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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    Latest live report

Stage 20 - September 28: Avila -Warner Bros Park (S. Martín de la Vega), 141.2 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 13:54 CEST
Finish time: 17:05 CEST

14:40 CEST    32 km/109 km to go
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the 20th stage of the Vuelta, the last mass start stage in this year's race. A fairly gentle profile greets the 132 remaining riders who will race from Avila to Warner Bros Park, located in San Martin de la Vega. Just two Cat. 3 climbs, the Alto de la Paramera at km 15 and the Alto Navas del Rey at km 68. It should therefore be a day for the sprinters, who will have slim pickings tomorrow.

There are the usual three intermediate sprints, at El Tiemblo (km 42), San Martin de Valdeiglesias (km 53) and Fuenlabrada (km 116).

The weather today is quite good again, with temperatures expected to reach 27 degrees this afternoon. A gentle tail wind accompanies the riders in the first part of the stage, with a cross wind for the second half.

14:50 CEST    39 km/102 km to go
The situation in the race is as follows: After 3 km, on the day's first climb, Oscar Laguna (Relax-Fuenlabrada) attacked the peloton, quickly gaining an advantage with no-one chasing him. Laguna's team is from this area, so he hopes to stay away for as long as possible today - perhaps a stage win?

Laguna crossed the Paramera first, with a 4'45 lead on Mariano Piccoli (Lampre), Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) and Gilberto Simoni (Saeco). Heras didn't take any mountain points which means that Aitor Osa is the mountain points champion of this year's Vuelta, with 106 points compared to Heras' 99.

US Postal is controlling the pace, and Laguna's lead is 4'30 now.

15:04 CEST    53 km/88 km to go
The peloton is quite relaxed at the moment, with US Postal setting a very steady tempo. Laguna's lead increases to 5'30, as he passes through the second intermediate sprint at San Martin de Valdeiglesias. Laguna's average speed for the first hour was 45.5 km/h.

Laguna also won the first sprint at El Tiemblo, with Erik Zabel beating Alessandro Petacchi for second and third.

15:15 CEST    64 km/77 km to go
Zabel mops up the two points in San Martin de Valdeiglesias, 9'43 behind Laguna. Meanwhile, Pablo Lastras greets his family in the town, albeit briefly.

Laguna's massive lead is starting to look like a winning one, unless the chase starts now. At the very least he should stay away to win the sprint in Fuenlabrada (km 116), earning plenty of exposure for his sponsor.

15:25 CEST    68 km/73 km to go
Oscar Laguna takes the mountain points on the Alto Navas del Rey, the last climb in this year's Vuelta. The peloton has woken up at last, with Lampre and Phonak mounting a chase. Alessio and Fassa Bortolo are helping out, with the odd Saeco rider up there as well.

15:33 CEST    75 km/66 km to go
The peloton cross the Alto Navas del Rey 8'50 behind Laguna, with Gilberto Simoni taking 4 points, with Aitor Osa taking 2 points.

15:42 CEST    80 km/61 km to go
The lone breakaway of the day, Oscar Laguna (Relax Fuenlabrada) is hoping that his 8 minute plus lead will be enough to get him home safely. The peloton has other ideas, with several sprinters teams getting involved in the chase.

15:53 CEST    88 km/53 km to go
The peloton continues its hunt of Oscar Laguna, as Lampre's Massimo Codol signals to them to roll over towards the windward side. The gap is now down to 6'02, and Laguna will have to really work for a stage win now.

The peloton is now passing through the feed zone at km 84.

16:06 CEST    96 km/45 km to go
With just on an hour of racing to go, the peloton is bearing down on Fuenlabrada's Oscar Laguna. The lead is now 4'19, meaning that he should get caught with around 10 km to go. The average speed after two hours was 44.7 km/h, an impressive solo by Laguna.

16:18 CEST    105 km/36 km to go
Laguna is riding through Mostoles, where he gets a lot of support from the crowds lining the roads. The weather is still perfect, with sunny skies and temperatures around 26 degrees. His lead to the peloton is 3'07.

16:27 CEST    112 km/29 km to go
The peloton is racing towards Fuenlabrada in pursuit of Oscar Laguna, who will achieve his goal of staying away until his sponsor's home town. The sprint is just 4km away for Laguna, who has a 2'20 lead on the peloton.

Phonak, Lampre, Alessio, Saeco, and Fassa Bortolo are the teams that are leading the chase. No sign of the Telekom boys, who will presumably take over right at the end for Zabel. Can the German finally get his stage?

16:31 CEST    116 km/25 km to go
Laguna gives a little salute as he wins the final intermediate sprint in Fuenlabrada. He still has 2 minutes lead, and won't give up easily. Schnider (Phonak) and Caucchioli (Alessio) take the second and third places in the sprint.

16:37 CEST    121 km/20 km to go
1'18 - approximately 1 km lead for Laguna with under 20 km to go. The peloton has been relentless in its chase and seem to be getting quicker.

16:42 CEST    125 km/16 km to go
Despite having nearly a 10 minute lead at one point, Relax-Fuenlabrada's Oscar Laguna's ride in front of the peloton is coming to an end. He has done his job though, and gained plenty of exposure for his sponsor in an otherwise uneventful stage.

As he gets caught, Danilo Di Luca (on the front of the peloton) signals angrily at a Spanish TV moto, telling it to get out of the way.

Rolf Aldag now appears at the front for Telekom.

16:48 CEST    131 km/10 km to go
A Relax rider takes a flyer with 10 km to go on an uphill, but it's utterly pointless against the entire peloton, which is riding rapidly towards the finish in Warner Bros Park.

16:51 CEST    134 km/7 km to go
The bunch is travelling at 60 km/h along the highway, and still there are attacks by Relax Fuenlabrada. TV time is what it's all about, but they're not going to escape the peloton.

16:53 CEST    136 km/5 km to go
They're flying, as they go under 5 km to go, led by three Telekom men. Bartko, Aldag and Schaffrath.

16:55 CEST    138 km/3 km to go
3 km to go, and the 60km/h lead out continues. Phonak is now at the front for Teutenberg. They hit a roundabout with 2 km to go, everyone makes it.

16:57 CEST    140 km/1 km to go
Schaffrath and Aldag lead through the 1 km to go banner. It's now an uphill sprint.

16:58 CEST    141 km/0 km to go
Aldag pulls off, and the Fassa Bortolo boys lead out. Zabel has Petacchi's wheel. Teutenberg goes early, but it's Angelo Furlan who wins his second stage! Very strong finish.

Petacchi managed to hold off Zabel for second, with Teutenberg in fourth. That means Zabel has secured the points jersey.

Results

1 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Alessio                                3.00.08 (47.03 km/h)
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                  
4 Sven Teutenberg (Ger) Phonak Hearing System
5 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre-Daikin                       
6 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Saeco-Longoni Sport            
7 Alexei Sivakov (Rus) Bigmat.Auber 93 
8 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
9 Angel Edo (Spa) Milaneza-MSS                          
10 Juan Guillamon (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria      

General classification after stage 20

1 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal Service                      74.24.50
2 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca                        1.08
3 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca                         1.45
4 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                                2.09
5 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                              4.15
6 Félix Garcia Casas (Spa) Bigmat.Auber 93                       4.43
7 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                       4.48
8 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport                      6.12
9 Angel Casero (Spa) Team Coast                                  6.18
10 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Team Coast                               7.08

Thank you for following our coverage of Stage 20, which was merely the prelude to tomorrow's final showdown between Roberto Heras and Aitor Gonzalez. The gap is 1'08, meaning that Heras will have to ride the time trial of his life to hold off Gonzalez. Join us again at 14:45 CEST for live coverage of stage 21.

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