Friday, April 11, 2008

Contador In Yellow With Final TT Tomorrow

Italian Damiano Cunego took the victory on the fifth stage of the Vuelta al País Vascso from Vitoria to Orio. The 26-year-old Lampre rider prevailed in the sprint from a select group of favourites over GC leader Alberto Contador (Astana) and Rabobank rider Thomas Dekker. The 162 kilometer route was made more difficult by cold temperatures and heavy rain falls, resulting in several breakaways, most notably one with Basque Egoi Martínez from Euskaltel – Euskadi, who was able to win the general mountain classification one day before the finish of the race, and Gerolsteiner's Bernhard Kohl.

"I am very happy, this is my fifth Vuelta al País Vasco, but my first stage win," declared Cunego in the finish. "I am very content, it is something special. The stage was quite hard due to the cold and the rain, and I have to say thank you to my team-mates who did a great work. I feel very satisfied. Tomorrow is another day and a difficult time trial. For now, I will enjoy my victory, tomorrow we will see what will happen."

Contador was pleased with the day's effort, and looked ahead to the final stage time trial on Saturday. "Until now, my team did really a great job. Tomorrow it is I who will have to work. I am surely one of the favourites, but Cadel Evans and Thomas Dekker are not to be underestimated."

Martínez was happy about his mountain jersey win. "It is very great to win this classification," he exclaimed. He was happy to give the team a win of some sort. "We tried to win a stage and we almost reached it. We had been present every day, and we won the mountain classification. Tomorrow could still be a great day for Mikel [Astarloza]," declared Martínez.

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