57th Vuelta a España
Spain, September 7- 29, 2002
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Stage 20 - September 28: Avila -Warner Bros Park (S. Martín de la Vega), 141.2
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
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
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
Petacchi managed to hold off Zabel for second, with Teutenberg in fourth. That
means Zabel has secured the points jersey.
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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