34th Vuelta al Tachira, Cat 2.5

Venezuela, January 16-27, 1999

Past Winners     Preview    

Stage 1 - Barquisimeto, Circuit Race, 152 kms:
Stage 2 - Acarigua-Barinas, 173 kms:
Stage 3 - Abejales-San Antonio, 161.3 kms:
Stage 4 - San Antonio-San Juan de Colón, 135.6 kms:
Stage 5 - Coloncito-Mérida, 138.2 kms:
Stage 6 - Mérida-Tovar, 128 kms:
Stage 7 - Zea-La Grita, 125.5 kms:
Stage 8 - San Cristóbal-Cerro El Cristo, 132 kms:
Stage 9 - Circuito San Cristóbal, 144 kms:
Stage 10 - San Cristóbal, ITT, 19.7 kms:
Stage 11 - Táriba-Concafé, 165 kms:
Stage 12 - San Cristóbal, Circuit Race, 124.8 kms:


The Vuelta al Táchira, the annual duel between Colombian and Venezuelan riders, began on Saturday with a major cloud hanging over it in the form of threats of Colombian guerrilla attacks. A spokesperson for the organizers said that they are looking into changing the route of stage four, which originally included a section through the Colombian border cities of Cúcuta and Puerto Santander. The changes are because of the threats made by the Colombian guerrillas belonging to the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). According to sources, Colombian police told the organizers that they couldn't guarantee the safety of the participants from the threats of the ELN to the security forces of Colombia.

This edition of the Vuelta al Táchira, has a planned route of 1,589 kms over 12 stages and will finish on January 27. A record number of participants will race the event this year - 128 in total. Russian Viacheslav Ekimov will return to race again this year This is a big bonus for the promoters.

In addition to the Russian team, there will be two Italian teams (Kross Selle and Vini Caldirola), another from Austria (Madress), a French-Costarican combine (Carnac Tenis) and two teams from Colombia = Aguardiente Néctor and Bono Ciclismo. There will also be teams from México (Químicas San José), Cuba, Guatemala (Racan Club) and six Venezuelan teams.

Colombia has dominated the race - with 16 GC wins since it began. However, Venezuelan riders have achieved 14 wins to share the limelight. The last winner, Julio César Blanco, will not ride this time. Colombia brings as favorites, veteran Alvaro Lozano, Raúl Montaña, Israel Ochoa and Libardo Niño. The great Russian hope is Vialeschav Ekimov, while the Venezuelan teams are placing their hopes in Alexis Méndez and Colombian César Salazar, both previous winners.

Stage 1, Barquisimeto, Circuit Race, 152 kms:

Cuban cyclist Pedro Pérez outsprinted the others to win the first stage of the Vuelta al Táchira, which was constested over a 152 kms circuit in the city of Barquisimeto. By taking an 8 second bonus as a result of the stage win, he now leads the general classification. The first stage was raced in front of some 30,000 spectators and under very hot conditions at an average speed of 43.311 km per hour.

The peloton was complete for most of the stage even though at times the speed was very high. In the finale it was Cuban Pedro Pérez who showed his sprinting abilities. The two special sprints of the day were won by Colombian Freddy González and Venezolano Yendrit Rangel, who took over the lead in this competition. There were also two intermediate prizes which were won by José González and Italian Guido Trenti, who leads this competition. The stage winner, Pedro Pérez, has been a succesful cyclist in Venezuela. In 1995, he won the Vuelta de Yacambú and in August of 1998 he became the Central American Road Champion at the Central American and Caribbean Games.

 1. Juan Pablo Perex (Cub) Cuban Team		    3.30.34
 2. Freddy Gonzalez (Col) Aguardiente Néctar
 3. Hussein Monsalve (Ven) Venezuelan Team
 4. Alessio Girelli (Ita) Kross-Montanari
 5. Eliecer Valdes (Cub) Cuban Team			s.t

GC after Stage 1

 1. Pedro Pérez (Cub) Cuban Team 		     3.30.26
 2. Freddy González (Col) Aguardiente Néctar		0.01
 3. Julio Cesar Rangel (Col) Concafé			0.05
 6. Álvaro Lozano (Col) Bono de Ciclismo		0.06

Stage 2, Acarigua - Barinas, 173 kms:

Venezuelan Elvis Firmino became the new leader of the Vuelta al Táchira, taking the leader's jersey from Cuban Pedro Pérez at the end of the second stage over flat roads between Acarigua and Barinas. But the Venezuelan success was toned down by the loss of four Venezuelan riders, three from food poisoning and one from a massive crash at the finish line. The three riders from La Loteria de Tachira had to be taken to the hospital and received IVs. The fourth rider, Hussein Monsalve broke his collarbone in the finish line crash.

The winner, Elvis Firmino, who knows the terrain well, put together a 156 kms breakaway, mostly by himself and he was accompanied in the last kilometers by Costa Rican Carlos Arburola and Venezuelan Noel Vásquez. During his solo break, Firmino's opened a maximum gap of 7 minutes and 11 seconds and he took the two sprints and intermediate prizes, which make him the leader in both competitions after the second stage.

 1. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			     4.22.28
 2. Noel Vásquez (Ven)
 3. Carlos Arburola (Cos)
 4. Zoran Klemencic (Ita) 				0.56
 5. Holger Schuberp (Fra) 				0.56
 6. Josseph Lonvharipsch (Aut) 				0.56
 7. Giovanni Vargas (Ven) 				0.56
 8. Andrea Hakpipnan (Ita) 				0.56
 9. Alessio Girelli (Ita) 				0.56
10. Pedro Pérez (Cub) 					0.56

GC after Stage 2

 1. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			     7.52.35
 2. Carlos Arburola (Cos) 				0.09
 3. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 					0.09
 4. Pedro Pérez (Cub) 					0.57
 5. Holger Schuberph (Fra) 				0.57
 6. Freddy González (Col) 				0.58
 7. Guisseppe Difresco (Ita) 				0.58
 8. Jendry Rangel (Ven) 				0.59
 9. Alvaro Lozano (Col) 				0.59
10. Alessio Girelli (Ita) 				1.00

Other Classifications:

Metas Volantes (Special Sprints):

 1. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 				10 points
 2. Guido Trentini (Ita) 				 6
 3. José González (Ven)					 5
 4. Alexis Rojas (Ven)					 3
 5. Mauro Rodaelli (Ita)				 3


 1. Elvis Firmino (Ven)					 6 points
 2. Jendry Rangel (Ven)					 3
 3. Freddy González (Col)				 3
 4. Holger Schuberp (Fra)				 3
 5. Guisseppe Difresco (Ita)				 2

Consistency Jersey:

 1. Pedro Pérez (Cub) 					30 points
 2. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 				25
 3. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 					20
 4. Freddy González (Col) 				20
 5. Carlos Arburola (Cos) 				16

Stage 3, Abejales - San Antonio, 154.7 kms:

Veteran Russian Viacheslav Ekimov won the 154.7 km third stage of the 34th Vuelta al Táchira between Abejales and San Antonio. Venezuelan rider Noel Vásquez took over the GC leadership. Ekimov won the bunch sprint at the end to take his 9th victory in this race - a record. 32-year old Ekimov, who won this race in 1988, said afterwards that he is using the race to get valuable early season kms in his legs to get to top form and does not think he can take the overall at the end.

The stage began with a flight by the Venezuelan Ramon Horseman after only 10 kms and he went through the 26 kms sprint alone, and repeated the effort at the 56 kms, the 89 kms sprints before he was caught by Tommy Alcedo at the 91 kms mark. Approaching both riders at the 105 kms mark was the first mountain - a Cat 3 climb. Alcedo was first over with Horseman second and the peloton at 2.10.

Alcedo then attacked at the 110 kms point over the Alto de Berlín and he was followed at 2.40 by Colombians Freddy González, Vladimir Forero and Aduardo Guerrero and the Venezuelan Aldrin Salamanca. On the descent into the finish, the Colombians and Russians went to the front of the peloton and accelerated - in hot pursuit. They eventually neutralized Alcedo and set up a mass sprint which Ekimov won.

 1. Viacheslav Ekimov (Rus) 			     4.03.02
 2. José González (Cub) 
 3. Pedro Pérez (Cub) 
 4. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 
 5. Víctor Becerra (Ven) 
 6. Erwin Méndez (Ven) 
 7. Alvaro Lozano (Col) 
 8. Jendrit Rangel (Ven) 
 9. Vladimir Forero (Col) 
10. Jesús Núñez (Cub)					s.t.

GC after Stage 3

 1. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 				    11.55.59 
 2. Pedro Pérez (Cub) 					0.48 
 3. Freddy González (Col) 				0.53 
 4. Viacheslav Ekimov (Rus) 				0.53
 5. José González (Cub) 				0.56
 6. Jendrit Rangel (Ven) 				0.57 
 7. Tommy Alcedo (Ven) 					0.57
 8. Víctor Becerra (Ven) 				0.58 
 9. Alvaro Lozano (Col) 				0.58 
10. César Salazar (Ven) 				0.59

Other Classifications:

Meta Volantes: 

 1. Ramón Caballero (Ven) 				10 points 
 2. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 				10 
 3. José González (Cub)					 7 

General Sprints:

 1. Elvis Firmino (Ven)					 6 points 
 2. Tommy Alcedo (Ven)					 3 
 3. Ramón Caballero (Ven)				 3 


 1. Tommy Alcedo (Ven) 					15 points 
 2. Freddy González (Col) 				10 
 3. Vladimir Forero (Col)				 7 


 1. Pedro Pérez (Cub) 					47 points 
 2. Freddy González (Col) 				33 
 3. José González (Cub) 				30

Stage 4, San Cristóbal - Columbus, 136 kms:

Venezuelan Aldrin Salamanca won the 136 km fourth stage between San Cristóbal and Colón and also took over the leader's jersey. The victory, in a time of 3.34.59 followed a magnificient 112 kms lone breakaway. The stage began with a 35 kilometers section of an urban circuit in the city of San Cristóbal and the Italians Mauro Radaelli and Giusseppe Difresco created the first breakaway attack of the day. They were together at the first premie sprint (26 kms) which was won by Radaelli. They reached the mountain city of Palogrande, Radaelli won the premie. But they were now followed closely and then joined by the Colombians Israel Ochoa and Vladimir Forero, with the peloton at 2.10. On the descent, a group of 20 riders led by Salamanca ended the attack of Radaelli and its companions after 57 kms into the stage.

Then Alexis Rojas attacked and won the premie sprint at 71 kms alone with Venezuelan Caesar Salazar in second place at 56 seconds. At the 85 kms mark, the Venezuelan rider Isaac Ramirez caught Rojas and then both were brought back by a very aggressive Radaelli, who went on to win the sprint at 109 kms. With 112 kms gone, Salamanca attacked and held the advantage until the end.

Tomorrow the 126 riders tackle the 138.2 kms between Coloncito and Mérida.

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 		     3.34.59
 2. José Chacón (Ven) 				0.07
 3. Edgar Caballero (Ven) 			0.20
 4. Freddy González (Col) 			1.19
 5. Mauro Radaelli (Ita) 			1.30
 6. Giovanni Vargas (Ven) 			1.36
 7. Erwin Méndez (Ven) 				1.36
 8. Isaac Ramírez (Ven) 			1.36
 9. Guido Trentin (Ita) 			1.36
10. César Salazar (Ven				1.36

GC after Stage 4

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 		    15.31.50
 2. José Chacón (Ven) 				0.13
 3. Héctor Caballero (Ven) 			0.26
 4. Freddy González (Col) 			1.47
 5. Noel Vázquez (Ven)  			1.51
 6. Giovanni Vargas (Ven)  			2.29
 6. Pedro Pérez (Cub)  				2.37
 8. Viacheslav Ekimov (Rus)  			2.40
 9. Erwin Méndez (Ven)				2.49
10. Isaac Ramírez (Ven)				2.53

Other Classifications:

Metas Volantes (Special Sprints)
 1. Mauro Radaelli (Ita) 			17 points
 2. Ramón Caballero (Ven) 			10
 3. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			10

 1. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			 6
 2. Aldrin Salamca (Ven)			 5
 3. Edgar Caballero (Ven)			 4

 1. Tommy Alcedo (Ven) 				15
 2. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			12
 3. Freddy González (Col) 			11

 1. Freddy González (Col) 			55
 2. Pedro Pérez (Cub) 				52
 3. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 			47

Stage 5, Coloncito - Mérida, 128.2 kms:

Colombian Freddy González won the fifth stage but was unable to take the leader's yellow jersey from the overnight leader, Venezuelan Aldrin Salamanca. González did the 138 kilometres between Coloncito and Mérida, in 3 hours 43 minutes and 20 seconds and he escaped in the final kms to gain the first Colombian victory in this Tour.

González is now 1.27 behind Salamanca on the GC and leads the mountains and consistency classifications. Salamanca conserved his GC lead in the face of intensive attacks from the Colombians. The Italian Massimo Appollonio escaped with his teammate Frigo Fulvio and a Venezuelan rider Arlez Méndez. He won several sprints and now leads that classification from Elvis Firmino.

The last 30 kms involved some hard climbing and it was here that the Colombians attacked Salamanca, who struggled in at 3.44.

 1. Freddy González (Col) 		     3.43.20
 2. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 				0.02
 3. Yeisson Delgado (Ven) 			0.14
 4. Juan Fonseca (Col) 				0.31
 5. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			0.37
 6. Guido Trentin (Ita) 			0.37
 7. Alexis Rojas (Ven) 				0.42
 8. Israel Ochoa (Col) 				0.42
 9. Andrzej Hauptmann (Slo) 			0.44
10. Viacheslav Ekimov (Rus) 			0.50

GC after Stage 5

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 		    19.15.58
 2. José Chacón (Ven) 				0.14
 3. Edgar Caballero (Ven) 			0.28
 4. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 				0.57
 5. Freddy González (Col)			1.27
 6. Guido Trentin (Ita)				2.29
 7. Juan Fonseca (Col)				2.30
 8. Erwin Méndez (Ven)				2.31
 9. Vladimir Forero (Col)			2.36
10. Alexis Rojas (Ven)				2.38

Other Classifications:

Meta Volantes:

 1. Mauro Radaelli (Ita) 			17 points
 2. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			10
 3. Ramón Caballero (Ven) 			10

 1. Massimo Appollonio (Ita)			 6 points
 2. Elvis Firmino (Ven)				 6
 3. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven)			 5

 1. Freddy González (Col) 			32 points
 2. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			28
 3. Tommy Alfredo (Ven) 			25


 1. Freddy González (Col) 			80 points
 2. Pedro Pérez (Cub) 				51
 3. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 			51

Stage 6, Mérida - Tovar, 128 kms:

The Colombian rider José Luis Vanegas won the 6th stage between Mérida and Tovar over 128.4 kms. His time was 3.17.38. Venezuelan Aldrin Salamanca remained in the yellow leader's jersey. Vanegas won after attacking on a Cat 2 climb, with the Venezuelan Omar Pumar and the Colombian Yair Bernal. The Colombians were brilliant today and had 7 riders in the top 10 for the stage. The From the start of the stage there were numerous attacks although by the 117 kms mark the peloton was complete. There had been a lot of blocking and counterattacks. At that points the three riders attacked and were accompanied by Colombian Raul Saavedra, who climbed well but could not keep the pace up on the descent and was absorbed back into the peloton. Jose Luis Vanegas, winner of the stage, won the Ruta Mexico in 1997.

 1. José Vanegas (Col) 			     3.18.27 
 2. Omar Pumar (Ven)
 3. Jair Bernal (Col) 				0.06 
 4. Freddy González (Col) 			0.19
 5. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 			0.19 
 6. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			0.19 
 7. Israel Ochoa (Col) 				0.19 
 8. Erwin Méndez (Col) 				0.19 
 9. Viacheslav Ekimov (Rus) 			0.19 
10. Alvaro Lozano (Col) 			0.19

GC after Stage 6

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 		    22.34.52 
 2. José Chacón (Ven) 				0.20 
 3. Edgar Caballero (Ven) 			0.34 
 4. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 				1.05 
 5. Freddy González (Col) 			1.29 
 6. José Vanegas (Col) 				2.23 
 7. Omar Pumar (Ven) 				2.26 
 8. Juan Fonseca (Col) 				2.35 
 9. Erwin Méndez (Ven) 				2.37 
10. Guido Trentin (Ita)				2.37 

Other Classifications:

Metas Volantes:

 1. Maximo Radaelli (Ita) 			22 points 
 2. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			10 
 3. Ramón Caballero (Ven) 			10 


 1. Massimo Apollonio (Ita)			 8 points 
 2. Giusseppi Difresco (Ita)			 6 
 3. Elvis Firmino (Ven)				 6 

 1. Freddy González (Col) 			36 points 
 2. Tommy Alcedo (Ven) 				30 
 3. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			28 


 1. Freddy González (Col) 			94 points 
 2. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 			62 
 3. Pedro Pérez (Cub) 				52

Stage 7, Zea and La Grita, 125.2 kms:

Colombian Vladimir Forero (Selle-Bono) won the 7th stage while Venezuelan Aldrin Salamanca retained the leader's jersey. Forero showed his abilities as a climber and took the stage at La Grita, a mountain climb of special category. All the breakaways and attempts at the start of the stage became irrelevant when the peloton faced the initial slopes of La Grita. 7 riders went away on the early stages of the climb. The group was gradually whittled away as they continued up the climb and ultimately it came down to Forero and Vargas - left to fight for the stage victory. Russian Viacheslav Ekimov, the most distinguished rider participating is now at 3.28 from the leader. It is thought that he may be able to reduce that difference on Monday in the 20 km individual time trial, but he has admitted that he's not in form.

 1. Vladimir Forero (Col) 		     3.16.26 
 2. Giovanni Vargas (Ven)			0.03 
 3. Noel Vásquez (Ven)				0.13 
 4. Israel Ochoa (Col)				0.18 
 5. José Vanegas (Col)				0.26 
 6. Juan Fonseca (Col)				0.28 
 7. Erwin Méndez (Ven)				0.28 
 8. Freddy González (Col)			0.45 
 9. Alexis Méndez (Ven)				0.46 
10. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven)			1.04 

GC after Stage 7

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 	    	     25.52.12 
 2. Noel Vázquez (Ven) 				0.08 
 3. José Chacón (Ven)				0.49 
 4. Freddy González (Col)			1.10 
 5. Vladimir Forero (Col)			1.27 
 6. Edgar Caballero (Ven)			1.35 
 7. Giovanni Vargas (Ven)			1.35 
 8. José Vanegas (Col)				1.42 
 9. Juan Fonseca (Col)				1.55 
10. Erwin Mendez (Ven)				1.57

Other Classifications:

Metas Volantes:

 1. Mauro Radaelli (Ita) 			23 points
 2. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			10
 3. Ramón Caballero (Ven) 			10


 1. Massimo Apollonio (Ita) 			 8 points
 2. Elvis Firmino (Ven)				 6
 3. Jendrit Rangel (Ven)			 6 


 1. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			51 points
 2. Freddy González (Col) 			50
 3. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 				31


 1. Freddy González (Col) 			102 points
 2. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven)			 68
 3. Noel Vásquez (Ven)				 62

Stage 8, San Cristóbal - Capacho, 132.9 kms:

Colombian cyclist Freddy González prevailed yesterday in the eighth stage of the Vuelta al Táchira and moved closer to the overall leader, Venezuelan Aldryn Salamanca. González moved from fourth to third position on the GC. González scored his second victory covering the 133 kms in 3.32.57. After his triumph, the rider known as "escarabajo" moved to within 0.43 of the leader and 0.35 from second place on the GC.

The Colombian attacked 400 metres from the finish in the tourist park "Monument Christo Rey", in the locality of Capacho, and the only other rider to give him any problems was Venezuelan Giovanni Vargas, who at the end was second. The overnight GC leader Aldryn Salamanca, finished at 0.20 in 5th place and held his yellow jersey for the sixth consecutive day.

The Venezuelan now has a good chance of hanging onto his leadership if he can get through the 20 kms ITT on Monday (the second-last stage).

The only real action on Stage 8 cane from Venezuelan JosmerMéndez who mounted a lone attack which lasted 100 kms, picking up the sprint points along the way.

On Sunday the riders contest a flat 144 kms stage on a circuit in San Cristóbal.

 1. Freddy González (Col) 		     3.32.57 
 2. Giovanni Vargas (Ven) 			0.06  
 3. Juan Fonseca (Col) 				0.14  
 4. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			0.15  
 5. Aldryn Salamanca (Ven) 			0.20  
 6. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 				0.20  
 7. César Salazar (Ven) 			0.20  
 8. Erwin Méndez (Ven) 				0.37  
 9. Alexis Méndez (Ven) 			0.37  
10. José Vanegas (Col) 				0.44

GC after Stage 8

 1. Aldryn Salamanca (Ven) 		    29.25.29
 2. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 				0.08
 3. Freddy González (Col)			0.43
 4. Giovanni Vargas (Ven)			1.23
 5. Vladimir Forero (Col)			1.26
 6. Juan Fonseca (Col)				1.48
 7. José Vanegas (Col) 				2.06
 8. Edgar caballero (Ven) 			2.08
 9. Erwin Méndez (Ven) 				2.14
10. Israel Ochoa (Col) 				2.33

Other Classifications:

Meta Volantes: 

 1. Mauro Radaelli (Ita) 			26 points 
 2. Josmer Méndez (Ven) 			10 
 3. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			10 


 1. Máximo Apolonio (Ita) 			12 points 
 2. Guisseppe Difresco (Ita)			 8 
 3. Jendry Rangel (Ven)				 6 


 1. Freddy González (Col) 			59 points 
 2. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			55 
 3. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 				33 


 1. Freddy González (Col) 			127 points 
 2. Aldryn Salamaca (Ven) 			 80 
 3. Noel Vásquez (Ven) 				 72

Stage 9, San Cristóbal Circuit Race, 144 kms:

Russian cyclist Vladislav Borisov (Lokosphinx) won the 9th stage but his victory had no bearing on the general classification. Venezuelan Aldrin Salamanca remains in charge of the race.

A crowd of 100,000 spectators gathered around the avenues of "España" and "April the 19th" in the city of San Cristóbal, the regional capital of the Táchira, for the stage. The race was held over 144 kms on a circuit joined by these avenues. The winner finished in 3.38.06.

Aldrin Salamanca, riding for the lottery in Táchira, leads the general classification with a 9 seconds gap on his teammate Noel Vásquez, who is becoming the revelation of the race. He has a 39 seconds on third place - the Colombian Freddy González, who is known as "escarabajo". Freddy González leads the the Mountains and Consistency classifications.

Aldrin Salamanca, helped by Vásquez and Giovanni Vargas, has now survived four strong attacks in the last days from Freddy González and his team. 1988 winner, 32-year old Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov, who won Stage 3 from Abejales to San Antonio, is favourite to win the ITT on Monday.

 1. Vladislav Borisov (Rus)		     3.38.06
 2. Pedro Pérez (Cub)				0.07
 3. Libardo Niño (Col)				0.09
 4. Josmer Méndez (Ven)				0.10
 5. Rafael Brand (Col)				0.14
 6. Josep Loncharitsch (Aut)			0.20
 7. José Chacón (Ven)				0.21
 8. Enmanuel Lupi (Ita)				0.23
 9. Urdelino Mesa (Ven) 			0.31
10. Freddy González (Col) 			1.31

GC after Stage 9

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 		    33.05.11
 2. Noel Vásquez (Ven)				0.09
 3. Freddy González (Col) 			0.39
 4. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			1.27
 5. Giovanni Vargas (Ven) 			1.28
 6. José Chacón (Ven) 				1.46
 7. Juan Fonseca (Col) 				1.54
 8. José Vanegas (Col) 				2.10
 9. Edgar Caballero (Ven) 			2.14
10. Erwin Méndez (Ven) 				2.17

Other Classifications:

Meta Volantes: 

 1. Mauro Radaelli (Ita)


 1. Massimo Apolonia (Ita)


 1. Freddy González (Col)


 1. Freddy González (Col)

Stage 10, San Cristóbal, ITT, 19.7 kms:

Venezuelan Aldrin Salamanca won the 10th stage and he is now almost certain to win the Vuelta al Táchira, which finishes on Wednesday. Salamanca covered the 19.7 kms in 26.13 at an average speed of 45.08 kph. With this victory, the Lotería del Táchira rider increased his lead over his main adversary Noel Vásquez.

Colombian Freddy González, who had been able to gain some time in the last four stages, was only able to get 8th fastest time and lost 2.08 to Salamanca. The big favorite for the ITT was Russian Viacheslav Ekimov, who finished third at 47 seconds. He later said that the strong winds at the start had made it difficult for him to get a tempo.

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 26.13 
 2. César Salazar (Ven)				0.36 
 3. Viancheslav Ekimov (Rus)			0.47 
 4. Erwin Méndez (Ven)				0.55 
 5. Alvaro Lozano (Col)				0.57 
 6. Vladimir Forero (Col)			0.58 
 7. José Chacón (Ven)				1.19 
 8. Freddy González (Col)			1.29 
 9. Raúl Montaña (Col)				1.55 
10. Yair Bernal (Col)				1.55 

GC after Stage 10

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (VEN) 		    33.31.24 
 2. Noel Vázquez (Ven) 				2.02 
 3. Freddy González (Ven) 			2.08 
 4. Vladimir Forero (Col)			2.21 
 5. José Chacón (Ven) 				3.07 
 6. Erwin Méndez (Ven) 				3.12 
 7. Giovanni Vargas (Ven) 			3.42 
 8. César Salazar (Ven) 			3.53 
 9. Juan Fonseca (Col)				4.09 
10. Edgar Caballero (Ven) 			4.52 

Other Classifications:

Metas volantes:
 1. Mauro Radaelli (Ita) 			26 points 
 2. Josmer Méndez (Ven) 			13  
 3. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			10 

 1. Massimo Apolonio (Ita) 			12 points 
 2. Jendry Rangel (Ven)				 9 
 3. Giusseppe Difresco (Ita)			 8

 1. Freddy González (Col) 			59 points 
 2. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			57 
 3. Giovanni Vargas (Ven) 			33

Stage 11, Táriba - Concafé, 165 kms:

The Venezuelan rider Yosmer Méndez, from the Club Alcaldía de Barinas-Concafé team, won Stage 11 while overnight leader Aldrin Salamanca retained the yellow jersey and barring serious accident will go on to win the Vuelta al Táchira.

Salamanca, came 4th in today's stage and has overcome the problems he faced in the mountains last week when the Colombians attacked him relentlessly. He is now 2.08 ahead of Colombian Freddy González.

Tomorrow the riders face the last 123 kms stage in the suburbs of San Cristóbal and the race will finish at the International J.J. Mora Velodrome, named after the 1978 World Champion.

 1. Yosmer Méndez (Ven) 		     4.05.53
 2. César Salazar (Ven)				0.04
 3. José Chacón (Ven)				0.07
 4. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven			0.09
 5. Freddy González (Col)			0.09
 6. Giovanni Vargas (Ven)			0.09
 7. Vladimir Forero (Col)			0.12
 8. Andrea Haubidman (Ita)			0.18
 9. Edgar Caballero (Ven)			0.18
10. José Vanegas (Col)				0.18

GC after Stage 11

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 		    37.37.26
 2. Freddy González (Col)			2.08
 3. Vladimir Forero (Col)			2.25
 4. José Chacón (Ven)				3.03
 5. Erwin Méndez (Ven)				3.21
 6. César Salazar (Ven)				3.44
 7. Giovanni Vargas (Ven)			3.52
 8. Edgar Caballero (Ven)			4.51
 9. Alexis Méndez (Ven)				5.02
10. Israel Ochoa (Col) 				5.29

Other Classifications:

Meta Volantes:
 1. Mauro Radaelli (Ita) 			31 points
 2. Josmer Méndez (Ven) 			15
 3. Elvis Firmino (Ven) 			10

 1. Massimo Apolonio (Ita) 			14 points
 2. Jendry Rangel (Ven)				 9
 3. Giusseppe Difresco (Ita)			 8


 1. Freddy González (Col) 			70 points
 2. Vladimir Forero (Col)			65
 3. Giovanni Vargas (Ven)			39


 1. Freddy González (Col) 			153 points
 2. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 			121
 3. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			 91

Stage 12, San Cristóbal, Circuit Race, 124.8 kms:

Venezuelan Aldrin Salamanca (Lotería del Táchira) complete the final stage safely and won the 34th edition of the Vuelta al Táchira in an overall time of 40.59.14 for the 1,593 kilometers covered. The last stage from San Cristóbal-Peracal-San Cristóbal, wass won by Venezuelan Rodolfo Camacho, with a time of 3.21.45. Colombian Freddy González finished second in the overall at 2.08 from the leader.

 1. Rodolfo Camacho (Ven) 		     3.21.45
 2. Julio César Rangel (Col)
 3. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			0.06
 4. Andrea Haupitman (Ita)
 5. César Salazar (Ven)
 6. Alexis Méndez (Ven)
 7. José Chacón (Ven)
 8. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven)
 9. Giovanni Vargas (Ven)
10. Freddy González (Col)			s.t.

Final GC:

 1. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 		    40.59.27
 2. Freddy González (Col) 			2.08
 3. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			2.23
 4. José Chacón (Ven) 				3.03
 5. Erwin Méndez (Ven) 				3.21
 6. César Salazar (Ven) 			3.44
 7. Giovanni Vargas (Ven) 			3.52
 8. Edgar Caballero (Ven) 			4.51
 9. Alexis Méndez (Ven) 			5.11
10. Israel Ochoa (Col) 				5.48

Other Classifications:

Final Meta Volantes
 1. Mauro Radaelli (Ita)			 31 points
 2. Yosmer Méndez (Ven)				 16
 3. Elvis Firmino (Ven)				 12

Final Sprints:
 1. Massimo Apollonio (Ita)			 17 points
 2. Jendrit Rangel (Ven)			 10
 3. Libardo Niño (Col)				 10

Final Mountains:
 1. Freddy González (Col)			 78 points
 2. Vladimir Forero (Col)			 76
 3. Giovanni Vargas (Ven) 			 41

Final Consistency:
 1. Freddy González (Col) 			159 points
 2. Aldrin Salamanca (Ven) 			129
 3. Vladimir Forero (Col) 			107

Final Under-23
 1. Vladimir Forero (Col) 		    41.01.50
 2. José Chacón (Ven) 				0.45
 3. Erwin Méndez (Ven) 				0.50

Final Teams:
 1. Lotería del Táchira (Ven) 		   110.40.38
 2. Aguardiente Néctar (Col) 			2.10
 3. El Quino Táchira (Ven) 		       11.29
Thanks to Stephane David for the results

Past Winners

1966 Martín Emilio "Cochise" Rodríguez (Col)
1967 Gustavo Rincón (Col)
1968 Martín Emilio "Cochise" Rodríguez (Col)
1969 Alvaro Pachón "El Cóndor" (Col)
1970 Alvaro Pachón "El Cóndor" (Col)
1971 Martín Emilio "Cochise" Rodríguez (Col)
1972 Miguel Samacá (Col)
1973 Santos Bermúdez (Ven)
1974 Alvaro Pachón "El Cóndor" (Col)
1975 Fernando Fontes (Ven)
1976 Fernando Fontes (Ven)
1977 Patrocinio Jiménez (Col)
1978 Efraín Rodríguez (Ven)
1979 José Ouax Hernández (Ven)
1980 Epifanio Arcila (Ven)
1981 Carlos Julio Siachoque (Col)
1982 Ramazan Galialetdinov (USSR)
1983 Mario Medina (Ven)
1984 Carlos Alba (Ven)
1985 Elio Villamizar (Ven)
1986 Eduardo Alonso (Cub)
1987 Elio Villamizar (Ven)
1988 Viatcheslav Ekimov (USSR)
1989 Luis Felipe Moreno (Col)
1990 Juan Vicente Díaz (Col)
1991 Angel Yesid Camargo (Col)
1992 Luis Barroso (Ven)
1993 Leonardo Sierra (Ven)
1994 Alexis Méndez (Ven)
1995 Carlos Maya (Ven)
1996 Raúl Gómez (Col)
1997 César Salazar (Ven)
1998 Julio César Blanco (Ven)