Millar takes Vuelta TT, Valverde seals overall
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Millar takes Vuelta TT, Valverde seals overall

by Bjorn Haake at 12:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España, Race Reports and Results

Evans moves onto podium

David Millar won the time trial in Toledo on the penultimate day of the Vuelta a España by the slim margin of five seconds over Samuel Sánchez. Millar clocked 35'53 on the 27.8km course for an average speed of 46.484 km/h on the rolling hilly course.

Alejandro Valverde finished 36 seconds down but defended his overall lead. He is now 55 seconds ahead of Sánchez and 1'32 ahead of Cadel Evans. Evans put valuable time into rival Ivan Basso and moved into third overall.

Valverde was quite happy after the stage. "I already had an incredible palmarès, but this is the highlight. I am extremely satisfied." He is looking forward to the final stage on Sunday. "It will be the laps of honor for the lider. I am really calm now" said Valverde, who admitted being really nervous before today's stage.

Valverde also praised his team, which had done a very good job for the entire three weeks, and especially Joaquím Rodríguez. "We are friends, also outside of racing," Valverde said.

Rodríguez moved up in the overall, to seventh place, just a slim three seconds ahead of Italian Paolo Tiralongo. Irishman Philip Deignan stayed in ninth place.

David Moncoutié has secured his second consecutive mountain jersey in the Vuelta, barring accident. Xacobeo will take the team classification and Valverde the white combination classification jersey.

The only battle still open is for the green sprinters' jersey. André Greipel is 12 points ahead of Valverde. With the expected sprint finish and the unlikelihood of Valverde contesting it, the fight will remain theoretical.

Millar paces himself well

Millar was well prepared for the parcours which started out on a false flat and featured a few rollers. It was necessary to save enough for the end and Millar paced himself well. He was 34 seconds down on the first check after 10km. The top three, Philippe Gilbert, Gustavo César Veloso and Maciej Bodnar struggled quickly. Veloso could hang on to fourth, but neither Gilbert nor Bodnar made the top ten.

The second check at km 19.5 saw the favorites at the front. Millar was now ahead of Evans by five seconds and clear of Sánchez by 11 seconds. Valverde hung on 26 seconds back.

In the end nobody could touch Millar on a perfect day in Toledo, with temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius. Sánchez managed to go past Evans in the end, but shook his head in disappointment as he crossed the line, realizing he missed the stage victory by only five seconds.

Results - Stage 20, Toledo - Toledo, 27.8km

1. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Slipstream                          35'53 (46.484 km/h)
2. Samuel Sánchez (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi                    0'05
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                     0'09
4. Gustavo César Veloso (Esp) Xacobeo Galicia             0'20
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas                                    0'30
6. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                 0'34
7. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Caisse d'Epargne                 0'36
8. David Herrero (Esp) Xacobeo Galicia                             0'37
9. Jesús Del Nero (Esp) Fuji-Servetto                                 0'40
10. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil                                 0'43

GC after stage 20

1. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Caisse d'Epargne        84h10'32
2. Samuel Sánchez (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi                    0'55
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                     1'32
4. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas                                                   2'12
5. Ezequiel Mosquera (Esp) Xacobeo Galicia                    4'27
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                                       6'40
7. Joaquím Rodríguez (Esp) Caisse d'Epargne                9'08
8. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre-NGC                                  9'11
9. Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo TestTeam                          11'08
10. Juan José Cobo (Esp) Fuji-Servetto                           11'27


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