Skip to main content

Live coverage

Vuelta a España 2009: Stage 17

Refresh

Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of stage 17 of the Vuelta a España.

The three-week Vuelta a España continues today with a flat 193.6-kilometre stage from Ciudad Real to Talavera de la Reina. It lacks climbs, but comes on the eve of three decisive days. The riders face two medium-mountain stages, Ávila and La Granja Real Fábrica de Cristales, and a time trial stage on Saturday in Toledo.

At kilometre three Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil) attacked. The attack started a second, successful, escape of five with Spaniard Irizar.

Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) escaped at kilometre six.

143km remaining from 193km

At 50km covered, the five-man escape group has five minutes. Liquigas, Milram and Columbia are managing the pace. The gap nearly touched seven minutes, 6:52, at kilometre 25.

__ Situation __
- Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil)
- Main group 5:00

Talk about today's stage on our forum.

137km remaining from 193km

Valverde has a flat tyre.  He gets a quick change and starts to re-join.

Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) wears the race leader's gold jersey he took nine days ago. He leads the race by 31 seconds on Gesink, 1:10 on Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), 1:28 on Ivan Basso (Liquigas), 1:51 on Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) and 1:54 on Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia).

Valverde will be one of Spain's leaders at the Worlds next Sunday in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

"Spain has the most powerful team for this race, with three great leaders: Samuel Sánchez, Alejandro Valverde and Oscar Freire. And they will have good helpers with them," Alberto Contador told Cyclingnews.

Read more.

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-NGC), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) and Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step) were non-starters today.

Italy's Ballan and Cunego went home to prepare for the Worlds. Weylandt had to leave following yesterday's crash with Roger Hammond (Cervélo TestTeam) and Julian Dean (Garmin-Slipstream) with 2.8 kilometres to race.

Ballan trains in Italy today after racing his last day in the rainbow jersey of World Champion yesterday. He and Cunego, winner of two stages, left the race after stage 16 to Puertollano.

Ballan said he that his emotions were high for the final day in the jersey he won in Varese, Italy, September 28. "It's the last time [I will race in this jersey]. Of course, who's to say I can't win it again?"

Read more Ballan returns home, last day in Worlds' rainbow jersey.

If you have any questions just post them on our forum: http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=3503

 

The riders reach the highest point of the stage, 880m, right after entering the province of Toledo. It is also the feed zone.

128km remaining from 193km

The sprinters' teams seem to have the five escapees right where it wants them. The gap is holding steady, near five minutes, 4:58.

If they bring the escape back too fast there will be more counter-attacks before the finish. The ideal spot is somewhere around 10 kilometres to race.

Lots of teams are announcing their riders for Worlds.  Who will win the time trial? Road race?

Young Dutchman Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) is in this escape. He is sure to be a future Paris-Roubaix winner. In his debut year at the race in 2008 he finished just off the podium, in fourth.

The five-man escape: Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil)

You can also follow Cyclingnews on Twitter - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed

We are also on Facebook

122km remaining from 193km

The five have 5:12 on the main group of Valverde.

113km remaining from 193km

We are out of Ciudad Real and into the province of Toledo now. The five are holding onto a 5:05 advantage with teams Milram (for Ciolek), Columbia (Greipel) and Liquigas (Bennati) chasing. Italy's Bennati is the only one of the three without a stage win.

Bennati said that he believes today’s 17th stage, plus the concluding leg of the race in Madrid, both offered chances to him. “I have a great desire to prove who is the real Bennati and break this bad luck,” he said.

Read more here http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/bennati-still-hunting-for-vuelta-stage-win
 

Thanks for all the posts in the forum.  Bela Verde, Bennati should have a chance today in the sprint.  He nearly had it yesterday.

104km remaining from 193km

The five escapees enter the feed zone. Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) have 5:12 on the main group.

Milram, Liquigas and Columbia have been active in leading the chase on the five riders, who once had nearly seven minutes.

The five are now on the highest point in the stage, 880 metres, 230 more than the start in Ciudad Real.

The five escapees are near the town of Menasalbas with an advantage of 5:22.

Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed and also check out our Facebook.

94km remaining from 193km

Russian Alexander Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) pulls out of the Vuelta a España.

Efimkin was in 69th overall, 1h23 behind race leader Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne).

Spaniard Valverde took the race leader's gold jersey he took nine days ago. He leads the race by 31 seconds on Gesink, 1:10 on Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), 1:28 on Ivan Basso (Liquigas), 1:51 on Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) and 1:54 on Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia).
 

83km remaining from 193km

The five escapees have 4:50 over the main group.

Spain's Markel Irizar will ride at RadioShack with Lance Armstrong, who lent support during his battle with cancer. Irizar, 29, signed for the next two seasons last week.

Armstrong lent his support with a letter when Irizar went through treatment for testicular cancer in 2002. He recovered completely, joined team Euskaltel-Euskadi in 2004 and later met Armstrong at races.

Irizar finished 18th overall and won the mountains classification at this year's Tour Down Under. At RadioShack he will join Haimar Zubeldia, who is also from the Basque province Gipuzkoal.

Read more here, Irizar joins Armstrong's RadioShack

68km remaining from 193km

The five's advantage has dipped to 4:25.  They have just passed through Puebla de Montalbán.

67km remaining from 193km

Dutchman Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) and his team have been riding amazingly in the Vuelta a España. Vacansoleil has Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) up in the overall classification.

Westra won the Tour de Picardie earlier this year. He has showed amazing fight in the Vuelta a España, especially considering his dad died right before the race started.

The advantage is below four minutes...

__ Situation __
- Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil)
- Main group 3:48

There is a split in the main group.

Riders from Cofidis, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Xacobeo-Galicia and Contentpolis-AMPO crashed. Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia), Juan José Cobo (Fuji-Servetto) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) were in the crash.

58km remaining from 193km

Gesink is in second overall, only 31 seconds behind race leader Valverde.

He visited the doctor's car and now is re-joining the main group with the help of stage winner Lars Boom. 

Can Boom win the Worlds TT?  He won the Under 23 version two years ago.

Post your questions on our forum.

Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed and also check out Facebook.

Ezequiel Mosquera's left side, leg and arm, is bloodied.

Gesink has blood running down his left arm. Rabobank is pacing him back to the front, a very strong team. It helped Russian Denis Menchov win the first Grand Tour of the year, the Giro d'Italia.

55km remaining from 193km

The five's advantage is 4:04.

We mentioned Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-NGC), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) and Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step) were non-starters today. Aussie Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) was also a non-starter.

Weylandt had to leave following yesterday's crash with Assan Bazayev (Astana), Roger Hammond (Cervélo TestTeam) and Julian Dean (Garmin-Slipstream) with 2.8 kilometres to race. We are not sure on the reason O'Grady did not start.

Italy's Ballan and Cunego went home to prepare for the Worlds.

"I was in such a good position to sprint," said Bazayev of the sprint yesterday. "Schär was there too to help me and then there is a stupid spectator. He wanted to watch the race from a bit too close and I think Wouter Weylandt from Quick-Step hit him.

"Fortunately [there were] no big injuries for me but this crash cost us a lot. My bike is banged up a lot."

43km remaining from 193km

The advantage is 3:40

38km remaining from 193km

The five riders ahead are Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil).

They are riding with an advantage of 3:43. Each are doing equal turns at the front down the straight roads of Toledo. However, behind there are many more riders doing turns at the front. The group is led by Columbia.

Yes TRDean, Dean did start today.  Thanks for writing in our forum.

David Garcia (Xacobeo Galicia) brings a new helmet to his teammate Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia).

31km remaining from 193km

The five's advantage is 4:10

Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) crashed earlier with Robert Gesink (Rabobank). He started the day in sixth place, 1:54 behind Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne).

Valverde leads the race by 31 seconds on Gesink, 1:10 on Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), 1:28 on Ivan Basso (Liquigas) and 1:51 on Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto).

Martin Velits (Milram) leads the group, working with team Columbia rides. He and his brother will join the USA team in 2010.

“We are really happy,” he said. “It is a new challenge for us, for me and my brother. I think it is the best step for us to take for our careers.”

Read more: Velits looking forward to move

23km remaining from 193km

The main group is 3:16 behind our leaders.

__ Situation __
- Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil)
- Main group 3:16

Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) escaped at kilometre six.

Post your questions on our forum.

Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed and also check out Facebook.

Will this escape suceed?

20km remaining from 193km

Another crash, two Xacobeo Galicia riders go off the left side of the road.

Gonzalo Rabuñal (Xacobeo Galicia) was one of the two riders. He is now back at the doctor's car. A very bad luck day for his team after the crash of Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia).

The other team rider in the crash was Serafín Martínez (Xacobeo Galicia).

Milram and Columbia are both on the front of the group, working hard to bring back the escape. We also see Kjell Carlström (Liquigas) in there, in his Finnish national champ jersey.

17km remaining from 193km

Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Saxo Bank) and Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) are in a group behind the main group of Valverde. Arvesen is a former Under 23 World Champ.

Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) might also be there with teammate Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Saxo Bank). Maybe the crash held them behind.

15km remaining from 193km

The five are on a slight climb.

__ Situation __
- Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil)
- Main group 2:15

Dutchman Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) leads the five.

The group behind is having trouble pulling in the five riders.  There are more Liquigas riders on the front now.

13km remaining from 193km

Liquigas, Milram and Columbia are lined out in an echelon. The wind is coming from their left side.

1:43

11km remaining from 193km

The riders are all lined down the right side of the road due to the wind. It could cause another crash as riders swerve across the road. Everyone's legs are tired.

__ Situation __
- Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil)
- Main group 1:30

Will one of these five riders attack from the escape group soon?

Dane Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) is having problems and drops behind. He looks down at his gears.

10km remaining from 193km

1:15 at -10k

8km remaining from 193km

The sprinters' teams are fighting at the front to control the race and bring back the five escapees: Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil).

They have 1:10 at -8.5k
 

Frantisek Rabon (Columbia-HTC) is working hard for teammate and sprinter André Greipel. Greipel has won three stages so far in this Vuelta a España.

The front five are rotating in a counter-clockwise motion.

Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) looks back to get a visual check on the main group.

7km remaining from 193km

It looks over at 7k to race. The advantage has dropped down to 43 seconds

Soon one of the five will attack his escape companions.

Liquigas leads with four riders.

6km remaining from 193km

Columbia is right behind the green Italian team.

Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) attacks.

4km remaining from 193km

The others pull him back.

3km remaining from 193km

Frantisek Rabon (Columbia-HTC) is hammering on the front. He is 30" behidn the front five.

The front five are finished.  Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream) tries a last ditch move.

Maaskant has 20" on the main group.  The other four are caught.

The others are still there.

- Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream)
- Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux)
- Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Francisco José Martínez (Andalucía-Cajasur), Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil)
 

1km remaining from 193km

Maaskant, 26, is joined by Roux.

Roux does not help.

Now Roux attacks

Maaskant sits up.  Roux continues.

Greipel chases!

Roux wins!

Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), 22, timed it to perfection. He chased back Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Slipstream), sat on, and then attacked.

He went free with the other four escapees at six kilometres into the stage.

2 William Bonnet (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)
3 André Greipel (Columbia-HTC)
4 Daniele Bennati (Liquigas)
 

An impressive win by the 22-year-old Frenchman Roux.

A hard day out for overall favourites Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia). Both riders crashed, but finished the stage.

The overall classification remains the same from yesterday.

Thanks for joining our live coverage today. Please come back tomorrow for the first to two medium-mountain days.

1 Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux)
2 William Bonnet (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)
3 André Greipel (Columbia-HTC)
4 Daniele Bennati (Liquigas)
5 Francisco Jose Pacheco Torres (Contentpolis-Ampo)
6 Jürgen Roelandts (Silence-Lotto)
7 Sébastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale)
8 Javier Benitez (Contentpolis-Ampo)
9 Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC)
10 Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil)
11 Roger Hammond (Cervélo TestTeam)
...
15 Julian Dean (Garmin-Slipstream)
 

Latest on Cyclingnews