Vuelta Stage 16: Botero Takes One For Kelme
After all the rain and cold, on Sunday, it was back to warm conditions to-day on the road from Avilйs to Leуn. At the start Oscar Sevilla said the day off was very helpfull for him to regain his strength, after the Alto De L’Angliru, and the reported problems with team mate Aitor Gonzбlez, he would prefer to forget about and concentrate on the battle to final victory in Madrid.
Alvaro Pino, directeur sportif for Phonak, said he is pleased with his team as they have been in many breaks, he now hopes for a stage win, but he said it is very difficult as there are a lot of teams with the same idea. His team leader Oscar Camenzind did not start this morning.
After many attempted break aways up-to the big climb of the day at 75 kilometres, Kelme put all their men on attack to split the main group. By the top of the Puerto De Pajares a group of 5 were away, Pere & Plaza (Coast), Botero & Gutierrez (Kelme) and Osa (ibanesto.com). Behind what was left combined do let the group go, reaching 9 minutes and Osa taking the mountains jersey. At 152 kilometres with 3 kilometres to the line Perez jumps and Botero goes with him and then out sprint him at the finish with the others 5 seconds behind. Eric Zabel took the bunch sprint over 8 minutes later, and his main rival for the points jersey, Petacchi, no where to be seen.
Heras will wear Gold again tomorrow, at one point to-day he was on his own, but showing such good form it was ”no problemo”. Luis Perez (Coast) must be wondering what he has to do to win a stage, to-day he could not hide his rage at the finish, so close again.
Yesterday the UCI tested 48 riders, all well again.
Stage 16 Result:
1st. S.Botero KEL 3.32.07.
2nd. L.Perez COA same time.
3rd. J.Gutierrez KEL at 5 secs.
4th. A.Osa BAN same.
5th. D.Plaza COA same.
6th. E.Zabel TEL at 8 minutes 58 secs.
Overall After Stage 16:
1st. R.Heras USP 58.55.13.
2nd. A.Gonzбlez KEL at 35 secs.
3rd. O.Sevilla KEL at 1.08.
4th. J.Beloki ONC at 1.57.
5th. I.Mayo EUS at 2.16.
6th. F.Casagrande FAS at 3.56.
7th. F.Garcia Casas BIG at 4.06.
8th. G.Simoni SAE at 4.55.
9th. M.Beltran COA at5.20.
10th. H.Zubeldia EUS at 5.26.