Vuelta ’05 Stage 14: The New Jimenez?
Today was billed to be one of the BIG days of this years La Vuelta, Roberto Heras with 15 stitches in his leg had been saying this was going to be the most important day for the overall.
The day was gray and cool, which was the best conditions for most of the riders, except Tom Boonen who went home to prepare for the worlds in Madrid. Fifteen riders went away early hoping to build up a big enough lead at the bottom of the last and main climb to the Lagos de Covadonga at the end of a hard 173 kilometers from the Nestlй factory in La Penilla.
In the lead group was Rodriguez of Saunier Duval (mountains leader), he was there to get as many points as he could, but also in the group was Eladio Jimenez (C.V.) who had the same idea.
On the Alto de Ortigueiro (3rd Cat) the group had just over 8 minutes on the chasing bunch and only 35 kilometers to the finish, but the big climb also! At the start of the climb to the Lagos the group were only 4 minutes ahead thanks to a lot of work from CSC, Liberty and Euskaltel, as the climb steepens Eladio Jimenez goes clear of the others with a stage win in his sights and more mountain points. The main group is in taters, the big losers being Danielson and Heras’s tip for the day, Mancebo.
As usual Scarponi was the last Liberty man leading Heras up the climb, Sastre (CSC) attacked, very fast, as all of the break were being pulled in, except Jimenez and Cuesta (Saunier Duval). Mr. Invisible, Gilberto Simoni (Lampre) crosses to Sastre as Heras tries to break Menchov without any luck and up front Jimenez is still on for the stage win.
Eladio Jimenez took a wonderful stage win, in the style of Josй Maria Jimenez, lets hope he doesn’t go the same way, Cuesta hung on for second and the others dribbled over the line, big loser was Danielson, but Mancebo got close to Heras and didn’t lose as much as we expected.
Tomorrow is another big day and one of the last for Heras to take time back on Menchov, who is looking very good!
Stage 14 Result:
1st Eladio Jimenez (Comunidad Valenciana) in 4.25.36
2nd Iсigo Cuesta (Saunier Duval) at 1:20
3rd Gilberto Simoni (Lampre) at 1:32
4th Carlos Sastre (CSC) at 1:37
5th Denis Menchov (Rabobank) at 1:44
6th Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) at same.
7th Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Phonak) at 2:11
8th Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile Team) at same.
9th Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) at 2:16
10th Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) at 2:36
Overall After Stage 14:
1st Denis Menchov (Rabobank) in 56.53.00
2nd Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) at 0:47
3rd Carlos Sastre (CSC) at 1:50
4th Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) at 2:45
5th Carlos Garcia Quesada (Comunidad Valenciana) at 5:37
6th Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile Team) at 7:18
7th Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) at 7:19
8th Ruben Plaza (Comunidad Valenciana) at 7:44
9th Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel) at 7:49
10th Juan Miguel (Mercado Quick Step) at 9:02