Jimenez Wins Stage 14 of Vuelta
Eladio Jimenez (Comunidad Valenciana) has won Stage 14 of the Vuelta.
Eladio Jimenez (Comunidad Valenciana) has won Stage 14 of the Vuelta. Jimenez surged away from 14 breakaway companions to take the mountainous, 172.3-km ride from Nestle La Penilla to Lagos de Covadonga in 4:25:36. Inigo Cuesta (Saunier Duval) finished second at 1:20, and Gilberto Simoni (Lampre) took third at 1:32. Denis Menchov (Rabobank) remains the maillot oro .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
At 39 km, 15 riders made the break of the day. They were Jimenez and David Bernabeu (both from Comunidad Valenciana); Bart Dockx (Davitamon); Marcus Burghardt (T-Mobile); Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner); Angel Gomez, Joaquin Rodriguez, David Canada, Cuesta, and Constantino Zaballa (all from Saunier Duval); Guido Trenti (Quick Step), Unai Osa and Jose Garcia Acosta (both from Illes Balears); Anthony Charteau (Bouygues Telecom); Bram De Groot (Rabobank); Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Liberty Seguros); Martin Elmiger (Phonak), and Aketza Pena (Euskaltel). Gomez was dropped, but the others forged ahead.
At 106 km, the escapees breasted the Category 3 Alto de Ortiguero 8:12 ahead of the field. The peloton began to chase, and the fugitives? advantage dropped to 5:54 with 30 km remaining.
With 12 km left and 2:50 separating the break from the bunch, Jimenez attacked at the foot of the finishing climb. Only Osa and Cuesta could follow. Eventually, Jimenez dropped the pair and soloed home for the win.
Behind, the fight for the maillot oro took place. Liberty Seguros cranked up the pace for team captain Roberto Heras. As has been the case throughout the mountain stages of this year?s Vuelta, Menchov remained glued to Heras?s wheel. Heras?s injuries, which the two-time defending champion suffered in his Stage 12 crash, aided the Russian.
With 10 km left, Carlos Sastre (CSC) attacked the maillot oro group. Sastre forged a 10-second lead but was unable to stay away. Eventually, Simoni attacked. He overtook Sastre and took 0:12 out of Menchov and Heras.
In the overall, Menchov leads Heras by 0:47 and Sastre by 1:50. Stage 15 will be another standing shaker. The 191-km ride from Cangas de Onis to the Valgrande/Pajares ski resort will feature five categorized climbs, including the Category 1 Alto de la Colladona and Alto de la Coladiella and the Special Category finishing ascent. Will Menchov withstand Heras?s assaults? Will Heras soar into the maillot oro ? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!