Vuelta news in brief

Petacchi explains how it nearly all went wrong on stage four, latest transfer news from Spain, plus

Petacchi explains how it nearly all went wrong on stage four, latest transfer news from Spain, plus


Alessandro Petacchi's 'train' got slightly derailed on the run-in to Argamasilla yesterday, but the 31-year-old Italian still managed to collect a second consecutive stage win. "My team-mates drew aside earlier than they were supposed to, meaning that Tom Steels was able to pass me 200 metres from the line. It was a little unnerving, although I was able to beat him in the end," Petacchi explained.

"I felt a lot stronger mentally because of the confidence that comes from having won a stage already. Monday's stage was shorter, but more difficult as a result of the heat. I wasn't the first to attack today, but I had enough time to beat my rivals."

- Comunitat Valenciana climber Carlos Garcia Quesada has agreed to join the Saunier Duval team next season. The rider from Granada has received offers from a number of ProTour teams after a number of good performances in Spain this season.

- Brothers Aitor and Unai Osa are set to leave Illes Balears, with Liberty Seguros their most likely destination despite offers from CSC and several leading Italian teams. Liberty boss Manolo Saiz is convinced that he can help Unai Osa regain the form that carried him to third place in the 2001 Giro, as well as adding some greater edge to the confirmed climbing talents of Aitor Osa.

- After his second place in the Tour of Germany and 10th place in last weekend's GP de Plouay, Jan Ullrich has edged up to second place in the ProTour standings, a point ahead of Lance Armstrong, but still 44 down on series leader Danilo Di Luca. Armstrong is just one of four American riders in the top seven of the standings - Germany winner Levi Leipheimer is fifth, ENECO Tour winner Bobby Julich is sixth, while Hincapie is now seventh. With the Vuelta ongoing, the next ProTour event is the Tour of Poland, which starts on September 12.

1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 184
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile 140
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 139
4 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile 136
5 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 131
6 Bobby Julich (USA) CSC 130
7 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 129
8 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 126
9 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 120
10 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 111
11 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 99
12 Santiago Botero (Col) Phonak 95
13 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 94
14 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel 92
15 Ivan Basso (Ita) CSC 86
16 Michael Boogerd (Hol) Rabobank 80
17 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step 80
18 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Saunier Duval 75
19 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC 73
20 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 70


1 CSC 303
2 Rabobank 288
3 Davitamon-Lotto 287
4 Phonak 286
5 Saunier Duval 268
6 Liberty Seguros 244
7 Gerolsteiner 237
8 Discovery Channel 227
9 T-Mobile 224
10 Crdit Agricole 222
11 Fassa Bortolo 218
12 Cofidis 205
13 Quick Step 201
14 Illes Balears 198
15 Lampre-Caffita 183
16 Liquigas-Bianchi 175
17 Bouygues Telecom 152
18 Domina Vacanze 132
19 Euskaltel 127
20 Franaise des Jeux 108

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