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Bolso de Alimento: Stage 17!

I know there are other stories out there, but let's keep our eyes on the big one for now... since at least as the action on the road is concerned, it doesn't get any bigger (outside of France) than this.

Race reports from today's fireworks:

Update [2006-9-13 18:57:6 by chris]: Here's the Team Astana official report from their website (which I've finally added to the links section).

Lots of movement around the classifications of note. Egoi Martinez has now pulled into a dead heat with Pietro Caucchioli for the mountains jersey. Vinokourov has passed Valverde on points (not that they care) and is threatening his position on the combined (again, not that they care). For tomorrow's epic, Valverde will be in the combined colors that Vino wore with dignity today. So it's just a simple jersey swap.

A few more notes, as the quotes trickle in...

  • There are two features on Danielson today: VN had the sense to catch him after the stage win, while CN ran its pre-race diary this morning, with some hints of what was coming. The next diary entry should be entertaining.
  • Back in the loser's camp, CN checks in with enigma-in-chief Oscar Pereiro:
Caisse d'Epargne rider Oscar Pereiro has said that he will forget any personal ambitions of a stage win in order to pave the way for his team-mate Alejandro Valverde to take the Vuelta title in Madrid this coming Sunday.

"I will be riding for my team. Today and tomorrow will be a lot of work. Yesterday, Alejandro was very strong and for us, it is important to work for him now. I think that with just three big days left he is a very possible winner in Madrid, so the morale on the team is very good now."

Let's review... Pereiro finished 21 minutes down and disappeared as soon as the Monachil climb began. Valverde was left isolated and lost the overall lead. Is Pereiro the worst teammate ever? I suppose that distinction rests somewhere in the T-Mobile files, but still, it might have been nice if he'd stopped working for himself a little sooner, so he might still have been of use.