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57th Vuelta a España
Spain, September 7- 29, 2002
Stage 21 - September 29: Warner Bros Park - Stadion Santiago Bernabeu - ITT, 41.2 km
Complete Live Report
Start time (first rider): 14:24 CEST
First rider off at 14:24 CEST was Phonak's sprinter Sven Teutenberg, who has shown consistency in the bunch sprints in the Vuelta without recording a win. He is last on GC, hence his start time.
The weather is much better than the rain that accompanied the riders in the first time trial. It's sunny and 27-29 degrees celsius, with a light southerly wind blowing, which will help the riders for most of the stage. Expect some fast times.
Zabriskie comes through with 51'17, the second best time behind Becke.
Jaime Hernandez (Team Coast) finishes in 53'07, which gives him 3rd best time.
The fastest time so far is still Daniel Becke (Team Coast) with an impressive 50'37. In second is US Postal's Dave Zabriskie, winner of the U23 GP des Nations a couple of years ago.
Santi Botero has gone through 12 km 18 seconds faster than Becke. Botero is certainly a candidate for the win today.
Aitor Osa (iBanesto) has just overtaken Dave Brulyandts at km 24.
Di Luca is followed by Kelme's Carlos Garcia, one of the best climbing domestiques in the Vuelta so far.
David Plaza (Team Coast) has just started, and will be aiming for a good time to try and pull back the 1'08 gap on Kelme in the teams classification. Coast have Plaza, Perez and Casero (maybe Becke instead of Perez), while Kelme have Gonzalez, Sevilla , Botero, and maybe Tauler. Kelme looks to have the strength to win the teams classification.
Christian Vandevelde (USPS) has just gone through 24 km in 29'19, which will give him 9th so far. It's not going to be quite as good as his first time trial, but he has had a pretty tiring last week.
Casagrande is now on his way, as is Felix Garcia Casas (BigMat), who has had a good Vuelta to be in 6th overall at this stage.
Rafael Casero (Angel's brother, riding for Jazztel) finishes in 51'21, 6th best time so far. He is followed by Jose Gutierrez (Kelme) in just under 52 minutes, which will give him 9th best. The crowds in Bernabeu stadium are impressive - it's not packed but there are plenty of people all around the stadium.
Jose Azevedo finishes in 51'28, 7th fastest.
Finally, Roberto Heras in his gold skinsuit, leaves the starting house. He starts well.
He's still not happy, and loosens the brakes on the rear wheel. A terrible way to finish this last stage, and he could get caught by Gonzalez. Gonzalez is doing 60-64 km/h, and nearly cleans up the two motorbikes in front of him, before they wake up and speed off.
Gonzalez goes through 12 km in 14'03! 13 seconds better than Botero. He currently has 33 seconds lead on Heras at the same point.
Unofficially, Gonzalez is 43 seconds in front of Heras now. He needs 1'08, and hasn't reached halfway.
Sevilla lost 49 seconds after 12 km, which is not bad considering he had two bike changes! He'll have his work cut out to hold off Beloki for third though.
Plaza comes through the finish in 49'40, 10 seconds faster than Botero! Impressive stuff from the Coast rider, who also did well in the final Vuelta time trial last year.
Now Aitor Gonzalez has made up the 1'08 defecit on Heras, and is still increasing. Heras will have to have a good finish. It's 1'13.
He goes through 24 km in 27'38, 27 seconds quicker than Casero.
Heras goes by 24 km in 29'01, 1'23 behind Gonzalez.
Heras has effectively lost the Vuelta, as he trails Gonzalez by nearly 2 minutes now.
Gonzalez goes past 35.5 km in 40'38, that's 1.08 quicker than Casero! Heras has lost 2'40 at the same point.
Beloki finishes in 50'04. Gonzalez is not that far behind him, riding into the stadium to massive applause. His winning time is 47.54!
Sevilla finishes in 50'43, losing his third overall to Beloki.
Another winner today was Team Coast's Angel Casero, who jumped from 9th to 6th courtesy of his second place overall. Manuel Beltran also snuck into the top 10. Team Coast didn't end up winning the Team GC, courtesy of Aitor Gonzalez, Santi Botero and Toni Tauler's solid performances to all make the top 10.
Thank you for following the Vuelta with Cyclingnews.com. We'll have our final stage report, results and photos coming in the next couple of hours. Now back to the World Track Championships :-)
Km 24 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme 27.38 Angel Casero (Spa) Team Coast 0.27 Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme 0.36 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Acqua e Sapone 0.48 David Plaza (Spa) Team Coast 0.51 Km 35.5 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme 40.38 Angel Casero (Spa) Team Coast 1.08 David Plaza (Spa) Team Coast 1.26 Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme 1.37 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE 1.42 Finish - km 41.5 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme 47.54 Angel Casero (Spa) Team Coast 1.23 David Plaza (Spa) Team Coast 1.45 Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme 1.55 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE 2.10 Final general classification 1 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme 75.13.52 2 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal Service 2.14 3 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski 3.11 4 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 3.26 5 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 5.42 6 Angel Casero (Spa) Team Coast 6.33 7 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 6.38 8 Félix Garcia Casas (Spa) Bigmat.Auber 93 6.46 9 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Team Coast 8.28 10 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 9.22