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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 September, 2004, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
Heras claims third Vuelta
Roberto Heras
Roberto Heras won the Tour of Spain for a record-equalling third time after resisting a late charge from compatriot Santiago Perez on Sunday.

Phonak rider Perez prevailed in the Madrid stage, a 28.2km individual time trial, in 35 minutes and 5 seconds.

But he took only 13 seconds out of the 2000 and 2003 champion, who finished 30 seconds clear overall to join Swiss Tony Rominger as a three-time winner.

Francisco Mancebo sealed an all-Spanish podium by pipping Alejandro Valverde.

Heras effectively won the race on the 12th stage where his superior climbing skills saw him take the lead.

But Perez was a worthy runner-up after winning three stages - including two time-trials - while Spanish champion Francisco Mancebo finished second in the Sunday time-trial.

This time I even managed to enjoy the ride during the final 8km
Roberto Heras

Valverde saw his rollercoaster ride end in disappointment.

He had been as little as five seconds adrift of Heras despite a heavy fall which nearly forced him out.

The best placed non-Spaniard was Stefano Garzelli, of Italy, down in 11th spot.

Final classification:

1. Roberto Heras (Sp) - 77 hours 42 minutes 46 seconds
2. Santiago Perez (Sp) at 30 secs
3. Francisco Mancebo (Sp) at 2:13
4. Alejandro Valverde (Sp) at 3:30
5. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp) at 7:44
6. Carlos Sastre (Sp) at 8:11
7. Isidro Nozal (Sp) at 8:32
8. Angel Gomez (Sp) at 13:08
9. Luis Perez (Sp) at 13:24
10. David Blanco (Sp) at 15:15

Heras retains Spain lead
25 Sep 04  |  Cycling
Zaballa claims easy win
24 Sep 04  |  Cycling
Rodriguez takes stage win
23 Sep 04  |  Cycling
Cardenas claims Tour stage
22 Sep 04  |  Cycling
Julia grabs stage win
21 Sep 04  |  Cycling

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