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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 September 2005, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
Heras claims fourth home tour win
Roberto Heras
Heras successfully defended his Vuelta crown
Spaniard Roberto Heras completed a record fourth Tour of Spain victory in Madrid on Sunday.

Victory in the 21st and final stage went to Italian sprint specialist Alessandro Petacchi - his fifth win of this year's Vuelta.

Home favourite Heras, 31, won the sixth and 15th stages, taking the overall lead after the latter, and survived a heavy fall during stage 12.

Russian Denis Menchov was second, with Spain's Carlos Sastre third overall.

German Erik Zabel was runner-up to Petacchi on the stage, with his compatriot Heinrich Haussler third.

Heras, who won the Tour in 2000, 2003 and 2004, finished comfortably in the main pack.

Switzerland's Tony Rominger is the only other rider to have won the Spanish event three years in a row.

Heras said: "I felt really good this year, even if I had a couple of doubts when Menchov won the 14th stage as he was going extremely strong.

"I reckon of all four Vuelta wins this is the one where I felt in the best form."

Next year, Heras is expected to lead Liberty Seguros in the Tour of Italy.

"I've done everything I can do on home territory and racing abroad more may be my best way ahead for me," he added.


Tour of Spain Stage 21 results:
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 3hrs 34mins 41secs
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team at 0.04secs
3 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
4 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
5 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Cofidis
6 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto
7 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank
8 Michael Barry (Can) Discovery Channel
9 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Cofidis
10 René Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner

115 Charles Wegelius (GB) Liquigas Bianchi at 1min 17secs

Final general classifiction:
1 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros 82hrs 22mins 55secs
2 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 4.36secs
3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC at 4.54
4 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears at 5.58
5 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana at 8.06
6 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana at 11.36
7 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) T-Mobile Team at 13.22
8 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel at 16.38
9 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Davitamon-Lotto at 18.15
10 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick Step at 18.31

60 Charles Wegelius (GB) Liquigas-Bianchi at 1min




SEE ALSO

16 Sep 05 |  Cycling

15 Sep 05 |  Cycling


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