|Golden Hams of the Day |
Ham-Gazers of the Day
- Pedro Diaz Lobato (Paternina-Costa de Almeria). He was in that group of fifteen that got away early on, and then when they all started to attack each other towards the end he hung on. Then, with 20km left, he launched a brilliant attack that left the other chasers looking at each other. While they marked and countered and played games behind him, Diaz Lobato just kept his head down and hammered his way to victory. This is a huge win for the Paternina-Costa de Almeria squad, and a wonderful reward for Diaz Lobato, who has been attacking like crazy this Vuelta.
- Constantino Zaballa and Carlos Garcia Quesada (Kelme-Costa Blanca). These two Kermits did a lot of the work in that break today. Zaballa managed to bridge up to that group of five chasing Diaz Lobato, and then won the final sprint…for 2nd. Unfortunately, Zaballa raised his arm to the sky and began to celebrate, seemingly under the impression that he had won. He and his teammate put in incredible rides, and if it wasn't for the Paternina man, the day would surely have been theirs. All in all, it was another impressive Vuelta performance for the Kelme squad after a season of disappointments.
- "The Big E-Z," Erik Zabel (Telekom). The German Champion beat Petacchi in the pack sprint for 10th, increasing his lead for the point polka-dots to 16 pts. More importantly, Zabel is one stage closer to Madrid with two climbing stages on tap for tomorrow and Saturday. The Big E-Z has it all under control.
- The GC Leaders. ONCE and US Postal took the day off, hiding amongst the hams while they mentally prepared for the climbs tomorrow. With Nozal firmly in Gold, the next two days should see the final, desperate attempts of US Postal to claim the top of the podium. It should be fun to watch.