What's Cool In Road Cycling

Nozal Suffers And Rasmussen Wins At Cauterets

The seventh stage of La Vuelta, between Huesca and Cauterets, made the hot favourites use a lot of the energies they need if they want to achieve the final triumph. One of the ones to blame is Roberto Heras who imposed a really fast pace at Aubisque, who put a lot of preassure on the yellow Once-Eroski and who only reduced his pace ten kilometres to go. The main protagonist of the day was the Danish rider Michael Rasmussen, of Rabobank, he took part in every single breakaway and ended up achieving the stage win.

From the very first kilometre, the atmosphere was tense and the battle was hard. They all left Huesca ready to fight and there was not a single moment of peace in the day. At the Alto de Monrepуs climb, the Colombian rider, Felix Cбrdenas showed everybody that he wanted to become the best today. His easy pedalling was praised by everyone at Portalet and Aubisque; he moves his legs so easily at the tops. If he had not fallen down, it is possible that the race would have had a different outcome.

Cбrdenas was a clear reference point for everybody and Luis Pйrez was brilliant too; the Madrid-born rider of Cofidis, is going through his best moment as a professional rider and he showed it once again. He can stand a lot of suffering and his strength is something to be taken into account. On his way to Cauterets, he met Manolo Beltrбn, who is living his sweetest moment as a rider. He, who can be considered the US Postal second leader, put the finishing touches to the job carried out by Roberto Heras. Beltrбn behaved like a real star today and he is already second overall.

The Once-Eroski riders had to work really hard. First to stop Heras and then to do the same with Beltran. Isidro Nozal did it very well tool; he was faithful to Igor Gonzбlez de Galdeano, tried to catch up with Pйrez and Beltrбn on the very last part of the race and he almost used up all his energy. But he did not lose the Gold Jersey.

On the way to the finish line we could also be the witness of Sevillaґs performance; early from the start he needed the doctors but at the end he tried his luck. He attempted to break away although his adventure did not last long. Aitor Gonzбlez placed himself among the best again; he showed his power today.

All of them were remarkable today; they used up all their energies. They really deserved the applause of those enthusiasts who moved to France just to encourage them.

Osvaldo Menйndez/Prensa La Vuelta

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