Rubiera 2nd At Burgos
– Reported by Dan Osipow For TailwindSports –
For the second consecutive year, the United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team’s Jose LuisRubiera, a key performer in teammate Lance Armstrong’s fourth Tour de France victory last month, placed second overall at the Tour of Burgos stage race in Spain. Backed by solid performances in the team time trial stage and the following mountain stage, Rubiera finished 12 seconds back of winner Francisco Mancebo of iBanesto.com in the five-stage event. Last year, Rubiera, considered one of the USPS team’s top domestiques and also one of its better climbers, finished 17 seconds back of another iBanesto.com rider, Juan Miguel Mercado. Mancebo’s victory was iBanesto.com’s third straight at the Tour of Burgos.
In Wednesday’s TTT stage, the USPS team placed third overall, 30 seconds back of stage winner ONCE. The winners covered the 17.9 kilometers in just under 18 minutes for an average of 59.77 kph. Phonak placed second, at 28 seconds, with the USPS third, fractions ahead of iBanesto.com. Following the stage, Rubiera moved into ninth place overall, in the same time as Mancebo. The next day’s action took the riders 165 kms to the summit of the Alto de las Lagunas Negra de Niela, an above category climb. In the stage, the USPS’ Roberto Heras, another key performer at the Tour de France, finished second to CSC-Tiscali’s Michael Rasmussen, at 20 seconds, with Mancebo third in the same time. Rubiera, meanwhile, placed fifth, 31 seconds back, thus giving Mancebo the race lead he would hold through today’s final 172 km stage to Burgos.
Heras ended up ninth overall, 1:41 back, with Christian Vande Velde placing 20th overall, at 3:16. Heras, the winner of the 2000 Tour of Spain, will lead the USPS team at next month’s Vuelta.
This weekend, the USPS team will race in both the Championship of Zurich World Cup event and the USPRO Criterium Championship. Armstrong will lead the team in Switzerland while six riders will take the start line in Downers Grove for the criterum championship – Dylan Casey, Dave Zabriskie , David Clinger, Chann McRae, Kenny Labbe and Robbie Ventura.
FINAL GC, TOUR OF BURGOS
1. Francisco Mancebo, iBanesto.com; 16:57:55
2. Jose Luis Rubiera, U.S. Postal Service; at :12
3. Mikel Zarrabeitia, ONCE-Eroski; at :26
4. Michael Rasmussen, CSC-Tiscali; at :31
5. Juan Carlos Dominguez, Phonak; at :41
8. Roberto Heras, U.S. Postal Service; at 1:41
20. Christian Vande Velde, U.S. Postal Service; at 3:16
54. Michael Barry, U.S. Postal Service; at 11:48
70. Steffen Kjaergaard, U.S. Postal Service; at 14:58
76. David Zabriskie, U.S. Postal Service; at 17:23
DNF – David Clinger, U.S. Postal Service
DNF – Chann McRae, U.S. Postal Service