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Inigo Cuesta (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
85th Volta a Catalunya - PT
Spain, May 16-22, 2005
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Stage 5 - May 20: SornÃ s (Andorra)-EstaciÃ³ d'esquÃ d'Ordino-ArcalÃs (Andorra) ITT, 17,1 km
Cuesta continues the yellow wave of success
After his teammate Leonardo Piepoli took the win in yesterday's mountain stage, IÃ±igo Cuesta took one more win for the Saunier Duval-Prodir team, taking out today's mountain time trial and clocking his first big win since stage six of the Dauphine LibÃ©rÃ© in 2000. Piepoli also backed up his win yesterday to take second in the time trial, moving himself up into second place in the general classification behind Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel).
Seventeen kilometres in length, the time trial travelled from Sornas to the Ordino ski station at ArcalÃs and climbed from 1300m to 2220m, with 660m of that in the final 9.3 km. By the top of the climb the 35 year old Cuesta had gained 26 seconds on his teammate and 51 seconds on tour leader Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel).
The Ukrainian rider placed fifth in the stage, which ensured his overall lead in the tour going into tomorrow's penultimate stage. Despite Piepoli's impressive ride, Popovych still increased his lead to 20 seconds from 11 after stage four.
Piepoli was ecstatic after the stage. "I was feeling already very good in the beginning of the season but I only could reach second places! I had enough of being second and yesterday I won so I am very happy."
He added that his next goal in the Tour de Suisse. "I want to win a stage (Leonardo was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland). I feel very good and there will be some finishes in the mountains and concerning the Tour de France, the same; my goal is a stage victory. I am quite confident because I am a consistent rider, without ups and downs, so when it's up who knows?"
World Time Trial champion, Michael Rogers (Quickstep) had another good day, finishing sixth in the stage and moving up into fourth place in the general classification, with David MoncoutiÃ© (Cofidis) moving into third place overall with his third place today.
Tomorrow's sixth stage is 198.7km and runs between the two coastal towns of LlÃvia and PallejÃ¡. It starts with the Cat. 1 Collada de Toses, but contains only one other Cat. 2 climb, and that comes with over 80 km to go, which means there could be a fairly large group to contest the finish.
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