What's Cool In Road Cycling

Vuelta Stg 15: Double Top Performance From Santi’!

The top of the Vuelta tree got a bit of a shake in today’s vicious mountain time trial, and one or two names fell a long way. An unsung hero took another big step forward and shaped a new top three on another boiling hot day.

Phonak’s Santi Perez followed up yesterday’s emphatic breakaway win with a super-charged performance flying the 29.6 kms from Granada up the sun-baked slopes of Sierra Nevada. Out of the shadow of Hamilton, and with Sevilla not really producing the goods, Perez looked mighty, catching his 4 minute man Angel Gomez on the line.

After dedicating yesterday’s win to the memory of his deceased girlfriend, it was clear he remains on a mission and has renewed ambition. Santi clawed his way into 3rd overall after taking over 3 minutes out of Francisco Mancebo, who had looked pretty good but faded late on.

Perez’s fine win was a little overshadowed by the war going on behind as Alejandro Valverde gave everything to swipe the gold jersey from Roberto Heras. Valverde was flying, overhauling Nozal. I reckon the encouragement from his rather attractive girlfriend sitting beside Vincente Belda in the CV-Kelme team car might have had a little to do with it.

Most of the way up, Valverde looked a lot smoother than Heras who’d had to make an early bike change. Valverde seemed to be running out of steam late on, getting pretty ragged, and Heras seemed to have regained a smoother rhythm. But the time gap actually grew, but not quite enough for Valverde to get the lead, as Heras (mouth ringed by salt from the effort) dug in to stay in the overall lead.

Tomorrow is a day off, but hostilities resume on Tuesday, with 2 mountain-top finishes and the final TT into Madrid to come.

Vuelta Stage 15 Result Granada-Sierra Nevada 29.6 kms

1 Santiago Perez (Spa) Phonak 1hr 02’ 29”
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) CV-Kelme + 1’ 07”
3 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros + 1’ 51”
4 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team T-Mobile + 3’ 06”
5 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto + 3’ 18”
6 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) CV-Kelme + 3’ 24”
7 Angel Gomez (Spa) Paternina + 3’ 59”
8 David Blanco (Spa) CV-Kelme + 4’ 00”
9 Isidrio Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros + 4’ 24”
10 Javier Pascual Rodrigeuz (Spa) CV-Kelme + 4′ 28″

Vuelta Overall After Stage 15

1 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros 54hrs 04’ 25”
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) CV-Kelme + 05”
3 Santiago Perez (Spa) Phonak +1’ 45”
4 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto + 2’ 02”
5 Isidrio Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros + 3’ 45”
6 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC + 6’ 12”
7 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor + 8’ 21”
8 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor + 8’ 44”
9 Angel Gomez (Spa) Paternina + 8’ 51”
10 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) CV-Kelme + 8’ 59”

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.