What's Cool In Road Cycling

Murcia: Llorente Keeps Lead, Erik Zabel Gets First Win Of The Season

What was looking like a lean season of second places for Erik Zabel, has been put behind him to-day in the third stage of the Vuelta a Murcia. The Telekom team lead him out perfectly after 160 kilometres, he didn’t fail them.

Last year’s winner, Victo Hugo Peсa (USP), went away with an early break, just 5 kilometres after the start in Caravaca, with 19 other riders, it lasted 33 kilometres. As soon as they were caught an other 12 tried their luck, but with a lot of action going on at the back they lasted only 10 kilometres.

The break of any note to-day included Carlos Torrent (Paternina), who at one point was leader on the road by 2 minutes 55 seconds advantage, it did’nt last.

Telekom took over in the run-in to the finnish, they put it on a plate for Erik and he eat it all up. It took him long enough to break his duck this season, but none of us are getting any younger, eh!

Tomorrow’s stage 4 is the last chance for any-one with any ideas, as the 12.9 kilometre time trial on sunday may not matter much. The stage is 167 kilometres from Cartagena to the summit top finnish of the Alto de La Santa (Tontana). La Santa (3rd. cat) to be climbed 3 times and the Callado Bermejo, twice.

Stage 3 Result:

1st. E.Zabel (TEL) 3.42.36.
2nd. B.Zberg (RAB) same time.
3rd. N.Sijmans (VLA) same time.
4th. S.Kupfernagel (PHO) same time:
5th. G.Bortolami (SID) same time.
6th. R.Serrano (La2) same time.

Overall After Stage 3:

1st. J.Pascual Llorente (KEL) 11.28.20.
2nd. A.Valverde (KEL) at 7 secs.
3rd. H.Zubeldia (EUS) at 7 secs.
4th. J.Gutierrez (BAN) at 20 secs.
5th. C.Evans (TEL) at 25 secs.
6th. L.Piepoli (BAN) at 26 secs.
7th. W.Belli (LAM) at 31 secs.
8th. S.Blanco (REL) at 31 secs.
9th. J.C.Dominguez (PHO) at 33 secs.
10th. J.Martinez (PAT) at 33 secs.

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