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57th Vuelta a España
Spain, September 7- 29, 2002
Stage 12 - September 19: Segovia - Burgos, 210.5 km
Complete Live Report
Start time: 12:15 CEST
The Vuelta's longest stage this year is from Segovia to Burgos, over 210.5 kilometres. Definitely suited to the sprinters, the stage contains three intermediate sprints at Cuellar (km 56), Roa de Duero (km 109) and La Horra (km 115).
The last time the Vuelta visited Burgos was in 1998, when a stage started there with Abraham Olano in the leader's jersey. Olano went on to win the Vuelta that year, but unfortunately will not be taking part this year, his final year as a pro.
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage for the 12th stage. After a few early (and unsuccessful) breaks, the peloton was together for the first intermediate sprint at Cuellar. Alessandro Petacchi took the points, ahead of Erik Zabel and Denis Zanette.
14:45 CEST 122km / 88km to go
The peloton is moving quite quickly, with Kelme and Oscar Sevilla up front, keeping out of danger. Fassa Bortolo is also working for their sprinter Petacchi.
14:55 CEST 129km / 81km to go
There's a break up the road, with just over 5 minutes over the peloton, still led by Fassa Bortolo. The break contains the following riders: Dario David Cioni and Elio Aggiano (Mapei-Quick Step), Diego Ferrari (Tacconi Sport-Emmegi), Bert Grabsch (Phonak Hearing Systems), Zbigniew Spruch (Lampre-Daikin), Raffaele Ferrara (Alessio), Melchor Mauri (Milaneza-MSS), Nicola Loda and Paolo Tiralongo (Fassa Bortolo), Igor Astarloa (Saeco-Longoni Sport), David Plaza (Team Coast), Eddy Serri (Index Alexia), Jan Schaffrath (Team Telekom), Koos Moerenhout (Domo-Farm Frites), Sebastien Talabardon (Bigmat.Auber 93), José Garcia Acosta (iBanesto.com), Mikel Pradera (ONCE-Eroski), Antonio Tauler (Kelme-Costa Blanca).
Jeroen Blijlevens was just involved in a crash at the back of the peloton, and was quite furious with a rider from Phonak, who he must have felt responsible for the fall. Blijlevens swung his bike at the rider but thankfully didn't take anybody else down in the process.
15:00 CEST 132km / 78km to go
With Telekom and Fassa Bortolo working in the peloton, their respective representatives in the breakaway are no longer working, which will diminish the break's chances.
Blijlevens is riding, and has already had a visit to the medical car. He doesn't look too hurt. Just a flesh wound.
15:05 CEST 138km / 72km to go
Igor Astarloa (Saeco) and Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta (iBanesto) have jumped from the breakaway, and are now the two leaders of the race. Fassa Bortolo and Telekom are working together in the peloton to limit the damage.
15:08 CEST 140km / 70km to go
Astarloa and Garcia Acosta are now 23" ahead of the main break, and 4'01" ahead of the peloton. The race covered 54km in the first hour, and 51 in the second. Certainly no soft-pedaling on the longest stage of the Vuelta.
15:12 CEST 145km / 65km to go
The leading duo have added 2 seconds to their advantage over the chase group (the original break), and 11 seconds more over the peloton. Astarloa and Garcia Acosta are sharing pulls and working well together.
15:18 CEST 150km / 60km to go
The gap is going up, now 33" between Astarloa/Garcia Acosta and the 16 chasers, and 4'02" over the peloton. That is, the peloton is slowly closing in on the chase group, but the two leaders are pursuing their escape well, cruising right now at 50.2kmh after three hours of racing.
15:22 CEST 153km / 57km to go
Astarloa is looking smooth up front, perhaps slightly stronger than Garcia Acosta, as the two enter the town of Lerma.
A reminder of the composition of the chase group:
Dario David Cioni and Elio Aggiano (Mapei-Quick Step), Diego Ferrari (Tacconi Sport-Emmegi), Bert Grabsch (Phonak Hearing Systems), Zbigniew Spruch (Lampre-Daikin), Raffaele Ferrara (Alessio), Melchor Mauri (Milaneza-MSS), Nicola Loda and Paolo Tiralongo (Fassa Bortolo), David Plaza (Team Coast), Eddy Serri (Index Alexia), Jan Schaffrath (Team Telekom), Koos Moerenhout (Domo-Farm Frites), Sebastien Talabardon (Bigmat.Auber 93), Mikel Pradera (ONCE-Eroski), Antonio Tauler (Kelme-Costa Blanca).
15:26 CEST 156km / 54km to go
Status quo at the head of the peloton, with Telekom and Fassa Bortolo trading off with the chase. They're not pulling the breaks back particularly quickly.
Up front, however, Astarloa and Garcia Acosta have just been rejoined by the chase group, with Lampre's Spruch the first to make contact.
15:30 CEST 158km / 52km to go
The pace in the peloton is steady, the question now is how well the breakaway will cooperate to hold off the pack. Fassa Bortolo has four riders working to chase, while Telekom is only committing two to the chase for the moment.
15:35 CEST 162km / 48km to go
The advantage of the break is 3'05", so the peloton is making headway. Aggiano and Mauri have made the next effort to attack the break, and now have a small advantage. Aggiano has a teammate in the break, which might help this new duo's chances.
15:40 CEST 166km / 44km to go
The break is clearly too big for its own good, and new attacks are coming. Astarloa is having another go, with Fassa Bortolo's Tiralongo. The rest of the break is spread out over the entire road, as everybody scrambles to get a wheel.
Six riders are now in front, 2'05" ahead of the peloton. Meanwhile, anew crash at the back of the pack sees Cyril Saugrain in a minor tangle with Giuseppe Di Grande of Index-Alexia. They should both be up and riding straight away.
15:45 CEST 170km / 40km to go
The race is flying today, and the peloton is now advancing quickly in pursuit of the fragmented lead groups. The same two teams (Fassa Bortolo and Telekom) are chasing at the front of the field.
The leading six are Tauler, Grabsch, Pradera, Aggiano, Moerenhout, and Ferrara.
15:52 CEST 175km / 35km to go
The leading six have 20" over the chasers, and 2'23" over the peloton. A sprint finish seems inevitable, but the peloton still has some work to do to reel in the breaks.
15:55 CEST 177km / 33km to go
The Fassa Bortolo boys are getting a little anxious, motioning to Telekom to keep things moving at the front of the peloton. Clearly the two teams are aiming for a Zabel-Petacchi showdown. Will anyone else manage to challenge at the finish?
16:00 CEST 182km / 28km to go
The six leaders have increased their advantage to 32" over the chasers, but the peloton is getting closer, now just 1'35" back. ONCE and Kelme are not chasing, but can be seen near the front of the race protecting their leaders, just behind Telekom and Fassa Bortolo.
16:04 CEST 186km / 24km to go
Telekom is dragging the peloton at 57kmh, as a Relax-Fuenlabrada rider tries to insert himself in the mix at the front. The race is beginning to stretch out as the pace steadily increases.
16:07 CEST 187km / 23km to go
The chase group is being pulled back by the peloton, which is now just 43" back. The leading six have an advantage of 57" over the chasers.
16:10 CEST 190km / 20km to go
The leaders' total advantage is 1'28" over the peloton, as the chasers are about to be caught.
First mission accomplished, the peloton has caught the chase group, and now must maintain the pressure to bring back the final six escapees.
16:13 CEST 192km / 18km to go
The gap is down to 1'15" Falling steadily, but the finish is also approaching rapidly. Telekom and Fassa Bortolo are still working to bring back the break, as they have been practically all day. The break is composed of six riders from six different teams, and each rider appears to be pulling his weight.
16:15 CEST 195km / 15km to go
Casagrande just made a small move off the front of the peloton. He was pulled back quickly enough, but the smooth operation of the Telekom/Fassa Bortolo combo has been interrupted.
The break has just passed under the 15km to go banner, working all out to stay ahead of the peloton.
16:19 CEST 198km / 12km to go
The lead is down to one minute for the six man break, struggling on a false-flat. Tauler has just taken advantage of the slowing pace and attacked the leading group.
16:22 CEST 200km / 10km to go
Tauler has a 43" over the peloton, with the remaining five escapees just behind. iBanesto's Juan Antonio Flecha has jumped off the front of the peloton, with about 50 meters lead, while Tauler is hammering alone up front.
16:25 CEST 202km / 8km to go
The peloton has passed under the 9km to go banner, as Tauler persists up front with the chasers caught in the middle. Tauler has 45" over the peloton. Flecha is back in the fold, caught by the peloton.
16:27 CEST 204km / 6km to go
The Milaneza-MSS team of Angel Edo has sent several riders to the front of the field to join in the chase. Tauler has just passed under the 6km to go banner. Phonak is also chasing, working for Sven Teutenberg. The field is 37" behind Tauler.
16:29 CEST 205km / 5km to go
In one kilometer, Tauler's advantage dropped from 37" to 29", and the final five escapees have been pulled in by the peloton. At this rate, Tauler's chances don't look good.
16:31 CEST 207km / 3km to go
The peloton is within 12" of Tauler with 3km to go. Acqua & Sapone is joining in the chase, along with Fassa Bortolo, Phonak, and others. Tauler is giving it his all, but...
16:32 CEST 209km / 1km to go
Tauler's escape is over with 2km to go.
Jorg Jaksche has crashed, helped back up by two teammates. The peloton is winding up for a monster sprint.
16:34 CEST Finish
Going head to head with the Acqua & Sapone mob, and Telekom's Erik Zabel, it's Alessandro Petacchi who storms his way to the front and holds the lead. Petacchi wins, a half bike length ahead of Zabel and Furlan.
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.16.32 2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 3 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Alessio 4 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Saeco-Longoni Sport 5 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo 6 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi 7 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Coast 8 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre-Daikin 9 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 10 Sven Teutenberg (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems General classification after stage 12 1 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 41.31.40 2 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 0.01 3 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal Service 1.42 4 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2.04 5 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski 6 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2.47 7 Félix Garcia Casas (Spa) Bigmat.Auber 93 3.05 8 Guido Trentin (Ita) Cofidis 3.34 9 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis 3.36 10 Klaus Möller (Den) Milaneza-MSS 3.52