Race roundup: Leipheimer takes Castilla

Damiano Cunego still leads Coppi a Bartoli

Americain Levi Leipheimer (Astana) won the Tour of Castilla y Leon in northern Spain Friday, a race overshadowed by an injury to his teammate and countryman Lance Armstrong.


Spain’s Alejandro Valverde of the Caisse d’Epargne team won Friday’s fifth and final stage, a 152.50-kilometre race from Benavente to Valladolid, in a sprint finish.

Second overall was Leipheimer’s Astana teammate and triple Grand Tour winner Spaniard Alberto Contador. American David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream)  finished third overall.

Contador, one of the pre-race favorites after taking the last two editions of the event, said before the race that the event would be decided in the Tuesday’s time trial. And so it proved.

Leipheimer finished 16 seconds ahead of the 2007 Tour de France winner in the time trial, and in the overall standings.

In Monday’s first stage, Astana’s Armstrong, broke his collarbone in a fall. The Texan is recuperating after surgery at home in Austin, and it’s questionable if he’ll participate in the Giro d’Italia, which begins with a team trial in Venice May 9, and ends with an individual time trial in Rome May 31.

For complete results, visit Cyclingnews.com.

2009 Vuelta Castilla y Leon – Stage 5 Final Kilometers

Coppi a Bartoli: Metlushenko takes sprint; Cunego leads

Ukraine’s Yury Metlushenko won a mass sprint finish to claim Stage 4 of the Coppi e Bartali over 162.8km from Massa Finalese to Finale Emilia on Friday.

Metlushenko edged out Italian pair Danilo Napolitano and Francesco Chicchi in the bunch sprint.

Former Giro d’Italia winner Damiano Cunego maintained his grip on the leader’s pink jersey ahead of Australian Cadel Evans, who is 28 seconds back, and Italian Massimo Giunti, 32 seconds behind.

Sergio Lagana, Alessandro Fantini, Martin Hebik and Luca Fioretti broke clear of the peloton after 3km and held a lead of more than five minutes after 70km but were reeled back in with 14km left.

Thereafter the sprinters’ teams controlled the race and the pace to set up the sprint finale.

Saturday’s final stage should see Cunego come under attack as it is an arduous 178.5km trek from Scandiano to Sassuolo.

For complete results, visit Cyclingnews.com.


© BikeRadar & AFP 2009