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Racing News - September 20, 2007

Vuelta de Espana - Stage 17:
After a very successful year, Daniele Bennati was understandably upset when it was announced that he was not selected for the World Championship team for Italy. He took his frustration out on the peloton at the Vuelta today.

There was an early two-man escape today, but the pelton was able to keep the breakaway under control. They were never more than six minutes ahead, and, with 34 km to go, their lead was whittled down to 2 minutes.

With 20k remaining, the Euskatel-Euskadi, Lampre and Milram teams all worked together to catch the break. Inside of the 8km mark, the break was overtaken. Race speeds were said to push as high as 65km/hr at points in the race.

Milram worked to set up Pettachi for the final sprint, and T-Mobile was in there as well. The bunch sprint was dominated by Zabel, Pettachi, Bettini and Benatti. Benatti pulled out from the center, with Bettini in second and Pettachi in third.

No significant change in the G.C. today.

Other News:
  • Pat McQuaid wants Valverde to submit to DNA testing to clear himself of Operacion Puerto suspicions
  • A tentative agreement has been reached between the organizers of the grand tours and the UCI that will allow the grand tour operators run their races separately from the UCI in 2008.
  • Luxembourg, Colombia and Austria have finalized their teams for the Worlds.
  • Jorg Jaksche received a one year suspension for using EPO and growth hormones, as well as doing blood doping. The suspension is backdated to July 2, 2007, the day he made a public confession of his guilt.
  • Yahoo Sports/Reuters is now reporting that Tom Boonen of the Quickstep team will miss the Worlds due to knee problems stemming from his wreck in the Vuelta. 

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Vuelta Stage 7 plus Other News

Raul Garcia de Mateo and Jesus Rosendo broke away from the peloton only 3 km from the start of today's stage, eventually building up a nine minute lead. Their breakaway was aided by a big crash in the peloton with about 30km to go, but they still ended up being caught about 7 km from the finish. 
The sprinter's teams worked to move their riders to the front, but another crash within 2km of the finish blocked many of the contendors from previous days, such as Pettachi, Bennati and Freire. Allan Davis, Eric Zabel and Paulo Bettini were lucky enough to be ahead of the pack in a bunch sprint and fought for the stage amongst themselves. Allan Davis looked to have it wrapped up, but Zabel came around on the left in the final seconds to take the stage. Davis took second and Bettini was in third. There was almost no change in the G.C. today, with Vladimir Efimkin still on top. 
See the full story at
Other news: Alejandro Valverde is expected to sue the UCI for the false pu…