Oscar Friere takes his second stage of the Vuelta by outsprinting Daniele Bennati and Paolo Bettini out of the final corner at today's stage. Despite his efforts Vladimir Efimkin hangs on to the golden jersey with Denis Menchov a little over a minute behind and Carlos Sastre in 3rd.
Looking through the rankings, there are only 3 Americans in the race. Chris Horner is once again in the domestique role, supporting teammate Cadel Evans, who is in 7th place. Christian Vandevelde is in 63rd and Jason McCartney is 81st.
In other news:
- Astana has released rider Jose Antonio Redondo "for violating team rules." No other information has been made available.
- Vladimir Efimkin, the current leader of the Vuelta, says that his twin brother Alexander is looking for a team for next year.
- Bjarne Riis returns to Team CSC after a self-imposed exile since the Tour. Here's a quote from Mr. Riis: "There doesn't mean there won't be cases and scandals, because there are always stupid riders." So true, so true.
- Gerolsteiner will drop sponsorship of their cycling team after the close of the 2008 season
- T-Mobile has let rider Lorenzo Bernucci go after he tested positive for an appetite suppressant that was added to WADAs list of banned substances last year. He claims that he has been taking the product for 4 years to help control his weight. The positive test came during the Tour of Germany. It seems that if the product is not used for performance enhancement, he could get off with a warning, but I doubt that WADA would have it on their list if it wasn't. He'll be looking for another job, as T-Mobile said that the termination was based on a violation of their code of conduct.
- In related news, T-Mobile is still backing the team at this point.