Vuelta News for September 12, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones
Vuelta España news: Stage 5 wrap up
The first mountain stage of the Vuelta greeted the riders on day 5 of
the three week tour, taking place from El Ejido o Almeria to Sierra Nevada
over 198 km. With the final climb measuring 37 kilometres, it was a matter
of survival of the strongest. Surprisingly, many of the favourites were
happy to let 10 riders get away on the climb to contest the stage, with
Guido Trentin (Cofidis) winning in front of Felix Garcia Casas (BigMat).
Oscar Sevilla and Danilo Di Luca both put around 40 seconds into Joseba
Beloki and his group, but it was ONCE's Mikel Zarrabeitia (4th today)
who ended up in the gold jersey as race leader.
Full results & report
Post stage comments
Guido Trentin (Cofidis, 1st stage)
Photo: © Yuzuru Sunada
"I have to give thanks to Mauro Giannetti who has supported me a great
deal and marked my steps, and at the same time I dedicate this victory
to my daughter who will be born next November."
"I chose the Cofidis team because at the international level it is important
and we have a magnificent squad, including Massimiliano Lelli."
"As for what happened on the climb, there were many attacks with a natural
selection. I got in one of the breaks and I took the wheel of Garcia Casas.
When I saw that Zarrabeitia was coming, I attacked and therefore could
take the victory."
Mikel Zarrabeitia (ONCE, 1st GC)
I have never been the leader before and this was a coincidence, but
I am very happy. I have always done well in this stage, in 1994 I finished
third in Sierra Nevada, but I never thought that I would win the leadership
of the Vuelta at the end of my career."
"Although I will wear the jersey tomorrow I will work to make the race
hard for my two captains Beloki and Gonzalez de Galdeano. Manolo Saiz
hasn't got a lot of faith in me, and nor do I, my work in this team is
to help these two riders."
Oscar Sevilla (Kelme, 7th stage)
"The whole team did a great job and we have done some damage although
the differences were not great, there was a lot of vigilance today. The
important thing is that I feel good and have good morale. I will continue
fighting for the victory and attacking when I am able."
No start for Savoldelli
Giro d'Italia winner Paolo Savoldelli (Index-Alexia) decided not to
start the fifth stage of the Vuelta. Savoldelli was lying in 198th place
following a bad start to the tour, including a crash near the end of stage
4 which resulted in a dislocated right shoulder.
Savoldelli had indicated that he was only riding the race at the request
of his sponsors, and to assist Ivan Quaranta in the sprints and his withdrawal
was no surprise. Nor was the abandonment of Ivan Quaranta (who also fell
heavily yesterday) in today's first mountain stage.
Another rider to abandon after his crash yesterday was Benjamin Noval
(Relax-Fuenlabrada), who came to grief on a roundabout with 10 km to go.
Noval fractured his thumb and his withdrawal from the race will hurt the
Relax team for their GC chances.
Cipollini out on Sunday
Double stage winner Mario Cipollini has announced that he will retire
from the Vuelta on Sunday, in order to continue his preparation for the
World Championships in Zolder. Cipollini won the third and fourth stages
of the Vuelta, and will have possibly two more chances (Friday and Sunday)
to win a stage.
More climbing tomorrow
Stage 6 of the Vuelta
will be another mountain top finish, although the final climb will be
significantly shorter than the 37 kilometre drag up to Alto de Sierra
Nevada today. Instead the riders will be faced with the steeper La Pandera,
a new climb in the Vuelta. It's 8.3 kilometres long at an average gradient
of 6.4%, with a maximum of 15% in a section at 3 km to go, reaching an
altitude of 1840 metres. La Pandera comes at the end of a 153 kilometre
stage, with the Cat. 2 climb of Puerto de los Villares preceding it.
Expect to see Sevilla, Simoni, Casagrande, Beloki, Gonzalez de Galdeano,
Mancebo and Heras in action tomorrow.
Mariano Piccoli turns 32
Today's Vuelta birthday boy is Mariano Piccoli (Lampre-Daikin) who was
born on September 11, 1970. Piccoli has been a professional for 11 years,
winning a stage in the Giro as well as two stages in the 2000 Vuelta.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)