Mallorca: Dutchman Wielinga Takes Stage, Valverde Over-all
After a hard fought battle between the sprinters in the first four stages of this years Challenge de Mallorca, it came down to a proper “hard-mans” stage to sort them out!
With gray skies and probable rain, the bunch worked it’s way through the start Town of Magalluf. Crash victim, Oscar Freire, started but looked a bit sheepish as his crash yesterday on the last corner, gave Erik Zabel the over-all lead by 4 seconds over Australian Davis. By the end of the day 4 seconds did’nt really matter much, as they both finished 25 minutes down.
Not much happend up to the sprint at Puigpinyent at 126 kilometres, when Gorga Gonzalez (Euskaltel) went off on his own to be eventually joined by Remmert Wielinga of Rabobank as the rain started to come down.
They were being chased by Flecha (ibanesto.com) and a group of 8, including Cabello and Valverde of Kelme, Rodriguez of ONCE and Gutierrez of ibanesto.com who all had a chance of the over-all, also strong-man Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) was lending a hand.
The two leaders had a gap of a minute in the Village of Calvia, with 8 kilometres before the finish in Palmanova. In a brave move, Wielinga jumped twice to lose Gonzalez, who fought all the way calmly to pull him back to a matter of metres over the undulating and twisty last kilometres. Gonzalez caught Wielinga at one and a half kilos and attacked under the red flag, Wielinga managed to get up to Gonzalez and pass him on the line. Flecha stayed clear of the chasers, and what was left of the main group came in 5 minutes down, the others should be in by now as it’s nearly dark.
Alejandro Valverde took the over-all and Kelme took the team prize, so things dont look so bad for the men in green after all.
1st. R.Wielinger (RAB) 3:55:53.
2nd. G.Gonzalez (EUSK) same time.
3rd. J.Flecha (iBAN) at 1:18
4th. D.Rebellin (GEROL) at 1:52.
5th. A.Valverde (KEL) same time.
6th. P.Sinkewitz (Quick) same time.
7th. J.Gutierrez (iBAN) same time.
8th. L.Pasamontes (Relax) same time.
9th. F.Cabello (KEL) same time.
10th. J.Rodriguez (ONCE) same time.
1st. A.Valverde (KEL) 18:10:07.
2nd. J.Rodriguez (ONCE) same time.
3rd. F.Cabello (KEL) same time.
4th. J.Gutierrez (iBAN) same time.
5th. F.Perez (Milaneza) at 2:31.
6th. V.Reynes (LA Pecol) same time.
7th. X.Florencio (ONCE) same time.
8th. G.Trampusch (GEROL) at 3:06.
9th. J.Julia (KEL) at 3:09.
10th. F.Lara (COAST) same time.