A Petacchi show all the way
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) is the man to beat in the bunch sprints in the Vuelta, having notched up his fourth stage win in Burgos today. With just one corner in the last 10 km, it was a perfect sprint for a train like Fassa Bortolo, even if they didn't hit top gear until 3 km to go. In the finale, Petacchi didn't even wait for his lead out man Marco Velo to really get going, and went from a long way out to claim the win by over a bike length from Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) and Marco Zanotti (Liquigas).
The general classification was unchanged today, but a crash with around 30 km to go saw Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) go down and injure his knee. After assistance from the race doctor, he rejoined the peloton and finished with the bunch, but it could have a big impact on his chances of taking time out of Menchov in the weekend's stages.
The day was animated by Relax Fuenlabrada's Luis Pasamontes, who attacked in the opening kilometres, built up a maximum lead of 4'45 or so, and was reeled in by the peloton with 12 km to go. A counter move by Benjamin Noval (Discovery) lasted a couple of kilometres, but no-one was stopping a bunch sprint today.