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2001 Vuelta

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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti


57th Vuelta a España

Spain, September 7- 29, 2002

Vai Dani! Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta diary

 

Danilo Di Luca
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Nationality: Italian
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… "

Ciao, cyclingnews.com!
Danilo Di Luca

Danilo Di Luca's official website - www.danilodiluca.com

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