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Arreitunandia wins stage, Gil seizes lead at Murcia

Spaniard Pedro Arreitunandia (Barloworld) won the fourth stage of the Vuelta a Murcia on Saturday, outsprinting compatriot Koldo Gil (Liberty Seguros). Damiango Cunego (Lampre-Caffita) crossed third at 40 seconds back. In finishing second, Gil took the overall lead from Germany’s Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner), who slipped to ninth overall at more than two minutes back. “I attacked to win the stage, but I could not drop Arreitunandia in the finale,” said Gil. “He benefited from my effort, but I take the lead on general classification, and barring incident I should win this tour, which will be

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By Agence France Presse

Arreitunandia outkicks Gil at the finish . . .

Arreitunandia outkicks Gil at the finish . . .

Photo: Graham Watson

Spaniard Pedro Arreitunandia (Barloworld) won the fourth stage of the Vuelta a Murcia on Saturday, outsprinting compatriot Koldo Gil (Liberty Seguros).

. . . but Gil gets the leader's jersey

. . . but Gil gets the leader’s jersey

Photo: Graham Watson

Damiango Cunego (Lampre-Caffita) crossed third at 40 seconds back.

In finishing second, Gil took the overall lead from Germany’s Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner), who slipped to ninth overall at more than two minutes back.

What goes up, must come down

What goes up, must come down

Photo: Graham Watson

“I attacked to win the stage, but I could not drop Arreitunandia in the finale,” said Gil. “He benefited from my effort, but I take the lead on general classification, and barring incident I should win this tour, which will be for me a great triumph.”

The queen stage of Murcia, a 152km leg from Aguilas along the Mediterranean coast to the category-1 summit finish at Collado Bermejo, included three category-3 climbs and another category 1 at the Alto de Espuña.

Gil and Arreitunandia out front

Gil and Arreitunandia out front

Photo: Graham Watson

Spaniard Adolfo Garcia Quesada (Comunidad Valenciana) and German Marcus Burghardt (T-Mobile) launched a break that eventually saw the duo gain five and a half minutes on the field, but they were retrieved 20km from the finish.

On the final ascent, Collado Bermejo, Koldo, Arreitunandia and Cunego left race leader Hondo and the others behind. The Italian fell off the pace after a mechanical, leaving the two Spaniards to fight it out for the stage win.

Burghardt leads

Burghardt leads

Photo: Graham Watson

Sunday’s fifth and final stage is a 150.6km circuit beginning and ending at Murcia.

Vuelta a Murcia (SPA 2.1), Stage 3, Mula to Fortuna

1. Pedro Arreitunandia (Sp), Barloworld, 152km in 4:14:59
2. Koldo Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
3. Damiano Cunego (I), Lampre-Caffita, at 0:40
4. Pieter Weening (Ned), Rabobank, at 1:08
5. Antonio Colom (Sp), Illes Balears, at 1:10
6. Ezequiel Mosquera (Sp), Kaiku, s.t.
7. David Cañada (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 1:43
8. Theo Eltink (Ned), Rabobank, at 1:45
9. Ricardo Serrano (Sp), Kaiku, at 2:01
10. Laurent Brochard (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

Overall
1. Gil, 12:28:40
2. Colom, at 0:30
3. Cunego, at 0:59
4. Arreitunandia, at 1:09
5. Mosquera, at 1:35
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Gerolsteiner, 1:47
7. José L. Martinez (Sp), Comunidad Valenciana, 1:54
8. Weening, at 1:59
9. Danilo Hondo (G), Gerolsteiner, 2:11
10. Rory Sutherland (Aus), Rabobank, 2:27

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