Events

Vuelta rolls on; Konecny wins, Sevilla retains lead

The 56th Vuelta a España entered its final week with another fast day in the saddle in Tuesday’s 153-km (95-mile) 16th stage that finished well under the expected time following Monday’s rest day. Domo’s Tomas Konecny was fastest to the line while Kelme’s Oscar Sevilla easily retained the overall lead for the sixth day. U.S. Postal’s Roberto Heras and Levi Leipheimer remained in their respective fourth and sixth places overall. A steady breeze pushed the peloton along at a brisk pace to the day’s major obstacle, the category-two Cresta del Gallo just 13 kilometers from the finish line in

By Andrew Hood

Photo: Graham Watson

The 56th Vuelta a España entered its final week with another fast day in the saddle in Tuesday’s 153-km (95-mile) 16th stage that finished well under the expected time following Monday’s rest day.

Domo’s Tomas Konecny was fastest to the line while Kelme’s Oscar Sevilla easily retained the overall lead for the sixth day. U.S. Postal’s Roberto Heras and Levi Leipheimer remained in their respective fourth and sixth places overall.

A steady breeze pushed the peloton along at a brisk pace to the day’s major obstacle, the category-two Cresta del Gallo just 13 kilometers from the finish line in Murcia.

Sevilla led the group up the steep flanks until Carlos Sastre (ONCE) attacked off the front. The climb split the peloton and Sevilla kept the pace at the head of the group as U.S. Postal’s Jose Luis Rubiera, an excellent descender, moved to the front.

Sastre, who’s been in the hunt for several stage wins throughout the Vuelta, topped out with a 13-second advantage.

Rubiera and Virenque

Rubiera and Virenque

Photo: Graham Watson

It was a dangerous descent down a narrow, rough road and Sastre had to step out of his pedal after misjudging one of the tight curves. Then Sastre suffered a horrible crash when he came into a right turn too fast. He locked up hit brakes and slid straight off a steep 20-foot embankment covered with boulders. Luckily, Sastre was wearing a helmet and a fan slowed his momentum just before he fell. Incredibly, he remounted his bike and, though he was banged up, continued to race.

Rubiera opened up a gap on the descent and Domo’s Richard Virenque flew down to join him. With 5 km to go, the pair had an 11 seconds and Mapei’s Dario Cioni, a former mountain bike racer, counter attacked off the lead group that was trimmed down to about 30 riders on the climb. Cioni crashed later on a corner but continued to the finish.

Rubiera and Virenque were caught with just one kilometer to go and the lead group of 25 riders roared to the finishing sprint. Domo’s Konecny edged Euskaltel’s David Etxebarria in the final charge to the finish. Milanesa’s Angel Edo was third.

“I haven’t had luck this year in the Vuelta,” said Etxebarria. “We worked hard as a team to give me a chance today, but I didn’t have the luck. It’s been a long season for me that started in March and I am feeling those miles in my legs at this Vuelta.”

The racers took their second rest day Monday. Members of the U.S. Postal Service team went on a nearly four-hour training ride. Defending champion Roberto Heras, who struggled early in the Vuelta but has recovered to be now in fourth overall at 2:20 back, said he hopes to finish on the final podium.

“Everyday I feel better but it’s too bad there’s only one mountain stage left,” Heras said. “Of course I am going to fight for the podium. I see how strong Sevilla and Casero are, so I cannot think of finishing better than third. Considering how this season has gone for me, I would be very satisfied to finish on the final podium.”

Leipheimer, who suffered in Sunday’s climbing stage and fell to sixth overall, was focusing on the positive following his disappointment.

“There’s still a chance for me to be on the podium and it’s really good for the team. We have three riders in the top-10 so we have to be satisfied,” said Leipheimer, who finished safely with the lead group.

Sevilla retained his narrow 25-second lead over Festina’s Angel Casero. The final week of the Vuelta will come down a duel between the two riders. Casero, who attacked Sevilla in Sunday’s climbing stage at Aitana to take back some time, said the Vuelta will come down to the final two stages.

“The climbing stage on Saturday will be important. Oscar is still very strong and he will attack me. If the differences remain what they are now, I am confident I will be able to get back the time in Sunday’s time trial,” Casero said.

The 21-stage, 1851-mile 56th Vuelta a España continues Wednesday with the 159-km (99-mile) 17th stage from Murcia to Albacete. Notorious crosswinds near Albacete will likely take their toll on the weary peloton.

Photo Gallery

Results

1. KONECNY, Tomas (Cz), DFF3:11:33;
2. ETXEBARRIA, David (SP), EUS s.t.;
3. EDO, Angel (SP), MIL s.t.;
4. ZBERG, Beat (Swi), RAB s.t.;
5. PUGACI, Igor (MDA), SAE s.t.;
6. SEVILLA, Oscar (SP), KEL s.t.;
7. FIGUERAS, Giuliano (I), PAN s.t.;
8. BOTERO, Santiago (Col), KEL s.t.;
9. GARCIA CASAS, Félix (SP), FES s.t.;
10. ESCARTIN, Fernando (SP), COA s.t.;
11. LEIPHEIMER, Levi (USA), USP s.t.;
12. CASERO, Angel (SP), FES s.t.;
13. JIMENEZ, Jose María (SP), BAN s.t.;
14. MÖLLER, Klaus (Dk), MIL s.t.;
15. OSA, Unai (SP), BAN s.t.;
16. OSA, Aitor (SP), BAN s.t.;
17. CAÑADA, David (SP), MAP s.t.;
18. VIRENQUE, Richard (F), DFF s.t.;
19. FARAZJIN, Peter (B), COF s.t.;
20. PLAZA, David (SP), FES s.t.;
21. HERAS, Roberto (SP), USP s.t.;
22. MERCADO, Juan Miguel (SP), BAN s.t.;
23. RUBIERA, José Luis (SP), USP s.t.;
24. MAYO. Iban (SP), EUS s.t.;
25. CUESTA, Iñigo (SP), COF s.t.;
26. BLANCO, Santiago (SP), BAN s.t.;
27. PEREZ, Luis (SP), FES s.t.;
28. LAISEKA, Roberto (SP), EUS s.t.;
29. JEKER, Fabian (Swi), MIL at 5;
30. LAVARINHAS, Rui (POR), MIL at 15;
31. CIONI, Dario David (I), MAP s.t.;
32. CONTI, Roberto (I), CTA at 1:25;
33. ANGUITA, Eleuterio (SP), CDA at 1:41;
34. FOFONOV, DmitriKAZ COF at 1:41;
35. LAGUNA, Oscar (SP), REL at 2:05;
36. PECHARROMAN, J.Antonio (SP), CDA at 2:05;
37. VERHEYEN, Geert (B), RAB at 2:05;
38. BELTRAN, Manuel (SP), MAP at 2:05;
39. PELLIZOTTI, Franco (I), ALS at 2:05;
40. GOMEZ GOZALO, José Javier (SP), KEL at 2:05;
41. DIAZ JUSTO, Rafael (SP), ONC at 3:26;
42. OLANO, Abraham (SP), ONC at 3:26;
43. SILVA, Joao (POR), MIL at 3:26;
44. BARANOWSKI, DariuszPOL BAN at 3:26;
45. GARCIA CALVO, Cesar (SP), REL at 3:26;
46. CODOL, Massimo (I), LAM at 3:26;
47. ZARRABEITIA, Mikel (SP), ONC at 3:26;
48. GONZALEZ, Santos (SP), ONC at 3:26;
49. LOTZ, Marc (Nl), RAB at 3:26;
50. GIUNTI, Massimo (I), CTA at 3:26;
51. SASTRE, Carlos (SP), ONC at 3:26;
52. PRONK, Matthe (Nl), RAB at 3:26;
53. REBOLLO, Jose Luis (SP), FES at 3:26;
54. MARTINEZ, Alberto (SP), EUS at 3:26;
55. POSPYEYEV, Kyrylo (Ukr), CTA at 3:26;
56. GUILLAMON, Juan (SP), CDA at 3:26;
57. CLAVERO, Daniel (SP), MER at 3:26;
58. DE PAOLI, Daniele (I), MER at 3:26;
59. SGAMBELLURI, Roberto (I), TEL at 3:26;
60. ELLI, Alberto (I), TEL at 3:26;
61. FERNANDEZ, Victoriano (SP), MIL at 3:26;
62. MORENI, Cristian (I), MER at 3:26;
63. SCHRECK, Stephan (G), TEL at 3:26;
64. VICIOSO, Angel (SP), KEL at 3:26;
65. PAOLINI, Luca (I), MAP at 3:26;
66. BRUYLANDTS, Dave (B), DFF at 3:26;
67. LELLI, Massimiliano (I), COF at 3:51;
68. VENEBERG, Thorwald (Nl), RAB at 3:51;
69. PICCOLI, Mariano (I), LAM at 3:51;
70. JOACHIM, Benoit (Lx), USP at 3:51;
71. CRUZ, Antonio (USA), USP at 5:00;
72. GOLBANO, Carlos (SP), CDA at 5:00;
73. FERNANDEZ, David (SP), REL at 5:32;
74. HUSER, Rolf (Swi), COA at 5:32;
75. ZABEL, Erik (G), TEL at 5:32;
76. ALDAG, Rolf (G), TEL at 5:32;
77. VAZQUEZ, J.Manuel (SP), REL at 5:32;
78. VINALE, Alberto (I), ALS at 5:32;
79. FLECHA, J.Antonio (SP), REL at 5:32;
80. AEBERSOLD, Niki (Swi), COA at 5:32;
81. CABELLO, Francisco (SP), KEL at 5:32;
82. KLEYNEN, Steven (B), DFF at 5:32;
83. GIANETTI, Mauro (Swi), COA at 7:19;
84. LUDEWIG, Jorg (G), SAE at 7:19;
85. LAMOUR, Claude (F), COF at 7:19;
86. HORRILLO, Pedro (SP), MAP at 7:19;
87. FLORES, Igor (SP), EUS at 7:19;
88. SIMEONI, Filippo (I), CTA at 7:19;
89. GERRIKAGOITIA, Gorka (SP), EUS at 7:19;
90. VICARIO, Juan Carlos (SP), FES at 7:19;
91. GARCIA ACOSTA, José (SP), BAN at 7:19;
92. ORTENZI, Gian Mario (I), MER at 7:19;
93. ATIENZA, Daniel (SP), COF at 7:19;
94. VIDAL, José Angel (SP), KEL at 7:19;
95. BERTOLETTI, Simone (I), LAM at 7:19;
96. GARATE, Juan Manuel (SP), LAM at 7:19;
97. TAULER, Antonio (SP), KEL at 7:19;
98. CASERO, Rafael (SP), FES at 7:19;
99. TORRENT, Carlos (SP), CDA at 7:19;
100. ZUBELDIA, Haimar (SP), EUS at 7:19;
101. FERNANDEZ, Bingen (SP), EUS at 7:19;
102. DUMA, Vladimir (Ukr), PAN at 7:19;
103. SMETANINE, Serguei (Rus), CDA at 7:19;
104. BOVEN, Jan (Nl), RAB at 7:19;
105. CARNEIRO, Carlos (POR), MIL at 7:19;
106. MAURI, Melchor (SP), MIL at 7:19;
107. CASAGRANDA, Stefano (I), ALS at 7:19;
108. ODRIOZOLA, Jon (SP), BAN at 7:19;
109. DOMINGUEZ, Juan Carlos (SP), BAN at 7:19;
110. HERNANDEZ, Jaime (SP), FES at 7:19;
111. HONDO, Danilo (G), TEL at 7:19;
112. KLIER, Andreas (G), TEL at 7:19;
113. HUNDERTMARK, Kai (G), TEL at 7:19;
114. SCHAFFRATH, Jan (G), TEL at 7:19;
115. SIMONI, Gilberto (I), LAM at 7:19;
116. JAKSCHE, Jörg (G), ONC at 7:19;
117. CAPITAN, Jorge (SP), REL at 7:19;
118. PEREZ CUAPIO, J.Alberto (Mex), PAN at 7:19;
119. SHEFER, AlexanderKZA ALS at 7:19;
120. ENGELS, Addy (Nl), RAB at 7:19;
121. KROON, Karsten (Nl), RAB at 7:19;
122. RATTI, Eddy (I), MAP at 7:19;
123. ZUELLE, Alex (Swi), COA at 7:19;
124. CAR (Dk), AS, Rafael (Col), KEL at 7:19;
125. PEÑA, Victor Hugo (Col), USP at 7:19;
126. O´NEILL, Nathan (AUS), PAN at 7:19;
127. TRENTIN, Guido (I), COF at 7:19;
128. HOJ, Frank (Dk), COA at 7:31;
129. TONTI, Andrea (I), CTA at 9:01;
130. TRENTI, Guido (USA), CTA at 9:01;
131. COMMESSO, Salvatore (I), SAE at 9:01;
132. McEWEN, Robbie (AUS), DFF at 9:27;
133. HUNTER, Robert (SA), LAM at 9:27;
134. MILLAR, David (GB), COF at 9:27;
135. TEUTENBERG, Sven (G), FES at 9:27;
136. GENTILI, Massimiliano (I), CTA at 9:27;
137. PINOTTI, Marco (I), LAM at 9:27;
138. SENIUSHKIN, Yauheni (BLR), PAN at 9:27;
139. SCHWEDA, Raphael (G), COA at 9:27;
140. CRETSKENS, Wilfried (B), DFF at 9:27;
141. NITSCHE, Torsten (G), SAE at 9:27;
142. DIAZ LOBATO, Pedro (SP), CDA at 9:27;
143. McRAE, Chann (USA), USP at 10:24;
144. DEAN, Julian (NZ), USP at 10:24;
145. NIETO, Germán (SP), REL at 11:46;
146. LOPEZ DE MUNAIN, Alberto (SP), EUS at 39:10;

Overall


1. SEVILLA, Oscar (SP), KEL55:04:58;
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 12:32;
16. JIMENEZ, Jose María (SP), BAN at 14:00;
17. GARCIA CASAS, Félix (SP), FES at 15:04;
18. PEREZ, Luis (SP), FES at 15:33;
19. GOMEZ GOZALO, José Javier (SP), KEL at 17:00;
20. KONECNY, Tomas (Cz), DFF at 17:20;
21. BOTERO, Santiago (Col), KEL at 19:37;
22. PELLIZOTTI, Franco (I), ALS at 23:06;
23. CONTI, Roberto (I), CTA at 26:57;
24. CAÑADA, David (SP), MAP at 27:27;
25. OSA, Unai (SP), BAN at 28:26;
26. SASTRE, Carlos (SP), ONC at 31:45;
27. ZBERG, Beat (Swi), RAB at 32:28;
28. VIRENQUE, Richard (F), DFF at 34:29;
29. MARTINEZ, Alberto (SP), EUS at 35:12;
30. FIGUERAS, Giuliano (I), PAN at 35:48;
31. LAVARINHAS, Rui (POR), MIL at 38:00;
32. ZARRABEITIA, Mikel (SP), ONC at 40:24;
33. REBOLLO, Jose Luis (SP), FES at 40:58;
34. DE PAOLI, Daniele (I), MER at 42:39;
35. MILLAR, David (GB), COF at 42:56;
36. FERNANDEZ, Victoriano (SP), MIL at 44:35;
37. SIMONI, Gilberto (I), LAM at 45:21;
38. ATIENZA, Daniel (SP), COF at 45:52;
39. LAGUNA, Oscar (SP), REL at 48:29;
40. ANGUITA, Eleuterio (SP), CDA at 49:06;
41. LELLI, Massimiliano (I), COF at 49:31;
42. GARATE, Juan Manuel (SP), LAM at 52:45;
43. BARANOWSKI, DariuszPOL BAN at 53:12;
44. BRUYLANDTS, Dave (B), DFF at 53:37;
45. CIONI, Dario David (I), MAP at 53:44;
46. SILVA, Joao (POR), MIL at 54:51;
47. ETXEBARRIA, David (SP), EUS at 56:05;
48. ELLI, Alberto (I), TEL at 56:29;
49. VERHEYEN, Geert (B), RAB at 57:20;
50. VICARIO, Juan Carlos (SP), FES at 57:21;
51. FERNANDEZ, Bingen (SP), EUS at 57:43;
52. ZUBELDIA, Haimar (SP), EUS at 57:44;
53. FOFONOV, DmitriKAZ COF at 59:43;
54. CODOL, Massimo (I), LAM at 1:00:06;
55. CLAVERO, Daniel (SP), MER at 1:01:08;
56. PECHARROMAN, J.Antonio (SP), CDA at 1:08:06;
57. GIUNTI, Massimo (I), CTA at 1:09:03;
58. PUGACI, Igor (MDA), SAE at 1:09:19;
59. KLEYNEN, Steven (B), DFF at 1:10:18;
60. SIMEONI, Filippo (I), CTA at 1:10:36;
61. ALDAG, Rolf (G), TEL at 1:12:10;
62. TAULER, Antonio (SP), KEL at 1:12:37;
63. SGAMBELLURI, Roberto (I), TEL at 1:13:09;
64. VICIOSO, Angel (SP), KEL at 1:15:03;
65. FARAZJIN, Peter (B), COF at 1:15:17;
66. MORENI, Cristian (I), MER at 1:16:00;
67. PRONK, Matthe (Nl), RAB at 1:16:14;
68. DIAZ JUSTO, Rafael (SP), ONC at 1:17:09;
69. TRENTIN, Guido (I), COF at 1:17:56;
70. SHEFER, AlexanderKZA ALS at 1:19:48;
71. VAZQUEZ, J.Manuel (SP), REL at 1:20:59;
72. FLECHA, J.Antonio (SP), REL at 1:22:22;
73. JEKER, Fabian (Swi), MIL at 1:23:35;
74. GONZALEZ, Santos (SP), ONC at 1:24:20;
75. JAKSCHE, Jörg (G), ONC at 1:26:46;
76. FLORES, Igor (SP), EUS at 1:27:53;
77. OLANO, Abraham (SP), ONC at 1:28:05;
78. EDO, Angel (SP), MIL at 1:29:12;
79. CABELLO, Francisco (SP), KEL at 1:30:06;
80. ENGELS, Addy (Nl), RAB at 1:33:21;
81. POSPYEYEV, Kyrylo (Ukr), CTA at 1:36:09;
82. GOLBANO, Carlos (SP), CDA at 1:36:30;
83. ODRIOZOLA, Jon (SP), BAN at 1:37:07;
84. LUDEWIG, Jorg (G), SAE at 1:39:05;
85. HORRILLO, Pedro (SP), MAP at 1:39:13;
86. GARCIA CALVO, Cesar (SP), REL at 1:40:00;
87. AEBERSOLD, Niki (Swi), COA at 1:41:09;
88. HUNDERTMARK, Kai (G), TEL at 1:42:28;
89. ZABEL, Erik (G), TEL at 1:44:20;
90. PEREZ CUAPIO, J.Alberto (Mex), PAN at 1:45:30;
91. PEÑA, Victor Hugo (Col), USP at 1:46:09;
92. GENTILI, Massimiliano (I), CTA at 1:46:10;
93. JOACHIM, Benoit (Lx), USP at 1:48:35;
94. HERNANDEZ, Jaime (SP), FES at 1:48:36;
95. SCHRECK, Stephan (G), TEL at 1:48:43;
96. CAR (Dk), AS, Rafael (Col), KEL at 1:49:03;
97. VENEBERG, Thorwald (Nl), RAB at 1:49:15;
98. HONDO, Danilo (G), TEL at 1:50:23;
99. CAPITAN, Jorge (SP), REL at 1:52:55;
100. BOVEN, Jan (Nl), RAB at 1:52:57;
101. DUMA, Vladimir (Ukr), PAN at 1:53:25;
102. TRENTI, Guido (USA), CTA at 1:53:46;
103. GERRIKAGOITIA, Gorka (SP), EUS at 1:55:01;
104. GIANETTI, Mauro (Swi), COA at 1:55:02;
105. LOTZ, Marc (Nl), RAB at 1:58:01;
106. ZUELLE, Alex (Swi), COA at 1:58:17;
107. McRAE, Chann (USA), USP at 1:59:04;
108. O´NEILL, Nathan (AUS), PAN at 2:01:32;
109. GUILLAMON, Juan (SP), CDA at 2:02:44;
110. LAMOUR, Claude (F), COF at 2:03:05;
111. HUSER, Rolf (Swi), COA at 2:03:14;
112. PAOLINI, Luca (I), MAP at 2:03:47;
113. CRUZ, Antonio (USA), USP at 2:03:55;
114. RATTI, Eddy (I), MAP at 2:04:13;
115. SCHAFFRATH, Jan (G), TEL at 2:06:40;
116. TORRENT, Carlos (SP), CDA at 2:09:25;
117. CRETSKENS, Wilfried (B), DFF at 2:09:27;
118. VIDAL, José Angel (SP), KEL at 2:09:47;
119. DOMINGUEZ, Juan Carlos (SP), BAN at 2:10:01;
120. DEAN, Julian (NZ), USP at 2:10:42;
121. MAURI, Melchor (SP), MIL at 2:11:56;
122. KLIER, Andreas (G), TEL at 2:12:01;
123. PICCOLI, Mariano (I), LAM at 2:12:27;
124. LOPEZ DE MUNAIN, Alberto (SP), EUS at 2:14:05;
125. HUNTER, Robert (SA), LAM at 2:14:10;
126. CASERO, Rafael (SP), FES at 2:14:21;
127. SMETANINE, Serguei (Rus), CDA at 2:14:35;
128. FERNANDEZ, David (SP), REL at 2:15:18;
129. ORTENZI, Gian Mario (I), MER at 2:17:21;
130. GARCIA ACOSTA, José (SP), BAN at 2:19:35;
131. PINOTTI, Marco (I), LAM at 2:19:45;
132. HOJ, Frank (Dk), COA at 2:19:51;
133. SCHWEDA, Raphael (G), COA at 2:20:04;
134. COMMESSO, Salvatore (I), SAE at 2:20:47;
135. CARNEIRO, Carlos (POR), MIL at 2:20:51;
136. DIAZ LOBATO, Pedro (SP), CDA at 2:22:27;
137. VINALE, Alberto (I), ALS at 2:22:41;
138. CASAGRANDA, Stefano (I), ALS at 2:23:45;
139. SENIUSHKIN, Yauheni (BLR), PAN at 2:23:53;
140. KROON, Karsten (Nl), RAB at 2:26:22;
141. NITSCHE, Torsten (G), SAE at 2:29:49;
142. TONTI, Andrea (I), CTA at 2:30:52;
143. TEUTENBERG, Sven (G), FES at 2:31:18;
144. BERTOLETTI, Simone (I), LAM at 2:32:08;
145. NIETO, Germán (SP), REL at 2:39:35;
146. McEWEN, Robbie (AUS), DFF at 2:42:53.