Vuelta a Murcia: Koldo Fernández took final stage - Valverde defends overall title

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08.03.2008/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) has won the Vuelta a Murcia. Valverde defended his overall lead and defended his title. Koldo Fernandez (Euskatel - Euskadi) took todays final stage. Fernandez won after a bunch sprint, beating Rabobank's Graeme Brown and J.J. Haedo (CSC).

©  Vuelta a Murcia
Alejandro Valverde during todays ceremony (© Vuelta a Murcia)

In a close battle Spaniard Koldo Fernandez (Euskatel - Euskadi) was the fastest man of the pack.

CSC sports director Dan Frost was satisfied with his team: "We tried our best for JJ [Haedo, editor], but were beaten in the sprint. All in all it's been a good week for us. After the victory in Almeria we took a great one here and Carlos [Sastre, editor] and Inigo [Cuesta, editor] both did really well in the time trial. This race was the first tough job for many after our training camp and with that in mind we're fully satisfied."

There were no changes to the classification of the short stage race and so Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde was able to defend his title.

Astana Cycling Team, under the guidance of team directors Alain Gallopin and Alexandr Shefer, won the team classification. Astana had an advantage of 1:04 to Acqua e Sapone and 1:32 on Caisse d'Epargne.

Alberto Contador (Astana) finished 3rd in the GC, 6 seconds behind Alejandro Valverde and 4 seconds behind Stefano Garzelli (Aqua & Sapone). With Toni Colom finishing 4th and Chechu Rubiera finishing 8th , the Kazakh sponsored team had another solid performance with two other riders finishing in the top ten.

Team Director Alain Gallopin was generally satisfied about the race, but he was disappointed as well. "We proved again that we are a strong team. We all worked for the same goal and, with Chechu Rubiera, we won the queen stage in this Tour of Murcia. However, I am convinced that Alberto Contador could have won the time trial on Saturday, and consequently the overall classification, if we were correctly informed about Valverde's intermediate time. It seems we were given the wrong time. Anyway, we are motivated for the next races. There are still enough challenges this year."

Alberto Contador agreed with his team director and added: "Maybe my preparation was not ideal. After the ASO decision not to allow us in their races, I was out a few days and my training suffered from it. Maybe there I missed the few percents that failed me in the decisive time trial. My own fault, but the season is still long."

Raabobank's sports director Frans Maassen and his team boarded the plane back to the Netherlands on Saturday afternoon in a prevailing mood of satisfaction. "We came here with the objective to win at least one stage, and just to see how some of the guys are feeling. We won a stage; we played a very prominent role a couple of times and Thomas Dekker and Denis Menchov are content with their current shape," explained Maassen, who was also very delighted to observe that four other riders had also improved their form during the tour.

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Race reports

Results Vuelta a Murcia 2008
Stage 5
1 Koldo Fernández (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                     3.05.50 (43.56 km/h)
2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank                                         
3 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team CSC                                      
4 Alexander Serov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                        
5 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                 
6 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur            
7 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                   
8 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana                                        
9 César Quiteiro (Por) Liberty Seguros                                
10 Iban Mayoz (Spa) Karpin Galicia                                    
11 José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                     
12 David Herrero Llorente (Spa) Karpin Galicia                        
13 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                 
14 Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                   
15 Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                       
16 Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo              
17 Gustavo Dominguez Lemos (Spa) Karpin Galicia                       
18 David Garcia Dapena (Spa) Karpin Galicia                           
19 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                
20 Iban Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                     
21 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank                                          
22 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC                                    
23 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                
24 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                                
25 José Luis Carrasco Gamiz (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur                 
26 Ezequiel Mosquera Miguez (Spa) Karpin Galicia                      
27 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana                              
28 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur                      
29 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                         
30 Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                   
31 Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                  
32 Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                     
33 Javier Etxarri Marin (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                   
34 Oleg Chuzhda (Ukr) Contentpolis - Murcia                           
35 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Tinkoff Credit Systems                      
36 Antonio Colom Mas (Spa) Astana                                     
37 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne                            
38 Sergio Domínguez Muñoz (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                 
39 Rui Miguel Sousa (Por) Liberty Seguros                             
40 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Astana                        
41 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Astana                                 
42 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur                      
43 Nuno Ribeiro (Por) Liberty Seguros                                 
44 Eloy Teruel Rovira (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                     
45 Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo           
46 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                        
47 Iñigo Cuesta López (Spa) Team CSC                                  
48 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                        
49 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank                                       
50 Nicki Sørensen (Den) Team CSC                                      
51 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Caisse d'Epargne                         
52 Walter Fernando Pedraza Morales (Col) Tinkoff Credit Systems       
53 Francisco Terciado Sacedo (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo        
54 Jose Ruiz Sanchez (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur                        
55 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Astana                               
56 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Team CSC                                    
57 Delio Fernández Cruz (Spa) Karpin Galicia                          
58 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Astana                               
59 Julian Sanchez Pimienta (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                
60 Branislau Samoilau (Blr) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo              
61 José Antonio Redondo Ramos (Spa) Karpin Galicia                    
62 Manuel Vazquez Hueso (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                   
63 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank                                       
64 Ignacio Sarabia Diaz (Mex) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo             
65 Claudio José Casas Gallego (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur               
66 Gonzalo Zambrano Calderon (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo        
67 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC                                
68 Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia            
69 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                       
70 Yon Bru Pascal (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                        0.14
71 Diego Milán Jiménez (Spa) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo          0.16
72 Serguei Klimov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                     0.20
73 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo              0.34
74 Josu Mondelo (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo                  3.00
75 Jesus Ramirez Torres (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo             
76 Antonio Jesús (Por) Liberty Seguros                                
77 Hernani Broco (Por) Liberty Seguros                                
78 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Liberty Seguros                          
79 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana                                       
80 Xabat Otxotorena (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo              5.10
81 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team CSC                       5.12
82 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                     6.15
83 Carlos Castano Panadero (Spa) Karpin Galicia                       
84 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Team CSC                                   
85 Josu Agirre Aseginolaza (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                  
86 Fabien Patanchon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                            
87 José Antonio Lopez Gil (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur                   
88 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank                                        6.17
89 Dimitri Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank                                  
90 Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) Liberty Seguros                         7.27
91 Jesus Cobelo Fojo (Spa) Karpin Galicia                          8.17
92 Enrique Salgueiro Alonso (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo         
DNS Ricardo Serrano González (Spa) Tinkoff Credit Systems

Final General Classification
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne           16.29.01
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo              0.02
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana                            0.06
4 Antonio Colom Mas (Spa) Astana                                   0.51
5 Branislau Samoilau (Blr) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo            1.11
6 Iñigo Cuesta López (Spa) Team CSC                                1.13
7 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Tinkoff Credit Systems                    1.15
8 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Astana                             1.19
9 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC                              1.27
10 Ezequiel Mosquera Miguez (Spa) Karpin Galicia                   1.42
11 Javier Etxarri Marin (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                2.08
12 Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo           2.10
13 Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                2.12
14 Julian Sanchez Pimienta (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia             2.21
15 Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                2.35
16 Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                  2.39
17 Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo        2.41
18 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi             2.47
19 José Luis Carrasco Gamiz (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur              3.01
20 José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                  3.06
21 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana                                    3.37
22 Nuno Ribeiro (Por) Liberty Seguros                              3.54
23 Manuel Vazquez Hueso (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                4.07
24 Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia         4.37
25 Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                    6.02
26 Hernani Broco (Por) Liberty Seguros                             6.25
27 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi               6.50
28 Walter Fernando Pedraza Morales (Col) Tinkoff Credit Systems    7.09
29 Rui Miguel Sousa (Por) Liberty Seguros                          7.23
30 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                     7.45
31 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                      8.11
32 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne                         8.41
33 Eloy Teruel Rovira (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia                  8.44
34 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo             8.52
35 Serguei Klimov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                     8.53
36 Jose Ruiz Sanchez (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur                     9.20
37 David Herrero Llorente (Spa) Karpin Galicia                     9.30
38 Iban Mayoz (Spa) Karpin Galicia                                 9.39
39 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Team CSC                                 9.49
40 Gustavo Dominguez Lemos (Spa) Karpin Galicia                   10.04
41 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank                                   11.17
42 Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) Liberty Seguros                        11.50
43 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Caisse d'Epargne                     12.36
44 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Astana                             13.27
45 Oleg Chuzhda (Ukr) Contentpolis - Murcia                       13.29
46 Sergio Domínguez Muñoz (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia             15.13
47 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                   15.50
48 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Astana                    16.12
49 Gonzalo Zambrano Calderon (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo    16.13
50 José Antonio Redondo Ramos (Spa) Karpin Galicia                18.02
51 Enrique Salgueiro Alonso (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo     18.04
52 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Team CSC                               20.41
53 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                    20.57
54 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank                                   22.04
55 Claudio José Casas Gallego (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur           22.08
56 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC                                22.44
57 César Quiteiro (Por) Liberty Seguros                           22.47
58 Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems              23.14
59 Alexander Serov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                   23.29
60 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur                  23.47
61 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Astana                           24.16
62 Iban Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                 24.25
63 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                            24.53
64 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                    25.05
65 David Garcia Dapena (Spa) Karpin Galicia                       25.11
66 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur       25.15
67 Nicki Sørensen (Den) Team CSC                                  25.29
68 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team CSC                                 25.31
69 Koldo Fernández (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                      25.33
70 Yon Bru Pascal (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                       25.39
71 Diego Milán Jiménez (Spa) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo         25.43
72 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Acqua Sapone - Caffe Mokambo             25.46
73 Delio Fernández Cruz (Spa) Karpin Galicia                      26.17
74 Ignacio Sarabia Diaz (Mex) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo         26.35
75 Josu Mondelo (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo                 27.19
76 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank                                    28.45
77 Josu Agirre Aseginolaza (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi              31.22
78 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team CSC                      31.48
79 Xabat Otxotorena (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo             32.32
80 Carlos Castano Panadero (Spa) Karpin Galicia                   33.05
81 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur                  33.42
82 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank                                       33.57
83 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana                                   34.06
84 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank                                      34.55
85 Antonio Jesús (Por) Liberty Seguros                            35.22
86 José Antonio Lopez Gil (Spa) Andalucía - Cajasur               35.39
87 Francisco Terciado Sacedo (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo    36.36
88 Fabien Patanchon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        39.10
89 Jesus Ramirez Torres (Spa) Extremadura-Gruppo Gallardo         40.12
90 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Liberty Seguros                      41.17
91 Dimitri Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank                              48.09
92 Jesus Cobelo Fojo (Spa) Karpin Galicia                         55.29

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