Petacchi Wins Stage 13 of Vuelta
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has won his fourth stage of this year?s Vuelta a Espana.
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has won his fourth stage of this year?s Vuelta a Espana. Petacchi bested Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) and Pedro Horrillo (Quick Step-Davitamon) to win Stage 13, a rolling, 172.4-km stage from El Elido to Malaga in 4:01:55. Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) remains the overall leader.
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From the start, the racing was aggressive. At 40 km, Kevin Hulsmans (Quick Step-Davitamon), Herbert Gutierrez (Cafes Baque), Josep Jufre (Relax), and Kevin De Weert (Rabobank) escaped. The peloton, which was led by Fassa Bortolo and Cofidis, kept the four on a short leash, and the break never got more than two and a half minutes ahead of the bunch.
With 10 km left, the peloton reeled in the break. Cofidis took over the pacemaking. With three km left, Fassa Bortolo assumed command. The Italian squad single filed the field. O?Grady and Zabel fought for Petacchi?s wheel. It did not matter who had it because with Petacchi?s speed and leadout train, he is virtually unbeatable. With 200 m left, the Italian took the lead and held on for the win.
In the overall, Heras leads Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears-Banesto) by 0:35 and Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme) at 0:49. Tomorrow, the Vuelta will return to the mountains. Stage 13, a 167-km ride from Malaga to Granada, will feature a Category 2 climb, a Category 3 climb, and a Category 1 ascent before a 20-km descent to the finish. Who will prevail? Heras? Mancebo? Valverde? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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