Bad luck for Liberty Seguros

Liberty Seguro's Michele Scarponi lost five minutes in today's stage, and any chance of contending...

Liberty Seguro's Michele Scarponi lost five minutes in today's stage, and any chance of contending for a good place in the general classification after a fall stopped both him and team-mate Daniel Navarro until the team car could reach them.

Descending the Guglionesi, with about 20km to go, Scarponi and Navarro both hit a pothole and damaged their rear wheels. The double mechanical prevented Navarro from simply giving Scarponi his wheel so they both had to wait. Also waiting, further down the road, were their team-mates Javier Abeja, Serguei Yakolev and Marcos Serrano, who had assumed Navarro was helping Scarponi.

Meanwhile, realising that Robbie McEwen had struggled on the climb, the other sprinters' teams threw everything into a dash for the line, leaving the Liberty riders to trail in over five minutes down.

Meanwhile at the first stage of the Volta a Catalunya, Liberty rider Luis León Sanchez was late for his start at the opening time trial. Sanchez had lost track of the time, and when warned from the team car that he was next to start was still some distance from the start ramp. Officials had to get Erik Zabel, who was next off and ready by the time Sanchez arrived, to move aside so that Sanchez could set off.

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