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Heras Wins Vuelta for Fourth Time
 
09/18/2005
Defending champion Roberto Heras of Spain became the first rider to win the Spanish Vuelta four times, completing an 85-mile ride around the capital Sunday for an easy victory over Denis Menchov of Russia.

Heras finished 4 minutes, 36 seconds ahead of Menchov and had an overall time of 82 hours, 22 minutes, 55 seconds. His previous victories were in 2000, '03, and '04. Spain's Carlos Sastre finished third.

Italy's Alessandro Petacchi, a time-trial specialist, won the 21st and final stage in 3:34:41. Germans Erik Zabel and Heinrich Haussler finished second and third.

The Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta highlight the European cycling season.

"I would like to win a three-week race other than the Vuelta," Heras said. "The Tour is always in my mind but, I insist, that is up to my race director."

www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/09/18/sports/s122212D95.DTL



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