Vuelta ’05 Final: Roberto Heras The 4th
So history was made to day as Roberto Heras of Liberty Seguros team won his fourth Vuelta a Espaсa, is he going to do a “Lance” and win it seven times? He never shined in the Tour and his manager, Manolo Saiz, will have him concentrate on La Vuelta in the future, so it is possible.
Today we started in cool temperatures, about 20є colder than the first stages in Granada. The mountains, team and combine competitions are all sewn up, but Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) is looking to take the points jersey from Heras today, if he wins the stage and all the intermediate sprints he could go level and then on the count-back on stage wins he could do it.
The early part of the stage went as planned, slow and easy, apart from Petacchi taking all the sprints. Then in the last hour a few riders tried going up the road, notably the local Relax-Fuenlabrada team members, but Fassa Bortolo pulled all back.
The last kilometre and the Fassa train are on the front, the last corner was a hair-pin and messed up the plan for Petacchi, Zanotti (Liquigas) got out of the bend first and made a brave attempt at upsetting the Fassa applecart, but the line was too faraway and slightly up-hill, Petacchi pulls him in with “Old Man” Zabel on his wheel.
Petacchi wins the stage and takes the points jersey, a good practice for the Worlds, nice circuit, smooth roads and maybe a medal for Alessandro?
Good ride by Heras, (with the stitches in his leg), exciting all the way as usual for La Vuelta. Menchov, Sastre and Mancebo kept the pressure on to the end; Comunidad Valenciana took the team prize and showed that they should be in the Pro-Tour.
Madrid next week for the World Championships, Heras won’t be there, but all the other stars will be, see you there.
Last Stage Result:
1st Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) in 3:34:41
2nd Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) all at same time.
3rd Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner)
4th Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel)
5th Jimmy Casper (Cofidis)
6th Gert Steegmans (Davitamon – Lotto)
7th Bram De Groot (Rabobank)
8th Michael Barry (Discovery)
9th Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis)
10th Renй Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner)
1st Roberto Heras (Liberty) in 82:22:55
2nd Denis Menchov (Rabobank) at 4:36
3rd Carlos Sastre (CSC) at 4:54
4th Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) at 5:58
5th Carlos Garcia Quesada (Comunidad Valenciana) at 8:06
6th Ruben Plaza (Comunidad Valenciana) at 11:36
7th Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile) at 13:22
8th Tom Danielson (Discovery) at 16:38
9th Mauricio Alberto Ardila (Davitamon – Lotto) at 18:19
10th Juan Miguel Mercado (Quick Step) at 18:31