Duval teammate Jose Angel Gomez Marchante bolted out of the main pack.

Rabobank was setting a brutal pace up the long, 20km climb, but Marchante was able to open up some gaps on the otherwise tranquil favorites cautiously marking the rhythm at the front.

Gomez Marchante gives chase, but was reeled in.

Gomez Marchante gives chase, but was reeled in.

Photo: Graham Watson

“It was a longshot, but my legs felt better today than they did on Covadonga, so I thought I’d stick my nose out there,” said Marchante, 16th overall at 2:23 back. “I thought if I could bridge out to Kroon, we could work together to arrive to the finish and maybe get some time back. There was a lot of wind and the peloton wasn’t going to let me go.”

Kroon put up the good fight, soloing over the Cat. 1 with 45 seconds to the chasing Marchante and 1:23 on the peloton. Marchante was soon swept up and Kroon was reeled in with 4km to go.

“I was 20 seconds too late. I felt great all day and I think if I had a little more time over the summit, I could have made it,” Kroon said. “There was too much wind on the final kilometers to make it alone. It’s too bad, I really felt strong. It was a good ride.”

The sprinter teams shut the door on any would-be adventurers to set up the Vuelta’s fourth sprint in five starts. Most expect more of the same Thursday.

62nd Vuelta a España, Stage 5, Cangas de Onís to Reinosa, 157.4kmWinner: Oscar Freire (Rabobank), 4h07:51, 38.104kphLeader Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d’Epargne)Mountain Serafín Martinez Acevedo (Karpin-Galicia)Points FreireCombined EfimkinTeam Caisse d’EpargnePeloton 183 riders remain
DNS Sergio Paulinho (Discovery Channel)
DNF Giovanni Bernaudeau (Bouygues Telecom); Remy Pauriol (Credit Agricole)Results
1. Óscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 4:07:51
2. Daniele Bennati (I), Lampre
3. Paolo Bettini (I), Quick Step-Innergetic
4. Philippe Gilbert (B), Francaise des Jeux
5. Erik Zabel (G), Milram
6. Leonardo Duque (Col), Cofidis
7. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Bouygues Telecom
8. Josep Jufre (Sp), Predictor-Lotto
9. Rene Mandri (Est), Ag2r Prevoyance
10. David GarcÍa (Sp), Karpin Galicia

Overall
1. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), Caisse d’Epargne, 20:10:41
2. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, 1:06
3. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 1:06
4. Maxime Monfort (B), Cofidis, 1:06
5. Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel Team, 1:06
6. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 1:06
7. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, 1:28
8. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Cofidis, 1:33
9. Ezequiel Mosquera (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 1:36
10. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I), Liquigas, 1:49
To see how today’s stage developed, simply CLICKHERE to open our Live Update Window.

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Results

Results Stage 5
1. Óscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 4:07:51

2. Daniele Bennati (I), Lampre

3. Paolo Bettini (I), Quick Step-Innergetic

4. Philippe Gilbert (B), Francaise Des Jeux

5. Erik Zabel (G), Milram

6. Leonardo Duque (Col), Cofidis

7. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Bouygues Telecom

8. Josep Jufré (Sp), Predictor-Lotto

9. Rene Mandri (Est), Ag2r Prevoyance

10. David García (Sp), Karpin Galicia

11. Alessandro Vanotti (I), Liquigas

12. Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr), Ag2r Prevoyance

13. Stefan Schumacher (G), Gerolsteiner

14. Dionisio Galparsoro (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

15. Scott Davis (Aus), T-Mobile

16. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Discovery Channel Team

17. Inaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

18. Samuel Sánchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

19. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto

20. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Credit Agricole

21. Michael Blaudzun (Dk), CSC

22. Roy Sentjens (B), Predictor-Lotto

23. Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2r Prevoyance

24. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile

25. Jérémy Roy (F), Francaise Des Jeux

26. Renaud Dion (F), Ag2r Prevoyance

27. Rubén Lobato (Sp), Saunier Duval

28. Manuel Beltrán (Sp), Liquigas

29. Bart Dockx (B), Predictor-Lotto

30. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Cofidis

31. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), CSC

32. Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel Team

33. Luis Pérez Rodríguez (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur

34. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank

35. Daniel Moreno (Sp), Relax GAM

36. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), Caisse d'Epargne

37. Alexander Kolobnev (Rus), CSC

38. Óscar Pereiro (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne

39. Mario Aerts (B), Predictor-Lotto

40. Bingen Fernández (Sp), Cofidis

41. Ezequiel Mosquera (Sp), Karpin Galicia

42. Hubert Dupont (F), Ag2r Prevoyance

43. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Caisse d'Epargne

44. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I), Liquigas

45. Iker Camaño (Sp), Saunier Duval

46. Mauricio Ardila (Col), Rabobank

47. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC

48. Luis León Sánchez (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne

49. Roman Kreuziger (Cz), Liquigas

50. Carlos Barredo (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic

51. Christophe Kern (F), Credit Agricole

52. Jason Mccartney (USA), Discovery Channel Team

53. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic

54. Stef Clement (Nl), Bouygues Telecom

55. Stéphane Goubert (F), Ag2r Prevoyance

56. Iñigo Landaluze (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

57. Maxime Monfort (B), Cofidis

58. David López (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne

59. Oliver Zaugg (Swi), Gerolsteiner

60. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre

61. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

62. Thomas Lövkvist (Swe), Francaise Des Jeux

63. Johannes Frölingher (G), Gerolsteiner

64. Chris Sörensen (Dk), CSC

65. Igor Antón (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

66. Andrea Tonti (I), Quick Step-Innergetic

67. Manuel Vázquez (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur

68. Jesús Hernández (Sp), Relax GAM

69. J. Ángel Gómez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval

70. Wim Van Huffel (B), Predictor-Lotto

71. Christopher Horner (USA), Predictor-Lotto

72. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner

73. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas

74. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), CSC

75. Andrea Moletta (I), Gerolsteiner

76. David Herrero (Sp), Karpin Galicia

77. Egoi Martínez (Sp), Discovery Channel Team

78. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Discovery Channel Team

79. Koos Moerenhout (Nl), Rabobank

80. Joost Posthuma (Nl), Rabobank

81. Morris Possoni (I), Lampre

82. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval

83. Giuseppe Guerini (I), T-Mobile

84. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre

85. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), CSC

86. José Ruiz Sánchez (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur

87. Joan Horrach (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne

88. Addy Engels (Nl), Quick Step-Innergetic

89. Martin Müller (G), Milram

90. Theo Eltink (Nl), Rabobank

91. Geert Verheyen (B), Quick Step-Innergetic

92. Paolo Tiralongo (I), Lampre

93. Sébastien Minard (F), Cofidis

94. Karsten Kroon (Nl), CSC, 2:25

95. Mauro Da Dalto (I), Liquigas, 5:58

96. F. José Martínez Pérez (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 5:58

97. José Luis Carrasco Gámiz (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 5:58

98. Geoffroy Lequatre (F), Cofidis, 5:58

99. Cyrille Monnerais (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 5:58

100. Juan Olmo (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 5:58

101. Mickael Delage (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 5:58

102. Marc De Maar (Nl), Rabobank, 5:58

103. Marco Velo (I), Milram, 5:58

104. Gustavo César (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 5:58

105. Julián Sánchez Pimienta (Sp), Relax GAM, 5:58

106. Adam Hansen (Aus), T-Mobile, 5:58

107. Torsten Hiekmann (G), Gerolsteiner, 5:58

108. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, 5:58

109. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, 5:58

110. Christian Vandevelde (USA), CSC, 5:58

111. Allan Davis (Aus), Discovery Channel Team, 5:58

112. Bert Grabsch (G), T-Mobile, 8:42

113. Eduard Vorganov (Rus), Karpin Galicia, 8:42

114. Manuel Ortega (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 8:42

115. Enrico Franzoi (I), Lampre, 8:42

116. Francisco Terciado (Sp), Relax GAM, 8:42

117. Damiano Cunego (I), Lampre, 8:42

118. Ángel Gómez Gómez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 8:42

119. Erki Pütsep (Est), Bouygues Telecom, 12:05

120. Alberto Ongarato (I), Milram, 12:05

121. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Milram, 12:05

122. Arkaitz Durán (Sp), Saunier Duval, 12:05

123. José Luis Rubiera (Sp), Discovery Channel Team, 12:05

124. Koldo Fernández (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 12:05

125. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval, 12:05

126. Stéphane Auge (F), Cofidis, 12:05

127. Gustavo Domínguez (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 12:05

128. Xabier Zandio (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 12:05

129. Davide Vigano (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, 12:05

130. Christophe Brandt (B), Predictor-Lotto, 16:16

131. Imanol Erviti (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 16:16

132. Raúl García De Mateos (Sp), Relax GAM, 16:16

133. Markus Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner, 17:01

134. Bert Roesems (B), Predictor-Lotto, 17:33

135. Niki Terpstra (Nl), Milram, 17:33

136. Nácor Burgos (Sp), Relax GAM, 17:33

137. Jesús Rosendo Prado (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 17:33

138. Fabio Sabatini (I), Milram, 17:33

139. Aitor Hernández (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 17:33

140. Matej Jurco (SVK), Milram, 17:33

141. Serafín Martínez Acevedo (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 17:33

142. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Rabobank, 17:33

143. Carlos Da Cruz (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 17:33

144. Aliaksandr Usau (Blr), Ag2r Prevoyance, 17:33

145. Santiago Pérez (Sp), Relax GAM, 17:33

146. Santos González (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 17:33

147. Damien Monier (F), Cofidis, 17:33

148. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole, 17:33

149. Francesco Chicchi (I), Liquigas, 17:33

150. Magnus Backstedt (Swe), Liquigas, 17:33

151. Angelo Furlan (I), Credit Agricole, 17:33

152. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Credit Agricole, 17:33

153. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Liquigas, 17:33

154. Claudio Corioni (I), Lampre, 17:33

155. Rony Martias (F), Bouygues Telecom, 17:33

156. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre, 17:33

157. Dimitri Champion (F), Bouygues Telecom, 17:33

158. Jussi Veikkanen (FIN), Francaise Des Jeux, 17:33

159. Tom Stamsnidjer (Nl), Gerolsteiner, 17:33

160. Carlos Castaño (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 17:33

161. André Korff (G), T-Mobile, 17:33

162. André Greipel (G), T-Mobile, 17:33

163. Jorge García Marín (Sp), Relax GAM, 17:33

164. J. Antonio López Gil (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 17:33

165. Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Bouygues Telecom, 17:33

166. Jean Marc Marino (F), Credit Agricole, 17:33

167. Javier Megías Leal (Sp), Saunier Duval, 17:33

168. Tim Klinger (G), Gerolsteiner, 17:33

169. Andreas Klier (G), T-Mobile, 17:33

170. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, 17:33

171. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Credit Agricole, 17:33

172. Sebastian Langeveld (Nl), Rabobank, 17:33

173. Philip Deignan (IRL), Ag2r Prevoyance, 17:33

174. Ian Mcleod (RSA), Francaise Des Jeux, 17:33

175. Ángel Vallejo (Sp), Relax GAM, 17:33

176. Alberto Fdez De La Puebla (Sp), Saunier Duval, 17:33

177. Alan Pérez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 17:33

178. Elia Rigotto (I), Milram, 17:33

179. Vincent Jerome (F), Bouygues Telecom, 17:33

180. Maryan Hary (F), Cofidis, 17:33

181. J. Vicente García Acosta (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 17:33

182. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Credit Agricole, 17:33

183. Bradley Mcgee (Aus), Francaise Des Jeux, 21:39

Overall Standings, after Stage 5
1. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), Caisse d'Epargne, 20:10:41

2. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, 1:06

3. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 1:06

4. Maxime Monfort (B), Cofidis, 1:06

5. Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel Team, 1:06

6. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 1:06

7. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, 1:28

8. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Cofidis, 1:33

9. Ezequiel Mosquera (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 1:36

10. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I), Liquigas, 1:49

11. Stéphane Goubert (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 1:54

12. Manuel Beltrán (Sp), Liquigas, 1:57

13. Óscar Pereiro (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 1:57

14. Chris Sörensen (Dk), CSC, 2:18

15. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas, 2:18

16. J. Ángel Gómez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval, 2:23

17. Samuel Sánchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:29

18. Igor Antón (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:30

19. Carlos Barredo (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic, 2:32

20. Josep Jufré (Sp), Predictor-Lotto, 2:49

21. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Caisse d'Epargne, 2:57

22. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre, 3:02

23. Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 3:05

24. Luis Pérez Rodríguez (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 3:11

25. David López (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 3:33

26. Dionisio Galparsoro (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3:33

27. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Discovery Channel Team, 3:51

28. Christopher Horner (USA), Predictor-Lotto, 4:10

29. Oliver Zaugg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 4:10

30. Rubén Lobato (Sp), Saunier Duval, 4:47

31. Roman Kreuziger (Cz), Liquigas, 4:49

32. Stefan Schumacher (G), Gerolsteiner, 4:58

33. Hubert Dupont (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 5:01

34. Wim Van Huffel (B), Predictor-Lotto, 5:03

35. Jesús Hernández (Sp), Relax GAM, 5:06

36. Mauricio Ardila (Col), Rabobank, 5:11

37. Daniel Moreno (Sp), Relax GAM, 5:16

38. Andrea Tonti (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, 5:29

39. David Herrero (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 5:29

40. Philippe Gilbert (B), Francaise Des Jeux, 5:46

41. Leonardo Duque (Col), Cofidis, 6:02

42. Giuseppe Guerini (I), T-Mobile, 6:14

43. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Bouygues Telecom, 6:21

44. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Credit Agricole, 6:21

45. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Discovery Channel Team, 6:21

46. Joost Posthuma (Nl), Rabobank, 6:49

47. Iker Camaño (Sp), Saunier Duval, 7:12

48. Mario Aerts (B), Predictor-Lotto, 7:12

49. Rene Mandri (Est), Ag2r Prevoyance, 7:21

50. Egoi Martínez (Sp), Discovery Channel Team, 7:48

51. Alexander Kolobnev (Rus), CSC, 7:52

52. Luis León Sánchez (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 8:13

53. Joan Horrach (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 8:16

54. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), CSC, 8:20

55. Paolo Bettini (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, 9:20

56. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, 9:22

57. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), CSC, 9:23

58. Koos Moerenhout (Nl), Rabobank, 9:38

59. Scott Davis (Aus), T-Mobile, 9:57

60. Iñigo Landaluze (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 9:57

61. Johannes Frölingher (G), Gerolsteiner, 9:57

62. Stef Clement (Nl), Bouygues Telecom, 10:27

63. Christian Vandevelde (USA), CSC, 11:12

64. Christophe Kern (F), Credit Agricole, 11:52

65. Theo Eltink (Nl), Rabobank, 12:32

66. Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr), Ag2r Prevoyance, 12:41

67. Julián Sánchez Pimienta (Sp), Relax GAM, 12:50

68. Manuel Vázquez (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 12:56

69. Thomas Lövkvist (Swe), Francaise Des Jeux, 13:34

70. José Ruiz Sánchez (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 14:08

71. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, 14:14

72. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre, 14:16

73. Adam Hansen (Aus), T-Mobile, 14:37

74. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic, 14:38

75. Geert Verheyen (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, 14:38

76. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile, 14:58

77. Ángel Gómez Gómez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 15:38

78. Xabier Zandio (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 15:42

79. Torsten Hiekmann (G), Gerolsteiner, 15:49

80. Karsten Kroon (Nl), CSC, 16:02

81. Jason Mccartney (USA), Discovery Channel Team, 17:28

82. Óscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 18:03

83. Erik Zabel (G), Milram, 18:03

84. Renaud Dion (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 18:03

85. David García (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 18:03

86. Inaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 18:03

87. Daniele Bennati (I), Lampre, 18:03

88. Alessandro Vanotti (I), Liquigas, 18:21

89. Michael Blaudzun (Dk), CSC, 18:31

90. Bingen Fernández (Sp), Cofidis, 18:33

91. Roy Sentjens (B), Predictor-Lotto, 18:37

92. Addy Engels (Nl), Quick Step-Innergetic, 18:37

93. Morris Possoni (I), Lampre, 19:07

94. Martin Müller (G), Milram, 19:58

95. Andrea Moletta (I), Gerolsteiner, 20:22

96. Paolo Tiralongo (I), Lampre, 20:25

97. Sébastien Minard (F), Cofidis, 21:10

98. José Luis Rubiera (Sp), Discovery Channel Team, 21:28

99. Mickael Delage (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 21:51

100. Juan Olmo (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 21:55

101. Bert Grabsch (G), T-Mobile, 23:20

102. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), CSC, 23:34

103. Bart Dockx (B), Predictor-Lotto, 23:34

104. Allan Davis (Aus), Discovery Channel Team, 24:01

105. Mauro Da Dalto (I), Liquigas, 24:35

106. Francisco Terciado (Sp), Relax GAM, 24:58

107. Eduard Vorganov (Rus), Karpin Galicia, 25:54

108. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, 26:18

109. Jérémy Roy (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 26:19

110. Ángel Vallejo (Sp), Relax GAM, 26:43

111. José Luis Carrasco Gámiz (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 26:46

112. Carlos Castaño (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 26:56

113. Damiano Cunego (I), Lampre, 27:19

114. Santiago Pérez (Sp), Relax GAM, 27:24

115. Aitor Hernández (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 27:38

116. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 29:03

117. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre, 29:18

118. F. José Martínez Pérez (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 29:19

119. Marco Velo (I), Milram, 29:32

120. Gustavo César (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 29:32

121. Cyrille Monnerais (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 29:32

122. Geoffroy Lequatre (F), Cofidis, 29:32

123. Manuel Ortega (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 30:06

124. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval, 30:08

125. Arkaitz Durán (Sp), Saunier Duval, 30:08

126. Enrico Franzoi (I), Lampre, 30:23

127. Gustavo Domínguez (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 30:57

128. Raúl García De Mateos (Sp), Relax GAM, 31:39

129. Stéphane Auge (F), Cofidis, 31:39

130. Marc De Maar (Nl), Rabobank, 32:17

131. Carlos Da Cruz (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 32:27

132. Nácor Burgos (Sp), Relax GAM, 32:56

133. Maryan Hary (F), Cofidis, 33:37

134. Imanol Erviti (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 34:53

135. Alan Pérez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 35:18

136. Santos González (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 35:26

137. Andreas Klier (G), T-Mobile, 35:36

138. Alberto Ongarato (I), Milram, 35:39

139. Davide Vigano (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, 35:39

140. Koldo Fernández (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 35:39

141. Sebastian Langeveld (Nl), Rabobank, 35:54

142. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole, 36:04

143. Jussi Veikkanen (FIN), Francaise Des Jeux, 36:04

144. Elia Rigotto (I), Milram, 36:07

145. André Greipel (G), T-Mobile, 36:10

146. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Liquigas, 36:10

147. Jean Marc Marino (F), Credit Agricole, 36:10

148. Tom Stamsnidjer (Nl), Gerolsteiner, 36:10

149. Philip Deignan (IRL), Ag2r Prevoyance, 36:10

150. Tim Klinger (G), Gerolsteiner, 36:38

151. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Credit Agricole, 36:40

152. Jorge García Marín (Sp), Relax GAM, 36:40

153. Damien Monier (F), Cofidis, 36:41

154. Niki Terpstra (Nl), Milram, 38:12

155. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Milram, 38:24

156. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Credit Agricole, 39:14

157. Erki Pütsep (Est), Bouygues Telecom, 39:36

158. Christophe Brandt (B), Predictor-Lotto, 39:50

159. Markus Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner, 40:35

160. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Rabobank, 41:07

161. Rony Martias (F), Bouygues Telecom, 41:07

162. Matej Jurco (SVK), Milram, 41:07

163. Claudio Corioni (I), Lampre, 41:07

164. J. Antonio López Gil (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 41:07

165. Javier Megías Leal (Sp), Saunier Duval, 41:07

166. J. Vicente García Acosta (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 41:16

167. Alberto Fdez De La Puebla (Sp), Saunier Duval, 42:29

168. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, 43:52

169. Angelo Furlan (I), Credit Agricole, 43:52

170. Francesco Chicchi (I), Liquigas, 43:52

171. Ian Mcleod (RSA), Francaise Des Jeux, 43:52

172. Magnus Backstedt (Swe), Liquigas, 43:52

173. Bert Roesems (B), Predictor-Lotto, 43:52

174. Fabio Sabatini (I), Milram, 43:52

175. André Korff (G), T-Mobile, 43:52

176. Serafín Martínez Acevedo (Sp), Karpin Galicia, 45:26

177. Dimitri Champion (F), Bouygues Telecom, 45:55

178. Jesús Rosendo Prado (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, 49:48

179. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Credit Agricole, 53:53

180. Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Bouygues Telecom, 55:54

181. Bradley Mcgee (Aus), Francaise Des Jeux, 58:11

182. Aliaksandr Usau (Blr), Ag2r Prevoyance, 1:00:02

183. Vincent Jerome (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:06:04