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Freire wins Vuelta cycling stage in Burgos
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09:03, September 11, 2008

Spanish sprinter Oscar Freire finally won a stage in this year's Vuelta de Espana (Tour of Spain)when he held off the challenge of Tom Boonen to win stage 11 in Burgos on Wednesday.

The 175 kilometer stage between Calahorra and Burgos, with no major climbs, was the perfect stage for either a breakaway or a bunch sprint finish.

In the end, it produced both. With the Euskaltel-Euskadi team protecting the race leader Egoi Martinez throughout the day, a three man break consisting of Serafin Martinez, Jose Antonio Lopez and Andriy Grivko were able to get up to 10 minutes clear of the pack after 50 kilometers of the stage.

From there, Freire's Radobank team and Boonen's Quick Step outfit collaborated with Lampre and Euskaltel to close the gap. However, it was not until the final six kilometers that the three escapees were finally reeled in.

Since then, Boonen's team worked hard to place him perfectly for the sprint, but in the closing meters, Freire, a specialist in finding his own way through the closing straight, was able to find an extra yard on the Belgian rider.

The rest of the pack finished close behind and with no time differences, Martinez remains in the gold jersey for another day.

Thursday sees the Vuelta turn north again with a 186 kilometer stage with two second category climbs, between Burgos and the Cantabrian town of Suances.

Source: Xinhua

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