Events

Vuelta: Moller wins, Levi stumbles, Heras moves up

Sunday’s 207-km (128-mile) 15th stage was the longest of the 56th Vuelta a España and the accumulation of the kilometers two weeks into the race took its toll on the peloton. It was a good day for U.S. Postal Service but a bad one for Levi Leipheimer, whose chances of finishing on the final podium suffered a setback when he lost contact with the lead group on the final climb to the beyond-category Alto de Aitana. The miles didn’t slow down Milaneza’s Klaus Moller, who followed an attack by U.S. Postal’s Jose Luis Rubiera all the way to the top of the beyond-category Alto de Aitana. “I used

By Andrew Hood

Photo: Graham Watson

Sunday’s 207-km (128-mile) 15th stage was the longest of the 56th Vuelta a España and the accumulation of the kilometers two weeks into the race took its toll on the peloton.

It was a good day for U.S. Postal Service but a bad one for Levi Leipheimer, whose chances of finishing on the final podium suffered a setback when he lost contact with the lead group on the final climb to the beyond-category Alto de Aitana.

The miles didn’t slow down Milaneza’s Klaus Moller, who followed an attack by U.S. Postal’s Jose Luis Rubiera all the way to the top of the beyond-category Alto de Aitana.

Sevilla chases

Sevilla chases

Photo: Graham Watson

“I used to be a bank accountant but it’s much funner being a bike racer,” said Moller after winning 15 seconds ahead of second-place Gilberto Simoni (Lampre). “I went hard because I was afraid they would catch me. I knew I only had one chance.”

Rubiera attacked with eight km to go and Moller and Carlos Sastre (ONCE) followed. U.S. Postal’s Roberto Heras and Simoni bridged after Moller dropped Rubiera. Casero upped the tempo in the lead group, dropping race leader Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) and Leipheimer.

Kelme’s Oscar Sevilla retained the overall lead, but second-place Angel Casero (Festina) trimmed it to a 25-second gap.

“The fruit is there and I am getting closer,” said Casero, who finished sixth in the stage. “I am confident now for final victory if I can ride like this in the final mountain stage.”

Heras jumped to fourth overall at while Juan Miguel Mercado (ibanesto.com) finished with Sevilla to remain in third-place overall. U.S. Postal’s Matthew White and ONCE’s Igor Galdeano abandoned while Jose Maria Jimenez (ibanesto.com) dropped out of contention.

The stage was a disappointment for Leipheimer, who’s ridden remarkably well in his stage-race debut. Leipheimer lost contact with the leaders on the final climb and dropped to sixth overall after two weeks of hard racing started to take its toll.

“It was a great day for the team, but it wasn’t my best day,” Leipheimer said. “My legs just weren’t there today. I was tired and just couldn’t go full blast.”

Leipheimer said a long, 2.5-hour transfer Saturday night and an early start Sunday morning disrupted his recovery.

“I should have been able to stay with Sevilla and Mercado. I guess things from the last couple of days have caught up,” said a disappointed Leipheimer. “The rhythm was slower because everyone’s a little tired, but when Casero put in that attack in the lead group at the bottom, I couldn’t even really respond. My legs are little bit dead and the problem was I still had six kilometers to go.”

Leipheimer, who is trying to become the first American rider to finish on the top-three Vuelta podium, says he still has chances for a top-three finish.

“If I don’t lose in the last mountain stage (on Sept. 29), I still have the chance to take back the time in the final time trial,” Leipheimer said. “I think if I keep a small enough gap I will be able to take back the time for sure.”

Leipheimer will have an extra day to recover as the Vuelta takes its second rest day on Monday.

Photo Gallery

Results

1. MÖLLER, Klaus (Dk), MIL5:44:18;
2. SIMONI, Gilberto (I), LAM at 15;
3. SASTRE, Carlos (Sp), ONC at 15;
4. HERAS, Roberto (Sp), USP at 15;
5. RUBIERA, José Luis (Sp), USP at 22;
6. CASERO, Angel (Sp), FES at 34;
7. MERCADO, Juan Miguel (Sp), BAN at 50;
8. SEVILLA, Oscar (Sp), KEL at 50;
9. BLANCO, Santiago (Sp), BAN at 57;
10. OSA, Aitor (Sp), BAN at 1:04;
11. PLAZA, David (Sp), FES at 1:04;
12. LAISEKA, Roberto (Sp), EUS at 1:04;
13. ESCARTIN, Fernando (Sp), COA at 1:20;
14. CU (Est), A, Iñigo (Sp), COF at 1:43;
15. VIRENQUE, Richard (F), DFF at 2:05;
16. MAYO. Iban (Sp), EUS at 2:17;
17. GOMEZ GOZALO, José Javier (Sp), KEL at 2:17;
18. CONTI, Roberto (I), CTA at 2:26;
19. LEIPHEIMER, Levi (USA), USP at 2:26;
20. LAVARINHAS, Rui (P), MIL at 3:01;
21. (B), TRAN, Manuel (Sp), MAP at 3:09;
22. GARCIA CASAS, Félix (Sp), FES at 3:23;
23. CAÑADA, David (Sp), MAP at 4:06;
24. PEREZ, Luis (Sp), FES at 4:55;
25. DE PAOLI, Daniele (I), MER at 5:01;
26. KONECNY, Tomas (Cz), DFF at 5:24;
27. FERNANDEZ, Bingen (Sp), EUS at 5:56;
28. ELLI, Alberto (I), TEL at 6:51;
29. SGAM (B), LURI, Roberto (I), TEL at 6:51;
30. REBOLLO, Jose Luis (Sp), FES at 6:54;
31. ZARRABEITIA, Mikel (Sp), ONC at 6:54;
32. LAGUNA, Oscar (Sp), REL at 6:54;
33. PELLIZOTTI, Franco (I), ALS at 6:54;
34. JEKER, Fabian (Swi), MIL at 7:12;
35. PRONK, Matthe (Nl), RAB at 7:23;
36. SIMEONI, Filippo (I), CTA at 7:35;
37. ANGU (I), , Eleuterio (Sp), CDA at 8:20;
38. VERHEYEN, Geert (B), RAB at 8:59;
39. OSA, Unai (Sp), BAN at 9:07;
40. ENGELS, Addy (Nl), RAB at 9:38;
41. BRUYLANDTS, Dave (B), DFF at 9:47;
42. TAULER, Antonio (Sp), KEL at 10:11;
43. VICARIO, Juan Carlos (Sp), FES at 10:12;
44. FERNANDEZ, Victoriano (Sp), MIL at 10:27;
45. BARANOWSKI, Dariusz (Pol), BAN at 10:27;
46. FOFONOV, Dmitri (Kz), COF at 11:11;
47. ALDAG, Rolf (G), TEL at 11:11;
48. MARTINEZ, Alberto (Sp), EUS at 11:49;
49. FLECHA, J.Antonio (Sp), REL at 12:00;
50. JIMENEZ, Jose María (Sp), BAN at 12:00;
51. FIGUERAS, Giuliano (I), PAN at 12:49;
52. ETXEBARRIA, David (Sp), EUS at 12:49;
53. ZUBELDIA, Haimar (Sp), EUS at 12:49;
54. LELLI, Massimiliano (I), COF at 13:10;
55. JOACHIM, Benoit (Lx), USP at 13:21;
56. ATIENAZ , Daniel (Sp), COF at 14:18;
57. FARAZJIN, Peter (B), COF at 15:16;
58. GARATE, Juan Manuel (Sp), LAM at 16:06;
59. OLANO, Abraham (Sp), ONC at 16:06;
60. CODOL, Massimo (I), LAM at 16:06;
61. GO (NZ), LEZ, Santos (Sp), ONC at 16:06;
62. BOTERO, Santiago (Col), KEL at 16:06;
63. BOVEN, Jan (Nl), RAB at 16:06;
64. VENEBERG, Thorwald (Nl), RAB at 16:06;
65. ZBERG, Beat (Swi), RAB at 16:06;
66. CLAVERO, Daniel (Sp), MER at 16:06;
67. DIAZ JUSTO, Rafael (Sp), ONC at 16:52;
68. VICIOSO, Angel (Sp), KEL at 17:21;
69. HORRILLO, Pedro (Sp), MAP at 17:34;
70. AEBERSOLD, Niki (Swi), COA at 17:34;
71. PEÑA, Victor Hugo (Col), USP at 17:34;
72. GOLBANO, Carlos (Sp), CDA at 17:34;
73. GIUNTI, Massimo (I), CTA at 19:19;
74. MORENI, Cristian (I), MER at 20:30;
75. PECHARROMAN, J.Antonio (Sp), CDA at 22:14;
76. ZABEL, Erik (G), TEL at 24:58;
77. ORTENZI, Gian Mario (I), MER at 24:58;
78. LOTZ, Marc (Nl), RAB at 24:58;
79. HERNANDEZ, Jaime (Sp), FES at 24:58;
80. VIDAL, José Angel (Sp), KEL at 24:58;
81. CABELLO, Francisco (Sp), KEL at 24:58;
82. EDO, Angel (Sp), MIL at 24:58;
83. MCRAE, Chann (USA), USP at 24:58;
84. SMETANINE, Serguei (Rus), CDA at 24:58;
85. GERRIKAGOITIA, Gorka (Sp), EUS at 24:58;
86. CIONI, Dario David (I), MAP at 24:58;
87. SILVA, Joao (P), MIL at 24:58;
88. POSPYEYEV, Kyrylo (Ukr), CTA at 24:58;
89. TRENTI, Guido (USA), CTA at 24:58;
90. TONTI, Andrea (I), CTA at 24:58;
91. FLORES, Igor (Sp), EUS at 24:58;
92. DEAN, Julian (NZ), USP at 24:58;
93. KLEYNEN, Steven (B), DFF at 24:58;
94. TORRENT, Carlos (Sp), CDA at 24:58;
95. SCHRECK, Stephan (G), TEL at 24:58;
96. SHEFER, Alexander (Kz), ALS at 24:58;
97. GUILLAMON, Juan (Sp), CDA at 24:58;
98. GENTILI, Massimiliano (I), CTA at 24:58;
99. SCHAFFRATH, Jan (G), TEL at 24:58;
100. VAZQUEZ, J.Manuel (Sp), REL at 24:58;
101. CAPITAN, Jorge (Sp), REL at 24:58;
102. LUDEWIG, Jorg (G), SAE at 24:58;
103. CARDEZNAS, Rafael (Col), KEL at 24:58;
104. CRUZ, Antonio (USA), USP at 24:58;
105. LOPEZ DE MUNAIN, Alberto (Sp), EUS at 24:58;
106. SENIUSHKIN, Yauheni (Blr), PAN at 24:58;
107. JAKSCHE, Jörg (G), ONC at 24:58;
108. MILLAR, David (GB), COF at 24:58;
109. HUNDERTMARK, Kai (G), TEL at 24:58;
110. KROON, Karsten (Nl), RAB at 24:58;
111. LAMOUR, Claude (F), COF at 24:58;
112. TRENTIN, Guido (I), COF at 24:58;
113. HONDO, Danilo (G), TEL at 24:58;
114. KLIER, Andreas (G), TEL at 24:58;
115. DUMA, Vladimir (Ukr), PAN at 24:58;
116. GARCIA CALVO, Cesar (Sp), REL at 24:58;
117. PEREZ CUAPIO, J.Alberto (Mex), PAN at 24:58;
118. RATTI, Eddy (I), MAP at 24:58;
119. PAOLINI, Luca (I), MAP at 24:58;
120. PUGACI, Igor (MDA), SAE at 24:58;
121. HUSER, Rolf (Swi), COA at 27:51;
122. PINOTTI, Marco (I), LAM at 29:50;
123. CASERO, Rafael (Sp), FES at 29:50;
124. PICCOLI, Mariano (I), LAM at 29:50;
125. MAGNUSSON, Glenn (Swe), DFF at 29:50;
126. CARNEIRO, Carlos (P), MIL at 29:50;
127. GIANETTI, Mauro (Swi), COA at 29:50;
128. MAURI, Melchor (Sp), MIL at 29:50;
129. HUNTER, Robert (SA), LAM at 29:50;
130. NIETO, Germán (Sp), REL at 29:50;
131. BERTOLETTI, Simone (I), LAM at 29:50;
132. ODRIOZOLA, Jon (Sp), BAN at 29:50;
133. HOJ, Frank (Dk), COA at 29:50;
134. TOMBAK, Janek (Est), COF at 29:50;
135. TEUTENBERG, Sven (G), FES at 29:50;
136. O´NEILL, Nathan (Aus), PAN at 29:50;
137. McEWEN, Robbie (Aus), DFF at 29:50;
138. COMMESSO, Salvatore (I), SAE at 29:50;
139. NITSCHE, Torsten (G), SAE at 29:50;
140. DIAZ LOBATO, Pedro (Sp), CDA at 29:50;
141. ZÜLLE, Alex (Swi), COA at 29:50;
142. VINALE, Alberto (I), ALS at 29:50;
143. SCHWEDA, Raphael (G), COA at 29:50;
144. CASAGRANDA, Stefano (I), ALS at 29:50;
145. DOMINGUEZ, Juan Carlos (Sp), BAN at 30:34;
146. GARCIA ACOSTA, José (Sp), BAN at 30:34;
147. CRETSKENS, Wilfried (B), DFF at 30:34;
148. FERNANDEZ, David (Sp), REL at 30:38;

Overall after 15 stages

1. SEVILLA, Oscar (Sp), KEL51:53:25;
2. CASERO, Angel (Sp), FES at 25;
3. MERCADO, Juan Miguel (Sp), BAN at 2:02;
4. HERAS, Roberto (Sp), USP at 2:20;
5. PLAZA, David (Sp), FES at 3:31;
6. LEIPHEIMER, Levi (USA), USP at 3:55;
7. RUBIERA, José Luis (Sp), USP at 4:59;
8. OSA, Aitor (Sp), BAN at 5:47;
9. MAYO. Iban (Sp), EUS at 6:59;
10. ESCARTIN, Fernando (Sp), COA at 7:18;
11. MÖLLER, Klaus (Dk), MIL at 7:27;
12. LAISEKA, Roberto (Sp), EUS at 7:56;
13. BLANCO, Santiago (Sp), BAN at 9:17;
14. CUESTA, Iñigo (Sp), COF at 10:06;
15. BELTRAN, Manuel (Sp), MAP at 10:27;
16. JIMENEZ, Jose María (Sp), BAN at 14:00;
17. GOMEZ GOZALO, José Javier (Sp), KEL at 14:55;
18. GARCIA CASAS, Félix (Sp), FES at 15:04;
19. PEREZ, Luis (Sp), FES at 15:13;
20. KONECNY, Tomas (Cz), DFF at 17:20;
21. BOTERO, Santiago (Col), KEL at 19:37;
22. PELLIZOTTI, Franco (I), ALS at 21:01;
23. CONTI, Roberto (I), CTA at 25:12;
24. CAÑADA, David (Sp), MAP at 27:27;
25. SASTRE, Carlos (Sp), ONC at 28:19;
26. OSA, Unai (Sp), BAN at 28:26;
27. MARTINEZ, Alberto (Sp), EUS at 31:46;
28. ZBERG, Beat (Swi), RAB at 32:28;
29. MILLAR, David (GB), COF at 33:29;
30. VIRENQUE, Richard (F), DFF at 34:29;
31. FIGUERAS, Giuliano (I), PAN at 35:48;
32. ZARRABEITIA, Mikel (Sp), ONC at 36:58;
33. REBOLLO, Jose Luis (Sp), FES at 37:32;
34. LAVARINHAS, Rui (P), MIL at 37:45;
35. SIMONI, Gilberto (I), LAM at 38:02;
36. ATIENAZ , Daniel (Sp), COF at 38:33;
37. DE PAOLI, Daniele (I), MER at 39:13;
38. FERNANDEZ, Victoriano (Sp), MIL at 41:09;
39. GARATE, Juan Manuel (Sp), LAM at 45:26;
40. LELLI, Massimiliano (I), COF at 45:40;
41. LAGUNA, Oscar (Sp), REL at 46:24;
42. ANGUITA , Eleuterio (Sp), CDA at 47:25;
43. BARANOWSKI, Dariusz (Pol), BAN at 49:46;
44. VICARIO, Juan Carlos (Sp), FES at 50:02;
45. BRUYLANDTS, Dave (B), DFF at 50:11;
46. FERNANDEZ, Bingen (Sp), EUS at 50:24;
47. ZUBELDIA, Haimar (Sp), EUS at 50:25;
48. SILVA, Joao (P), MIL at 51:25;
49. ELLI, Alberto (I), TEL at 53:03;
50. CIONI, Dario David (I), MAP at 53:44;
51. VERHEYEN, Geert (B), RAB at 55:15;
52. ETXEBARRIA, David (Sp), EUS at 56:05;
53. CODOL, Massimo (I), LAM at 56:40;
54. CLAVERO, Daniel (Sp), MER at 57:42;
55. FOFONOV, Dmitri (Kz), COF at 58:02;
56. SIMEONI, Filippo (I), CTA at 1:03:17;
57. KLEYNEN, Steven (B), DFF at 1:04:46;
58. TAULER, Antonio (Sp), KEL at 1:05:18;
59. GIUNTI, Massimo (I), CTA at 1:05:37;
60. PECHARROMAN, J.Antonio (Sp), CDA at 1:06:01;
61. ALDAG, Rolf (G), TEL at 1:06:38;
62. PUGACI, Igor (MDA), SAE at 1:09:19;
63. SGAMBELLURI, Roberto (I), TEL at 1:09:43;
64. TRENTIN, Guido (I), COF at 1:10:37;
65. VICIOSO, Angel (Sp), KEL at 1:11:37;
66. SHEFER, Alexander (Kz), ALS at 1:12:29;
67. MORENI, Cristian (I), MER at 1:12:34;
68. PRONK, Matthe (Nl), RAB at 1:12:48;
69. DIAZ JUSTO, Rafael (Sp), ONC at 1:13:43;
70. FARAZJIN, Peter (B), COF at 1:15:17;
71. VAZQUEZ, J.Manuel (Sp), REL at 1:15:27;
72. FLECHA, J.Antonio (Sp), REL at 1:16:50;
73. JAKSCHE, Jörg (G), ONC at 1:19:27;
74. FLORES, Igor (Sp), EUS at 1:20:34;
75. GONZALEZ, Santos (Sp), ONC at 1:20:54;
76. JEKER, Fabian (Swi), MIL at 1:23:30;
77. CABELLO, Francisco (Sp), KEL at 1:24:34;
78. OLANO, Abraham (Sp), ONC at 1:24:39;
79. ENGELS, Addy (Nl), RAB at 1:26:02;
80. EDO, Angel (Sp), MIL at 1:29:12;
81. ODRIOZOLA, Jon (Sp), BAN at 1:29:48;
82. GOLBANO, Carlos (Sp), CDA at 1:31:30;
83. LUDEWIG, Jorg (G), SAE at 1:31:46;
84. HORRILLO, Pedro (Sp), MAP at 1:31:54;
85. POSPYEYEV, Kyrylo (Ukr), CTA at 1:32:43;
86. LOPEZ DE MUNAIN, Alberto (Sp), EUS at 1:34:55;
87. HUNDERTMARK, Kai (G), TEL at 1:35:09;
88. AEBERSOLD, Niki (Swi), COA at 1:35:37;
89. GARCIA CALVO, Cesar (Sp), REL at 1:36:34;
90. GENTILI, Massimiliano (I), CTA at 1:36:43;
91. PEREZ CUAPIO, J.Alberto (Mex), PAN at 1:38:11;
92. ZABEL , Erik (G), TEL at 1:38:48;
93. PEÑA, Victor Hugo (Col), USP at 1:38:50;
94. HERNANDEZ, Jaime (Sp), FES at 1:41:17;
95. CARDENAS, Rafael (Col), KEL at 1:41:44;
96. HONDO, Danilo (G), TEL at 1:43:04;
97. JOACHIM, Benoit (Lx), USP at 1:44:44;
98. TRENTI, Guido (USA), CTA at 1:44:45;
99. SCHRECK, Stephan (G), TEL at 1:45:17;
100. VENEBERG, Thorwald (Nl), RAB at 1:45:24;
101. CAPITAN, Jorge (Sp), REL at 1:45:36;
102. BOVEN, Jan (Nl), RAB at 1:45:38;
103. DUMA, Vladimir (Ukr), PAN at 1:46:06;
104. GERRIKAGOITIA, Gorka (Sp), EUS at 1:47:42;
105. GIANETTI, Mauro (Swi), COA at 1:47:43;
106. MCRAE, Chann (USA), USP at 1:48:40;
107. Zülle, Alex (Swi), COA at 1:50:58;
108. O´NEILL, Nathan (Aus), PAN at 1:54:13;
109. LOTZ, Marc (Nl), RAB at 1:54:35;
110. LAMOUR, Claude (F), COF at 1:55:46;
111. RATTI, Eddy (I), MAP at 1:56:34;
112. HUSER, Rolf (Swi), COA at 1:57:42;
113. CRUZ, Antonio (USA), USP at 1:58:55;
114. GUILLAMON, Juan (Sp), CDA at 1:59:18;
115. SCHAFFRATH, Jan (G), TEL at 1:59:21;
116. CRETSKENS, Wilfried (B), DFF at 2:00:00;
117. DEAN, Julian (NZ), USP at 2:00:18;
118. PAOLINI, Luca (I), MAP at 2:00:21;
119. TORRENT, Carlos (Sp), CDA at 2:02:06;
120. VIDAL, José Angel (Sp), KEL at 2:02:28;
121. DOMINGUEZ, Juan Carlos (Sp), BAN at 2:02:42;
122. MAURI, Melchor (Sp), MIL at 2:04:37;
123. KLIER, Andreas (G), TEL at 2:04:42;
124. HUNTER, Robert (SA), LAM at 2:04:43;
125. CASERO, Rafael (Sp), FES at 2:07:02;
126. SMETANINE, Serguei (Rus), CDA at 2:07:16;
127. PICCOLI, Mariano (I), LAM at 2:08:36;
128. FERNANDEZ, David (Sp), REL at 2:09:46;
129. ORTENZI, Gian Mario (I), MER at 2:10:02;
130. PINOTTI, Marco (I), LAM at 2:10:18;
131. SCHWEDA, Raphael (G), COA at 2:10:37;
132. COMMESSO, Salvatore (I), SAE at 2:11:46;
133. GARCIA ACOSTA, José (Sp), BAN at 2:12:16;
134. HOJ, Frank (Dk), COA at 2:12:20;
135. DIAZ LOBATO, Pedro (Sp), CDA at 2:13:00;
136. CARNEIRO, Carlos (P), MIL at 2:13:32;
137. SENIUSHKIN, Yauheni (Blr), PAN at 2:14:26;
138. CASAGRANDA, Stefano (I), ALS at 2:16:26;
139. VINALE, Alberto (I), ALS at 2:17:09;
140. KROON, Karsten (Nl), RAB at 2:19:03;
141. NITSCHE, Torsten (G), SAE at 2:20:22;
142. TONTI, Andrea (I), CTA at 2:21:51;
143. TEUTENBERG, Sven (G), FES at 2:21:51;
144. BERTOLETTI, Simone (I), LAM at 2:24:49;
145. TOMBAK, Janek (Est), COF at 2:26:04;
146. NIETO, Germán (Sp), REL at 2:27:49;
147. McEWEN, Robbie (Aus), DFF at 2:33:26;
148. MAGNUSSON, Glenn (Swe), DFF at 2:53:04;