Garcia Quesada evades Heras

Comunitat Valenciana climber Carlos Garcia Quesada slips away from the three leaders to take his tea

Comunitat Valenciana climber Carlos Garcia Quesada slips away from the three leaders to take his tea


The Comunitat Valenciana team took their second win at this year's Vuelta when Carlos Garcia Quesada, one of their stand-out performers this season, won today's mountainous 17th stage to La Granja de San Ildefonso. The climber from Granada attacked on the second ascent of the Navacerrada and came home 46 seconds ahead of Paco Mancebo, who managed to defend his fourth place from Garcia Quesada.

The main contenders came in about a minute later. Carlos Sastre attempted to pull some time back on second-placed Denis Menchov, but the Russian snuffed out his offensive and the pair came home with race leader Roberto Heras, who maintained a comfortable advantage going into another tough day in the Sierra de Gredo to the south of Avila tomorrow.

Garcia Quesada explained afterwards that the stage win, which he dedicated to his brother and team-mate Adolfo, meant much more to him than his fifth place overall. However, the time he gained has much him into late contention for a podium place, assuming he can make more gains tomorrow.

Once again this season the winner's team have shown that they are at much the same level as their supposed superiors in the ProTour, and Garcia Quesada said that he and his brother were happy to stay with Comunitat Valenciana, assuming that no other good offers came in for them. Both have been linked with other Spanish teams, however, and it would be no surprise to see them move on.

Stage 17, El Espinar-La Granja de San Ildefonso

1 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 165.6km in 3.51.00 (43.01kph)
2 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears 0.46
3 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak 0.48
4 Mauricio Ardila (Col) Davitamon-Lotto 1.37
5 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana
6 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) T-Mobile
7 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 1.40
8 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC
9 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros
10 Marcos Serrano (Spa) Liberty Seguros 1.42

24 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 5.04


1 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros 69.21.16
2 Menchov 4.30
3 Sastre 4.50
4 Mancebo 5.51
5 Garcia Quesada 6.22
6 Sevilla 11.13
7 Plaza 11.36
8 Gonzalez 13.28
9 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick Step 15.19
10 Danielson 15.39

- Jaan Kirsipuu took his first win in Crdit Agricole colours when he became the third rider in a row to relegate Luca Paolini to second place in the bunch sprint at the Tour of Poland. Paolini retained the lead ahead of Gerolsteiner's Robert Forster.

Stage 3, Ostroda-Bydgoszcz

1 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Crdit Agricole 198km in 5.38.09
2 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick Step
3 Max van Heeswijk (Hol) Discovery Channel
4 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre-Caffita
5 Baden Cooke (Aus) Franaise des Jeux
6 Aurlien Clerc (Swi) Phonak
7 Andrus Aug (Est) Fassa Bortolo
8 Jaroslaw Zarebski (Pol) Intel
9 Luciano Pagliarini (Bra) Liquigas-Bianchi
10 Uros Murn (Slo) Phonak


1 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick Step 14.53.51
2 Robert Frster (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.06
3 Cooke 0.08
4 Bennati
5 Kirsipuu
6 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.10
7 Piotr Chmielewski (Pol) Intel 0.12
8 Van Heeswijk 0.14
9 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Franaise des Jeux 0.15
10 Pagliarini 0.16

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