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Vuelta: Simeoni scores, Sevilla still golden

For more than two weeks, the numerous Italians in the peloton seemed more interested in chatting with the gorgeous Vuelta a España podium girls than winning stages. The flirting stopped long enough during Thursday’s 95-mile 18th stage from Albacete to Cuenca for an Italian finally to score, a stage victory that is. Cantina Tollo’s Filippo Simeoni profited by an untimely crash by iBanesto.com Santi Blanco, who held a comfortable margin over a 12-man breakaway but slipped on an oil patch while descending off a category-three climb just 12 km from the finish. Simeoni was the lead chaser and

By Andrew Hood

Simeoni

Simeoni

Photo: Graham Watson

For more than two weeks, the numerous Italians in the peloton seemed more interested in chatting with the gorgeous Vuelta a España podium girls than winning stages.

The flirting stopped long enough during Thursday’s 95-mile 18th stage from Albacete to Cuenca for an Italian finally to score, a stage victory that is.

Cantina Tollo’s Filippo Simeoni profited by an untimely crash by iBanesto.com Santi Blanco, who held a comfortable margin over a 12-man breakaway but slipped on an oil patch while descending off a category-three climb just 12 km from the finish.

Sevilla holds the lead

Sevilla holds the lead

Photo: Graham Watson

Simeoni was the lead chaser and held off five pursuers to seal the first Italian victory in this Vuelta. Lampre, an Italian team, has won two stage-wins, but not with Italian riders. Kelme’s Oscar Sevilla finished safely in the lead bunch at 56 seconds back to retain the overall lead for the eighth day.

“It’s an honor to win this stage. There are a lot of great Italian racers here and despite what people in the Spanish press have said, we have tried hard to win stages,” said Simeoni, who stopped at the finish line, kissed his bike and walked across the line to win in 3 hours, 7 minutes, 32 seconds. “We Italians respect the Vuelta and it’s important that we show our respect by winning a stage.”

Twelve riders broke away from the lead bunch in what was another fast stage. This Vuelta is en route to becoming the fastest in history. Thursday started with an average speed of 42.1 km/h through 17 stages. Shorter stages are the reason behind the fast speeds, and the record of 41.3 set in 1997 looks likely to be broken.

Telekom’s Erik Zabel was the fastest man in the 12-rider break but couldn’t stay with Blanco when he attacked on the category-three Alto del Castillo as the race ripped through the narrow streets of downtown Cuenca, a World Heritage Site. The medieval city is built on high bluffs and racers hugged the gutters to avoid cobbles on the climb.

Simeoni moved ahead following Blanco’s crash (who crashed yet again trying to catch the chasers) and easily held off his pursuers. Rabobank’s Gert Verheyen was second and ONCE’s Rafael Diaz Justo was third. Zabel finished ninth and regained the points jersey.

Sevilla stayed on Casero’s wheel up the short climb that momentarily split the lead group. None of the favorites lost position and the top-10 standings remained the same. Three stages remain, with Saturday’s climbing stage and Sunday’s final individual time trial set to determine the overall winner.

“It’s been a nice few days for me to come through Albacete, my hometown. It was a dangerous stage today, a complicated finish and I had to be vigilant to watch Casero,” Sevilla said. “Every day we get closer to Madrid and I hope to win this Vuelta, but the differences between Angel and I are so slim, that if I don’t win, I’ll keep smiling.”

Zabel's escape gave him back the points jersey

Zabel’s escape gave him back the points jersey

Photo: Graham Watson

U.S. Postal’s Roberto Heras and Levi Leipheimer finished safely in the lead group and remain in third and fifth, respectively.

The 21-stage, 1,851-mile 56th Vuelta a España continues Friday with the 168-km (104-mile) 19th stage from Cuenca to Guadalajara. The relatively flat stage features a category-three climb just 15 km from the finish.

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Results

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

Overall

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