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47th Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco - Stage 3 Live
By Fabio
Date: 4/11/2007
47th Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco - Stage 3 Live

The 47th Vuelta al Pais Vasco continued today with stage three, that we followed live while covering also the Ghent-Wevelgem one-day race. Below is the stage action seen as it happened.

Etapa 3: Karrantza - Vitoria/Gasteiz, 173 km

Today's leg in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco takes the bunch from Karrantza to the capital city of the Basque Country of Spain (Vitoria/Gasteiz) over 173 km, with one Cat.2 climb, and as many as five Cat.3 ascents to be tackled. Strangely enough for a very tough race like this, the stage might come down to a bunch sprint.

1414 CEST The peloton is still largely together while taking in the Peña Angulo Cat.1 climb, and after several breakaway attempts going in the early kilometres of today's journey led nowhere. Several guys have already pulled out of the tough Spanish race today: Carlos Castaño (Spa - Karpin-Galicia), his team-mate Santos González (218), the T-Mobile pair of veteran Giueppe Guerini and young Adam Hansen as well as Guerini's fellow Italian Carlo Scognamiglio of Team Milram, who had to put an end to his Pais Vasco adventure after hitting the deck about 30 km. into the stage.

1429 CEST Some more news from the climbs in Spain: Colombia's Ardila Cano (Rabobank) came first across the top of the Cat.2 Alto de La Escrita, opening difficulty of the day in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, while Aitor Hernández of "home side" Euskaltel-Euskadi scored atop the third category Alto de La Herbosa, and the Portuguese Sergio Paulinho (Discovery Channel) won the mountain prime at Alto de San Cosme (Cat. three). No breakaways of any significance formed on the slopes of those ascents.

1451 CEST Oscar "El Niño" Sevilla (Spa - Relax-GAM) won the points at the summit of the Peña Angulo ascent (first category), the toughest difficulty of the day, but coming far from the finishing line. Ardila Cano the Colombian and Spain's Carlos Barredo of Quick Step-Innergetic filled the other top three spots. The rain has also made its way to Basque Country roads.

1522 CEST A dozen riders finally succeeded in making the gap: Dario Cioni (Ita - Predictor-Lotto), Isidro Nozal (Spa - Karpin-Galicia), Patxi Vila (Spa - Lampre), Morris Possoni (Ita - Lampre), Jens Voigt (Ger - Team CSC), Bram Tankink (Hol - Quick Step), David Navas Chica (Spa - AG2R), Jurgen Van de Walle (Bel - Quick Step), Iker Flores (Spa - Fuerteventura), Iker Camaño (Spa - Saunier Duval), Angel Vicioso (Spa - Karpin-Galicia) and José Luis "Chechu" Rubiera (Spa - Discovery Channel) broke away after about 80 km. and are currently holding a 02'20" lead over the field at the km 94 check.

1551 CESTThe dozen escapees extended their advantage to 4 minutes and 07 seconds. Best-placed rider overall in the front group, and current GC leader on the road, is Angel Vicioso.

1600 CEST - The 12-man breakaway is keeping a solid lead of over 4 minutes over the "lazy" peloton, where no teams look really hungry to take over the chase. But with so many teammates of theirs in the front group, this isn't much of a surprise.

1611 CEST Euskaltel-Euskadi and Gerolsteiner finally started to put in some real chasing efforts, but not before the dozen fugitives took their advantage up to 04'20" by the km. 135 time check.

1635 CEST the dozen riders ahead saw their lead cut down to 02'50" at km. 151, on the second category Alto de Zaldiaran.

1645 CEST We are about 10 km from the line with the escapees leading the bunch by some 02 minutes and 45 seconds.

1649 CEST The pack crested the third category Alto de Zaldiaran. The escapees are already on the final descent into Vitoria.

1653 CEST - But it is not a dozen any longer: only half of them remained up front on the way to Vitoria/Gasteiz: Iker Camaño (Saunier Duval), Patxi Vila (Lampre), Morris Possoni (Lampre), Bram Tankink (Quick Step), Hubert Dupont (Ag2r) and notably Angel Vicioso (Relax) who's very likely to assume the overall leadership in the race. Just a couple kilometres to go.

1655 CEST - One to go: Dupont tried to make a move. Possoni has a hard time staying with the other escapees. But watch out for Camaño too, he ha snot worked much in the breakaway and can have better legs than the others. Oh wait, Rubiera and Nozal joined the front group! We've got eight men in the lead in this last kilometre.

1657 CEST - So the stage comes down to a bunch sprint of eight, and ANGEL VICIOSO wins!!!!

The Catalan took both stage and overall honours, and moved to the top of the GC. Four hours, four minutes and six seconds is Vicioso's winning time. More riders from the previous breakaway of the day have crossed the line already.

And here comes the peloton, about 02'50" behind the winner. Patxi Vila took second in the stage, with Camano, Dupont, Tankink in the other top five spots.

In the General Classification of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Angel Vicioso has a solid margin of two minutes over Bram Tankink, with Juanjo Cobo kicked down to spot number three, 02'14" behind the main protagonist of today's stage.

Here's the complete TOP TEN of the stage:
1. ANGEL VICIOSO (SPA) 04H04'06"


9. JENS VOIGT (GER) at 58"
10. IKER FLORES (SPA) at 58"

And the Top Ten places overall are:
1. ANGEL VICIOSO (SPA) 12H39'58"
2. BRAM TANKINK (HOL) at 02'00"
3. JUAN JOSE' COBO (SPA) at 02'14"
5. MANUEL BELTRAN (SPA) at 02'20"

6. TADEJ VALJAVEC (SLO) at 02'29"
7. KOLDO GIL (SPA) at 02'29"
9. SAMUEL SANCHEZ (SPA) at 02'31"
10. DAVIDE REBELLIN (ITA) at 02'31"

Vicioso and all other top place getters were part of the12-strong breakaway group that formed some 80 km. into the stage, and was going to put up to about 4'20" into the peloton.

Chasing efforts from the pack just halved the gap, but nobody could bring the escapees back. Only six fugitives (Vicioso, Vila, Camaño, Dupont, Tankink and Possoni) stayed up front in the final descent into Vitoria though. Chechu Rubiera and Isidro Nozal did rejoin the front group in the last km. but it was Angel Vicioso that had the fastest legs and easily took the win from Patxi Vila and Iker Camaño, also storming to the top of the GC. With Cobo down to spot number three overall. Camaño unable to clinch the stage victory, and Lampre stealing the lead in the teams classification, Saunier were definitely on the losing side of the coin today.

Detailed results from both Ghent-Wevelgem and Stage Three in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco will follow. We hope you enjoyed our "dual" coverage. Thanks for tuning in, and see you tomorrow!!

47th Vuelta al Pais Vasco - Stage Two Results
47th Vuelta al Pais Vasco - Stage Two Live Coverage
47th Vuelta al Pais Vasco - Stage One
47th Vuelta al Pais Vasco - Preview

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