Results and News for Stage 18 to the Finish


Stage 18 | Stage 19 | Stage 20 | Stage 21

Stage 18 Notes and Results

Stage 18, Luz St. Sauveu - Sabinanigo, 156 kms, 21 Sept 95.

The last mountain stage of this Vuelta, though not a mountaintop finish.
Not that there were any real doubts before, but after yesterday the
question pretty much only becomes how much Jalabert will finally win by,
and maybe whether he picks up enough UCI points to pass Rominger for number

Coverage picks up in nice weather. Ugrumov is off the front, on the last
climb. He is chased by Bartoli and Fornaciari. Bartoli was a big loser
yesterday, now 17 minutes back, he is not a big danger to ONCE.

The gap from Ugrumov to the Mercetone pair is 1:10. He comes through the
last KOM point, and passes into Spain. He grabs a musette and stuffs his
pockets before the descent.

The clock ticks, and the Mercatones come through at 1:03. It seems they
should be able to track the solo Ugrumov down in the next 60km before the

A Castellblanch, Maya, comes through 2:10 down, and about a minute later
Ozols (Novell) is through the KOM, and the field is still not in sight.

Now a three man group comes through at 3:50 -- Herve, Alonso, and another I
didn't catch.

Finally the big field of 40 or so is in sight, with the ONCE curtain
leading through 4:30 after Ugrumov. If ONCE leads any kind of real chase
they should sweep everyone up, looks like the whole team is there.

Ugrumov looks back, the two Italians are in sight, closing the gap behind
as the Gewiss team car pulls alongside. Now the two have pulled alongside
and Ugrumov tucks in behind.

Several of the individuals who came through on the top have coalesced into
a chase group consisting of Tebaldi (Festina), Miranda (Banesto), Maya,
Ozols, Garcia (Artiach).

The field comes quickly behind, they have them in sight withn Artiach
leading the field by.

Jalabert moves up the right side of the peloton and slides into second place.

Now Artiach comes through to lead the chase with 4 riders on the front. A
Kelme is also toward the front, then comes Jalabert. Artiach is sitting a
little ahead of Gewiss in the team qualification, so it seems they are
chasing to defend their second place in this competition. ONCE, of course,
is solidly in the lead.

The field doesn't seem to have any noteable absentees for this point in a
mountain stage, which is to say that most of the big time sprinters are
gone by now. Anybody willing to bet against Jalabert if he decides he wants

The two Mercatone are doing most of the work at the front, but with 4 or
more Artiach pouring on the coal, it's unclear if they will hold out.

A Kelme rider, Sanchez, is between the two groups. Kelme, towards the
front, is doing blocking duty -- there are 3 Kelme trying to disrupt the
now 5 Artiach riders. They are really getting in their way, but the pace is
still fairly high. Doesn't look to be many other Gewiss or Mercatone to
help out.

Sanchez gets a bottle from his car, and pretty much sits up, stretches,
looks back. The message was obviously to forget it and rest up for the
field to come by. Thus it seems nobody will be doing much blocking.

Ugrumov still resolutely sitting the back of the front three.

Artiach leads the field by Sanchez.

Bartoli is on the front. Then the bigger Forniciari pulls through. Ugrumov
is certainly happy with this draft.

Kelme is now helping Artiach in the chase. Maybe they were not really
blocking earlier, though it looked like it. I do not know why they are
chasing so hard. The Gewiss car pulls along side, talking to Ugrumov, but
no word for us on the gap.

Back from commercial. Artiach and Kelme are working hard and the gap is
down to 2:20. Ugrumov now starts to pull through as they pass with 25km to

Looks like about the whole Artiach and Kelme teams are leading the chase.
They come through 25km to go, the gap down to 1:30. The attack looks

Bartoli finishes off a bottle, and calls for the team car and another.
Ugrumov is taking good pulls, but the chasing rotation is maybe a dozen
riders behind, now a Polti rider joins the chase. The field is strung out
in a long line behind. The gap continues to come down.

The front 3 now comes under a banner that looked to my eyes like 6km, which
is a lot less than what was just said. Time will tell how close they
actually are. The field is definitely chasing with purpose.

Ah, now the answer as the field comes through the banner -- there is a
finishing loop.

The lead group comes through 20km to go, and 1:00 behind Artiach leads the
field through.

First time through the finish line is the last intermediate sprint of the
day. Wesemann, in red, has been dropped in the mountains, but no one is
threatening his hold on the intermediate points jersey.

About 15km to go and from the copter it looks like the field is getting
quite close.

Apparently the loop they are doing has been used for the Spanish national
championship, and does have a climb of some sort in it.

The front three come through the finishing straight, no sprint of course.
The field rolls through, 40 seconds back, led by 6 Artiach riders.

The Gewiss car comes by again, it looks like much of the fight has gone out
of the front three. Ugrumov isn't pulling through any more.

The chase looks to have slowed a little behind as well, seems like everyone
knows that the front three are really caught, but want to wait a while
before they actually bring them back. Now the real reason for the chase --
in addition to the team category, Artiach still has their sprinter, Saitov,
in the field and may be figuring he is the best sprinter left today. But
they've done a lot of work to also be setting up a sprint.

The three come up a small climb, and Ugrumov attacks off the front. The gap
is down to 15 seconds. He comes through the 10km banner, the gap has opened
back up.

The two Mercatones have come back into the field, and Tebaldi counters up
this short climb. Bobrik is towards the front trying to slow things down.
The attacks have strung out the field and small gaps are opening up.

Ugrumov rolls by a long line of cars stopped for the race on the descent,
under 9km to the end.

Artiach again takes over the chase. There's a 27 second gap to Ugrumov, who
comes under 7 km to go. He looks pretty good, had plenty of time to rest
behind the Mercatones, but the field rolls through 7km not that far behind.

6km for Ugrumov, then for the field. The gap comes down to 23 seconds with
Artiach still pushing the pace. The roads are pretty open and the field can
no doubt see the cars at the front, if not Ugrumov himself.

5km for Ugrumov, and as the field rolls through, Herve attacks. He opens a
slight gap on the blue and red jerseys leading chase, but they close this
gap and roll by quite quickly.

Ugrumov has only 16 seconds as he comes under 4km to go.

The time gap as the field goes under 4km is only 12 seconds, and the follow
cars roll past Ugrumov.

3km to go. Ugrumov is certainly not giving up, he has been out there way to
long to let it go now. Artiach is down to maybe 4 chasing, actually 3
because Saitov has been sitting on the whole time.

Ugrumov giving all he has, 2km to go and trying to hang on.

Attacks come. A Banesto goes up the left side, Alonso trying to close the
gap. Ugrumov goes under 1km. Alonso, trying to close the gap, is joined by
a Mercatone. But Ugrumov is still on the front.

The field closes to Alonso with less than 500m.  Still a gap to Ugrumov.

200m to go. Dietz (Telekom) attacks as the field comes into the finishing
straight. Dietz was caught in the last 100m at the Sierra Nevada, and now
he poises to turn the tables, but I don't think he'll be giving anything
away. But Ugrumov is hanging on for dear life.

100m to go. Ekimov on Dietz's wheel, then Saitov and Skibby. Dietz almost
closes the gap to Ugrumov, but he hasn't gotten a gap of his own. Saitov
launches his sprint up the left side of Dietz.

50m to go and Saitov blows by an exhausted Ugrumov, trying to save the win
he worked so hard for, but lacking the speed to hold on. Skibby has come
off of Saitov's wheel and is coming on fast further on the left, but the
line comes too quickly, and Saitov wins.

Ugrumov pounds the handelbars in disgust as he is passed by a half dozen or
so, so close, but 75m too far.

Stage 18, Luz St Saveur - Sabinanigo, 156 kms

1. Asiat Saitov Rus Artiach 4.05.46 2. Jesper Skibby Den TVM s.t. 3. Jose Espinosa Spa Castellblanch s.t. 4. Roberto Pistore Ita Polti s.t. 5. Vjatjeslav Ekimov Rus Novell s.t. 6. Richard Virenque Fra Lotus s.t. 7. Piotr Ugrumov Lat Gewiss s.t. 8. Abraham Olano Spa Mapei s.t. 9. Laurent Jalabert Fra Once s.t. 10. Jose Rodriguez Spa Kelme s.t. 11. Juan Arenas Spa Lotus s.t. 12. Bert Dietz Ger Telekom s.t. ---- 14. Axel Merckx Bel Motorola s.t. 15. Johan Bruyneel Bel Once s.t.

Overall after 18 stages

1. Laurent Jalabert Fra Once 84.28.25 2. Abraham Olano Spa Mapei +6.28 3. Johan Bruyneel Bel Once +7.50 4. Melcior Mauri Spa Once +8.51 5. Richard Virenque Fra Lotus +10.31 6. Roberto Pistore Ita Polti +10.40 7. David Garcia Spa Banesto +11.51 8. Daniel Clavero Spa Artiach +12.38 9. Stefano della Santa Ita Mapei +16.24 10. Marcos Serrano Spa Kelme +16.26 11. Michele Bartoli Ita Saeco +17.49 12. Felix Garcia Casas Spa Artiach +19.02 13. Orlando Rodrigues Por Artiach +24.42 Other Vuelta classifications (as of Stage 18)
  1. Laurent Jalabert    238 pts
  2. Roberto Pistore     124
  3. Alex Zulle           89
  4. Johan Bruyneel       85
  5. Abraham Olano        77

  1. Laurent Jalabert     300 pts
  2. Abraham Olano        170
  3. Marcel Wust          149
  4. Michele Bartoli      125
  5. Johan Bruyneel       108

Metas Volantes (Intermediate sprints):
  1. Steffen Wesemann     42 pts
  2. Sven Teutenberg      18
  3. Laurent Jalabert     16
  4. Marcel Wust          15
  5. Erwin Nijboer        13

  1. Once                 253.39.42
  2. Mapei                   +26.59
  3. Artiach                 +38.27

Stage 19 Notes and Results

Stage 19, Sabinanigo - Catalayud, 224 kms, 2 Sept 95.

Coverage picks up, blue skies, looks like a nice day. Pretty fast pace,
slight tail winds, 43km/hr for the first hour. A three man group went away
early in the stage, but never got more than a minute away. Since then the
pack has pretty much stayed together. Right now it is fairly calm, spread
out across the road. Everybody seems pretty content to roll along.

A Kelme, Sanchez, has dropped back and is being worked on by the doctor,
getting something sprayed on his knee.

Stephens comes alongside and passes a couple of bottles across to his
teammates. And Jalabert also dropped back among the team cars, and is now
working his way back up.

After several minutes of calm, the field wakes up, and I do too. (a little
nap there) With a little less than 25 km to go. Anderson (Sicasal) attacks
out of the field and up a slight climb. He gets a decent gap, as ONCE
doesn't close it immediately. Now a group closes to him, still uphill.
Maybe 20 riders then a small gap to the field. Bobrik counters as the field
approaches a short, but unlit tunnel.

20km to go. Bobrik has not gone far, but with lots of little attacks at the
front, the field strings out behind. ONCE comes to the front with a
half-dozen riders to restore order, and the field starts to spread out
across the road again. Olano is sitting behind the ONCE train.

Tebaldi, Festina, attacks as the field comes up an exit ramp and off the
highway they had been riding on. (I forget the Spanish word for Autobahn or
Autoroute.) ONCE doesn't react much, he means little to them, and he is
able to open up a decent little gap.

Tebaldi goes under the 15km mark, and by a couple of big Coke cans. The
field looks to be about 10-15 seconds back. A Castellblanch rider now comes
forward to take over the lead. Looking back through the field, Wust and
Saitov are probably the best sprinters left in the race. Baffi has made it
over the hills as well, but hasn't shown himself much. Now another
Castellblanch has come ahead, then an ONCE rider and Dietz (Telekom). Zabel
has dropped out, but Telekom does have another decent sprinter in Wesemann,
wearing the red jersey.

They are now rolling down a mild descent. Castellblanch does the work and
they roll by Tebaldi.

Up another small climb and a few riders have been dropped off as the road
has started up and down a little. Plaza (Festina) tries up the right side,
but Castellblanch doesn't let him get more than a couple of bike lengths. 9
km to go.

Motorola, who's been very quiet this Vuelta, shows themselves, Weltz
attacking, but he gets no gap. The field slows a bit as they go through
another traffic interchange. Lots of wide open highways on the stage today.

Gianetti is now on the front, 5km to go and quite a fast descent. He has
gotten a small gap, and Dietz comes behind.

Castellblanch again takes the lead with Cordes, 3km to go. Wesemann, Baffi,
and Saitov are lurking toward the front. Baffi is sitting on a teammate's
wheel. Cordes pulls off as an Artiach goes by. A Mapei is in second.

An attack goes up the left side of the road from a ways back. 1 km to go.
It is Ekimov and Skibby and they have a bit of a gap. Both are very
experienced in such attacks and either has the speed to pull it off.

Ekimov is on the front with Skibby on his wheel. But the field reacts and
they pull them back with Dietz leading by Ekimov with less than 500m to go.

The sprint starts, spread out across the road. Saitov leading with 200m to
go, Wesemann behind him, Baffi comes on the left. A Motorola Jersey,
Hincapie on the right side. Wust tries to come up the barriers on the
right, but there's no room. He collides with Hincapie and bikes go flying.
Saitov on the front, Baffi coming -- the whole field shifts to the left to
avoid the crash. Wesemann is on Baffi's wheel. Saitov pulls out of his
pedal with less than 50 m to go, he has to sit back down and one leg it as
Baffi pulls by for the victory. Looked like Saitov held on for 2nd,
Wesemann in third, and another Motorola rider in 4th, but no official
results given.

Wust and Hincapie are both down. Now Wust is up, looks a little shaken, but
ok. Hincapie still down, but after a while he is back up. His helmet is
being carried by one of the people next to him. The front has a big chunk
ripped out of it and I imagine he'll have a headache for a while, but he
looks to be ok as well. It looked like he went headfirst into the barriers.
If anybody else wants to comment I'll welcome it, but it looked to me like
Wust was looking for a hole that was simply not there.

Stage 19, Sabinanigo - Calatayud, 222 kms

1. Adriano Baffi Ita Mapei 5.55.26 (38,438 km/h) 2. Asiat Saitov Rus Artiach s.t. 3. Kapars Ozers Lat Motorola s.t. 4. Steffen Wesemann Ger Telekom s.t. 5. Martin van Steen Hol TVM s.t. 6. Pascal Chanteur Fra Chazal s.t. 7. Juan C Dominguez Spa Kelme s.t. 8. Cesary Zamana Pol Motorola s.t. 9. Servais Knaven Net TVM s.t. 10. Mirco Crepaldi Ita Polti s.t. 11. Manuel Abreu-Campos Por Sicasal s.t. 12. Peter van Petegem Hol TVM s.t. 13. Francisco Benitez Spa Kelme s.t. ---- 22. Laurent Jalabert Fra Once s.t.

Overall after 19 stages (no change)

1. Laurent Jalabert Fra Once 90.23.51 2. Abraham Olano Spa Mapei +6.28 3. Johan Bruyneel Bel Once +7.50 4. Melcior Mauri Spa Once +8.51 5. Richard Virenque Fra Lotus +10.31 6. Roberto Pistore Ita Polti +10.40 7. David Garcia Spa Banesto +11.51 8. Daniel Clavero Spa Artiach +12.38 9. Stefano della Santa Ita Mapei +16.24 10. Marcos Serrano Spa Kelme +16.26 11. Michele Bartoli Ita Saeco +17.49 12. Felix Garcia Casas Spa Artiach +19.02 13. Orlando Rodrigues Por Artiach +24.42 ---- 20. Alex Zulle Sch Once +35.25

Other Vuelta classifications as of stage 19 (9/22/95)

  1. Laurent Jalabert    238 pts
  2. Roberto Pistore     124
  3. Alex Zulle           89
  4. Johan Bruyneel       85
  5. Abraham Olano        77

  1. Laurent Jalabert     300 pts
  2. Abraham Olano        170
  3. Marcel Wust          152
  4. Michele Bartoli      127
  5. Adriano Baffi        121

Metas Volantes (Intermediate sprints):
  1. Steffen Wesemann     42 pts
  2. Sven Teutenberg      18
  3. Marcel Wust          18
  4. Laurent Jalabert     16
  5. Erwin Nijboer        13

  1. Once                271.26.00
  2. Mapei               +26.59
  3. Artiach             +38.27
  4. Lotus-Festina       +46.47
  5. Polti               +55.23

More News

   * Marcel Wust was disqualified from the 19th stage of the Tour of Spain
today (Friday). Judges ruled that he had caused the crash with George
Hincappie in the final sprint.

   * Immmediately after the crash (and before DQ), Wurst commented: "No one
is to blame. In the sprints, everyone wants to be in front and it's not

   * Asiat Saitov seemed set to repeat yesterday's victory, but rattled by
the crash, lost his balance and slipped out of his pedals for a moment.

   * Stage winner Adriano Baffi has consistently finished in the top 10 on
more than half of the stages, twice in third place. "This victory is a
prize for not having given up, despite the difficulties," he said.
Back to Menu

Stage 20 Notes and Results

Race Description - Alcala de Henares-Fiat, 41km ITT, 23 Sept 95

Coverage picks up with Mauri climbing on the course. The beginning of the
course is quite difficult. Ugrumov comes through with the best time yet:

Back to Mauri. While Jalabert's overall lead is secure, Mauri and Bruyneel
are close together for the final podium place, and if Olano faltered, 2nd
is not totally out of reach. But I wouldn't expect it, Olano has been
unbeatable in the TTs.

Now to Jalabert, he's been underway for about 11 minutes. Saiz is shouting

Merckx came through losing 2 minutes on Ugrumov, next in should be Zulle.

Jalabert, now 15 minutes underway, is out of the saddle on a short climb.
This has got to be taped.

Zulle comes in around 54 minutes, obviously not giving it his all today
with his time losses in the mountains.

Mauri is catching Pistore up a slight climb, but Pistore doesn't want to
let him go. Alongside, he picks it up, trying to hang on. Now Mauri goes
by, Pistore a couple meters to his side, holding the pace for now.

Della Santa comes into the finish, well back in 30-something place.

Pistore is still fighting to stay with Mauri, sitting a couple lengths off
his wheel, but Mauri opens it up ever so slightly.

Olano is rolling along, looking very comfortable. Back to Jalabert, also
comfortable. But we haven't heard anything from the relative positions.
Here we go, after 33 km, Olano had almost 1:30 on Jalabert, and is well
over Bruyneel too.

Pistore and Mauri come into the finish, almost alongside. Mauri has the new
best time.

Bruyneel is now approaching the finish, looking quite smooth. He comes
under 1km to go, hugging the barriers. Looks like he will take the best
time from Mauri.

But Bruyneel doesn't have the best time for very long. Quickly, Olano is
also on the finish straight, only 300 m to go. He easily has the best time,

Jalabert is the last on the road, 48:30 gone, and not even close to 1km, so
Olano will win the stage as expected, but it won't worry Jalabert much. Now
50 minutes gone, and he still hasn't come under 1km to go. He goes under
the red stripe at about 50:30 or so and will be close to Ugrumov.

Jalabert is now on the final straight. Ugrumov's time goes by and Jalabert
comes in at 51:43.

Unofficial times:
  Olano     49:37
  Bruyneel  50:41
  Mauri     50:58
  Ugrumov   51:37
  Jalabert  51:43
  Ekimov    51:51
  Bobrik    51:58

In the GC nothing really changes. Hanging onto Mauri brought Pistore closer
to Virenque, but he wasn't able to catch him.


   * The two from the crash yesterday, Hincapie and Wust, are still in the
race and finished the stage today, Wust wasn't DQed yesterday, but
relegated to last place in the stage, which, given lying on the ground for
so long he pretty much was anyway.

   * Riis has reportedly signed with Telekom.

Stage 20 Race Results - Fiat - Fiat (Alcala de Henares), ITT - 41 kms

1. Abraham Olano Spa Mapei 49.37 (50,295 km(h) 2. Johan Bruyneel Bel Once +1.04 3. Melcior Mauri Spa Once +1.19 4. Piotr Ugrumov Lat Gewiss +2.00 5. Laurent Jalabert Fra Once +2.06 6. Vjatjeslav Ekimov Rus Novell +2.14 7. Vladislav Bobrik Rus Gewiss +2.21 8. Angel Luis Casero Spa Banesto +2.26 9. Ermanno Brignoli Ita Gewiss +2.29 10. Michael Andersson Swe Sicasal +2.30 11. J Carlos Dominguez Spa Kelme +2.53 12. Richard Virenque Fra Lotus +3.13 13. Alvaro G Galdeano Spa Euskadi +3.19 14. Roberto Pistore Ita Polti +3.20 15. Rosario Fina Ita Saeco +3.21 16. Michele Bartoli Ita Saeco +3.31

Overall after 20 stages

1. Laurent Jalabert Fra Once 91.15.34 2. Abraham Olano Spa Mapei +4.22 3. Johan Bruyneel Bel Once +6.48 4. Melcior Mauri Spa Once +8.04 5. Richard Virenque Fra Lotus +11.38 6. Roberto Pistore Ita Polti +11.54 7. David Garcia Spa Banesto +13.50 8. Daniel Clavero Spa Artiach +15.03 9. Michele Bartoli Ita Saeco +19.14 10. Stefano della Santa Ita Mapei +19.42 Back to Menu

Stage 21 Notes and Results

   * Reflecting on his tour after the final stage Olana said, "I just had
to hope ONCE and Jalabert had a bad day. But it didn't happen."

   * Jalabert also won the King of the Mountains competition, the points
competition for consistency, and five stages on his way to the overall

   * The ONCE team finished with three riders in the top four and easily
won the team competition.

   * Jalabert and his ONCE teammates crossed the line together, a display
of team solidarity in their yellow ONCE jerseys.

Stage 21, Alcala-Madrid, 166km, 24 Sept 95.

Coverage picks up with the peloton coming onto the final circuit, 5.3km,
which they do 8 times. Unsurprisingly, ONCE is reigning supreme, all 9
riders leading the field. A huge crowd lines the street in yellow shirts, I
assume workers or fans of ONCE.

Casas (Artiach), as if sensing the TV has come on, attacks out of the
field, he gets a bit of a gap. No big reaction behind. He gets a hundred
meters or so and dangles. The field strings out behind ONCE.

Casas holds on fairly well. But then, as they finish the circuit another
rider attacks, and Casas is brought back. The Euskadi rider has now gotten
a gap, Galdeano it is, and it is his turn to dangle a little off the front.
7 laps to go.

Now we get a shot of Spanish royalty, somebody important coming in to the

A couple of others have bridged up to Galdeano -- Herve (Festina) and
Cabello (Kelme). ONCE still seems calm leading the chase behind. The gap
has yet to open to a serious distance.

The three come through the 1km stripe, +6 laps. They have been able to
build the gap a little more. The circuit is simply up and down a wide flat
street in the middle of Madrid, so any attackers are always in sight.

Turns out the yellow fans are all blind fans here to share the ONCE
victory, 10-15,000 in all, ONCE being, of course, the National Association
for the Blind.

The gap is 17 seconds as they come around a U-turn and back down towards
the finish. They are really clicking off the laps pretty well. Still with
ONCE leading the chase, kind of surprising that none of the sprinters'
teams have given a hand.

Field comes through 5 laps to go.

Saitov gets a quick bike change, doesn't seem to be a mechanical problem,
the team car rolled well ahead of the field, Saitov came in, hopped off the
one bike, and onto the other one. Like a pit stop for new tires, I guess,
though I wouldn't understand what he would want different now. The whole
stage has been pretty flat and the first 100km pretty calm.

Now the gap has grown to 30 seconds, and they come under 1km to go with +4
laps. Ff Saitov was getting a bike with different wheels or the like for
the sprint, Artiach has some work to do to get the sprint in the first

Still ONCE leading, but the field is not all that strung out behind, seems
they are not chasing with the most absolute of purpose.

Now Artiach puts a couple of riders into the rotation at the front and the
gap comes down a little bit.

The front three go under 1km, +3laps. The field comes behind through the
U-turn, and looks more strung out. Now it is not ONCE on the front, but
instead Castellblanch and Artiach are pulling the field through the finish

The three now go around the other U-turn. They are still working quite well
together, no sign of losing commitment. It is, of course, the only chance
for these three.

But the chance looks ever smaller, Novell has put a couple up to the lead
rotation as well.

Castellblanch, then Artiach pulling through at the front. No word on the
gap, though it looks to be coming down.

Through the U-turn -- Castellblanch is out of the saddle to bring the pace
back up. A very long line is strung out behind.

The front three come through 2 laps to go, gap is under 20 seconds.

We go to a long commercial and I wouldn't be surprised if the gap is gone
by the time they get done.

Finally back to the race. The three have been able to hold on, but the
chase is definitely having an effect. Artiach leads into a U-turn quite
close after the three escapees went through. I have the feeling they have
them in their sights and are letting them sit out there to prevent more
attacks. It worked with Ugrumov on Friday, but was so close.

Front three under 1km to go +1 lap. Herve pulls through. The gap looks like
it is down to 10 seconds or less.

As Herve drops back he gives up and falls back to the rapidly closing field.

Henn (Telekom) attacks by the two remaining, but he doesn't get much of a
gap as they hear the bell. The field brings him back, 5km to go and

Polti takes over the lead, Pistore in second place, Virenque is in 6th,
Saitov in 5th. Virenque has actually been sprinting for the intermediate
sprints today. Maybe he and Pantani have a bet on who can sprint the best.

Another attack, Eros Poli gets a tiny gap, quickly followed by Saitov. Then
a Castellblanch, Espinosa pulls through keeping the pace high. Hundertmarck
in second, looks around for Wesemann.

Espinosa is leading it out, but the field is not that strung out as all the
teams are fighting toward the front.

Motorola is massing behind Castellblanch, lots of Telekom as well.

Saitov is near the front, but in the wind. They come into the last U-turn,
less than 2km.

Hundertmarck (Telekom) attacks hard out of the corner. He gets a decent
gap. Under 1km, Castellblanch tries to bring him back, but he fights hard
for the gap, he still has it, about 400m to go. But, Castellblanch is
bringing him back.

The field spreads out as they come by on the right of Hundertmarck.

The sprint starts, chaos on the road.

Skibby goes at 200m, Saitov on his wheel, Wesemann on his right, Wust
coming on the left, the three fight it out, now Skibby in front, but Wust
has a huge burst of speed and pulls by to win by a bike length. Skibby and
Wesemann fighting for 2nd, it's close, but Skibby pulls it out by less than
a wheel. Saitov is 4th, and Baffi takes 5th place. Virenque was pretty
close behind, but I don't know if he equalled Pantani's 6th in a sprint.

Jalabert on the podium, clearly the dominant force in this Vuelta -- 5
stage wins and the KOM and points jersey to go along with Amarillo. ONCE
also puts riders in 3rd and 4th and wins the overall. They were truly never

Stage 21/Final - Alcala de Henares - Madrid, 168 kms

1 Marcel Wust (Germany-Castellblanch) 04:14:59 2 Jesper Skibby (Denmark-Verzekeringe) 3 Steffen Wesemann (Germany-Telekom) 4 Asiate Saitov (Russia-Artiach) 5 Adriano Baffi (Italy-Mapei) 6 Mirco Crepaldi (Italy-Polti) 7 Sven Teutenberg (Germany-Novell Software) 8 Richard Virenque (France-Lotus) 9 Paolo Fornaciari (Italy-Saeco) 10 Cezary Zamana (Poland-Motorola) all same time

Final General Classification

1. Laurent Jalabert (France-ONCE) 95:30:33 2. Abraham Olano (Spain-Mapei) +4:22 3. Johan Bruyneel (Belgium-ONCE) 6:48 4. Melchior Mauri (Spain-ONCE) 8:04 5. Richard Virenque (France-Lotus) 11:38 6. Roberto Pistore (Italy-Polti) 11:54 7. David Garcia (Spain-Banesto) 13:50 8. Daniel Clavero (Spain-Artiach) 15:03 9. Michele Bartoli (Italy-Saeco) 19:14 10. Steffano Della Santa (Italy-Mapei) 19:42 11. Marcos Serrano Spa Kelme +20.24 12. Felix Garcia Casas Spa Artiach +21.18 13. Angel Luis Casero Spa Banesto +26.18 14. Orlando Rodrigues Por Artiach +27.21 15. J M Uria Gonzalez Spa Castellblanch +28.51 16. David Plaza Spa Lotus +29.20 17. Mauro Gianetti Sch Polti +30.12 18. Federico Echave Spa Mapei +31.04 19. Garcia Espana Spa Artiach +35.50 20. Alex Zulle Sch Once +37.49 21. Axel Merckx Bel Motorola +38.02 22. Piotr Ugrumov Lat Gewiss +43.50 23. Manuel Pascual Spa Artiach +43.57 24. Oscar Pellicioli Ita Polti +45.26 25. Vjatjeslav Ekimov Rus Novell +46.48 26. Stephan Goubert Fra Lotus +47.09 27. Eddy Bouwmans Hol Novell +54.38 28. Ermanno Brignoli Ita Gewiss +1.00.31 29. Neil Stephens Aus Once +1.00.41 30. Francisco Benítez Spa Kelme +1.00.53 Back to Menu