What's Cool In Road Cycling

Vuelta Stg 11: “Dizzy” But Happy!

Well, it’s all about one man today. If you’re going to win a stage of a Grand Tour, you might as well do it in super fine style. And one young American showed class, guts and strength galore to assure his professional future for the foreseeable future.

Dave Zabriskie (delete nickname Z/Dizzy/Brisk as applicable) is your stage winner today, ladies and gentlemen after a monster 162 km breakaway. He launched off the front and kept going. No one else got anywhere near him as he stretched out his lead to just shy of 20 minutes.

But this wasn’t just a day when the peloton thought: “This guy’s a nobody …. we’re not interested.” They actually chased, and chased hard. Fassa Bortolo, Saeco, Cofidis, Liberty and Illes-Balears all took turns at the front and contributed to the erosion of the US Postal rider’s lead.

Eventually, Fassa realised they’d left it just a couple of kms too late and pulled out of the chase, reckoning they had no chance of catching the super strong Postie.

Earlier this year, he showed how powerful he is with a classy win in the US Elite TT Championship, and had a nice day out at the Zurich Grand Prix World Cup race whenhe went clear with Carlos Barredo.

It was yet another scorching day, but with little wind so Zabriskie was able to bury himself in his task and motor the gradual uphill finish. He rolled home shattered but happy with 1’ 11” over the peloton. It was a pretty happy flowers, girls podium moment. And a future entrant for the top 10 best rides of 2004 competition, too!

All the effort meant his Postal team mates had a day off in the peloton, and Landis was safe in gold for another day, but there was a bit of worry for Kelme as Valverde crashed after 7 kms and looked banged up with knee and hip injuries. He should be OK for tomorrow once they’ve hosed off the blood.

Stage 11 Result San Vicente del Raspeig – Caravaca de la Cruz, 165 km

1 David Zabriskie (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor 4hrs 05’ 31”
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo + 1’11”
3 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Cofidis
4 Marco Zanotti (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie
5 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team
6 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie
7 Jorge Ferrio (Spa) Paternina-Costa De Almeria
8 Erki Pьtsep (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance
9 Aitor Perez (Spa) Cafes Baque
10 Antonio Cruz (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor all same time

Vuelta Overall After Stage 11

1 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor 40hrs 30’ 33”
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme + 09”
3 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto + 29”
4 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros + 32”
5 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros + 47”
6 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor + 59”
7 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC + 1’ 35”
8 Denis Menchov (Rus) Illes Balears-Banesto + 2’ 42”
9 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo + 2’ 50”
10 Angel Gomez (Spa) Paternina-Costa De Almeria + 4’ 16”

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