5th Gran Premio de Primavera de Amorebieta, Cat 1.3
Spain, April 11, 1999
Report:Spaniard Roberto Heras (Kelme-Costa Blanca) repeated his win of last year when he surprisingly dominated a group of 14 riders which included Laurent Jalabert (ONCE-Deutsche Bank), David Etxebarria (ONCE-Deutsche Bank) and Davide Rebellin (Team Polti). In the last 74 kms the riders had to climb the Cat 3 Montecalvo, three times in addition to the Cat 3 Autzagane.
While the race came down to a final sprint the last part of the race was marked by several attacks which fragmented the peloton. In the finale, the big players were Carlos Sastre, Iñigo Cuesta, Jalabert and Etxebarria (all from ONCE-Deutsch Bank), Juan Carlos Domínguez and Igor González de Galdeano (from Vitalicio Seguros), Udo Bolts (Telekom), Enrico Zaina and Marco Velo (Mercatone Uno), José María Jiménez and Francisco Mancebo (Banesto), Paolo Bettini (Mapei), Mauro Gianetti (Vini Caldirola), Ramontxu González Arrieta, Txema del Olmo, Alberto López de Muniain and Bingen Fernández (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Javier Otoxa, Oscar Sevilla, José Luis Rubiera and Roberto Heras (Kelme-Costa Blanca).
Bingen Fernández and David Etxebarria were away in an escape in the last 25 kms, which almost gave them the win, but they were caught by the chase group with only 1 kms to go. Fernandez and Extebarria had gone away after Etxebarria attacked halfway up the final climb of Montecalvo. Fernández went after him and they stayed away.
Prior to that Bolts excited everyone on the first climb of Montecalvo and Jalabert gave the day's demonstration of how to climb quickly. Jalabert lost his chances for victory because he had to help Etxebarria's attack by blocking Rebellin and because he had a bad position during the last sprint. It is worth mentioning that Fernando Escartín, José María Jiménez and Abraham Olano finished in 20th, 29th and 37th and that Marco Pantani and Jan Ullrich retired. The Italian quit on the first of six climbs, while the German skipped the last two.
Amorebieta, 196 kms:
1. Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 4.53.49 2. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Team Polti 3. David Etxebarria (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 4. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 5. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Banesto 6. Udo Bölts (Ger) Telekom 7. Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Bianchi 8. Txema del Olmo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 9. Richard Virenque (Fra) Team Polti 10. Peter Luttenberger (Aut) ONCE-Deutsche Bank s.t. .. 20. Fernando Escartín (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 2.36 29. José María Jiménez (Spa) Banesto 9.09 35. Angel Casero (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 10.33 37. Abraham Olano (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 10.33
Teams:Spain: Kelme-Costa Blanca, Banesto, ONCE-Deutsche Bank, Vitalicio Seguros, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Fuenlabrada
Italy: Mapei-Quick Step, Mercatone Uno, Team Polti, Vini Caldirola and Costa de Almería-Amica Chips
1998 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 196 kms in 4.51.58 1999 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 196 kms in 4.53.49