I’m back, and we have much to discuss.
Vuelta: Euskatel (remember them?) rider Roberto Laiseka won today, taking advantage of an ever-tightening GC battle to slip away for a mountaintop win. Denis Menchov is still in gold after taking it Saturday’s TT, and hanging with the leaders yesterday, when Paco Mancebo won his first Grand Tour stage. Also with the leaders atop Arcalis (where fools and statesmen alike crowned Jan Ullrich the next Miguel Indurain in 1997) was 3-time winner Roberto Heras, who was penalized 10 seconds in the ITT for cutting the course, but remains just under a minute behind Menchov in the GC race, which looks like this:
- Denis “home cookin'” Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
- Roberto “ZZ Top” Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros-WÃ¼rth Team (+0.47)
- Francisco “Paco” Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d’Epargne (+1.53)
- Carlos “de-” Sastre (Spa) Team CSC (+1.57)
- Carlos “I’ll have a chicken” Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana (+3.31)
Riders from an American team are in 6th and 7th, but *tough*, this ain’t VeloNews so they aren’t going up.
Tour of Britan: [ed. note- Since Americans speak English, much like the Britons do, why can’t we just call our freakin’ stage races “Tour of (race location)?” I mean, come on, “Tour de ‘Toona,” “Tour de Georgia?” It’s just dumb.] Some Russian named Ivanov won a stage I predicted to be group sprint from a 4 man break. Then Nick Nuyens won a 4k ITT to drive home his overall win. Week-long stage race, no group sprints. Sounds like the talent pool was a little lopsided.
The Interntational Barclays Investors Group Tour of T-Mobile Grand Prix de San Francisco (presented by Berry Floor): Ex-Postie and soon-to-be-ex-Disco rider Michael Creed went ape-sh!t through much of the race, taking every early KOM point and for a moment securing the title, but then DNF’d after being dropped by the main field with 50k to go. (Hmm. Riding 50k alone after taking the KOM title…doesn’t sound too tough.). American old man John Lieswyn rode an epic race, almost starying clear with Disco’s Jason McCartney, but eventually lost the sprint to Gerolsteiner youngster Fabiann Wegemann, in the Health-Net rider’s final pro event.
Tour l’Avenir: 21-year-old American Tyler Farrar won a stage, and, to celebrate, he threw up the horns. Oh yeah, a bunch of U25 Euros rode in that race also, and should all have promising jobs at dishing fries at McDonalds and tossing baggage for AirFrance once they burn out and retire.