What's Cool In Road Cycling

Vuelta Stage 17: Another Non-Stage-Win For Zabel!

On a day for the sprinters, the riders looking for overall victory could rest in the bunch a bit, and worry about tomorrow’s hard stage to the ski station at La Covatilla, a 2010 metre high special class climb and with three big hills before, it will be the last chance for a show-down.

At the start Euskaltel-Euskadi manager, Juliбn Gorospe said he was pleased with his team’s performance in this Vuelta as he has Iban Mayo in fifth position.

Once things got under-way, brother of last years winner, Rafa Casero (Jazztel) was very active, going away in a couple of moves. Fassa Bortolo did all the work to bring back any escapees. The plan was to get some points for Alessandro Petacchi, which he did, a 1st. and a 2nd. in the intermediate sprints, bringing him a bit closer to Zabel. All he had to do was win the stage, trouble was Zabel had the same idea. So it was all together into Salamanca with Telekom on the front and Petacchi on Zabel’s wheel, Zabel went early, Petacchi couldn’t go round him and Alessio’s Angelo Furlan shot past both of them, for a fine win.

Petacchi started the day 29 points behind Zabel and finished 30 adrift, a lot of work for nothing. Overall no change.

Tomorrow will be a big day, with eight men all within 5 minutes of each other, it’s all to play for, as they say. Roberto Heras will have to put some more time between him and Aitor Gonzбlez, and the Kelme team will have to put the L’Angliru stage behind them, this could play into the hands of some of the others, Simoni, Beloki, Mayo & as an outside bet Casagrande. What ever happens it should be a cracker!

Stage 17 Result:

1st. A.Furlan ALS 2.58.00.
2nd. E.Zabel TEL all at same time.
3rd. A.Petacchi FAS.
4th. S.Teutenburg PHO.
5th. G.Glomser SAE.
6th. A.Hauptman TAC.
7th. P.Bossoni TAC.
8th. D.Zanetti FAS.
9th. A.Edo MIL.
10th. J.Svorada LAM.

Overall After Stage 17:

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