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2001 Vuelta

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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti


57th Vuelta a España Preview

Spain, September 7- 29, 2002

Stages & Results

Stage 21 - September 29: Warner Bros Park - Stadion Santiago Bernabeu - ITT, 41.2 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

The final stage of the 2002 Vuelta is a 41.2 km time trial, finishing in Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, for the last 100 years the home of Real Madrid. The race is definitely not over, as last year's edition showed: In 2001 Angel Casero overcame the 25 second deficit to Oscar Sevilla to win the Vuelta on the last day.

The stage starts in Warner Bros Park, passing via San Martín de la Vega and Perales del Río and then into Madrid, where it's sure to be followed by a big crowd in the Spanish capital.

Stage 20 - September 28: Avila-Warner Bros Park (S. Martín de la Vega), 141.2 km

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With the mountains behind them at last, the sprinters can look forward to one more stage before the final time trial in Madrid. Today's 141 km leg is from Avila to Warner Bros Park, with only a couple of small climbs to break things up. When they hit Fuenlabrada (km 116), the riders will be cheered on by a big and enthusiastic crowd. From then on, it's just 25 km to the finish in Warner Bros Part, which will also be popular for the fans.

Stage 19 - September 27: Béjar - Avila, 177.8 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

Another tricky stage for the GC riders, this one is from Béjarto Avila over 177.8 km. Passing via the Puerto de Serranillos at km 115, it's the last real chance for the climbers to make their mark. The Puerto is not particularly steep, but is 16.7 km long, meaning that the top riders will need to concentrate and not let any dangerous moves go.

The Vuelta first visited Avila in 1971 when Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk won the stage.

Stage 18 - September 26: Salamanca - Estación de la Covatilla (Béjar), 193.7 km

Full results & report
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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

The end of the Vuelta is in sight, but there is still some racing to be done, as this tough stage from Salamanca to Estación de la Covatilla (Béjar) will demonstrate. Finishing with a 9.5 km climb at 8% average, the stage contains four Cat. 1 and 2 climbs in its final half. The classification should be decided by this stage, but there could also be a few surprises, especially if the time gaps are close.

This is the first time that the race has visited La Covatilla, and the riders will finish at 2010 m altitude.

Stage 17 - September 25: Benavente - Salamanca, 145.6 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

Today's stage from Benavente to Salamanca does not have a particularly fearsome profile, but the wind and weather conditions are expected to play a big role in the outcome. The 146 km stage includes three intermediate sprints, the last of which comes at 10 km to go.

The Vuelta started in Salamanca last year with a time trial, won by David Millar. The year before, Davide Bramati won a small sprint after a breakaway group succeeded in escaping the peloton.

Stage 16 - September 24: Avilés - León, 154.7 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

The 16th stage from Aviles to Leon follows the second rest day, and by now the shape of the general classification should be clear. Today's stage includes the tough Pajares pass, a 13.6 km climb averaging 6.6%, but with a maximum grade of 17% - not one for the sprinters, although there are still 65 km of racing following the top of the climb.

The Vuelta first visited Leon in 1945, when Julián Berrendero won the stage. Last year Erik Zabel triumphed in a bunch sprint after 140 km.

Stage 15 - September 22: Gijón - Angliru, 176.7 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

The Angliru is back! This fearsome climb, first used in the 1999 Vuelta, has been the bane of many riders. 12.9 kilometres long at an average of 9.6%, the Alto de l'Angliru gets much steeper at the halfway point. A maximum gradient of 23.6% will see riders fitting some very large sprockets on their rear wheels.

The 176 km stage starts in Gijón and includes the Cat. 1 Puerto Marabio (km 80) as a softener. This is followed by the Cat. 2 Alto de Tenebredo (km 113) and the Cat. 1 Alto del Cordal (km 155). The latter is only 5.5 km long, but averages 9%, meaning that the riders will not be fresh when they hit the Angliru a few km later.

This stage will be crucial in determining who will win the Vuelta.

Stage 14 - September 21: Santander - Gijón, 190.2 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

This long, undulating stage from Santander to Gijon will require the riders to have their wits about them. The stage is very suited to a bunch finish, as many of the GC riders will be thinking about tomorrow's tough stage to El Angliru. The sprinters teams should make the most of their opportunity, and control the stage. However the small climbs in the last 40 km may break things up a little.

Stage 13 - September 20: Burgos - Santander, 189.8 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Dairy

A few categorised climbs break up this otherwise downhill stage from Burgos to Santander. The toughest mountain comes at 83 km to go, with the Cat. 1 Alto Portillo de la Sia, a 7 km climb averaging 6.1%. Following that there are two Cat. 3 climbs at km 135 and 145, but the finish is well suited to a bunch sprint.

Santander, in Cantabria, is one of the more popular Vuelta cities. It was first visited in 1935 and last in 2000, when Mariano Piccoli won.

Stage 12 - September 19: Segovia - Burgos, 210.5 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

The Vuelta's longest stage this year is from Segovia to Burgos, over 210.5 kilometres. Definitely suited to the sprinters, the stage contains three intermediate sprints at Cuellar (km 56), Roa de Duero (km 109) and La Horra (km 115).

The last time the Vuelta visited Burgos was in 1998, when a stage started there with Abraham Olano in the leader's jersey. Olano went on to win the Vuelta that year, but unfortunately will not be taking part this year, his final year as a pro.

Stage 11 - September 18: Alcobendas - Collado Villalba, 166.1 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

The stage following the first rest day takes the riders 166 km from Alcobendas to Collado Villalba via Madrid, where there is sure to be a big crowd to cheer on the peloton. The stage contains several climbs, including the Cat. 1 Alto de los Leones (1510m, 8km @ 6.2%) after 84 km, and the Puerto de Navacerrada (1880m, 11km @ 5.9%). This should be enough to split the peloton for the final downhill run into Collado Villalba.

Stage 10 - September 16: Córdoba - Córdoba ITT, 36.5 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

Córdoba has another day of racing with stage ten, with La Vuelta's Individual Time Trial. 36.5 kilometres of a relatively easy course through the streets of Córdoba will see some impressive times as well as some high average speeds. In 1997, when Córdoba last saw an ITT, Santiago Botero achieved the victory with a time of 41.11 at an average speed of 50.992 kilometres per hour.

The course undulates slightly over its entirety, from 100 metres above sea level to 150 before dropping down again to 130 metres, with two short climbs in the opening kilometres.

Stage 9 - September 15: Córdoba - Córdoba, 130.2 km

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Danili Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

Córdoba once again bears witness to a stage of the Vuelta. And with its shorter distance of 130 kilometers, you can bet that the riders will try to gain some distance over their opponents before the climb to Alto de San Jerónimo at kilometre 107.

This stage also gives the people of Córdoba three chances to view the race, as not only does the stage start and finish in Córdoba, but the loop visits Córdoba at the 100 kilometre mark.

The sprinters should attempt to take advantage in this stage, gathering as many points as they can.

Stage 8 - September 14: Málaga - Ubrique, 173.6 km

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Stage eight provides the riders with three category climbs, the category two climb of Las Abejas, the third category climb of El Viento and then the first category climb of Puerto de Las Palomas. Three large climbs, the third with an average gradient of 7%, will make this stage appear to go on forever. And with its distance of 174 kilometres, we will see some very tired riders by the completion of the stage.

At least the last 34 kilometres into Ubrique are downhill.

Stage 7 - September 13: Jaen - Malaga, 196.8 km

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Danilo Di Luca Diary

The sprinters, at least those who haven't had their spirits crushed, get another chance today, with the seventh stage bearing little resemblance to the mountains of stage six.

Beginning in Jaen, the stage gently undulates before descending from Antequera to Málaga 200 kilometres later. Teams will have to work the peloton hard if they want to control those who attempt to break away.

The riders will need to conserve some energy though, as the next stage heads back up into the mountains.

Stage 6 - September 12: Granada - La Pandera (Jaen), 153.1 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Diary

Stage six shows no respite for the riders, with the second of the La Vuelta's mountainous stages. The race leaves Granada and before the riders are even warmed up heads up to Las Encebras, a third category climb. A few more ups and downs before kilometre 73, when the riders start the descent down to Jaen, the only real break for the stage.

The it's back up, with the riders facing Los Villares, a second category climb and then comes the 13 kilometres that lead to Sierra de la Pandera. Sierra de la Pandera, a special category climb of 700 meters over eight kilometres, will break a number of rider's spirits, with one short section claiming the race's steepest gradient of a whopping 15%.

La Pandera is known as the southern Angliru due to it's spirit crushing steepness, and those who wish to win the 2002 Vuelta a España will need to ensure that they have plenty of energy in reserve before the climb starts.

Stage 5 - September 11: El Ejido o Almeria - Sierra Nevada, 198 km

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

Start time: 11:45 CEST
Finish time: 17:15 CEST

The mountains. Stage five will see the riders leave El Ejido for a day of hurt, culminating in a climb up Alto de Sierra Nevada at the 160 kilometre mark. The route throws a number of climbs at the riders, starting with Bérchules, a second category climb, in the first 40 kilometres of the stage, and Lanzarón, a third category climb at 117 kilometres.

But it will be Sierra Nevada that separates the men from the boys, rising 1800 meters over 37 kilometres, averaging a gradient of between 4.7% and 8.3%. The last time La Vuelta visited Sierra Nevada was in 1997 when the French rider Ledanois won the stage.

Stage 4 - September 10: Aguilas - Roquetas De Mar, 149.5 km

Start time: 13:47 CEST
Finish time: 17:15 CEST

Full results & report
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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

Starting in Aguilas, the fourth stage of La Vuelta is almost a mirror of stage three, with a relatively flat 150km course that is downhill for the last half into Roquetas De Mar.

This should be a rather pleasant stage if the temperature is down, but with the area being one of the few in Europe where rainfall is scarce, the stage could be a killer if the temperatures are up. The sun shines for more than 320 days a year in Roquetas De Mar, great for the tourists, not so good for the riders.

Stage 3 - September 9: San Vicente de Raspeig - Murcia, 134.2 km

Start time: 14:08 CEST
Finish time: 17:15 CEST

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Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary

Looking more like a time trial stage, day three of La Vuelta is a mere 134 kilometres long, with only one climb, a 13 kilometre, 150 meter rise half way into the course. Favouring the sprinters, those who managed to keep to the front in the previous mountain stage will be in good standing for the top position.

With the last section of the stage being downhill into the beautiful city of Murcia, the riders will certainly be pushing the bigger gears in an attempt to rack up points in the last two sprints.

All set
Photo: © Unipublic
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Stage 2 - September 8: Valencia - Alcoy, 144.7 km

Start time: 13:44 CEST
Finish time: 17:15 CEST

Results
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Stage two will see the riders leave Valencia towards the first of the big climbs of this years Vuelta, Alto del Portillol, a category one climb of 500 metres over eight kilometres. With this climb just under eighty kilometres into stage two, it will certainly wipe any smiles from the faces of the riders. A second, easier climb up to El Revolcat will give the riders an easy 20km ride before the short climb into Alcoi. Good team tactics will be needed if the teams wish to have their sprinters among the front group.

Previous Vuelta's have seen huge crowds forming to view the race, so once again we should see a large number of cheering race fans lining the route. The people of Alcoi actually get twice the viewing pleasure, as the race visits Alcoi twice in the final 30 kilometres of the stage.

US Postal
Photo: © Graham Watson/Unipublic
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Stage 1 - September 7: Valencia - TTT, 24.6 km

ONCE-Eroski started the Vuelta in the best possible manner, winning the first stage team time trial in Valencia. The yellow clad squad directed by Manolo Saiz rode the 24.6 km course in 26'21, an average speed of 56.01 km/h. They finished 14 seconds ahead of US Postal, and 15 seconds ahead of Kelme, and Joseba Beloki was awarded the first leader's gold jersey.

Full report and results
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Vuelta Features

Latest Photos - Vuelta España - Photos from all stages, sign-ons and post-stage interviews
Added today: Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary - Stage 21 - It's over!, Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary - Stage 19 & 20 - Suffering
Recent features: , Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary - Stage 18 - Good Day sunshine, Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary - No crystal ball (st. 17), Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary - A weird stage (st. 16), Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary - f-f: freddo and fatica on l'Angliru (st. 15), Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary - Normal stage until the disaster (st. 14), Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Dairy - Relaxing stage today (st. 13), Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary - We went how fast? (st. 12), Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta Diary - Really strong!, Jose Miguel Echavarri - a rare interview with the iBanesto.com director (also in Spanish), Iban Mayo - The great orange hope (also in Castellano), An interview with Team Phonak - Talking in the Phonakular, Johan Bruyneel interview - USPS plans for the Vuelta, Stagiaires for 2002, Latest team transfers


Vuelta News

Monday, September 30
News - Stage 21 wrap up, Post stage comments, Winner's profile, How the Vuelta was won
Sunday, September 29
News - Stage 20 wrap up, Post stage comments, Oscar Sevilla turns 26 tomorrow, Zabel and Osa claim points and mountains classifications, Stage 21: Warner Bros Park - Stadion Santiago Bernabeu ITT
Saturday, September 28
News - Stage 19 wrap up, Post stage comments, Victories may help extend iBanesto sponsorship, Who was Perdiguero working for?, Stage 20: Avila - Warner Bros Park
Friday, September 27
News - Stage 18 wrap up, Post stage comments, Polartec to sponsor a team, Kelme and Look together again, Stage 19: Béjar - Avila
Thursday, September 26
News - Stage 17 wrap up, Post stage comments, Italians dominate bunch sprints, Pro motorcyclists visit Vuelta, Free tickets for the Bernabeu stadium available, Stage 18: Salamanca - Estación de la Covatilla
Wednesday, September 25
News - Stage 16 wrap up, Post stage comments, TV figures show L'Angliru's popularity, 48 tested on rest day, Stage 17: Benavente - Salamanca, 145.6 km
Tuesday, September 24
News - Rest Day 2 wrap up, The last five days, Bruyneel comments on Heras' win, Gonzalez recognises his error, Millar definitely out of Vuelta, says sorry to team for protest, Stage 16: Avilés - León
Monday, September 23
News - Stage 15 wrap up, Post stage comments, More riders abandon after yesterday's crash, Spectators behave on l'Angliru, Blood controls before stage 15, Perez gets his bike back, Second rest day tomorrow
Sunday, September 22
News - Stage 14 wrap up, Post stage comments, The crash, Stage 15 preview: Gijon - El Angliru, Miss and Mr Vuelta 2002
Saturday, September 21
News - Stage 13 wrap up, Post stage comments, Gonzalez not looking for a battle with Sevilla, Four less as Blijlevens and Mercado pull out, Index-Alexia down to three, Stage 14: Santander - Gijón preview
Friday, September 20
News - Stage 12 wrap up, Post stage comments, Azevedo turns 29, 41 riders out so far, Di Luca donates to Multiple Sclerosis, Stage 13 preview: Burgos - Santander
Thursday, September 19
News - Stage 11 wrap up, Post stage comments, Vinokourov pulls out, More blood tests, all OK, Big crowds expected for the Angliru stage, Stage 12: Segovia - Burgos
Wednesday, September 18
News - Rest Day wrap up: What has passed, what lies ahead
Tuesday, September 17
News - Stage 10 wrap up, Post stage comments, Winners and losers today, Blood checks this morning, Rest day tomorrow
Monday, September 16
News - Stage 9 wrap up, Post stage quotes, Freire and Mancebo quit, Hruska and Barry don't start, Mauri retires, Stage 10 preview
Sunday, September 15
News - Stage 8 wrap up, Post stage quotes, Siesta time for Cipollini, Jazztel to get new sponsor?, Stage 9: Córdoba - Córdoba
Saturday, September 14
News - Stage 7 wrap up, Post stage comments, Sevilla admits to tactical error, Simoni wants a podium place, Vueltita Phonak, Tomorrow not easy
Friday, September 13
News - Stage 6 wrap up, Post stage quotes, Laiseka stitched up, Birthdays for Camenzind and Belda, Luis Pérez loses bike, Vuelta 2005 to start in Granada
Thursday, September 12
News - Stage 5 wrap up, Post stage comments, No start for Savoldelli, Cipollini out on Sunday, More climbing tomorrow, Mariano Piccoli turns 32
Sunday, September 8
News - Vuelta España news: Stage 1 wrap up, Post stage quotes, First Vuelta controls negative, Spanish directors optimistic
Saturday, September 7
News - Casero confident, Saiz envisions drama, Zabel, Lampre-Daikin
Friday, September 6
News - Fagnini will miss Vuelta, Mapei-Quick Step for Vuelta, Vuelta blood controls all negative
Thursday, September 5
News - Saiz eager for Beloki victory, More Vuelta team selections
Wednesday, September 4
News - Vuelta: Telekom to ride for Zabel, Team Coast, Domo-Farm Frites, Index Alexia selections
Tuesday, September 3
News - Phonak for the Vuelta, Fassa Bortolo for the Vuelta, Vandenbroucke will not ride Vuelta, Savoldelli definite for Telekom
Monday, September 2
News - The Vuelta approaches, Cipollini at the helm of Acqua e Sapone, Saeco-Longoni Sport with three leaders at the Vuelta