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57th Vuelta a España
Spain, September 7- 29, 2002
Stage 6 - September 12: Granada - La Pandera (Jaen), 153.1 km
Complete Live Report
Start time: 13:00 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews.com's coverage of the sixth stage of the Vuelta, the second mountain stage in the tour, and one that's likely to cause a few more shake ups in the GC. Today's stage is shorter than yesterday at 153 km, starting in Granada and finishing in Jaen with the climb of La Pandera, an 8.3 km climb averaging 6.4% reaching 1840m in altitude. There are two other climbs before this: the Cat. 3 Alto de las Encebras (km 46) and the Cat. 2 Puerto de los Villares (km 140). The latter's summit is only a few km before the start of the final climb, meaning that 19 km of the last 24 km is uphill.
The race leader is Mikel Zarrabeitia (ONCE) who donned his first ever Vuelta leader's jersey after finishing fourth yesterday. At 16 seconds behind him is the winner of yesterday's stage, Guido Trentin (Cofidis), while ONCE's Jorg Jaksche is in third at 35 seconds.
15:00 CEST - 87 km/66 km to go
The break is as follows:
Aitor Garmendia (Team Coast)
Note the presence of mountains leader Mederic Clain (Cofidis), who won the day's first climb of the Alto de las Encebras, which will help his chances of keeping the jersey tonight.
15:09 CEST - 94 km/59 km to go
88.1 kilometres were covered in the first two hours.
15:16 CEST - 102 km/51 km to go
The best placed rider in the break is José Gutierrez (Kelme), who is 29th on GC at 3'22. He's still the virtual leader, but only just.
15:24 CEST - 108 km/45 km to go
15:30 CEST - 114 km/39 km to go
Sevilla has to stop and change his back wheel. He has to chase back on again, with the help of two teammates.
An injury update: Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel) who fell heavily on stage 5 when an object lodged in his front wheel, had 42 stitches to his face today. He had cuts to his face and lower lip and a broken elbow, but was able to leave hospital today.
15:38 CEST - 118 km/35 km to go
Pradera, Diaz Justo and Glomser are sharing the work in the peloton, as they ride over a narrow cobbled street in Jaen to polite applause from the various fans. The gap is 3'32.
15:46 CEST - 123 km/30 km to go
The gap has come down to 3'20 as Fofonov forces the pace in the break, getting rid of a few riders. Hruska is right on his wheel.
José Iván Gutierrez (iBanesto) attacks the break (not to be confused with Kelme's Jose Gutierrez). He gets a gap.
15:51 CEST - 126 km/27 km to go
The six catch the three, and four riders behind them should also get on the back. The end result: 13 men in front, three now chasing them. Make that two as Mederic Clain is caught by the bunch. That means he won't be able to contest the second category climb that's coming up.
Juan Fuentes (Saeco) attacks the peloton.
15:56 CEST - 128 km/25 km to go
Fuentes' attack has gone nowhere, as the iBanesto squad chases him down on the descent, 2'14 behind the leaders.
15:58 CEST - 129 km/24 km to go
Vicente Garcia Acosta, Jon Odriozola (iBanesto) and Andrei Kaschekin (Domo) are working at the front of the peloton now.
16:03 CEST - 132 km/21 km to go
Iker Flores bridges up to Tauler, as Rebollo, Mauri and Hruska follow close behind. But they don't close the gap, and Flores and Tauler get 10 seconds.
16:07 CEST - 134 km/19 km to go
Gilberto Simoni has a dabble off the front of the peloton, causing no small degree of panic. The favourites get to the front and chase the Saeco man down. Garcia (Kelme) and Aitor Osa (iBanesto) bridge up to him, followed by Jeker (Maia) and Caucchioli.
Mario Cipollini is wearing his regulation sleeveless Acqua e Sapone top at the back of the peloton, cruising along with his teammate Mario Scirea.
16:13 CEST - 137 km/16 km to go
The sole leader is Iker Flores, who has 1'30 on the Simoni group.
Aitor Osa attacks the Simoni group in pursuit of the leader on the road, Iker Flores
16:17 CEST - 138 km/15 km to go
16:22 CEST - 140 km/13 km to go
Behind him, Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) is setting a fierce tempo with eight other riders on his wheel. They cross the top of the climb 37 seconds behind Flores. They have also just caught three riders who were part of the earlier break: Rebollo, Mauri, Hruska.
The peloton is at 1'21. This is good for Simoni and Vinokourov, who could take over the overall lead.
16:25 CEST - 143 km/10 km to go
Simoni's group is 45 seconds behind Flores has they hit the foot of the final climb to Pandera.
16:29 CEST - 146 km/7 km to go
No sign of any USPS jerseys yet, as it's been all ONCE, Saeco, Coast and iBanesto at the front today.
16:31 CEST - 146 km/7 km to go
Here they are: USPS' Vandevelde leads Heras, Sevilla, Moller and Di Luca in a chasing group 28 seconds behind Simoni and co.The ONCE riders have missed it, and Igor Gonzalez looks to be a fair way back in the peloton.
16:34 CEST - 147 km/6 km to go
Simoni, Mayo, Camenzind, Jeker, Vinokourov, Garcia Casas are the leaders. Osa is dropped, and is caught by the Sevilla/Heras group.
16:38 CEST - 148 km/5 km to go
Heras attacks on a 15% section, followed by Sevilla. Ouch. Heras bridges up to Garcia Casas and Camenzind. He is now looking for Simoni's group.
16:41 CEST - 149 km/4 km to go
Camenzind has to stop for a few seconds after hitting a spectator(?), but gets a push and is on his way again.
16:43 CEST - 150 km/3 km to go
16:46 CEST - 151 km/2 km to go
Heras has 19 seconds on Simoni/Mayo 21 seconds on Sevilla and 42 seconds on Beloki.
Sevilla starts to ride away from Mayo and Simoni, and is giving it everything to try and get up to Heras, who has just gone under 1 km to go.
16:52 CEST - 153 km/0 km to go
Simoni wins the sprint for second from Sevilla and Mayo, at 17 seconds. Then comes Vinokourov, Aitor Gonzalez, Garcia Casas at 43 seconds. Then Camenzind, Casagrande, Di Luca, Horrach at 1.04, then Millar at 1.15 and Beloki at 1'24. Zarrabeitia crosses at 2'25 and will lose his jersey to Oscar Sevilla.
The GC now has Oscar Sevilla on top with an excellent Vinokourov at 14 seconds, and Roberto Heras making some ground today, moving up to third at 39 seconds.
1 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal Service 3.56.47 2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 0.18 3 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 4 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 5 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom 0.48 6 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 7 Félix Garcia Casas (Spa) Bigmat.Auber 93 8 Fabian Jeker (Swi) Milaneza-MSS 9 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 1.04 10 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 11 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 12 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 13 Klaus Möller (Den) Milaneza-MSS 14 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis 1.16 15 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski 1.25 General classification after stage 6 1 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 20.51.17 2 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom 0.14 3 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal Service 0.39 4 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 0.41 5 Félix Garcia Casas (Spa) Bigmat.Auber 93 0.53 6 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.57 7 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1.15 8 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1.45 9 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 1.48 10 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 1.49