Stage 11: Lastras – Hometown Hero!
Vuelta Stage 11: Alcobendas – Collado Villalba 166.1km
– By Oswaldo Menedez –
Even if it is pouring with rain, the riders do not stop. That is why, the eleventh stage of Vuelta a Espaсa, the one from Alcobendas to Collado Villalba, was almost a common stage, though the first kilometres were terrible. A heavy shower tried to stop the riders on their way from Colmenar Viejo to Hoyo de Manzanares, in the middle of the natural reserve. But our protagonists fought against the rain and wind and ended the stage with a frantic descent from Navacerrada. The rider from Madrid, Pablo Lastras became winner one again, this time in Collado Villalba, in front of Haimar Zubeldia and Claus Mцller.
The stage was a difficult one and even more difficult if it was raining. But those who do not give in, those who believe this is the hardest sport, did not stopped fighting. From the first kilometres, the attempts to break away were almost continuous. Among the protagonists, we find, of course, Luis Pйrez, Aitor Osa and Miguel Angel Martнn Perdiguero. These riders along with Darнo Gadeo, were able to change the plans within the peloton in El Escorial and Los Leones.
But the 166.1 kilometres of the stage had a key point, and that was the climb to Navacerrada mountain pass. There, Danilo di Luca and his leader Gilberto Simoni went into action. Although many riders attempted to break away and reach the top alone, Simoni did not allow them to. His wheel was always very close to Roberto Heras, Iban Mayo, Aitor Gonzбlez and Oscar Sevilla. Kelme-Costa Blanca team was almost all the time controlling the race and defended very closely the minute of advantage that allows the rider from Ossa de Montiel wear the Gold Jersey.
The last kilometres were very competed. Zubeldia, Mцller and Pablo Lastras broke away and they reached their final goal. At the very end, the ibanesto.com rider showed that he is enjoying his sweetest moment as a professional rider and was able to cross the finish line in front of the Basque rider. They three risked a lot and achieved their aim. At the end, only one could get the reward and that was Pablo Lastras, who really deserved these moments of glory after all the bad moments he has gone through.
Results Stage 11
1є LASTRAS, Pablo ESP BAN 3:55:54
2є ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP EUS m.t.
3є MЦLLER, Klaus DEN MIL a 2
4є MILLAR, David GBR COF a 9
5є CASAGRANDE, Francesco ITA FAS a 9
6є DI LUCA, Danilo ITA SAE a 9
7є SEVILLA, Oscar ESP KEL a 9
8є SIMONI, Gilberto ITA SAE a 9
9є JEKER, Fabian SUI MIL a 9
10є HERAS, Roberto ESP USP a 9
Overall – After Stage 11
1є SEVILLA, Oscar ESP KEL 37:15:08
2є GONZALEZ, Aitor ESP KEL a 1
3є HERAS, Roberto ESP USP a 1:42
4є MAYO, Iban ESP EUS a 2:04
5є BELOKI, Joseba ESP ONE a 2:04
6є ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP EUS a 2:47
7є GARCIA CASAS, Fйlix ESP BIG a 3:05
8є JAKSCHE, Jцrg GER ONE a 3:20
9є TRENTIN, Guido ITA COF a 3:34
10є MILLAR, David GBR COF a 3:36