La Vuelta Stg 16: Cardenas Wins At Sierra Nevada
Fйlix Cбrdenas does not need to be asked that question from a very famous Spanish song that asks: “what is in your head when I ask you and you do not answer me?”. Since he came to the Vuelta 2003 with the team Labarca2-Cafй-Baquй, we all realized that there was just one idea in his mind: to win a mountain stage. Cбrdenas has been constant and tireless. He came to Spain to become the best at the mountains and to win a stage and he has achieved his aim at the highest top, in Sierra Nevada.
Cбrdenas was the first to break away. He took part in the first breakaway of the day just in case it were successful, but when he realized this was not the best tactic he decided to be intelligent. In his mind there were many memories, he made use of them and joined Sevilla and Alejandro Valverde, who had decided to fight for Valverdeґs position Overall than for a new stage win.
Cбrdenas achieved the 16th stage win of Vuelta a Espaсa 2003 that had started in Jaйn and covered 162 kilometres to Sierra Nevada. He tried to find good travellers to go with him and when there were just two kilometres to go, he attacked; he did it when Juan Miguel Mercado wanted to make his people and ibanesto.com happy. With his victory, this modest team can be really satisfied and go to bed with a big smile on their faces. The truth is that Labarca2 cafй-Baque riders have worked very hard during this Vuelta and now they are having their deserved reward.
The race to the podium had a very special protagonist: Marcos Serrano. Once again, the rider from Galicia, was the one in charge of taking Isidro to the top. Apart from that, he also worked for Igor Gonzбlez de Galdeano who could not follow Roberto Heras very closely. Once-Eroskiґs leader lost some precious time and that makes things much more interesting for the Overall Standings.
Roberto Heras knows that Nozal is the virtual Leader Overall and that is why he broke away on the hardest ramps to Sierra Nevada and he is getting precious seconds little by little. He also knows that all the riders get to the Capital City with very little strength left.
Vicente Beldaґs riders were also great protagonists today. The green team bet on Alejandro Valverde. They wanted the Murcia-born rider to get a better position Overall. Sevilla, Gutiйrrez and Tauler worked for that, the problem was that the one who made use of this tactic was Cбrdenas. This particular and special stage had many candidates but only one could be the chosen one. The same as the Gold Jersey that is still in the hands of Isidro Nozal.
Results Stage 16
1 Felix Cardenas (Col) Labarca-2-Cafй Baquй 4.09.35
2 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) iBanesto.com 0.05
3 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 0.18
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
5 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) iBanesto.com 0.21
6 Txema Del Olmo (Spa) Milaneza-MSS 0.31
7 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com 0.58
8 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 1.02
9 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank
10 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com 1.11
Results – GC After Stage 16
1 Isidro Nozal (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 54.13.10
2 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 3.03
3 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 3.09
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 5.00
5 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 5.16
6 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com 6.27
7 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 7.34
8 Luis Perez (Spa) Cofidis, Le Crйdit par Tйlйphone 8.51
9 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com 9.02
10 Felix Cardenas (Col) Labarca-2-Cafй Baquй 9.28