Good afternoon and welcome to the first stage of the Vuelta 2004, which once again is a team time trial. Please remember to press the F5 key to refresh the page. Additional commentary by Locutus.
The city of León and its surroundings are to serve as the setting for the first clash between this year´s favourites. The frequent strong winds that affect the area are likely to provide the greatest difficulties for the riders along the 27 kilometre route.
The teams will set off at 4-minute intervals and, as is usual in this type of stage, the final time will be that of the fifth team member to cross the finish line. The maximum time loss between the winning and losing teams has been limited to three minutes.
Amongst the favourites today are: Liberty Seguros and Phonak, whilst CSC, T-Mobile, US Postal and Illes Balears-Banesto should figure among the leading teams at the end of the stage.
The first team is scheduled to start at 15.27 p.m., whilst the last is to set off at 16.47 p.m. The arrival of the first team is estimated at 15.57 p.m., and that of the last at 17.15 p.m. The starting times are as follows:
15.27 p.m. AG2R (France)
15.31 p.m. Alessio Bianchi (Italy)
15.35 p.m. Cafés Baqué (Spain)
15.39 p.m. Cofidis (France)
15.43 p.m. Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spain)
15.47 p.m. Fassa Bortolo (Italy)
15.51 p.m. Illes Balears-Banesto (Spain)
15.55 p.m. Lampre (Italy)
15.47 p.m. Paternina-Costa de Almería (Spain)
16.03 p.m. Phonak (Switzerland)
16.07 p.m. Quick Step-Davitamon (Belgium)
16.11 p.m. Rabobank (Holland)
16.15 p.m. Relax-Bodysol (Spain)
16.19 p.m. Saeco (Italy)
16.23 p.m. Saunier Duval (Spain)
16.27 p.m. CSC (Denmark)
16.31 p.m. T-Mobile (Germany)
16.35 p.m. US Postal Service (United States of America)
16.39 p.m. Vini Caldirola (Italy)
16.43 p.m. Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme (Spain)
16.47 p.m. Liberty Seguros (Spain).
It is slightly overcast in Leon this afternoon, and the team time trial will be over a basically flat course with one soft climb hardly 500 metres high. The climb, however, will count to the King of the Mountains competition, so by the end of the day we will know the race leader, the best placed team and the King of the Mountains. Last year ONCE took the honours ahead of US Postal and iBanesto.
However, the Team Time Trial can also spell disaster for teams suffering from first day nerves or bad luck. Pecharroman was dropped by his team last year and his race was over before it started, Fassa Bortolo got themselves in a tangle on the last kilometre and Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada crashed on the climb, leaving Santi Blanco nursing a broken cheek bone for the rest of the race.
AG2R line up on the yellow starting ramp - huge crowds cheer - and the Vuelta 2004 has started!
The French team, which includes Astarloza, Berges and Chaurreau, get quickly into their rhythm, all the team in a line now as they go around a few roundabouts. The start is quite technical and tricky.
Now Alessio Bianchi - with the Italian champion Cristian Moreni in his national shirt. The team also includes GC candidate Pietro Caucchioli and the climber Claus Moller.
The Alessio team also taking it steady at the beginning of the race, as now the Cafes Baque team set up, ready to go.
Felix "The Cat" Cardenas, last year's KoM winner, looking relaxed and happy, and the blue, white and yellow colours of Cafes Baque set off.
The crowds outside the starting area are not huge - it is the typicallly relaxed and friendly atmosphere of Spanish racing.
Cofidis now set off; Bingen Fernandez, the Daily Peloton's great friend, looking determined on the ramp. O'Grady, who is having a great season, picks up the pace and the Cofidis boys get quickly into the groove.
Now the orange boys of Euskaltel - Zubeldia the team leader. The team also includes the Silloniz brothers and the excellent young prospect Samuel Sanchez - who may shock some of the bigger names in this race. The orange team get away very smoothly under the white cloudy skies of Spain.
Mikel Artetxe taking the leading role as the orange men speed through.
Now Fassa Bortolo, Aitor Gonzalez looking very motivated, Petacchi looking cool and Cioni looking nervous - the silver train speeds away and looks very smooth at the start.
AG2R set the benchmark at 11 kilometres of 13.38 seconds.
Now Illes Balears-Banesto - with Mancebo and Menchov - one of the favourites for today's stage, set off.
AG2R through the 20 kilometre mark as Cafes Baque set the benchmark at 11 kilometres of 13:31.
There is quite a breeze blowing from the right hand side of the teams as they set off - as we see Lampre getting ready to start.
Meanwhile Cofidis are now fastest at 11 kilometres with a time of 13:27. As AG2R finish in 32.34.3 - so the first team to start set the benchmark for the race so far.
All teams using rear disc wheels, as Illes Balears, with Mancebo in the Spanish national jersey forge on, Garcia Acosta doing a huge turn at the front. Now Phonak, with Hamilton, the Olympic Gold TT champion, set off.
Phonak, looking well drilled and rehearsed, set off as the Spanish sun starts to shine. Banesto set the best time at 11 kilometres: 13.02.
Now Quickstep get ready to go - Pecharroman, Bodrogi, and big motors from riders like the Tank Bram Tankink and Tour of Germany winner Sinkewitz - only two Belgians in this very strong squad.
The 11 km intermediate check:
1º Banesto 13:02
2º Fassa a 12
3º Cofidis a 25
4º Cafes_Baqué a 29
5º Euskaltel a 35
6º Ag2r a 36
7º Alessio a 36
Ohh la la! Fassa pass two Euskaltel riders who have been dropped!
Cofidis cannnot match AG2R's time at the finish - but they only finish with 5 men. As Rabobank set off - Robert Hunter, Oscar Freire, and 7 flying Dutchmen including den Bakker and Jan Boven.
Now Relax Bodysol set off, while Banesto come to the 20 kilometre mark and set the best time ahead of Fassa Bortolo.
Euskaltel - 7 riders - can only manage 5th spot so far at the finish - a poor ride for the Orange boys.
Phonak 11 seconds down on Banesto at the 11 kilometre check. Now the "Red Train" Saeco get ready to start, as Fassa come to finish 32.10! The silver train take the lead!
So the finishing times so far:
1º Fassa 32:10
2º AG2R a 24
3º Cofidis a 24
4º Cafes Baque a 29
5º Alessio a 35
6º Euskaltel a 1:02
But 31.41. for Illes Balears Banesto! They take the lead.
Now Saunier Duval set off, Beloki in yellow - the yellow peril - sets off! Can Beloki save his season and win the Vuelta 2004?
The Saunier Duval team probably not looking too forward to this stage...
CSC now on the Yellow ramp - off they go! Sastre, Jaksche, Luttenberger - they have a powerful squad for this race - but can they match the Illes Baleares team in today's stage?
CSC look very smooth, slight problem for Bruun on the roundabout, but he gets back on quite easily, meanwhile Rabobank are having a bad day in the office - they are last so far. T-Mobile set off; Vinokourov, Botero, Evans, Wesemann, Zabel - it's a super strong squad.
Very quickly into their stride, the T-Mobile squad looking very strong.
Phonak now at the finish - they are just outside and finish in second place so far 5 seconds down. Now Postal set off - Barry, Beltran, Landis, Pena all quickly into their stride - looking well organised.
So the best times at the finish so far:
1º Banesto 31:41
2º Phonak at 5
3º Fassa at 29
4º Lampre at 50
5º AG2R at 53
Now Vini Caldirola set off with Garzelli, Tonkov, Zampieri - Garzelli is hoping for a podium spot in this race - as Quickstep finish in 10th spot at the end of the course.
Now CV Kelme - and the irrepressible Valverde - the green and blue stripes have gone, but they are still easy to recognise in the peloton... And now, Roberto Heras, winner last year, Isidro Nozal, second last year - Liberty Seguros get ready to start.
Mikhailov is dropped by the Postal squad after only about 6 kilometres! T-Mobile are through the 11 kilometre mark in second spot, 4" down.
And Liberty Seguros set off - so all teams on the road - can anyone beat the Illes Balears-Banesto time?
US Postal set the fastest time at the 11 kilometre mark - the best times so far:
1º USPS 12:54
2º Banesto a 8
3º T-Mobile a 12
4º Phonak a 19
5º Fassa a 20
6º Relax a 23
7º Saunier a 24
Saeco finish in the fourth fastest time so far - they will be pleased with that.
Meanwhile Jose Julia Cegarra of CV Kelme is having problems too, keeping up with his teammates. T-Mobile are speeding up as the race goes on - at the 20 km mark they now are leading the race so far, by 10 seconds, ahead of Illes Balears-Banesto. Saunier Duval and Beloki finish in 9th spot so far.
And now Rene Andrle is dropped off the back of the Liberty Seguros team too. But Postal are flying - they are 20 seconds faster at the 20 kilometre point and still lead the race. CSC come towards the finish, they finish in third spot so far - good ride.
The 8 men of Postal are flying along the road - they look very well organised; Liberty Seguros are third fastest through the 11 kilometre mark.
T Mobile finish in 1st spot with Zabel finishing first for the team - 31:16, great time. So the final times at the 11 kilometre mark:
1º USPS 12:54
2º Banesto at 8
3º Liberty at 9
4º T-Mobile at 12
5º Kelme at 15
6º Phonak at 19
7º Fassa at 20
US Postal now come to the finish - and Landis urges them on - 30.45 - 31 seconds faster than T-Mobile! Tremendous riding from the Postal squad.
Kelme still on the road around 5th fastest; so far they too are down to 8 riders. Now Baranowski is dropped from the Liberty Seguros team - so they are down to 7 men. In fact they are down to just 6 riders.
But Liberty Seguros are slipping down the classification... Looks like a Postie in Yellow... not a bad day for Californians...
Now the green and blue of Kelme come in, past the castle walls, they have done an excellent ride today. Up the high street - big crowds, but behind Liberty Seguros are having a disaster of a day.
Oh la la! CV Kelme are the big shock of the day as they finish in 4th spot! Fantastic ride and great news for Valverde!
3km to go for the 6 riders of Liberty Seguros, their eardrums aching...(venga, venga)
They have lost their shape again. It is a bad day for Heras - past the castle walls the time already at 30.24. There are some gaps in their line as they push towards the finish.
Bruyneel looks to be getting the better of his former mentor once again today.
The clock is ticking away - but Liberty Seguros finish in 8th spot. Muy malo tiempo por Liberty Seguros.
So the result:
1º USPS 30:45
2º T-Mobile at 31
3º Banesto at 56
4º Kelme at 58
5º Phonak at 1:01
6º CSC at 1:24
7º Fassa at 1:25
8º Liberty at 1:28
9º Saeco at 1:38
10º Relax at 1:41
11º Lampre at 1:46
12º AG2R at 1:49
13º Cofidis at 1:49
14º Saunier at 1:50
15º Cafes Baque at 1:54
16º Alessio at 2:00
17º Paternina at 2:01
18º Vini Caldirola at 2:12
19º Quick Step at 2:13
20º Rabobank at 2:16
21º Euskaltel at 2:27
So a disaster for Euskaltel and a disappointing ride for Liberty - but US Postal deliver on time again - Floyd Landis is the first leader of the Vuelta and wears the Golden Jersey, since he led the team over! What a great day for Floyd, showing that he and his team are ready for the big time without El Jefe. This bodes well for the next few weeks, and if he stays with Discovery next year, this bodes well for their status in the new Pro Tour.
So US Postal have really stamped their mark on this race, and this looks strangely like the Tour this year... Postal in front, T-Mobile not far behind, iBanesto doing well, and Euskaltel and Liberty Seguros doing very poorly.
So the US Postal now have a great advantage over all their rivals - 31 seconds over T-Mobile, 56 seconds over Mancebo and Menchov, 58 seconds advantage over Valverde and over a minute on Tyler Hamilton and Sevilla. Sastre loses 1.24'', while Aitor Gonzalez loses 1'25. Landis has leapt from a possible contender, to one of the big favourites in a little over 27.7 kilometres.
Thanks for reading!
Floyd Landis in the race leader's jersey after Stage 1. ©
Stage 1 Individual Results and General Classification
1 Landis, Floyd Usa Usp 30:45
2 Barry, Michael Can Usp m.t.
3 Peña, Victor Hugo Col Usp m.t.
4 Beltran, Manuel Esp Usp m.t.
5 Zabriskie, David Usa Usp m.t.
6 Joachim, Benoit Lux Usp m.t.
7 Van Heeswijk, Max Ned Usp m.t.
8 Zabel, Erik Ger Tmo a 31
9 Vinokourov, Alexandre Kaz Tmo a 31
10 Konecny, Tomas Cze Tmo a 31
11 Botero, Santiago Col Tmo a 31
12 Evans, Cadel Aus Tmo a 31
13 Hiekmann, Torsten Ger Tmo a 31
14 Schreck, Stephan Ger Tmo a 42
15 Wesemann, Steffan Ger Tmo a 42
16 Cruz, Antonio Usa Usp a 50
17 Arrieta, José Luis Esp Ibb a 56
18 Colom, Antonio Esp Ibb a 56
19 Mancebo, Francisco Esp Ibb a 56
20 Lastras, Pablo Esp Ibb a 56
21 Menchov, Denis Rus Ibb a 56
22 Pradera, Mikel Esp Ibb a 56
23 Horrach, Joan Esp Ibb a 56
24 Pascual Rodriguez, Javier Esp Kel a 58
25 Jimenez, Eladio Esp Kel a 58
26 Valverde, Alejandro Esp Kel a 58
27 Blanco, David Esp Kel a 58
28 Plaza, Rubén Esp Kel a 58
29 Cabello, Francisco Esp Kel a 58
30 Latasa, David Esp Kel a 58
31 Garcia Quesada, Carlos Esp Kel a 58
32 Sevilla, Oscar Esp Pho a 1:01
33 Gutierrez, José Esp Pho a 1:01
34 Perez, Santiago Esp Pho a 1:01
35 Jalabert, Nicolas Fra Pho a 1:01
36 Hamilton, Tyler Usa Pho a 1:01
37 Gonzalez, Santos Esp Pho a 1:01
38 Grabsch, Bert Ger Pho a 1:01
39 Klier, Andreas Ger Tmo a 1:02
40 Sastre, Carlos Esp Csc a 1:24
41 Jaksche, Jörg Ger Csc a 1:24
42 Gusev, Vladimir Rus Csc a 1:24
43 Hoj, Frank Den Csc a 1:24
44 Schleck, Frank Lux Csc a 1:24
45 Luttenberger, Peter Aut Csc a 1:24
46 Calvente, Manuel Esp Csc a 1:24
47 Sacchi, Fabio Ita Fas a 1:25
48 Sanchez, Julián Esp Fas a 1:25
49 Cioni, Dario David Ita Fas a 1:25
50 Velo, Marco Ita Fas a 1:25
51 Gustov, Volodymir Ukr Fas a 1:25
52 Gonzalez, Aitor Esp Fas a 1:25
53 Ongarato, Alberto Ita Fas a 1:25
54 Heras, Roberto Esp Lst a 1:28
55 Gil, Koldo Esp Lst a 1:28
56 Serrano, Marcos Esp Lst a 1:28
57 Gonzalez de Galdeano, Igor Esp Lst a 1:28
58 Nozal, Isidro Esp Lst a 1:28
59 Caruso, Giampaolo Ita Lst a 1:28
60 Cunego, Damiano Ita Sae a 1:38
61 Di Luca, Danilo Ita Sae a 1:38
62 Szymyd, Sylvester Pol Sae a 1:38
63 Mazzoleni, Eddy Ita Sae a 1:38
64 Sabaliauskas, Marius Ltu Sae a 1:38
65 Spezialetti, Alessandro Ita Sae a 1:38
66 Fuentes, Juan Esp Sae a 1:38
67 Florencio, Xavier Esp Reb a 1:41
68 Jufre, Josep Esp Reb a 1:41
69 Rebollo, Jose Luis Esp Reb a 1:41
70 Pasamontes, Luis Esp Reb a 1:41
71 Burgos, Nacor Esp Reb a 1:41
72 Van Summeren, Johan Bel Reb a 1:41
73 Martinez, Alberto Esp Reb a 1:41
74 Garate, Juan Manuel Esp Lam a 1:46
75 Cortinovis, Alessandro Ita Lam a 1:46
76 Quinziato, Manuel Ita Lam a 1:46
77 Scotto, Michele Ita Lam a 1:46
78 Righi, Daniele Ita Lam a 1:46
79 Inaudi, Nicolas Fra A2r a 1:49
80 Chaurreau, Iñigo Esp A2r a 1:49
81 Goubert, Stephane Fra A2r a 1:49
82 Pütsep, Erki Est A2r a 1:49
83 Oriol, Christophe Fra A2r a 1:49
84 Astarloza, Mikel Esp A2r a 1:49
85 Berges, Stéphane Fra A2r a 1:49
86 Laidoun, Julien Fra A2r a 1:49
87 Flickinger, Andy Fra A2r a 1:49
88 O'Grady, Stuart Aus Cof a 1:49
89 Perez, Luis Esp Cof a 1:49
90 Cuesta, Iñigo Esp Cof a 1:49
91 Vasseur, Cedric Fra Cof a 1:49
92 Trentin, Guido Ita Cof a 1:49
93 Beloki, Joseba Esp Sdv a 1:50
94 Zaballa, Constantino Esp Sdv a 1:50
95 Martin Perdiguero, M.a. Esp Sdv a 1:50
96 Dominguez, Juan Carlos Esp Sdv a 1:50
97 Cañada, David Esp Sdv a 1:50
98 Rodriguez, Joaquin Esp Sdv a 1:50
99 Parra, Ivan Col Baq a 1:54
100 Perez, Aitor Esp Baq a 1:54
101 Gutierre, Heberth Col Baq a 1:54
102 Cardenas, Felix Col Baq a 1:54
103 Garcia, Francisco Esp Baq a 1:54
104 Buenahora, Hernan Col Baq a 1:54
105 Plaza, David Esp Baq a 1:54
106 Arreitunandia, Peio Esp Baq a 1:54
107 Serrano, Ricardo Esp Baq a 1:54
108 Moreni, Cristian Ita Als a 2:00
109 Furlan, Angelo Ita Als a 2:00
110 Möller, Klaus Den Als a 2:00
111 Ivanov, Ruslan Mda Als a 2:00
112 Hvastija, Martin Slo Als a 2:00
113 Miholjevic, Vladimir Cro Als a 2:00
114 Caucchioli, Pietro Ita Als a 2:00
115 Rastelli, Ellis Ita Als a 2:00
116 Fernandez, David Esp Alm a 2:01
117 Torrent, Carlos Esp Alm a 2:01
118 Del Rio, Ion Esp Alm a 2:01
119 Ferrio, Jorge Esp Alm a 2:01
120 Gomez, Angel Esp Alm a 2:01
121 Lopez, Joaquin Esp Alm a 2:01
122 Herrero, David Esp Alm a 2:01
123 Lara, Francisco José Esp Alm a 2:01
124 White, Matthew Aus Cof a 2:03
125 Tonkov, Pavel Rus Vin a 2:12
126 Garzelli, Stefano Ita Vin a 2:12
127 Sgambelluri, Roberto Ita Vin a 2:12
128 Zanotti, Marco Ita Vin a 2:12
129 Calcagni, Patrick Sui Vin a 2:12
130 Gerosa, Mauro Ita Vin a 2:12
131 Zampieri, Steve Sui Vin a 2:12
132 Horrillo, Pedro Esp Qsd a 2:13
133 Paolini, Luca Ita Qsd a 2:13
134 Bodrogi, Laszlo Hun Qsd a 2:13
135 Tankink, Bram Ned Qsd a 2:13
136 Garrido, José Esp Qsd a 2:13
137 Hulsmans, Kevin Bel Qsd a 2:13
138 Pecharroman, J.Antonio Esp Qsd a 2:13
139 Sinkewitz, Patrick Ger Qsd a 2:13
140 Van Goolen, Jurgen Bel Qsd a 2:13
141 Valjavec, Tadej Slo Pho a 2:16
142 Hunter, Robert Rsa Rab a 2:16
143 Weening, Pieter Ned Rab a 2:16
144 Freire, Oscar Esp Rab a 2:16
145 Mutsaars, Ronald Ned Rab a 2:16
146 Den Bakker, Maarten Ned Rab a 2:16
147 Roesems, Bert Bel Reb a 2:26
148 Zubeldia, Haimar Esp Eus a 2:27
149 Sanchez, Samuel Esp Eus a 2:27
150 Silloniz, Aitor Esp Eus a 2:27
151 Laiseka, Roberto Esp Eus a 2:27
152 Isasi, Iñaki Esp Eus a 2:27
153 Artetxe, Mikel Esp Eus a 2:27
154 Lopez De Munain, Alberto Esp Eus a 2:27
155 Andriotto, Dario Ita Vin a 2:27
156 Sunderland, Scott Aus Als a 2:35
157 Bertoletti, Simone Ita Lam a 2:39
158 Milesi, Marco Ita Vin a 2:40
159 Fernandez, Bingen Esp Cof a 2:41
160 Piepoli, Leonardo Ita Sdv a 3:14
161 Garcia Acosta, José Esp Ibb a 3:15
162 Trenti, Guido Usa Fas a 4:47
163 Petacchi, Alessandro Ita Fas a 4:47
164 Julia, José Esp Kel a 5:07
165 Osa, Unai Esp Ibb a 5:12
166 Mikhailov, Guennadi Rus Usp a 5:13
167 Baranowski, Dariusz Pol Lst a 5:20
168 Andrle, Rene Cze Lst a 5:25
169 Hruska, Jan Cze Lst a 5:25
170 Casero, Rafael Esp Sdv a 5:30
171 Jeker, Fabian Sui Sdv a 5:30
172 Veneberg, Thorwald Ned Rab a 5:31
173 De Weert, Kevin Bel Rab a 5:31
174 Posthuma, Joost Ned Rab a 5:31
175 Boven, Jan Ned Rab a 5:31
176 Elias, José Miguel Esp Reb a 5:51
177 Astarloa, Igor Esp Lam a 6:20
178 Coyot, Arnaud Fra Cof a 6:23
179 Atienza, Daniel Esp Cof a 6:23
180 Bayarri, Gonzalo Esp Pho a 6:27
181 Fornaciari, Paolo Ita Sae a 6:27
182 Bonomi, Giosue Ita Sae a 6:27
183 Piccoli, Mariano Ita Lam a 6:47
184 Bruun, Thomas Den Csc a 6:58
185 Vandborg, Brian Den Csc a 6:58
186 Albizu, Joseba Esp Eus a 7:01
187 Silloniz, Josu Esp Eus a 7:01
Points after Stage 1
1 Landis, Floyd Usa Usp 25
2 Barry ,Michael Can Usp 20
3 Peña, Victor Hugo Col Usp 16
4 Beltran, Manuel Esp Usp 14
5 Zabriskie, David Usa Usp 12
6 Joachim, Benoit Lux Usp 10
7 Van Heeswijk, Max Ned Usp 9
8 Zabel, Erik Ger Tmo 8
9 Vinokourov, Alexandre Kaz Tmo 7
10 Konecny, Tomas Cze Tmo 6
11 Botero, Santiago Col Tmo 5
12 Evans, Cadel Aus Tmo 4
13 Hiekmann, Torsten Ger Tmo 3
14 Schreck, Stephan Ger Tmo 2
15 Wesemann, Steffan Ger Tmo 1
Mountains after Stage 1
1 Landis, Floyd Usa Usp 6
2 Zabriskie, David Usa Usp 4
3 Beltran, Manuel Esp Usp 2
4 Joachim, Benoit Lux Usp 1
Illes Balear-Banesto. © Unipublic.
Teams Classification after Stage 1
1 US Postal Service USP 1:32:15
2 T-Mobile Team TMO a 1:33
3 Illes Balears - Banesto IBB a 2:48
4 Comunidad Valenciana - Kelme KEL a 2:54
5 Phonak Hearing Systems PHO a 3:03
6 Team CSC CSC a 4:12
7 Fassa Bortolo FAS a 4:15
8 Liberty Seguros LST a 4:24
9 Saeco SAE a 4:54
10 Relax-Bodysol REB a 5:03
11 Lampre LAM a 5:18
12 AG2R Prevoyance A2R a 5:27
13 Cofidis, le credit par telephone COF a 5:27
14 Saunier Duval - Prodir SDV a 5:30
15 Cafes Baque BAQ a 5:42
16 Alessio - Bianchi ALS a 6:00
17 Costa de Almeria - Paternina ALM a 6:03
18 Vini Caldirola -Nobili Rubinetterie VIN a 6:36
19 Quick Step - Davitamon QSD a 6:39
20 Rabobank RAB a 6:48
21 Euskaltel - Euskadi EUS a 7:21
T-Mobile. © Unipublic.