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Vuelta a España - Museo de Jamon: Stage 13
By Locutus
Date: 9/19/2003
Vuelta a España - Museo de Jamon: Stage 13
Golden Hams of the Day
  • Isidro "Nitro" Nozal (ONCE-Eroski). So how many wins does this guy have to rack up before they name him team leader? "Nitro's" stage win today confirmed the brilliant form the Gold Jersey wearer has been showing for the last week-and-a-half. He beat Millar by 13", his teammate Gonzalez de Galdeano by 1' 15", and his nearest non-ONCE threat Heras by 1' 45". He now leads the GC by 3' 03" over Gonzalez de Galdeano, and he leads 3rd placed Heras by 5' 13". We have an expression for this in the United States: kicking ass.
  • Roberto "Spanish Fly" Heras (United States Postal Service presented by Berry Floor). The tiny leader of the BlueBerry Boys defied the terrain and flew to the best flat individual time trial of his life. He finished in 7th on the stage at 1' 45", but he only lost 30" to Gonzalez de Galdeano while smoking men like Valverde, Frigo, and Aitor Gonzalez. He is now back into 3rd on GC and is the clear leader of the Posties once again. The climbs to come are the ones that suit Heras the most, and he still has a shot to take the big prize. Remember this: the last time trial is uphill. That could actually be the launching pad to return little 'berto to glory.
  • David "Maltese Falcon" Millar (Cofidis). Poor David. This was a repeat of the last time trial: he sets the best time early and it lasts all day, and then the final guy nips him by a few seconds. The Maltese Falcon put in one hell of a ride, but Nozal is just riding like a god right now. Still, Millar is looking good for the World Championships in a few weeks… I'd bet money that nobody takes him then.
  • Serguei Ivanov (Fassa Bortolo), Bert Grabsch (Phonak), and Klaus Moller (Milaneza-MSS). The guys had great days to come in 3rd, 4th, and 5th on the stage respectively. Ivanov was lightyears ahead of his favored teammates Frigo and Gonzalez. Grabsch and Moller were outstanding, with Moller setting the best marks early on the course. Alas, it was not to be for these men today, but their great rides should not go unnoticed.
  • Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank) My boy finally found his legs! He came in 9th today only 2' 14" behind Nozal! He's starting to finally recover from his Tour crash, but unfortunately it's about 13 days too late.
Ham-Gazers of the Day
  • Dario "Muy" Frigo and "Ant"-Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo). That attack by Postal yesterday forced these guys to chase, and they had nothing left for today. Frigo came across in 37th at 4' 56", and Gonzalez came across in 65th at 5' 48". Their GC hopes are shot to hell now. This has been a long, not-so-good year for these two. Fortunately, Petacchi has been there to ease the pain of their sponsors.
  • Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE-Eroski). He didn't do what he needed to do today if he wants to win in Madrid. Still, he is pure class: when he came up on the stage for the team award, he grabbed Nozal's arm and raised it in victory, all with a big, sincere smile on his face. Gonzalez de Galdeano has always been a wonderful team player, and his team now has a stranglehold on the GC podium.
  • Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank). He came in 38th today at 4' 40", dropping him to 7th on GC at 8' 44". The climber still has some opportunities to move up in the last week, however, and with the way he's been climbing, I wouldn't count him out of a top five finish just yet.
Related Articles
Vuelta a España - Museo de Jamon Report: Stage 11
Vuelta a España - Museo de Jamon Report: Stage 12
Vuelta Espana Stage 13 Time Trial Live Coverage

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