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2001 Vuelta

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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

57th Vuelta a España

Spain, September 7- 29, 2002

Main page    Start List    Map    Stage Profile     Results

Stage 14 - September 21: Santander - Gijón, 190.2 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 12:37 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

14:40 CEST    94 km/96 km to go
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of stage 14 of the Vuelta, 190 rolling kilometres from Santander to Gijon across the northern part of Spain. Today's stage contains just two categorised climbs, and they are both situated towards the end of the stage: Alto Buenos Aires (Cat. 3, km 148), and Alto de Gobernador (Cat. 3, km 165). Other than that, it should be a sprinters stage.

Currently we have two leaders in the stage: Sergei Smetanine (Jazztel) and Oscar Laguna (Relax), who attacked in the company of four others (including Casagrande) at 40 km, but left them behind. The peloton has let them get clear, and they built a maximum lead of 11'10 after 80 km. However the Fassa Bortolo squad are starting to chase, and have reduced the lead to under 11 minutes.

The average speed after two hours is 45.2 km/h, after another fast first hour at 48.2 km/h. The temperature is ideal - 21 degrees with not too much wind.

14:53 CEST    104 km/86 km to go
Even though relatively harmless on paper, today's stage has already seen a few riders abandon. andrei Kasheckhin (Domo) pulled out after 18 km, Steffen Kjaergaard (USPS) stopped after 22 km and Martin Garrido (Relax) went at 65 km. Also, Mapei's Pedro Horrillo did not start the stage.

The leading two riders, Laguna and Smetanine, have a 10 minute gap with 85 km to go. Oscar Laguna is the best placed on GC, but is no threat to anyone as he's in 68th place at 54'28. He seems out for a little revenge after yesterday's Italian coalition filled the top five places in the stage, with Laguna coming in sixth. He may be foiled by the Italians again today as Fassa Bortolo are setting a strong tempo.

15:06 CEST    113 km/77 km to go
Fassa only have two riders on the front of the peloton, and they are followed by the ONCE and Kelme teams. The peloton trails the two leaders Oscar Laguna (Relax) and Sergei Smetanine (Jazztel) by around 9'30, with 77 km to go. There is still a bit of work to do by the sprinters teams to pick them up.

15:19 CEST    123 km/67 km to go
Laguna and Smetanine are doing well, with their leading creeping up to the 10 minute mark again. It's going to take a very concerted chase to bring them back, although it's still possible. Tacconi now have three riders on the front helping the two Fassa Bortolo's. No sign of Telekom though.

15:31 CEST    131 km/59 km to go
The stage enters some hillier ground, which Laguna prefers. Smetanine is the better sprinter on paper, so Laguna will most likely have to make a solo bid for victory. Their lead is gradually shrinking courtesy of a Fassa Bortolo and Tacconi Sport chase, but it's still 9'40 and looking more and more like a winning margin.

15:43 CEST    140 km/50 km to go
Laguna and Smetanine pass through Colunga, with less than 50 km to go, cheered on by a large crowd of locals. The sun has finally come out. The lead has dropped down to below 9 minutes now to 8'48.

15:51 CEST    145 km/45 km to go
The chase has intensified, with Tacconi Sport and most of the Fassa Bortolo team on the front of the peloton. A few Phonak riders are also getting involved. But they've left it too late: An 8'26 gap will be very difficult to close with 45 km to go unless the two leaders crack. Maybe Laguna can get his revenge today?

16:01 CEST    152 km/38 km to go
The peloton is really moving now, with three teams (Phonak, Fassa and Tacconi) working on the front. They have reduced the gap to 7'03, which is still looking too large. They will have to ride much faster to recapture Laguna and Smetanine.

16:01 CEST    158 km/32 km to go
Oscar Laguna (Relax) and Sergei Smetanine (Jazztel) are the leaders in stage 14 of the Vuelta, having attacked with 40 km to go. They now have just 32 km left in the stage and have a winning lead of 6'26. The chase behind them is very fast, but it's too late.

There's a big fall in the peloton, and a number of riders are down, blocking the road. Team Coast's Luis Perez looks to be the worst hurt, along with Jon Odriozola (iBanesto) and Victor Hugo Pena (USPS). The fall happened at the rear, and it doesn't look like any favourites were involved. It's bad luck for Perez, who came close to winning a stage on two occasions. He's out of the race with a broken collarbone it looks like.

Jon Odriozola and Inigo Chaurreau aren't going very far either, with Chaurreau sitting in the grass. Juan Manuel Garate also came down, and is still down. Odriozola has broken his right wrist it seems, and he;'s out of the race.

16:16 CEST    165 km/25 km to go
The fall is one of the worst in the Vuelta so far in terms of how many came down. Chaurreau is definitely out of the race, but Garate continues after being repaired by the doctors. Someone indicates that it could have been a Fassa Bortolo helmet on the road that brought everyone down. The road was straight, flat and dry.

Meanwhile in front of the race, Laguna has blown up and Smetanine has attacked him on the Alto de Gobernador with 25 km to go. Laguna loosens his brakes, but that's not the reason he's going slow.

16:25 CEST    170 km/20 km to go
Luis Perez is back on his bike, and riding to the finish. He passes another one of the wounded: Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE), who has hurt his right arm and is riding very slowly. The Basques have come off badly today. Igor stops and is examined by the race doctor, who escorts him to the ambulance. Looks like another broken wrist, and bad luck for him. He's out of the race.

In front, the peloton is trying to chase down Sergei Smetanine (Jazztel), who attacked his breakaway companion Oscar Laguna with 25 km to go and is riding away with the stage. Fassa Bortolo and Phonak are the main chasing teams, but they won't close the 4'45 gap to Smetanine.

16:31 CEST    175 km/15 km to go
Smetanine goes under 15 km to go with 4'30 on the peloton, and has the stage in the bag. Laguna is in danger of being caught by the peloton though, unless he can recover quickly.

Mariano Piccoli is also not doing too well from the fall earlier, but he is riding along with three quarters of a pair of shorts. He and Garate are now riding together, in the company of Guillame Auger (Big Mat), some way behind the peloton. In front of them is a group with Perez, Pena, Ferrara and a few others.

16:38 CEST    180 km/10 km to go
The stragglers are some 10 km behind the leader Smetanine, while the peloton follows at 4 minutes exactly. The fire seems to have gone out of the chase, and they will now be racing for 3rd place (or second if they catch Laguna).

16:42 CEST    183 km/7 km to go
Smetanine goes under the 7 km to go banner as the peloton goes under 10 km to go, now led by Fassa Bortolo and Alessio, with Phonak also getting involved. Smetanine is headed for the biggest win of his career.

In the peloton, Daniel Becke (Team Coast) is pushing Fernando Escartin, who was also hurt in the fall.ONCE's Zarrabeitia is also covered in dirt and blood.

16:47 CEST    186 km/4 km to go
Smetanine is flying along with 4 km to go, with Oscar Laguna chasing at 1'35 and the peloton at 3'00. Laguna has a bit of work to do to hold them off, but he seems to have recovered from his hunger flat.

16:49 CEST    188 km/2 km to go
With 2 km to go Smetanine still has 3'10, and is riding at 50 km/h along the sea front in Gijon. He'll take a very well earned victory today.

16:50 CEST    189 km/1 km to go
1 km for Smetanine, 2 km for Laguna and 3 km to go for the peloton.

16:52 CEST    190 km/Finish
Smetanine powers all the way along the wide finishing straight, blowing a kiss as he crosses the line. A fighting ride by Laguna sees him take second place, just in front of peloton. It's the first win for Jazztel in this Vuelta.

A Mapei rider leads out the peloton, with Loda in second. Zabel waits and then goes but is beaten by Furlan on the line. Petacchi is 5th.

The various classifications did not change today, with Oscar Sevilla still leading the race by 1 second from teammate Aitor Gonzalez; Erik Zabel slightly increasing his lead in the points classification over Petacchi; Gilberto Simoni remaining on top in the mountains classification; Oscar Sevilla keeping his regularity jersey for most consistent rider and finally Team Coast continuing to lead the team's classification, by 37 seconds over Kelme.

Thank you for following the 14th stage of the Vuelta with Cyclingnews.com. Join us again at 14:45 CEST tomorrow for the supremely tough Angliru stage.


1 Serguei Smetanine (Rus) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria        4.17.23 (44.3 km/h)
2 Oscar Laguna (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada                       1.57
3 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Alessio                                2.39
4 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 
5 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 
6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo 
7 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Coast 
8 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Saeco-Longoni Sport 
9 Davide Bramati (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 
10 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi 

General classification after stage 14

1 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca  
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 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski                            3.51

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