Vuelta 8: Tyler takes time trial

Tyler Hamilton wins the time trial at the Ford factory near Valencia on a great day for American rid

Tyler Hamilton wins the time trial at the Ford factory near Valencia on a great day for American rid
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE It was fitting that on the third anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States that the Vuelta's first time trial was won by the USA's recently crowned Olympic time trial champion Tyler Hamilton. The Phonak team leader finished 15 seconds quicker than US Postal's Victor Hugo Pe¤a over the 40-kilometre course that went out of and then back into the Ford factory near Valencia, with another US Postal rider, Floyd Landis, third. By finishing 10 seconds ahead of yet another US Postal team-mate, Manuel Beltran, Landis took the leader's gold jersey for the second time in a week to cement his credentials as a definite contender for this title. With Beltran now second, Hamilton's stage win boosted him up to third place overall, 32 seconds behind Landis, who has been confirmed as joining Hamilton's Phonak team next season. If it was a good day for the US and their number one team, it was less so for the local favourites. The surprising Beltran apart, Spain's main hopes did not fare as well as hoped. Race favourite Alejandro Valverde finished 12th on the stage, almost 30 seconds down on his team-mate Ruben Plaza and more than 90 seconds behind Hamilton. Defending champion Roberto Heras won't have been too disappointed to finish just five seconds down on Valverde, especially as this placed him level on the day with time trial specialist Aitor Gonzalez. Cadel Evans fell from fifth to ninth overall as he came in 19th, but the Australian, like most of the Spanish riders, will be hoping for better luck on Sunday's stage to the Alto de Aitana, which should provide a stronger indication of the most likely challengers for this still very open major tour. Stage 8, Ford factory time trial 1 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak 40km in 47.16 2 Victor Hugo Pe¤a (Col) US Postal 0.15 3 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal 0.18 4 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal 0.28 5 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.37 6 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears 0.57 7 Ruben Plaza (Spa) CV-Kelme 1.05 8 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC 1.09 9 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak 1.16 10 Joost Posthuma (Hol) Rabobank 1.30 11 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak 1.32 12 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) CV-Kelme 13 Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal 1.35 14 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 1.37 15 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros 16 David Blanco (Spa) CV-Kelme 1.42 17 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) CSC 1.44 18 Jos Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak 19 Cadel Evans (Aus) T-Mobile 1.49 20 Brian Vandborg (Den) CSC 1.50 Overall standings 1 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor 27.16.17 2 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal 0.10 3 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak 0.32 4 Victor Hugo Pe¤a (Col) US Postal 0.44 5 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears 1.18 6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) CV-Kelme 1.23 7 Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros 1.36 8 Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal 1.40 9 Cadel Evans (Aus) T-Mobile 1.47 10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC 1.58 11 Denis Menchov (Rus) Illes Balears 2.06 12 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 2.11 13 Ruben Plaza (Spa) CV-Kelme 2.19 14 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros 2.26 15 David Blanco (Spa) CV-Kelme 2.58 16 Jos Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak 3.14 17 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) CSC 3.37 18 Dario Cioni (Ita) Fassa Bortolon 3.40 19 Luis Perez (Spa) Cofidis 3.49 20 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) CV-Kelme 4.00
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