Vuelta News for September 20, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry
Stage 12 wrap up
Today's stage from Segovia to Burgos was the longest of the Vuelta at
210.5 kilometres, and also the fastest, with the riders covering the distance
at an average speed of over 49 km/h. The profile of the stage suited the
sprinters, but their teams had to do a bit of work to pull back an 18
man break that had escaped after 63 km. Eventually Telekom and Fassa Bortolo
caught the last man standing Toni Tauler with 2 km to go, setting things
up for a fast bunch sprint. Fassa's Alessandro Petacchi clocked up win
number 12 of the season, beating Erik Zabel and Angelo Furlan in the dash
for the line.
Full results & report
Luca's Vuelta Diary
Post stage comments
Photo: © AFP
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo, 1st stage)
"First of all I must thank my team for its work in the last kilometre.
I am very happy, as today my father came to the Vuelta, and I wanted to
win a stage and dedicate it to my grandfather who passed away the first
"It was a complicated sprint since Bennati and Lombardi were going,
and I knew if I didn't launch the sprint from that distance I couldn't
"As far as the World's go, we have a great team as in other years, but
there is always something that does not go right. The important thing
is to have two or three leaders and to be able to choose any one of them
Antonio Tauler (Kelme, so close and yet so far...)
"In the last moments I was dreaming of winning the stage, despite having
been in several attacks throughout the last 145km. It was a difficult
stage because they always leave everything to Kelme, but we can't do everything."
Oscar Sevilla (Kelme, 1st GC)
Photo: © Lavuelta.com
"We have given Toni Tauler freedom to try to play a few of his tricks,
because he has deserved it."
"Tomorrow is the climb of the Portillo de la Sia, which I do not know
well, but I've been told it's a stage that will be difficult to control."
Roberto Heras (USPS, 3rd GC)
"Today was very fast and crazy, with the kind of speed that can make
a difference in the last week."
"We will see who the leader of Kelme is on the Covatilla [stage 18].
We'll see because they are so close on overall time. The logical thing
would be that they don't attack each other, and both remain leaders."
Azevedo turns 29
Portuguese rider Jose Azevedo is one of the unsung heroes of the ONCE-Eroski
team. A good climber and rider against the clock, Azevedo joined ONCE
in 2001 after victories in several major Portuguese races. This year he
finished 6th in the Tour de France behind his team leaders Joseba Beloki
and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, and he is again working hard for them in
the Vuelta. Today was his 29th birthday, and we'll surely see more of
him in future.
41 riders out so far
The Vuelta is over halfway now, and the overall average speed is a high
41.36 km/h. The pace has certainly taken its toll on the peloton, with
41 riders abandoning so far of 206 starters. At the same point during
this year's Tour de France, only 12 riders had abandoned, although the
mountains had not yet started.
During today's stage, two Lampre riders Milan Kadlec and Johan Verstrepen
abandoned, while Phonak's Gonzalo Bayarri did not take the start.
Di Luca donates to Multiple Sclerosis
Danilo Di Luca has decided to donate part of the proceeds of the sale
of his "Killer" T-shirts to the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association.
"I strongly support this initiative as every time that I get in the saddle,
thinking about all those people who suffer from this terrible illness,
I feel very lucky and want to help as many of them as possible," said
The t-shirts can be found by visiting www.danilodiluca.it
or going to this link: www.danilodiluca.it/pages_e/merch.htm
Stage 13 preview: Burgos - Santander
Stage 13 from Burgos
to Santander will be run over 189.9 km and includes several categorised
climbs. The most difficult of these comes at km 99 with the Alto Portillo
de la Sia, a 7 km climb averaging 6.1%. It may be too early in the stage
to cause a selection, but much will depend on how the leading teams wish
to treat the stage. The final climb of the Alto Fuente de Las Varas (Cat.
3) is at 45 km to go, so the stage could well finish in another bunch
Join us tomorrow at 14:45 CEST/05:45 PDT/08:45 EDT/22:45 Aust. EST for
live coverage of Stage 13.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)