Saturday, September 08, 2007

La Vuelta a España 2: Cuando el tiburón muerde

That's why he wears the white-red-black-gold jersey: he's the time trial champion of Germany.

Bert Grabsch of T-Mobile took the stage win today with a blistering time trial, coming in half a minute ahead of Bodrogi of Credit Agricole and 48 seconds in front of Stijn Devolder of Discovery.

But the Belgian rider wears gold for the former Posties, Efimkin not able to hold on to the lead on a hot, flat day designed to seperate the men from the criterilists...
Probably the hardest hit rider of the day was Periero, who is reported to be sick as well as slow on the hot, windy roads to Zaragoza. His 45th finish today knocked him down to 15th n the GC and he is also said to be thinking of abandoning.
The GC picture is interesting. Denis Menchov rode a great TT and is in second, just 30 seconds back. Efimkin is third, and Cadal Evans fourth, both within two minutes of the new leader. Also in the top ten are Sylvain Chavanel, Vladimir Karpets and Carlos Sastre - all threats for the overall win.
And the race still has two weeks to go!
But today was Grabsch's, and Devolder's, and even Miguel Indurain had to give it up for the tough guy from Flanders under the sharkmouth helmet of what we once called the Blue Train.

General classification after stage 8

1 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 29.25.55

2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0.30

3 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 1.28

4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 1.54

5 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 2.12

6 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 3.00

7 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 3.15

8 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quickstep - Innergetic 3.41

9 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 3.44

10 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Liquigas 4.03

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