Vuelta a Murcia Results - Stage 2

News & Results

03/4/2004| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen

Vuelta a Murcia Results - Stage 2

Gutierrez wins time trial; Armstrong beats Ullrich.

Following a fifth place finish in today's second stage - a 21.3 kilometer time trial - Lance Armstrong moved to second overall at the Tour of Murcia in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Lorca, Spain.  Armstrong finished 29 seconds back of stage winner and new race leader Jose Ivan Gutierrez of the Illes Balears-Banesto team.  Gutierrez, the 1999 world U23 time trial champion, turned in a time of 25:39, three seconds ahead of Michael Rich of Gerolsteiner.  Armstrong trails Gutierrez by 29 seconds in the overall classification heading into tomorrow's 156.4 km third stage in Yecla. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>


"It was a good performance from Lance today, and also from Michael Barry and Jurgen ( van den Broeck )," said USPS team sports manager Johan Bruyneel.   "Lance did a good first part of the race but the second part was a little more difficult, which shows that he is not in top shape yet, which was expected."

"Overall, it was a good test.  We are going to sit down tonight and go over some stuff on positioning and things like that.  But overall, it was OK," Bruyneel continued.


Barry placed 12th in the stage, 50 seconds of the pace of Gutierrez, while van den Broeck finished 19th at .


"It was a good sign for such a young guy," said Bruyneel about van den Broeck, the 2001 world junior time trial champion.   "It was a long time trial as well and to be in the top 20 is definitely a sign he has the qualities of a time trialist.  He was very nervous and very motivated and rode at 100%.  Looking back at yesterday and today, I really like what I saw in him."


Yesterday's stage winner, Max van Heeswijk , finished 46th in the time trial, just under two minutes off the pace.  However, due to van Heeswijk's stage win, the team's sixth victory this season, Bruyneel said the team will take a relaxed approach at the remainder of the race, which concludes on Sunday.


"Our objective at
was to win a stage and we got that yesterday so were going to ride relaxed the rest of the race," said Bruyneel.   "We are not here to win the Tour of
.  The second to last day is very hard and there are some riders in great shape to win there.  We didn't come here to do that or to fight for it.  I don't expect to win the overall here but if it was to happen, it would be a pleasant surprise."

March 4, 2004: Stage 2: Lorca - Lorca (21 km ITT):
1 Jos? Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto       00:25:39
2 Michael Rich (Ger) Gerolsteiner                               0.03
3 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Lampre                                    0.27
4 Torsten Schmidt (Ger) Gerolsteiner                            0.28
5 Lance Armstrong (USA) U.S. Postal Service-Berry Floor         0.29
6 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Com.Valenciana-Kelme                        0.35
7 Hector Guerra (Spa) Relax-Bodysol                             0.37
8 David Blanco (Spa) Com.Valenciana-Kelme                       0.38
9 Jos? Alberto Martinez (Spa) Relax-Bodysol                     0.42
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Com.Valenciana-Kelme                0.47
11 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                            0.48
12 Michael Barry


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