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Haussler takes storm-blown final stage at Murcia as Gonzalez takes overall title

Santos González (3 Molinas) sewed up his first career stage-racevictory Sunday after finishing safely in the bunch in the final stage ofthe five-day Vuelta a Murcia.German wunderkind Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner) out-kicked ArielRicheze (Panaria) to claim his second stage of the Spanish race in a masssprint despite heavy winds that forced race organizers to neutralize partof the course.New Discovery Channel rider Egoi Martínez featured in a five-manescape that pulled away at 22km to build up a 2:30 lead at 80km. The movewas neutralized at 112km, just before heavy winds

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By Agence France Presse

Santos González (3 Molinas) sewed up his first career stage-racevictory Sunday after finishing safely in the bunch in the final stage ofthe five-day Vuelta a Murcia.German wunderkind Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner) out-kicked ArielRicheze (Panaria) to claim his second stage of the Spanish race in a masssprint despite heavy winds that forced race organizers to neutralize partof the course.New Discovery Channel rider Egoi Martínez featured in a five-manescape that pulled away at 22km to build up a 2:30 lead at 80km. The movewas neutralized at 112km, just before heavy winds prompted a cease-fireamong the combatants in the closing 20km.González rolled through with the main pack to close the dooron José Iván Gutiérrez (Illes Balears), who finishedsecond overall at just three seconds back. Taking third to complete thepodium was David Bernabeu (Comunidad Valenciana), whose teams earned areturn trip to the Tour de France this week.González grabbed the lead in Saturday’s summit finish after erasingthe 15-second lead Gutiérrez held following Friday’s time trialvictory.The win comes somewhat as a personal revenge for González, whowas kicked out of last year’s Vuelta a España by his Phonak teamdespite sitting in the top-10 with just four stages to go.Team officials said internal health screenings revealed inconsistentindicators in González’ blood, a violation of team policies whicheventually led to the Spanish veteran’s departure from the team.Despite not failing a sanctioned UCI test, González was unableto find a ride with a ProTour team and settled for Spanish continentalteam 3 Molinas.Vuelta a Murcia, Stage 5
1. Heinrich Haussler (Ger), Gerolsteiner 3h10:54
2. Ariel Richeze (Arg), Panaria
3. David Muñoz (Spa), Comunidad Valenciana)
4. Rubén Pérez (Spa), Euskaltel Euskadi)
5. Baden Cooke (Aus), Unibet.com) – all same timeFinal overall standings
1. Santos González (Spa), 3 Molinos 15h 33:02
2. José Iván Gutiérrez (Spa), Illes Balears at0:03
3. David Bernabeu (Spa), C.Valenciana at 0:27
4. Jan Hruska (Cze), 3 Molinos at 0:32
5. Carlos García Quesada (Spa), Unibet:com at 0:39