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Old 09-11-05, 09:16 AM   #1
gmason
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Vuelta Stage 15: Cangas de Onis-Valgrande Pajares 191 km

Ay caramba!

Heras' knee was not bothering him much today, it seemed. He was in a big break - about 15-20 riders, and Menchov was back in a smaller group with Sastre, Garcia Quesada, and a few others. It was overcast, and 8 C, so not the best conditions. The lead group had 1'15" at the 25 Km mark.

Going into the final climb of about 15 Km, Beloki was leading Heras out. As the climb began in earnest, he dropped off, and Scarponi led, only falling off at about 5 Km - he was a real horse. Menchov was steadily dropping back the whole time.

Shortly after the 4 Km marker, Heras looked to be slowing badly. That was when they showed the 14-15% grade markers. At about 3.3 Km or so, he really slowed, but again, they showed the 16-17% markers. Amazing!

It was rainy and foggy nearing the top - nasty looking stuff. Heras won, next Sanchez +32", Parcual Rodriguez +46", and Scarponi +2'28".

Overall is now Heras, Menchov +4'30", and Sastre +4'50".

Just under five hours at an average of 39+ KPH!!!
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Old 09-11-05, 09:33 AM   #2
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Awesome! Isn't it hard to maintain traction in the rain on a road that steep? Seems like the rear wheel would slip. Heras looks good for a fouth Vuelta! That's a record, right?
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Old 09-11-05, 10:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15
Heras looks good for a fouth Vuelta! That's a record, right?
That sounds right, but I am not really sure.

Heras said something to the effect yesterday (?) that he was not as worried about Menchov as others because "he is simply hanging on to my wheel". He may have been right.
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Old 09-11-05, 10:14 AM   #4
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That sounds right, but I am not really sure.
This from the official Vuelta Web site makes me think he would be the first to win four:

In Madrid, in front of the Goddess Cibeles, Heras climbed to the top of the podium for the third time, achieving the same number of Spanish victories as the mythical Tony Rominger.
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Old 09-11-05, 11:12 AM   #5
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Well, it seems Heras has figured out the trick. Use the Tour de France as prep for the Vuelta. Classics guys did it for many years, but now the Tour is so important that teams don't bring guys unless they are going to race the Tour like it's the end-all.

Good to see our American boy Danielson hanging about the top ten every day. He doesn't have the attitude of the greats, but he sure seems to have the physical make-up.
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Old 09-11-05, 11:56 AM   #6
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It would be a record fourth win for Heras and looks like he's on his way. What a brutal day and a class ride to take the lead back.
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Old 09-11-05, 12:42 PM   #7
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It would be a record fourth win for Heras and looks like he's on his way.
The Spanish commentator said when Heras crossed the line today that he will be the winner of Vuelta 2005. A little bold for a TV guy, but there you are.
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Old 09-11-05, 12:58 PM   #8
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I think he's got it.

And yesturday I thought he had no chance. Figured Menchov would either stay even with him today or else just lose a minute at most.

But wow. Would have been incredible to have watched it live!
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Old 09-11-05, 12:59 PM   #9
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He used to ride his heart out for Lance, and Lance said he would pay it back in the Vuelta which never happened. When he won the Vuelta for Postal, after working so hard in the mountains of France, that was great. I wish I could see this race on TV as in past years. Heras has a lot of fans here in USA. A class act.
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Old 09-11-05, 12:59 PM   #10
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Would have been incredible to have watched it live!
Live on TV anyway.
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Old 09-11-05, 03:46 PM   #11
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Just had a chance to read the live report on cyclingnews.com....what a brilliant and beautiful victory for the stitched-up Heras. You have to love his class and courage. Poor Menchov really looked to be suffering in the photos from the summit.
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Old 09-11-05, 05:03 PM   #12
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ok, that's how it's done... nice ride... Danielson just dosen't have it yet when the big boys come out to play and the road turns up... he needs another couple years to really be a factor in a grand tour...
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Old 09-11-05, 07:30 PM   #13
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17%. I cracked just reading that.
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Old 09-12-05, 12:02 AM   #14
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It sure cracked Menchov....talented but seems to falter when riding the big tours. Heras is a class act with tons of heart...wow!
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Old 09-12-05, 01:21 AM   #15
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17%. I cracked just reading that.
Yeah. Made me think how much better it might be to weigh 120# instead of 185#.
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