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Cycling: La Vuelta Stg 19: Solo Star Succeeds In Spain

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posted on Sep, 24 2004 @ 03:35 PM

Another day of tension in Spain. Did Roberto’s boys hold it together, or was it the time for a new star to shine? Only three stages left, and today's 150km looked to be the clam before tomorrow's storm, on paper at least...

After the usual flurry of over exuberance in the early kilometres, the first significant move was made by 20 riders on the first climb of the day, the Cat. 3 Alto de Valdelavia. Present in the escape were some interesting names including Cunego, Cardenas and Garzelli. On the flat lands leading to the second climb, Constantino Zaballa of Saunier Duval made an ambitious acceleration away from the break and succeeded in taking a significant amount of time out of the group.

With 98km to go on the Cat. 2 Puerto de Santa Maria, Zaballa had pulled 1’26” ahead of the 19 chasers and by now had gained 4’30” on the peloton. The break continued to work efficiently as a unit over the next climb whilst Constantino consistently applied the pressure to eak out a few more seconds over both the 19 following and the main pack. Once again, the Liberty team took it upon themselves to set the pace, but without any real threats up the road the speed was relatively conservative.


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