Vuelta Stg 17: It’s Millar Time!
David Millar made a gutsy break with 24km to go and crossed the line with a fantastic solo victory in today’s 188km 17th stage of the Vuelta from Granada to Cordoba.
After being joined by Juan Miguel Mercado (iBanesto) and an Euskaltel rider – Alberto Martinez – Millar jumped away from them as another group broke free of the peloton containing Oscar Sevilla (Kelme), Unai Osa (iBanesto) and Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank). As Millar went clear the 5 behind him formed a solid chase group, and with no reaction coming from the peloton as ONCE marked Heras and only Heras, the chase was left to the somewhat befuddled Milaneza-MSS team, who, with 2 riders at the front, could make no inroads on Millars lead. It is interesting to note that KOM leader Cardenas again played his characteristic wheelsucking role and sat third wheel in the Milaneza operation, but did not pull.
Millar took the last descent at breakneck speed and solidified his stage victory by continuing to put time into the 5 chasers behind him. Taking time to wash away all the bad tastes of his near misses this season, Millar began celebrating wildly with 500 meters to go, clearly enjoying his moment and playing to the crowd.
1 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis, Le Crйdit par Tйlйphone 3.58.03
2 Alberto Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.30
3 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
4 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com
5 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank
6 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 0.41
General classification after stage 17
1 Isidro Nozal (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski
2 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 3.03
3 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 3.09
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 5.00
5 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 5.16
6 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com 6.27
7 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 7.24