57th Vuelta a España
Spain, September 7- 29, 2002
Vai Dani! Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta diary
Danilo Di Luca
Photo: © Sirotti
Team: Saeco-Longoni Sport
Italian speedster Danilo Di Luca from the Saeco-Longoni Sport Team will be
writing a diary for Cyclingnews.com during this year's Vuelta a España.
The classy rider has been in excellent form leading into the 2002 Vuelta, with
a recent victory in the Giro Del
Veneto showing he has hit Spain's major tour with motivation and speed.
With his consistent performances in Italy during August, Di Luca is looking
to the Vuelta with confidence. "The Giro del Veneto was my last race before
the Vuelta... we've got big plans for the Spanish race. Simoni will be going
for the overall and I'm looking for stage wins."
Index to all entries
Stage 18 - September 26: Salamanca - Estación de la Covatilla
(Béjar), 193.7 km
Good Day Sunshine
It was a great stage today; I was going for the win but there was nothing I could do. In the first part of the race I attacked a lot. I really gave it my all but the group was on my tail all day!
I knew that if I was in the finale with Heras & Kelme on the finishing climb it would be tough for me to play my cards for a stage win, so Thursday morning, I looked carefully at the stage profile with my direttore sportivo Beppe Martinello to find the right place for an attack.
A break went - and it was a good one - but I didn't make it, so at that point, Simoni wanted to keep the break from getting too much of a lead. In fact, when we hit the climb, we pulled back a minute, but it was the turn of USPS to pull and they didn't seem interested so Santi Blanco had an easy time of it up the final ascent.
Well, the last part of the climb was really tough; I just went up at my pace because to keep the pace of the first few riders would have blown me up. In fact, that happened to a lot of guys today.
I recovered well on the final climb and eventually finished 13th at 1.13 behind Heras, so I'm pretty satisfied with this. Today was the 18th stage and I'm still competitive, so I'll try again to do something tomorrow. So send me your support!
Danilo Di Luca's official
website - www.danilodiluca.com
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