Our live coverage today is by Kirk Willett, Directeur Sportif and Road Manager of the
Alliance Cycling Team!
Stage 6: Granada - Sierra de la Pandera (Jaén) 153.1 km
Stage 6 is another tough day in the mountains with an uphill finish.
This 153.1 km stage starts in Granada and hits the first climb of the Cat 3 Alto
de las Encebras at 43 km. There is then a largely downhill rolling section until
the beginning of the Cat 2 Puerto de los Villares, an 11 km climb that hits at
the 129 km mark. After a moderate downslope of a few kilometers, the riders'
respite ends as they must then tackle the Special Category Sierra de la Pander.
This is the first time the Vuelta will go over this climb. The Sierra de la
Pander is 8.3 km in length, and its lower slopes are the steepest. Within the
first 500 meters of the climb it hits a steepness of 14%. It then gradually
lessens in severity to a mere 5.5% at 2.4 km into the climb. It then kicks up
sharply to 15% at two different points over the next 3 km. The last kilometer is
the easiest, as it has a downhill section before a final 8% slope to the finish.
Those leaders who still have the legs after Stage 5 will come to the front
again to duke it out for both the stage win and the Yellow Jersey. The steepness
of the climb favors men like Heras, Simoni, and Sevilla, all pure climbers whose
light frames give them an advantage on such short, sharp ascents. A breakaway
winner is again a possibility, but it is more likely that the GC contenders will
swallow up any breakaways in their battle for the Yellow Jersey. Any men left in
the top five on GC at the end of the day will be considered the favorites for
the podium in Madrid. Thanks, Locutus!
16 guys went clear at 4k in, but never allowed more and 4
minutes or so by ONCE.
Some guys are using 39/25's today!
Here we go...36k to the finish.
No theats in the break for GC.
In the break are: 5 (GARMENDIA ARBILLA Aitor),33 (FERRARA Raffaele),54 (CLAIN Médéric),58 (FOFONOV Dmitriy),73 (FLORES GALARZA Iker),83 (LODA Nicola),95 (GUTIERREZ PALACIOS José Ivan),116 (SMETANINE Serguei),126 (GUTIERREZ CATALUNA José Enrique),128 (TAULER Antonio),145 (CIONI Dario David),157 (MAURI PRAT Melchior),165 (HRUSKA Jan),178 (SCHNIDER Daniel),188 (REBOLLO AGUADO José Luis),.
They just sprinter for a Meta Volante...Allessio guy took
Once is in control with Saeco.
In the peloton...keeping the gap down. They are on some bricks in town with a lot of guys in the break sitting on. Gap is 3:37..so nothing serious with that finish.
They are now heading towards the Cat 2 climb. Laiseka lost some teeth yesterday in the crash, cut on the face...but his marriage is still a go next
Today I suppose we'll see how strong Sevilla really is.
...and how Heras is going after being so quiet yesterday.
Casero looked horrible yesterday. 30k to go.
Kelme and Saeco riders pushing the break which is at 3:32.
The landscape is all olive groves! Fofonov has attacked the break.
Cofidis rider with Once and Saeco. Gutierrez of Banesto is solo on the climb now. They are in the big ring now, so gradient must be maybe 5-6%.
In Spain, it's almost an ego battle on climbs...no matter
where the finish is!
The break is breaking up a lot. Kelme has joined, and a Phonak rider to make three.
The peloton is just riding tempo.
I think Sevilla will toast everybody...any takers? Still strange that Postal had such a tough day.
Sachi for Saeco on the attack. The break is blown apart. The motors are moving forward and taking inventory. It looks like about 12 guys are coming back together.
Pretty fast decent now after the cat 2.
3 guys were dropped on the first pitches of the cat 2.
They are in the town of los Villares at 129k. They are really just on a flat part of the cat 2.
Guitierez has attacked (Kelme) from the break. Coming up on a time split.
It's Tauler. 2:13 gap.
Tony Tauler is still rolling away from the break. This cat 2 looks like a real stair stepper.
Coming up on 20k to go.
A group of seven now behind Tauler but only by about 10s. Banesto driving the field. Gutierrez back to the field now.
Pretty barren landscape...except for olive trees! Blazing sun...
Guys blowing off the back of the field..Postal guy just
Confidis now driving the field, Millar riding 2nd in the peloton, Flores and Tauler still off.
There's the grupetto, and Cipo...Simoni attacking. Flores dropped Tauler...Kelme going back!
Simoni is getting caught. He's marked by Kelme with the field at less than 5 seconds.
Can't see Heras near the front of the peloton, but the field is still huge.
No blue near the front yet...
I'm really interested in how David Z does. Simoni driving a group off the peloton. Botero dropping again!
Simoni driving a group off the peloton. Looks like a group of 10 pulling away, Flores still solo, a group of twelve off.
Lots of talk about how steep the finish is, and how it's
not reflected in the race bible. Beloki at the back, bum knee a bit, I guess.
Simoni driving the break still behind the front group.
Coast taking the front of the field. Osa has attacked the Simoni group.
The field is whittled down. Tauler caught by Simoni, but Flores solo still, at top of the Cat 2.
I wish we could have an all-american team racing in
Europe! Simoni group a minute back.
Big splits now - guys all over the place.
No sign of Postal.
Simoni group only 37 seconds back of Flores. Vinokourov is with Simoni.
Looks like about 12 guys with Simoni and Vinokourov. 10k to go!
Flores diving the corners on the lead in. 32 seconds now. Camenzind is driving the chase.
Peloton at 10k. Looks to be 40 guys left there.
The peloton is not too far back with the finish so steep.
8k to go, 45 seconds for Flores.
Simoni driving the chase with a teammate.
Pretty narrow climb. Looks like Ventoux. Simoni still driving.
Chase is down to 7 guys. Camenzind is 31 today! They are catching Flores - straight by him.
7k to go, peloton in not far back, blown up. Christian with Heras and Sevilla leaving field.
No Beloki, no Casero, Di Luca there too.
6 to go, Simoni group chased by Christian group of 4.
They are 20s ahead of Beloki group and rising, Christian digging hard.
Simoni group coming back to CV, Heras, Sevilla, DiLuca, Claus Moller is there too. Race leader is hurting. Millar is climbing with Beloki group.
15 seconds to Simoni, Simoni just driving vs. Christian.
Osa flying back through the groups. CVV is done. Sevilla now driving that group.
Aabout 15 guys in Beloki's group with leader...CV calling it a day. 4k to go. Di Luca coming off...Heras driving now.
Sevilla falling off Heras by 5 bikes. Heras up to Simoni...
Camenzind just about crashed! Heras to the front. Simoni trying to hang...at 2 bikes, hanging tough.
This is some steep stuff here.
Sevilla creeping up on Simoni group, looks like Heras is
Heras has about 8 seconds, chased by Simoni and one other.
Sevilla just past Vinokourov. Heras has 19s on Sevilla, Sevillas definitely ridng a bigger gear.
Sevilla close to Simoni now, Beloki driving for the line...
Beloki looks pretty ragged! Heras has 21 on Sevilla and 42 on Beloki - 2k...
Sevilla, Mayo, Simoni together, Beloki is alone chasing.
Gaps are now 22 and 48 seconds. Steep part! If these guys are grinding a 23!
Wow, pretty spectacular view at the top!
Heras coming in solo. Simoni pips Sevilla?? Too close for the jersey?
Stay tuned for results, coming up shortly...
In the meantime, the Daily Peloton chatters had some questions for Kirk about this weekend's San Francisco Grand Prix.
Kirk, who from PACT will be in form for the win?
Kirk: Horner and Pate. Chris will surprise, he is feeling good, but untested.
That's the rumor...Wherry thinks Horner is a man to
beat. He smoked everyone at Sea Otter, right?
Kirk: Yes, but David Z won the TT. Postal is pretty stacked and motivated, Floyd will be in the mix too, but he's not feeling 100% after the Tour.
Many thanks to Kirk Willett of Prime Alliance for giving us great coverage of Stage 6 of the Vuelta!
Stage 6 Results
1º 221 HERAS, Roberto ESP USP 3:56:47
2º 191 SIMONI, Gilberto ITA SAE a 18
3º 121 SEVILLA, Oscar ESP KEL a 18
4º 78 MAYO, Iban ESP EUS a 19
5º 218 VINOKOUROV, Alexandre KAZ TEL a 48
6º 125 GONZALEZ, Aitor ESP KEL a 48
7º 41 GARCIA CASAS, Félix ESP BIG a 49
8º 155 JEKER, Fabian SUI MIL a 49
9º 171 CAMENZIND, Oscar SUI PHO a 1:04
10º 81 CASAGRANDE, Francesco ITA FAS a 1:04
11º 79 ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP EUS a 1:04
12º 194 DI LUCA, Danilo ITA SAE a 1:04
13º 151 MÖLLER, Klaus DEN MIL a 1:04
14º 51 MILLAR, David GBR COF a 1:16
15º 161 BELOKI, Joseba ESP ONE a 1:25
16º 8 PEREZ, Luis ESP COA a 1:36
17º 97 MANCEBO, Francisco ESP BAN a 1:36
18º 3 BELTRAN, Manuel ESP COA a 1:36
19º 1 CASERO, Angel ESP COA a 1:38
20º 119 VALDEZ, Ricardo ESP JAZ a 1:38
21º 166 JAKSCHE, Jörg GER ONE a 2:07
22º 4 ESCARTIN, Fernando ESP COA a 2:07
23º 87 VALJAVEC, Tadej SLO FAS a 2:07
24º 31 CAUCCHIOLI, Pietro ITA ALS a 2:12
25º 62 BRUYLANDTS, Dave BEL DFF a 2:25
26º 72 ETXEBARRIA, David ESP EUS a 2:25
27º 169 ZARRABEITIA, Mikel ESP ONE a 2:35
28º 17 MARTIN PERDIGUERO, M.A. ESP ACQ a 2:35
29º 96 LASTRAS, Pablo ESP BAN a 2:35
30º 9 PLAZA, David ESP COA a 2:35
31º 228 VANDEVELDE, Christian USA USP a 2:35
32º 159 SOUSA, Rui Miguel POR MIL a 2:35
33º 124 GARCIA, Carlos ESP KEL a 2:39
34º 201 LUTTENBERGER, Peter AUT TAC a 2:44
35º 52 ATIENZA, Daniel ESP COF a 2:44
36º 59 TRENTIN, Guido ITA COF a 2:55
37º 91 MERCADO, Juan Miguel ESP BAN a 2:57
38º 176 PEREIRO, Oscar ESP PHO a 2:57
39º 154 HORRACH, Joan ESP MIL a 2:57
40º 56 LELLI, Massimiliano ITA COF a 3:22
GC After Stage 6:
1º 121 SEVILLA, Oscar ESP KEL 20:51:17
2º 218 VINOKOUROV, Alexandre KAZ TEL a 14
3º 221 HERAS, Roberto ESP USP a 39
4º 125 GONZALEZ, Aitor ESP KEL a 41
5º 41 GARCIA CASAS, Félix ESP BIG a 53
6º 79 ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP EUS a 57
7º 78 MAYO, Iban ESP EUS a 1:15
8º 169 ZARRABEITIA, Mikel ESP ONE a 1:25
9º 166 JAKSCHE, Jörg GER ONE a 1:32
10º 161 BELOKI, Joseba ESP ONE a 1:43
11º 81 CASAGRANDE, Francesco ITA FAS a 1:45
12º 194 DI LUCA, Danilo ITA SAE a 1:48
13º 191 SIMONI, Gilberto ITA SAE a 1:49
14º 59 TRENTIN, Guido ITA COF a 2:01
15º 97 MANCEBO, Francisco ESP BAN a 2:18
16º 171 CAMENZIND, Oscar SUI PHO a 2:22
17º 151 MÖLLER, Klaus DEN MIL a 2:29
18º 96 LASTRAS, Pablo ESP BAN a 2:29
19º 3 BELTRAN, Manuel ESP COA a 2:33
20º 1 CASERO, Angel ESP COA a 2:46
21º 4 ESCARTIN, Fernando ESP COA a 3:04
22º 51 MILLAR, David GBR COF a 3:16
23º 87 VALJAVEC, Tadej SLO FAS a 3:35
24º 72 ETXEBARRIA, David ESP EUS a 4:02
25º 119 VALDEZ, Ricardo ESP JAZ a 4:04
26º 155 JEKER, Fabian SUI MIL a 4:27
27º 31 CAUCCHIOLI, Pietro ITA ALS a 4:36
28º 159 SOUSA, Rui Miguel POR MIL a 5:07
29º 176 PEREIRO, Oscar ESP PHO a 5:18
30º 154 HORRACH, Joan ESP MIL a 5:19
31º 201 LUTTENBERGER, Peter AUT TAC a 5:37
32º 62 BRUYLANDTS, Dave BEL DFF a 5:50
33º 91 MERCADO, Juan Miguel ESP BAN a 5:54
34º 52 ATIENZA, Daniel ESP COF a 6:19
35º 92 BLANCO, Santiago ESP BAN a 6:19
36º 124 GARCIA, Carlos ESP KEL a 6:46
37º 93 FLECHA, J.Antonio ESP BAN a 6:49
38º 117 PECHARROMAN, J.Antonio ESP JAZ a 6:57
39º 114 GARRIDO, José ESP JAZ a 7:18
40º 46 KINTANA, Aitor ESP BIG a 7:21
41º 131 GARATE, Juan Manuel ESP LAM a 7:44
42º 228 VANDEVELDE, Christian USA USP a 8:12
Oscar Sevilla is now the overall leader.
Points and Mountain standings will be posted later, so look for an "updated" notice in the headline of this story.
Tomorrow's Stage 7 will be a flat 198.6. course and a welcome relief for the riders after the past two days. Be sure to join us tomorrow for live coverage. Thanks for reading!