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2001 Vuelta

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Photo ©: Bettini

57th Vuelta a España

Spain, September 7- 29, 2002

Main page    Start List    Map    Stage Profile     Results

Stage 6 - September 12: Granada - La Pandera (Jaen), 153.1 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 13:00 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:45 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 sixth stage got under way at a very fast pace, and after just 5 kilometres a break of 16 riders established itself in the lead. Most of the teams were represented, except for Saeco, who are doing some of the chasing in the peloton, with the gap to the leaders at 4 minutes at the moment. ONCE is doing more work, despite having Jan Hruska in the break.

The break is as follows:

Aitor Garmendia (Team Coast)
Raffaele Ferrara (Alessio)
Mederic Clain (Cofidis)
Dmitri Fofonov (Cofidis)
Iker Flores (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Nicola Loda (Fassa Bortolo)
José Iván Gutierrez (iBanesto.com)
Serguei Smetanine (Jazztel-Costa De Almeria)
José Gutierrez (Kelme-Costa Blanca)
Antonio Tauler (Kelme-Costa Blanca)
Dario David Cioni (Mapei-Quick Step)
Melchor Mauri (Milaneza-MSS)
Jan Hruska (ONCE-Eroski)
Daniel Schnider (Phonak Hearing Systems)
Jose Luis Rebollo (Relax-Fuenlabrada)
Rolf Aldag (Telekom)

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
The peloton is descending at a rapid pace towards Jaen, when the climbing will begin again. ONCE is on the front with Jorg Jaksche doing his turn. Saeco's Gerrit Glomser is also helping out as they try to bring back this large breakaway group, which is still 4 minutes in front.

88.1 kilometres were covered in the first two hours.

15:16 CEST - 102 km/51 km to go
Jaksche has time for a quick on the bike nature break (not easy!) as his ONCE teammates take over the pace making at the front of the bunch. There are also some Maia-Milaneza riders near the front, although Melchor Mauri is in the break for them. It's still four riders at the top of the peloton versus 16 leaders, with the gap coming down to 3'44.

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
Oscar Sevilla's handlebars are loose, so he drops back to the team car for an allen key. He tightens them until he's satisfied and makes his way back through the caravan to the peloton.

15:30 CEST - 114 km/39 km to go
It's still Glomser (Saeco), Daiz Justo and Jaksche (ONCE) doing the work at the front of the peloton, which is chasing a large breakaway that has been in front since kilometre 5. The gap is slowly coming down as they approach Jaen, and it's around 3'40 now.

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
Ferrara (Alessio) takes the points sprint in Jaen followed by Schnider (Phonak) and Clain (Cofidis). The peloton is just entering the city. The climbing starts soon.

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 16 leaders are now climbing out of Jaen, with Rebollo (Relax) and virtual leader Jose Gutierrez (Kelme) leading the group. The peloton is getting edgy, with other riders moving to the front to start chasing and preparing for the climbs.

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
Schnider and Tauler counter attack after Gutierrez, who sits up and waits for them. These three are being chased by a group of six, who are the remnants of the 16 man break. But the peloton has closed the gap to 2'33, and it's falling.

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
Rebollo, Schnider and Smetanine get a small gap on the descent before the Puerto de los Villares, but they are recaptured by the rest of the break.

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
The leaders start the 11km climb of the Puerto de los Villares. The attacks start from the bottom, with Smetanine and then Tauler going hard. Tauler takes the points for the sprint, and keeps on going. Schnider takes second followed by Rebollo.

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
Antonio Tauler (Kelme) is the lone leader at the moment, as he rides up the second last climb of the day in his big chainring. After him there is a group of seven, containing Jan Hruska. However, their advantage is slowly being eaten away by Jon Odriozola, who is riding hard on the front of the peloton at 2'10.

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
Massimiliano Lelli and David Millar (Cofidis) have moved to the front of the peloton now, taking over from the ibanesto's.

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
A group of riders including Gilberto Simoni, Carlos Garcia, Alex Vinokourov, Fabian Jeker, Pietro Caucchioli, Felix Garcia Casas, Oscar Camenzind and Aitor Osa are chasing the remnants of a 16 man break, gradually catching and passing them on the Puerto de los Villares.

The sole leader is Iker Flores, who has 1'30 on the Simoni group.

16:15 CEST
Camenzind forces the pace in the chasing group, followed by Simoni. 28 seconds behind them the peloton has two team Coast riders in front (Perez and Plaza) followed by Beloki and Sevilla.

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
Flores passes the 15 km to go banner with 2 km of this Cat. 2 climb to go. It's done some damage to the peloton, with a large group containing Gilberto Simoni, Carlos Garcia, Alex Vinokourov, Fabian Jeker, Pietro Caucchioli, Felix Garcia Casas, Oscar Camenzind, Iban Mayo and Aitor Osa coming up fast behind him. They have closed the gap to 1'04.

16:22 CEST - 140 km/13 km to go
Flores takes the points on the Puerto de los Villares. Just 13 km to go for the Euskaltel rider, 5 of which is downhill. Easy, they say...

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
The chasers have 10 km to go, with the gap between Flores and the peloton at 1'18. Flores has 9 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
The peloton hit the climb now, with around 50 riders including most of the favourites. Save for those in the chasing group of course: Gilberto Simoni, Carlos Garcia, Alex Vinokourov, Fabian Jeker, Pietro Caucchioli, Felix Garcia Casas, Oscar Camenzind, Iban Mayo and Aitor Osa.

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
Flores is finally caught by the relentless pace of Simoni and co. Mayo, Casas, and Jeker are right behing him.

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
In front it's Gilberto Simoni who is driving the shrinking breakaway group about 20 seconds in front of a second group containing Sevilla, Heras, Vandevelde, Moller and di Luca. Vandevelde is killing himself to try and bridge the gap, and it's working. The peloton with the ONCE boys, Casagrande, Casero, Mancebo, and Millar is about 10 seconds behind them.

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
Casas can't follow the leaders, as Simoni continues on the front. Mayo, Camenzind, Vinokourov and Jeker are left. 13 seconds behind them, Heras, Sevilla, Di Luca, Moller and Osa are trying to get up. the peloton is at 31 seconds. Osa doesn't last long though, and Di Luca is also struggling with Heras' pace.

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
Heras catches Vinokourov, Jeker, Simoni and Mayo. He attacks straight away, and gets Simoni on his wheel. Heras tries again, and is opening a small gap.

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
Roberto Heras is leading Gilberto Simoni and Iban Mayo by 6 seconds with 3 km to go. Sevilla is next at about 20 seconds, as he catches Vinokourov and Jeker. Sevilla is giving it everything to try and get back to the leaders, and Vinokourov is doing his best to hang on.

16:46 CEST - 151 km/2 km to go
Roberto Heras is into the final two kilometres of the stage, and should hang on to win. 10 seconds behind him are Simoni and Mayo, who are slowly being caught by Oscar Sevilla. Beloki is not too far behind them, but will lose more time today.

Heras has 19 seconds on Simoni/Mayo 21 seconds on Sevilla and 42 seconds on Beloki.

16:48 CEST
Sevilla catches Simoni and Mayo, but they won't catch Roberto Heras, who will win today's stage on La Pandera.

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
It's Heras all the way to the top of La Pandera, as he wins his first stage in the 2002 Vuelta.

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

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