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!!!