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Vuelta a Espana Stage 5 Live Coverage
By Locutus
Date: 9/10/2003
Vuelta a Espana Stage 5 Live Coverage

Welcome to live coverage of the Vuelta a Espana!

So today should see Petacchi and Zabel come back to the front for a sprinting party. The stage is 166.7 km, and there is only one climb: the Cat 3 Alto de Lanzas Agudas that crests 89km from the finish. Otherwise, it is pretty much flat or downhill. Finally.

6:27 am PDT. There is a four man break up the road as we start that has over a six minute lead on the peloton.

The break includes Saeco strongman Igor Astarloa, Rabobank danger man Karsten Kroon, David Navas Chica (Colchon Relax-Fuenlabrada), and Mariano Piccoli (Lampre). A solid group, this.

Flash: Jose Pecharroman (Paternina-Costa de Almeria), a favorite of sorts at the start of the race, has withdrawn at the feed zone today. My fantasy teams are now screwed. This rider will certainly be a force in the sport for years to come. He will ride with Quickstep next year. Here's hoping it is just bad form, and not something else.

6:40 am PDT. 69km left. The group of four off the front has a lead of just over 6' still. This will be close, with the spinters' teams taking up the chase. They will really have to hammer to catch these four. But Fassa Bortolo and Telekom have nothing else better to do anyway, now that their GC men are out of contention. (Well, okay, Frigo is still in the GC hunt).

Kroon takes the last "sprint" of the day with 64km left. He is simply on the front as the four men, who are working very well together, fly under the banner.

ONCE is leading the chase in the bunch as Astorloa is now the virtual GC leader on the road, by a handful of seconds. They'll likely close it down a bit, then hand off to the sprinters' teams.

6:46 am PDT. 63km left. Okay, now the gap is coming down pretty fast. It is currently 4' 50". CSC has a few men pulling on the front of the peloton. They are very happy so far with the sprinting of their outstanding man, Julian Dean. Interestingly, US Postal also has a man pulling through in the chase. Hmmmm.

Wow, the gap is now 4' 24". It is really coming down quickly now. So ONCE, CSC, Postal, and a Rabobank rider are in a small train on the front of the peloton trying to bring the break back.

The weather is absolutely beautiful after of couple of days of what the Norwegians would call drittvaer (I'll let you translate that yourselves) that included lots of wind and heavy rain at times.

With so many teams in the peloton now ganging up on the four men off the front, this breakaway now seems doomed.

6:51 am PDT. 58km left. Holy cow! Now a strong sidewind is splitting the peloton to pieces! The sun is out, but the wind is playing havoc with the race!

The peloton is split into three echelons. Richard Virenque (Quickstep-Davitamon), the winner of this year's mountains competition in the Tour de France, is in the third echelon. It looks like Leipheimer (Rabobank) has also dropped behind the front peloton.

So US Postal is driving it in the front echelon. They have done this before, a couple of years back. They are notorious for this. There are a lot of Posties near the sharp end of the peloton. The Gold Jersey is in the front peloton, which still has over 100 riders in it. The groups off the back are small, 30 riders or less.

6:59 am PDT. 51km left. Petacchi's Fassa squad is driving at the front of the peloton now, so the big Italian super-sprinter must be there.

An echelon of about 30 riders is just about to rejoin. A small group of five or six riders is still about 100 meters behind, however.

The scene is chaotic. Just as the group joins in the back, the string snaps near the front! A group of about 30 men has just flown in an echelon off the front of the peloton!

Men are strung out all over. There are several men in ones and twos trying to jump across to the front peloton.

The Fassa boys really must have the hammer down, and the wind must be quite strong to do this. Quite amazing, this. Now the riders make a big right hand turn, and what was a strong wind from the left will now be a tailwind! This will help those left behind quite a bit.

The peloton now creeps back to the left and the echelons come back out. There have been some regroupings, but a huge split is still evident between the front and back halves of the peloton. Meanwhile the four men up front keep the hammer down, praying.

7:10 am PDT. 45km left. The lead of Astorloa, Kroon, Piccoli, and Navas Chica is just over 2'. Postal and ONCE still drive it on the front of the peloton. It looks like Hincapie working it. Fassa is also there. The tailwind is back, and there is a regrouping. Some orange Euskaltel jerseys drop back to help their men, who are still off the back, fight back on.

The Euskaltel men are now safely back in the peloton.

The gap is 2' 13" to the four leaders. The hammer is still down in the peloton, but things are still grouped together with the prevailing tailwind.

The four men are moving at speeds over 60kph right now. That's a serious tailwind. They are also powerful riders on a slight downslope. Postal and Fassa are on the front again, seeing what damage they can do.

38 km left. The peloton is all strung out. The windmills on the side of the road are churning with the fierce winds today. ONCE and Fassa are now driving on the front of the peloton in pursuit of the four breakaways.

Boy, the climbers and those whose legs aren't 100% will be glad when today's stage is over. Tomorrow, of course, is the first very important individual time trial.

Hopefully, Cofidis and David Millar will have their knickers cleaned properly tonight so they can look and feel their best tomorrow.

Millar is one for the time trials, after all.

The gap is now 1:28. ONCE and Bianchi are on the front of the pack.

7:25 am PDT. 27km left. The gap is down to 1' 08". And dropping rapidly.

Fassa, ONCE and Telekom leading the pack. Zabel will be looking to finally get one over on Petacchi this season. If Zabel finishes high on the stage, he should take the lead in the points competition.

The gap is now down to 52". The four men have pretty much turned it off at this point. Their long escapade is now doomed to end soon.

7:30 am PDT. 20km left. The four leaders are still dangling off the front, but not for long. Maybe.

Kroon smiles for the cameras. Astarloa looks tired and annoyed. They gave it a great go, but will get swept up any moment now.

The break is in sight, and doomed.

The peloton is pulsing and changing like a giant amoeba. The winds and the jockying for position on the wide roads leading into Zaragoza are keeping the action wild and wooly in the peloton.

They've got 'em... with 23 km to go, everyone is all together. With Evans out and Aitor not on form, Telekom and Fassa Bortolo are driving it home for their big hopefuls, the sprinters Petacchi and Zabel. I think Eric Zabel likes his chances today...

So far this year the stages have been very short and intense. With the sun out and the roads dry, this should be a much safer run-in to the finish than we've have for a couple of days.

7:41 am PDT. 10km left. A Rabobank rider - Beat Zberg - has attacked. But not for long. He's back now.

Telekom and Fassa are keeping the pace high... those attacks aren't going to have much luck today. The road signs say Zaragoza, so they are almost home today.

7km left. The amoeboid peloton still churns with people trying to move up and swamp the men in front of them. The roads are just wide open and straight on still. Alessio is mixing in up there, too... making room for Angelo Furlan.

Ah, a wild zebra-man from Domina Vacanze has shown himself at the front. They are working for Lombardi. And Erik Zabel is sitting pretty behind the Fassa Train.

But the rest of the Telekom team isn't with him. Where is his leadout man Fagnini?

Still, this finish, with a slight uphill kick, will suit the little German. Can he take Petacchi, though? 5km left. Man, this is just a drag strip of a run-in. They are flying.

Finally, the riders have hit some narrower roads, down to two lanes instead of four.

Now there is a crash! It is a Lampre man! He has hit the barriers!

Final kilometer. The crash has disrupted the sprint leadout.

Here comes Petacchi. It's him vs. Edo! Easy win for Petacchi. 1. Petacchi, 2. Edo, 3. Dean.

Well, that was a strangely uncompetitive sprint. The crash caused a split, and Petacchi was alone with two of his boys off the front. Edo was the only man able to bridge that gap.

The Lampre rider looks to be aware, but in pain. The side of his face hit the barriers. They have put him in a neckbrace as a precaution.

Zabel in 4th, Fred Rodriguez (Vini Caldirola) was near the front of that sprint - he was 6th.

Edo and Petacchi had about 20 meters on the rest of the sprinters at the finish.

Alessandro Cortinovis is the Lampre man; he has been transported in the ambulance. Our best wishes go to him, and we hope to bring you good news about his condition later in the day.

Thank you for reading today, and please join us again tomorrow for the Individual Time Trial!

Stage 5 Results

1 Etacchi, Alessandro Ita Fas 3:19:26
2 Edo, Angel Esp Mil m.t..
3 Dean, Julian Nzl Csc a 2
4 Zabel, Erik Ger Tel m.t.
5 Bucciero, Antonio Ita Sae m.t.
6 Rodriguez, Fred Usa Vin m.t.
7 Furlan, Angelo Ita Als m.t.
8 Svorada, Jan Cze Lam m.t.
9 Valverde, Alejandro Esp Kel m.t.
10 De Jongh, Steven Ned Rab m.t.
11 Lombardi, Giovanni Ita Dve m.t.
12 Etxebarria, David Esp Eus m.t.
13 Perez, Luis Esp Cof m.t.
14 Mondini, Gianpaolo Ita Dve m.t.
15 Moreni, Cristian Ita Als m.t.
16 Torrent, Carlos Esp Alm m.t.
17 Herrero, Ivan Esp L2c m.t.
18 Van Heeswijk, Max Ned Usp m.t.
19 Vicioso, Angel Esp One m.t.
20 Rigo, Dario Ita Fas m.t.
21 Hayman, Mathew Aus Rab m.t.
22 Usov, Alexandre Blr Pho m.t.
23 Schweda, Raphael Ger Tbi m.t.
24 Trentin, Guido Ita Cof m.t.
25 Nozal, Isidro Esp One m.t.
26 Gerrikagoitia, Gorka Esp Eus m.t.
27 Perez, Santiago Esp Pho m.t.
28 Trenti, Guido Usa Fas m.t.
29 Isasi, Iaki Esp Eus m.t.
30 Mller, Klaus Den Mil m.t.
31 Tankink, Bram Ned Qsd m.t.
32 Barry ,Michael Can Usp m.t.
33 Osa, Aitor Esp Ban m.t.
34 Golbano, Carlos Esp Alm m.t.
35 Boonen, Tom Bel Qsd m.t.
36 Garate, Juan Manuel Esp Lam m.t.
37 Gonzalez, Santos Esp Dve m.t.
38 Jufre, Jos Esp Crf m.t.
39 Gonzalez, Aitor Esp Fas m.t.
40 Vila, Francisco Esp Lam m.t.
41 Schleck, Frank Lux Csc m.t.
42 Luttenberger, Peter Aut Csc m.t.
43 Sevilla, Oscar Esp Kel m.t.
44 Scarponi, Michele Ita Dve m.t.
45 Hincapie, George Usa Usp m.t.
46 Lopeboselli, Angelo Ita Cof m.t.
47 Rasmussen, Michael Den Rab m.t.
48 Righi, Daniele Ita Lam m.t.
49 Osa, Unai Esp Ban m.t.
50 Farazjin, Peter Bel Cof m.t.
51 Glez. Galdeano, Igor Esp One m.t.
52 Grabsch, Bert Ger Pho m.t.
53 Bruun, Thomas Den Csc m.t.
54 Zaballa, Constantino Esp Kel m.t.
55 Christensen, Bekim Den Csc m.t.
56 Belli, Wladimir Ita Lam m.t.
57 Pospyeyev, Kyryl Ukr Dve m.t.
58 Casero, Angel Esp Tbi m.t.
59 Engels, Addy Ned Rab m.t.
60 Pereiro, Oscar Esp Pho m.t.
61 Casero, Rafael Esp Alm m.t.
62 Flores, Iker Esp Eus m.t.
63 Piccoli, Mariano Ita Lam m.t.
64 Van Goolen, Jurgen Bel Qsd m.t.
65 Heras, Roberto Esp Usp m.t.
66 Sastre, Carlos Esp Csc m.t.
67 Beltran, Manuel Esp Usp m.t.
68 Gonzalez, Gorka Esp Eus m.t.
69 Garcia Casas, Flix Esp Tbi m.t.
70 Fernandez, Bingen Esp Cof m.t.
71 Vinale, Alberto Ita Als m.t.
72 Horrillo, Pedro Esp Qsd m.t.
73 Rodriguez, Joaquin Esp One m.t.
74 Hernandez, Jaime Esp Tbi m.t.
75 Garcia Calvo, Cesar Esp L2c m.t.
76 Cerezo, Francisco Esp L2c m.t.
77 Masciarelli, Simone Ita Vin m.t.
78 Rubiera, Jos Luis Esp Usp m.t.
79 Gutierrez, Francisco Esp L2c m.t.
80 Fofonov, Dmitri Kaz Cof m.t.
81 Gutierrez , Jos Esp Kel m.t.
82 Serrano, Marcos Esp One m.t.
83 Jimenez, Eladio Esp Ban m.t.
84 Dominguez, Juan Carlos Esp Pho m.t.
85 Mercado, Juan Miguel Esp Ban m.t.
86 Mancebo, Francisco Esp Ban m.t.
87 Aerts, Mario Bel Tel m.t.
88 Azevedo, Jos Por One m.t.
89 Lastras, Pablo Esp Ban m.t.
90 Noval, Benjamn Esp Crf m.t.
91 Sorensen, Nicki Den Csc m.t.
92 Pradera, Mikel Esp One m.t.
93 Rebollo, Jose Luis Esp Crf m.t.
94 Sinkewitz, Patrick Ger Qsd m.t.
95 Del Olmo, Txema Esp Mil m.t.
96 Landis, Floyd Usa Usp m.t.
97 Burgos, Nacor Esp Crf m.t.
98 Cardoso, Pedro Por Mil m.t.
99 Sironi, Gianluca Ita Vin m.t.
100 Casagranda, Stefano Ita Als m.t.
101 Werner, Christian Ger Tel m.t.
102 Cabello, Francisco Esp Kel m.t.
103 Julich, Bobby Usa Tel m.t.
104 Cuesta, Iigo Esp Cof m.t.
105 Cardenas, Felix Col L2c m.t.
106 Sanchez, Domingo Esp Alm m.t.
107 Garcia Quesada, Carlos Esp Kel m.t.
108 Wesemann, Steffan Ger Tel m.t.
109 Horrach, Joan Esp Mil m.t.
110 Hruska, Jan Cze One m.t.
111 Rund, Thorsten Ger Tbi m.t.
112 Schreck, Stephan Ger Tel m.t.
113 Brognara, Andrea Ita Als m.t.
114 Glomser, Gerrit Aut Sae m.t.
115 Garmendia, Aitor Esp Tbi m.t.
116 Caada, David Esp Qsd m.t.
117 Nieto, Germn Esp Crf m.t.
118 Bertolini, Alessandro Ita Als m.t.
119 Boven, Jan Ned Rab m.t.
120 Arrieta, Jos Luis Esp Ban m.t.
121 Zberg, Beat Sui Rab m.t.
122 Joachim, Benoit Lux Usp m.t.
123 Gustov, Volodymir Ukr Fas m.t.
124 Silva, Renato Por Mil m.t.
125 Zucconi, Pietro Sui Vin m.t.
126 Zuelle, Alex Sui Pho m.t.
127 Sandstod, Michael Den Csc m.t.
128 Arrizabalaga, Gorka Esp Eus m.t.
129 Navas, David Esp Crf m.t.
130 Piepoli, Leonardo Ita Ban m.t.
131 Jaksche, Jrg Ger One m.t.
132 Garcia Acosta, Jos Esp Ban m.t.
133 White, Matthew Aus Usp m.t.
134 Apollonio, Massimo Ita Vin a 25
135 Astarloa, Igor Esp Sae a 27
136 5 Ivanov, Serguei Rus Fas a 30
137 Tosatto, Matteo Ita Fas m.t.
138 Ivanov, Ruslan Mda Als a 36
139 Lunghi, Denis Ita Als m.t.
140 Kroon, Karsten Ned Rab a 52
141 Calcagni, Patrick Sui Vin a 58
142 Martinez, Alberto Esp Eus a 1:02
143 Millar, David Gbr Cof a 1:25
144 Etxebarria, Unai Ven Eus a 1:30
145 Latasa, David Esp Kel a 1:41
146 Virenque, Richard Fra Qsd a 6:27
147 Bertoletti, Simone Ita Lam m.t.
148 Manzano, Jesus Maria Esp Kel m.t.
149 Martin Perdiguero, Miguel Esp Dve m.t.
150 Tauler, Antonio Esp Kel m.t.
151 Barroso, Paulo Por Mil m.t.
152 Van De Wouwer, Kurt Bel Qsd m.t.
153 Amorim, Gonalo Por Mil m.t.
154 Pugaci, Igor Mda Sae m.t.
155 Hiekmann, Torsten Ger Tel m.t.
156 Lara, Francisco Jos Esp Tbi m.t.
157 Dessel, Cyril Fra Pho m.t.
158 Bayarri, Gonzalo Esp Pho m.t.
159 Calvente, Manuel Esp Csc m.t.
160 Otero, Gustavo Esp L2c m.t.
161 Mutsaars, Ronald Ned Rab m.t.
162 Jeker, Fabian Sui Mil m.t.
163 Lopez, David Esp L2c m.t.
164 E Los Angeles, Juan Jos Esp Fas m.t.
165 De La Fuente, David Esp Vin m.t.
166 Laguna, Oscar Esp Crf m.t.
167 Guidi, Fabrizio Ita Tbi m.t.
168 Aebersold, Niki Sui Pho m.t.
169 Cheula, Giampaolo Ita Vin m.t.

General Classification after Stage 5

1 Nozal, Isidro Esp One 14:11:03
2 Etxebarria, David Esp Eus a 50
3 Rodriguez, Joaquin Esp One a 50
4 Glez. Galdeano, Igor Esp One a 50
5 Serrano, Marcos Esp One a 50
6 Beltran, Manuel Esp Usp a 1:00
7 Heras, Roberto Esp Usp a 1:00
8 Osa, Aitor Esp Ban a 1:14
9 Osa, Unai Esp Ban a 1:14
10 Mancebo, Francisco Esp Ban a 1:14
11 Mercado, Juan Miguel Esp Ban a 1:14
12 Perez, Luis Esp Cof a 1:32
13 Valverde, Alejandro Esp Kel a 1:35
14 Sevilla, Oscar Esp Kel a 1:35
15 Garcia Quesada, Carlos Esp Kel a 1:35
16 Sinkewitz, Patrick Ger Qsd a 1:38
17 Flores, Iker Esp Eus a 1:40
18 Gonzalez, Gorka Esp Eus a 1:40
19 2 Garcia Casas, Flix Esp Tbi a 1:51
20 1 Sastre, Carlos Esp Csc a 2:03
21 7 Rasmussen, Michael Den Rab a 2:08
22 Vicioso, Angel Esp One a 2:09
23 Azevedo, Jos Por One a 2:09
24 Frigo, Dario Ita Fas a 2:15
25 Landis, Floyd Usa Usp a 2:15
37 Casero, Angel Esp Tbi a 3:10
43 Gonzalez, Aitor Esp Fas a 3:34
52 Hincapie, George Usa Usp a 4:58
56 Belli, Wladimir Ita Lam a 5:34
57 Astarloa, Igor Esp Sae a 5:39
64 Zabel, Erik Ger Tel a 6:14
98 Zuelle, Alex Sui Pho a 13:48
110 Petacchi, Alessandro Ita Fas a 14:57
124 Jaksche, Jrg Ger One a 16:20
141 Svorada, Jan Cze Lam a 19:55
162 Millar, David Gbr Cof a 30:28

Points Classification after Stage 5

1 Petacchi, Alessandro Ita Fas 50
2 Zabel, Erik Ger Tel 42
3 Dean, Julian Nzl Csc 37
4 Etxebarria, David Esp Eus 36
5 Rodriguez, Joaquin Esp One 32
6 Etxebarria, Unai Ven Eus 31
7 Glez. Galdeano, Igor Esp One 30
8 Edo, Angel Esp Mil 30
9 Perez, Luis Esp Cof 28
10 Valverde, Alejandro Esp Kel 23
11 Nozal, Isidro Esp One 22
12 Gutierrez , Jos Esp Kel 20
13 Sastre, Carlos Esp Csc 20
14 Zaballa, Constantino Esp Kel 19
15 Vicioso, Angel Esp One 17
16 Boonen, Tom Bel Qsd 17
17 Cardenas, Felix Col L2c 17
18 Lombardi, Giovanni Ita Dve 17
19 Svorada, Jan Cze Lam 17
20 Hruska, Jan Cze One 16

Mountains Classification after Stage 5

1 Cardenas, Felix Col L2c 34
2 Perez, Luis Esp Cof 25
3 Nozal, Isidro Esp One 20
4 Jeker, Fabian Sui Mil 16
5 Sastre, Carlos Esp Csc 12
6 Piepoli, Leonardo Ita Ban 11
7 Garcia Calvo, Cesar Esp L2c 10
8 Etxebarria, Unai Ven Eus 10
9 Zaballa, Constantino Esp Kel 8
10 Etxebarria, David Esp Eus 7
11 Pepoli, Christian Ita Sae 7
12 Horrach, Joan Esp Mil 6
13 Hruska, Jan Cze One 6
14 Astarloa, Igor Esp Sae 6
15 Osa, Aitor Esp Ban 6
16 Sevilla, Oscar Esp Kel 4
17 Piccoli, Mariano Ita Lam 4
18 Pradera, Mikel Esp One 4
19 Lopez, David Esp L2c 4
20 Zberg, Beat Sui Rab 4

Teams Classification after Stage 5

1 Once - Eroski ONE 42:34:49
2 Euskaltel - Euskadi EUS a 56
3 BAN a 2:02
4 Kelme - Costa Blanca KEL a 2:15
5 US Postal Service Berry Floor USP a 2:35
6 Quick Step - Davitamon QSD a 5:02
7 Milaneza - MSS MIL a 5:18
8 Cofidis, le credit par telephone COF a 8:48
9 Team Bianchi TBI a 9:10
10 Domina Vacanze-Elitron-RDZ DVE a 9:53
11 Lampre LAM a 10:10
12 Team CSC CSC a 10:21
13 Phonak Hearing Systems PHO a 10:38
14 Labarca-2 Cafe Baque L2C a 14:00
15 Paternina - Costa de Almeria ALM a 14:05
16 Fassa Bortolo FAS a 14:10
17 Team Telekom TEL a 14:30
18 Rabobank RAB a 16:14
19 Colchon Relax - Fuenlabrada CRF a 19:44
20 Alessio ALS a 26:02
21 Saunier Duval - Vini Caldirola VIN a 29:55
22 Saeco - Longoni Sport SAE a 40:02

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