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22nd Vuelta Ciclista a Castilla y León (2.1): Preview
By Fabio
Date: 3/26/2007
22nd Vuelta Ciclista a Castilla y León (2.1): Preview

After the accident - and consequent hand injury - he had at Tirreno-Adriatico forced him to skip Milan-Sanremo, Ivan Basso gets back in the saddle Monday for the 22nd edition of the Vuelta Ciclista a Castilla y León (UCI 2.1) stage race in Spain. His Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team is just one of the sixteen equipos - seven of them holding a Pro Tour license – of eight riders each that will grace the roads of the Castilla y León region on March 26th thru 30rd.

The battle gets underway Monday with a good test for Ivan's legs: a challenge against the clock of 10 km. starting and finishing at Zamora (startline at Calle Magallanes, first finishing line at Avenida del Mengue) whose course might well suit the ITT specialists. The next day the peloton takes in a predominantly flat journey of 157 km from Zamora to the nice town of Salamanca, whose most likely outcome is a massive sprint, but watch out for the wind, that could have a impact on the stage, and for some undulating route in the last portion. Wednesday's "halfway" - and maybe windswept too - leg, with a small ascent 15 km from the line, goes from Salamanca to Valladolid over 147.6 kilometres, and comes before what is meant to be the "queen stage" of 154.4 km, with the start line at Valladolid and the mountain top finish at the summit of Alto de Navacerrada (Segovia). Friday's fifth and final stage is the largest one, as it covers 162 km from El Burgo de Osma to Soria, and perhaps even the toughest, with the Santa Inés and Piqueras first category climbs on the menu.

Amongst the main suspects to claim overall title are Castilla y León's own Carlos Sastre (Team CSC), back to the races after the consequences of a fall at the past Tour of Murcia sidelined him for a few weeks, Oscar Pereiro Sio of Caisse d'Epargne as well as Russian teammate Vladimir Karpets, Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi), José Azevedo for the Portuguese team Benfica, Denis Menchov for Rabobank, David Bernabéu for Fuerteventura/Canarias, Manolo Beltrán showing off his new Liquigas jersey for the first time in his own country (his teammate Magnus Backstedt will use the Tour of Castilla to fine-tune his form ahead of his Paris-Roubaix bid) and notably the Discovery crew, as the team fields at least five top-quality riders: Ivan (wearing bib number one this year), Paris-Nice winner Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer (runner-up six years ago), Tom Danielson and Janez Brajkovic the Slovene. Watch out for Max Van Heeswijk and Francisco Ventoso in the sprints too. But there are many other riders that could produce some surprise.

The startlist (bib numbers included) is as follows:

1. BASSO, Ivan (ITA)
3. CONTADOR, Alberto (SPA)
4. DANIELSON, Thomas (USA)
7. MC CARTNEY, Jason (USA)
8. PAULINHO, Sergio (POR)
* DS: Johan Bruyneel

11. SASTRE, Carlos (SPA)
12. VANDEVELDE, Christian (USA)
13. CUESTA, Inigo (SPA)
14. KROON, Karsten (HOL)
15. ARVESEN, Kurt Asle (NOR)
16. BLAUDZUN, Michael (DEN)
17. SÖRENSEN, Nicki (DEN)
18. GUSTOV, Volodymir (UKR)
* DS: Kim Andersen


21. DE MAAR, Marc (HOL)
23. VENEBERG, Thorwald (HOL)
24. MENCHOV, Denis (RUS)
25. WALKER, William (AUS)
26. RASMUSSEN, Michael (DEN)
27. GESINK, Robert (HOL)
28. WEENING, Pieter (HOL)
* DS: Adri Van Houwelingen


31. ALBASINI, Michael (SWI)
32. BACKSTEDT, Magnus (SWE)
33. BELTRAN, Manuel (SPA)
34. CALCAGNI, Patrick (SUI)
35. CARLSTRÖM, Kjell (FIN)
36. CATALDO, Dario (ITA)
37. MIHOLJEVIC, Vladimir (CRO)
38. VANOTTI, Alessandro (ITA)
* DS: Mauro Da Dalto


41. BALCIUNAS, Linas (LIT)
42. CALVENTE, Manuel (SPA)
43. ROBIN, Denis (FRA)
44. GONZALO, Eduardo (SPA)
45. SALMON, Benoît (FRA)
46. SINNER, Benoît (FRA)
47. BERGES, Emilien Benoit (FRA)
* DS: Emmanuel Hubert


51. PEREIRO SIO, Oscar (SPA)
52. GARCIA ACOSTA, José Vicente (SPA)
53. KARPETS, Vladimir (RUS)
54. LOSADA, Alberto (SPA)
55. HORRACH, Joan (SPA)
56. BRARD, Florent (FRA)
57. ZABALLA, Constantino (SPA)
58. LOPEZ, David (SPA)
* DS: José L. Jaimerena


61. ANTON, Igor (SPA)
62. LAFUENTE, Andoni (SPA)
63. GALDOS, Aitor (SPA)
64. PEREZ, Alan (SPA)
65. ARANAGA, Andoni (SPA)
66. LANDALUZE, Inigo (SPA)
67. TXURRUKA, Amets (SPA)
68. ZUBELDIA, Haimar (SPA)
* DS: Xaber Carbayeda


71. BENITEZ, José Alberto (SPA)
72. COBO, Juan José (SPA)
73. WIELINGA, Reinbert C. (HOL)
74. DURAN, Arkaitz (SPA)
75. FERNANDEZ, Alberto (SPA)
76. LOBATO, Ruben (SPA)
77. VENTOSO, Francisco José (SPA)
78. GIL, Koldo (SPA)
* DS: Sabino Angoitia


81. SEVILLA, Oscar (SPA)
82. HERNANDEZ, Jesús (SPA)
83. KUDASHEV, Denis (RUS)
84. SANCHEZ, Julian (SPA)
85. GARCIA, Raul (SPA)
86. SOBRINO, Joaquin (SPA)
87. HRUSKA, Jan (CZE)
88. VALLEJO, Angel (SPA)
* DS: German Nieto


91. OCHOA, Miguel (SPA)
92. MURGOITIO, Egoitz (SPA)
93. ETXARRI, Javier (SPA)
94. INTXAUSTI, Beñat (SPA)
95. DE PEDRO, Pablo (SPA)
96. PEIRO, Vicente (SPA)
97. TERUEL, Eloy (SPA)
98. BAÑOS, José Antonio (SPA)
* DS: José Luis De Santos


101. RODRIGUEZ, Alberto (SPA)
102. MARTIN, David (SPA)
103. COSME, Antonio (SPA)
104. GOMES, Victor Manuel (SPA)
105. TENDERO, Jesús (SPA)
106. ABRIL, Juan José (SPA)
107. GILMARTIN, Ivan (SPA)
108. ALVAREZ, Luis Roberto (SPA)
* DS: Julio Andres


111. AGIRRE, Josu (SPA)
112. OTXOTORENA, Xabat (SPA)
113. ZUBERO, Julen (SPA)
114. ARAMENDIA, Javier (SPA)
115. MELERO, Ivan (SPA)
116. LAZKANO, Inigo (SPA)
117. OROZ, Juan José (SPA)
118. VILLEGAS, Aaron (SPA)
* DS: Alvaro González


121. CARRASCO, José Luis (SPA)
122. LARA, Francisco José (SPA)
123. MARTINEZ, Francisco José (SPA)
124. PEREZ Rodriguez, Luis (SPA)
125. VAZQUEZ, Manuel (SPA)
126. ROSENDO, Jesús (SPA)
127. PEREZ Romero, Luis (SPA)
128. FERRIO, Jorge (SPA)
* DS: Antonio Cabello


131. AZEVEDO, José (POR)
132. RIBEIRO, Sergio (POR)
133. BENITEZ, Javier (SPA)
134. PRADERA, Mikel (SPA)
135. PETROV, Danail (BUL)
137. ORTEGA, Didac (SPA)
* DS: Orlando Rodrigues


141. LASA, Gaizka (SPA)
142. MOSQUERA, Ezequiel (SPA)
143. VORGANOV, Eduard (RUS)
144. DOMINGUEZ, Gustavo (SPA)
145. RABUNAL, Gonzalo (SPA)
146. ABAL, David (SPA)
147. TRONCOSO, Ramon (SPA)
148. GONZALEZ, Santos (SPA)
* DS: Alvaro Pino


151. ARTETXE, Mikel (SPA)
152. BERNABEU, David (SPA)
153. LEONET, Iker (SPA)
154. CHUZHDA, Oleg (UKR)
155. RAMIREZ, Javier (SPA)
156. PALOMARES, Adrian (SPA)
157. LLORET, Manuel (SPA)
158. SANCHEZ, Eladio (SPA)
* DS: Oscar Guerrero

And the stage altimetries are as follows:

Stage 1 (Zamora to Zamora - ITT, 10 km)

Stage 2 (Zamora to Salamanca, 157 km)

Stage 3 (Salamanca to Valladolid, 147.6 km)

Stage 4 (Valladolid to Alto de Navacerrada, 154.4 km)

Stage 5 (El Burgo De Osma to Soria, 162 km)

Last but not least, the Tour of Castilla y León Roll of Honor:

1986: Alfonso Gutiérrez (Spa)
1987: Alfonso Gutierrez (Spa)
1988: Raimund Dietzen (Ger)
1989: Federico Echave (Spa)
1991: José Luis Rodríguez (Spa)
1992: Asiate Saitov (Rus)
1993: Miguel Indurain (Spa)
1994: Melchior Mauri (Spa)
1995: Santiago Blanco (Spa)
1996: Andrea Peron (Ita)
1997: Angel Luis Casero (Spa)
1998: Aitor Garmendia (Spa)
1999: Leonardo Piepoli (Ita)
2000: Francesco Mancebo (Spa)
2001: Marcos Serrano (Spa)
2002: Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa)
2003: Francisco Mancebo (Spa)
2004: Koldo Gil (Spa)
2005: Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa)
2006: Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz)
2007: ...Here five days from now!

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