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2001 Vuelta

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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

57th Vuelta a España

Spain, September 7- 29, 2002

Main page    Start List    Map    Stage Profile     Results

Stage 8 - September 14: Málaga - Ubrique, 173.6 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 12:41 CEST
Finish time: 17:15 CEST

14:45 CEST    82 km/91 km to go
Welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the eighth stage of the Vuelta, 173.6 km from Malaga to Ubrique. Today's stage contains three categorised climbs, the Cat. 2 Puerto de las Abejas (km 58), Cat. 3 Puerto del Viento (km 79) and Cat. 1 Puerto de Las Palomas (km 140). The finish comes 33 km after the final climb, making it harder for a climber to get away and stay away.

The temperatures today are a lot lower than last week, and it's around 24 degrees celsius.

An update on the race: After a fast and aggressive start, Aitor Osa (iBanesto.com), Massimiliano Lelli (Cofidis), Vladimir Miholjevic (Alessio), and Paolo Bossoni (Tacconi) escaped after 30 km. Bossoni didn't last long with them, and other riders began to form a chase group behind them, including Igor Gonazalez de Galdeano (ONCE), Oscar Freire (Mapei), Johan Verstrepen and Pavel Tonkov (Lampre).

Miholjevic was dropped from the front group, leaving just Lelli and Osa in the lead. They have 43 seconds lead on Igor Gonzalez and Vladimir Miholjevic, 1'47 on the second group and 3'10 on the main peloton.

14:56 CEST 89 km/94 km to go
With Lelli and Osa continuing to lead by 40 seconds back to Igor Gonzalez and Vladimir Miholjevic, the nine man chasing group behind them is starting to close in at 1'40. The riders in the chasing group are: Guiseppe Di Grande (Index-Alexia), Jose Luis Rubiera (USPS), Jesus Manzano (Kelme), Guido Trentin (Cofidis), Santi Blanco and Juan Antonio Flecha (iBanesto), Iker Flores (Euskaltel), José Garrido (Jazztel-Costa De Almeria). The peloton is at over 4 minutes.

There have been numerous abandons today, with the most recent being Mario Cipollini, the triple stage winner who no doubt doesn't want to be too tired for his dinner date with Ronaldo in Madrid!

Other abandons today include Lauri Aus, Thierry Loder and Stephane Berges (Ag2r), Alessio Galetti (Saeco), Fabio Baldato (Fassa Bortolo), and Steve De Wolf (Domo-Farm Frites).

15:06 CEST 100 km/83 km to go
The peloton, led by Santiago Botero and the Kelme team, has swallowed up the nine man chase group, leaving just four riders in the lead. Lelli and Osa still have around 3 minutes, with Gonzalez de Galdeano and Miholjevic trying to close the gap to them. The average speed today has been high, with over 86 km covered in the first two hours.

15:14 CEST 106 km/77 km to go
Gonzalez de Galdeano and Miholjevic have bridged the gap to Lelli and Osa, making a group of four riders at the head of the race. The peloton is following at some three minutes, led by the entire Kelme team, with Euskaltel lending a hand now. The next and last climb starts at km 129 (Puerto de Las Palomas) and these four riders should stay clear until then.

15:23 CEST 115 km/62 km to go
After a rapid descent, the four leaders are closing in on the final climb. The Puerto de Las Palomas is 12.7 km long, averaging 7.1% with a maximum grade of 10%.

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano is the best placed rider in the break, 33rd at 6'09, so he is no threat to Sevilla's lead just yet as the break continues to hold a 2'50 lead on the peloton.

Santiago Botero drops back to his team car to grab a drink or two on a small climb.

15:34 CEST 120 km/56 km to go
The leading four - Igor Gonazalez de Galdeano (ONCE), Aitor Osa (iBanesto.com), Massimiliano Lelli (Cofidis), and Vladimir Miholjevic (Alessio) have a 2'43 lead as they ride to the base of the final climb. They are being chased by a still complete peloton, with Euskaltel-Euskadi doing most of the work, probably to protect Haimar Zubeldia and Iban Mayo's sixth and seventh places on GC from the likes of Igor Gonzalez.

15:42 CEST 123 km/53 km to go
The average speed after three hours is 41.4 km/h, as the mountains have slowed things up a little (the first hour was over 46 km/h). The status quo is being maintained, as the four leaders have 2'40 to the peloton, still being led by Euskaltel.

15:47 CEST 129 km/47 km to go
Igor Gonzalez takes the sprint points at Zahara de la Sierra in front of Aitor Osa and Massimiliano Lelli. They are now on the climb. It should be noted that this climb is both longer and steeper than La Pandera, the stage 6 finishing climb. However, the maximum gradient is not quite as severe.

Behind the leaders, Kelme get to the front of the peloton and cross under the sprint banner at 1'51.

15:51 CEST 131 km/45 km to go
Miholjevic has been dropped from the leaders, leaving Igor Gonzalez, Massimiliano Lelli, and Aitor Osa in the lead.

Sevilla has moved up to third place in the peloton, behind his two teammates. Alexandre Vinokourov is also there, as are Camenzind, Garcia Casas, Heras, Simoni and Di Luca. Mountains leader Mederic Clain is hanging on the back of the 70 or so strong group.

15:56 CEST 133 km/43 km to go
Toni Tauler's work at the front of the peloton continues to eat into the lead of Igor Gonzalez, Lelli and Osa, and it's now down to 1'36. Oscar Freire is still in the peloton, although it doesn't look as though Erik Zabel is there. Perhaps a stage win for the World Champion?

Victor Pena (USPS) is struggling to hold onto the back of the peloton, which is gradually losing riders. There goes Freire too...oh well.

16:00 CEST 135 km/41 km to go
Both Rubiera and Pena have disappeared off the back of the peloton, which is climbing the Puerto de Las Palomas. Kelme-Costa Blanca is setting the pace, courtesy of Toni Tauler who is doing a superb job for his team leader Sevilla.

Lelli, Igor Gonzalez and Osa are still 1'13 in front.

David Etxebarria (Euskaltel) attacks the peloton.

16:03 CEST 135 km/39 km to go
Etxebarria's attack causes a bit of a stir, as Valdez (Jazztel) goes after him. The peloton isn't too far behind them.

Etxebarria and Valdez catch Mijholevic (Alessio), who was dropped from the Igor Gonzalez group at the bottom of the climb. Etxebarria gives up, as the peloton is right behind him. Valdez persists, in pursuit of Gonzalez, Lelli and Osa.

Lelli is now in the lead on his own, but only has 30 seconds on the peloton.

16:07 CEST 137 km/37 km to go
Valdez catches Igor Gonzalez and Osa, and goes right past. The peloton catch Osa and Gonzalez and trail Valdez by some 15 seconds.

Lelli is getting caught by Valdez, who is fighting a losing battle with the Kelme team on the front of the peloton.

16:11 CEST 138 km/36 km to go
Lelli looks back and sees Valdez charging up behind him, and is forced to concede the battle on the Puerto de los Palomas. He catches Valdez' wheel, and the two lead the peloton by 15 seconds.

Valdez accelerates and drops Lelli. The peloton, with an active Francesco Mancebo at the front, catch him. There is now just one leader: Ricardo Valdez (Jazztel).

16:14 CEST 140 km/34 km to go
Mancebo attacks again, and Carlos Garcia gets on his wheel. Sevilla is right there, and the rest of the 20 man peloton follow.

Christian Vandevelde has to stop for some reason - perhaps a mechanical. He is quickly on his way again.

Mancebo attacks for the fourth time, and it's Garcia Casas who chases him this time. It strings out the peloton and Valdez is suddenly very close.

16:18 CEST 141 km/33 km to go
Simoni attacks in sight of the top of the climb. Garcia Casas gets on his wheel to take second in the mountain sprint. All downhill from here.

Angel Edo (Maia) comes over 30 seconds behind the leading group - he is a good sprinter and has done well on this climb to stay in contact. There are about 30 men in the lead now.

16:24 CEST 147 km/26 km to go
The peloton is now on the descent after the Puerto de Los Palomas, which was won by Gilberto Simoni, who should be in the mountain leader's jersey this evening after picking up 16 points.

The Edo group contains Jose Azevedo, but has yet to make the junction to the leaders.

Jaksche, Camenzind and Etxebarria take over in front. Zarrabeitia (ONCE) attacks on a small climb, getting Iban Mayo with him. Aitor Gonzalez (Kelme) bridges up, and there is a general regrouping. But Sevilla is running very short of teammates. Angel Casero is sitting last wheel in the group, but is looking relaxed.

Luis Perez (Team Coast) is next to attack.

16:29 CEST 150 km/23 km to go
The road goes uphill slightly again as Mayo, then Etxebarria attack in pursuit of Perez. However, the Saeco and Kelme boys are right behind him. Carlos Garcia and Aitor Gonzalez get to the front for Kelme.

16:33 CEST 153 km/20 km to go
Luis Perez has 25 seconds lead on the front peloton with 20 km to go. All of the favourites seem to have made the cut: Sevilla, Heras, Aitor Gonzalez, Mayo, Etxebarria, Simoni, Di Luca, Casagrande, Casero, Mancebo, Millar, Escartin.

Perez is riding his spare bike after his good one got stolen a couple of days ago. A stage win should recompense that!

16:38 CEST 156 km/17 km to go
Luis Perez has increased his lead to 53 seconds as the chase dies a little. Gilberto Simoni and Gerrit Glomser get to the front, but will have to do a lot of work to pull the Team Coast rider back.

Angel Edo has made it back to the peloton.

16:41 CEST 158 km/15 km to go
Pablo Lastras attacks the peloton, with Di Luca quickly bridging up. But the pair are chased hard by the peloton. The gap to Perez is now 40 seconds.

Aitor Gonzalez attacks next - that's a good tactical move, as he's fourth on GC.

16:44 CEST 161 km/12 km to go
Etxebarria goes after Gonzalez, but he gets the whole peloton on his wheel. His teammate Mayo tries, but has similar success.

Luis Perez and Aitor Gonzalez are still away, although not together.

16:47 CEST 163 km/10 km to go
Perez goes under 10 km to go, and leads Aitor Gonzalez by 23 seconds. The Kelme rider is closing rapidly. The peloton is close too, at 37 seconds...

It's confirmed that Simoni will be the mountains leader today.

16:49 CEST 164 km/9 km to go
Aitor Gonzalez is just 13 seconds behind Luis Perez with 9 km to go, while the peloton is at 27 seconds. This is going to be a close finish. There are some 35 riders in the peloton.

16:51 CEST 166 km/7 km to go
The pursuit continues, but the peloton is not getting much closer with 7 km to go. Gonzalez is 10 seconds behind Perez, and 16 seconds in front of the peloton. He needs 41 seconds to take over the GC lead, but may be able to do that on Monday's time trial if he stays away.

This descent is very technical, which is helping Perez.

16:54 CEST 169 km/4 km to go
Aitor Gonzalez is still trying to close the gap to Luis Perez, who is on his way to a stage win. He's not home yet, and has 13 seconds lead with 4 km to go. The peloton is at 23 seconds.

16:55 CEST 170 km/3 km to go
3 km to go for Perez, who is now on a wider road as he heads towards the finish. Status quo, and all he needs to go is stay on the bike.

16:56 CEST 172 km/1 km to go
The corners continue right to the end as Perez goes under 1 km to go with 13 seconds. Suddenly the road narrows as he turns a corner, but he keeps it upright.

The last 500 m is all uphill.

16:58 CEST 173 km/0 km to go
Luis Perez suffers on the climb as he's cheered by thousands of fans on his way to the finish. He gets caught by Aitor Gonzalez with 200m to go, but here comes the bunch...

Gonzalez wins from Etxebarria, Perez and Di Luca!

Heras loses nine seconds, so Gonzalez is into third on GC.

Notes: the last part of this stage can be best described as "technical". It was definitely not a sprinter's stage.


1 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca                  4.18.36
2 David Etxebarria (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
3 Luis Perez (Spa) Team Coast
4 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
5 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                    0.02
6 Pablo Lastras (Spa) iBanesto.com
7 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com
8 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis
9 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
10 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom

General classification after stage 8

1 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca                  29.43.42
2 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom                     0.14
3 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca                     0.39
4 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal Service                       0.46
5 Félix Garcia Casas (Spa) Bigmat.Auber 93                    0.59
6 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                     1.07
7 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                           1.14
8 Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                         1.32
9 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski                              1.42
10 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                            1.43


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