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 9 - September 15: Córdoba - Córdoba, 130.2 km
Unforgettable - for the wrong reasons!
The ninth stage of this Vuelta will not be an easy one to forget. And not because
of a great result, but because today was one of those days that starts badly
and then gets worse!
The great threat of these shorter Vuelta stages struck today when I found myself
in the wrong group after the peloton split in two (because of a car park!) just
as we started to go hardest.
By the time it came back together I was in the second half and there was no
chance to regroup. The peloton had split up!
I tried with all my strength to repair the gap but I was the only rider highly
classified rider so nobody was prepared to help me. Banesto had eight men in
the second group, but Mancebo was not well, so they were looking after him.
And therefore my chance in the general classification is gone. I was very demoralised
after the finish. But I went back to my hotel room, looked at myself in the
mirror and said, "I rode badly, I made a mistake, but I'm not yet a dead man.
"Tomorrow, I will pin my number back on, race the time trial, and then it's
a rest day. After that we'll see if I can redeem myself. Maybe I'll get away
in an escape
Danilo Di Luca
Danilo Di Luca's official
website - www.danilodiluca.com
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