Vuelta Stage 7

All-in-all it wasn't a bad day for US Postal. It looked like Triki was going to follow a breakaway on the second to last climb, but he dropped back and Heras shot ahead instead. My best guest is that US Postal wanted to keep a rider with the rest of the ONCE pack in reserve. Despite a strong climb, Nozal lead ONCE back on the descent and caught Heras.

Rasmussen and Unai Osa broke away right before the final climb and built up a good lead before Beltran and Nozal gave chase. Nozal - who had been doing the brunt of the work all day - couldn't keep up, and Beltran was able to put some time into him for the GC. Heras improved his outlook slightly as well, but he'll have to do better if he's going to get the golden jersey and hold onto it.

The top five in the GC is basically a US Postal-ONCE lovefest:
1 Isidro Nozal (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 20.08.37
2 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 0.55
3 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 1.21
4 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 3.07
5 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 3.18
- Stage 7 Summary
- Stage 7 Route Profile

related articles: Vuelta a Espana 2003