Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recently on

Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

 UCI codes explained

42nd Vuelta al País Vasco - 2.HC

Spain, April 8-12, 2002

Main Page    Results    Previous stage    Next stage

Stage 4 - April 11: Alasua - Villabona, 154 km

Osa strengthens his lead and Pellizotti takes the stage

By Martin Hardie, correspondent

Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

No place like home - Guipuzcoa greeted it's native son, Aitor Osa and Osa greeted Guipuzcoa by extending his lead over Bingen Fernandez by thirty seconds in the Itzulia (Vuelta) today. The shortened stage gave the Italian Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) his second victory of the season when he out sprinted the Dane, Nicki Sorensen (CSC) in the last steep five hundred metres into Billabona. The ramp was such that in the peloton behind Aitor Osa was able to put another thirty seconds between him and his closest rival Bingen Fernandez over the final five hundred metres.

Yesterday's weather was bad and along with local knowledge, especially on the descent of the Urbasa, had a great effect on the race with a much smaller peloton making it to the finish. Today the Basque spring continued on its merry way with the conditions continuing to worsen.

Stage 3 saw the Wild Boar and winner of Stage 2, Garcia Calvo (Relax) hospitalised with hypothermia. In all 28 riders failed to make it to Altsasu yesterday, the weather and the race taking its toll with Beloki, Klöden, Di Luca and Julich amongst them. Take a look at the team numbers, four Telekoms out, four Saecos out and four from Relax.

Beloki stated after the stage "when its not one thing it's the other...I had stopped since Mallorca because of trouble with my Achilles tendon, ... intention was to help my other companions and to find better form. I wanted to continue, but in the end the cold sent me home. Now I hope to recuperate and race next week in the Vuelta a Aragon".

The first part of today's stage was intended to continue to travel though the uplands of Navarra before descending into the green valleys and hill country of Guipuzcoa. However the cold and rain was last night joined by snow to such an extent that the race organisation was greeted this morning with the Navarran part of the course covered. As a result of the heavy snowfalls and rain the stage was shortened by 65 kilometres and the start was moved from the Navarran town of Altsasu to the village of Lizartza in Guipuzcoa.

Nevertheless all was not grey in the Basque Country. The great orange hope, Alberto Martinez may have missed his shot at the G.C. missing the break in stage one. But his countrymen have reasserted domination of their Vuelta in a big way. Seven of the twelve riders who arrived before the peloton yesterday were Basque riders. Six of the top ten on GC are Basque riders and the overall surely (if anything can be sure in this exciting tour) will be fought out between Osa and Fernandez, both Basque.

Fernandez has a better reputation against the clock and he may well take the race in the final uphill time trial. Furthermore it was the first stage victory for a Guipuzcoan rider, for 23 years, Aitor Osa joining his compatriots Ricardo Montero (stage victories in 1928 and 1930), Txomin Perurena (1969, 1970, 1972 (2 stages), 1973 (2 stages), 1974 (4 stages) and 1976), Jesús Aranzabal (1970) and Miguel Mari Lasa (1971 (3 stages), 1974, 1977, and 1979).

Euskadi's number one cycling fan, the Lehendakari or Basque President, Juan José Ibarretxe, currently on an official visit to Cuba, must be a happy man, if only a little disappointed to miss the action. Still, the green, red and white of the Ikurrina, the Basque flag must have brightened up the skyline as it flew proudly in celebration after yesterday's cold and wet conditions.

Finally the depleted bunch of 109 rolled out of Lizartza at 3.30 p.m. accompanied by the cold and the rain again. Thirty minutes into the race and with only 64 kilometres to the finish, Eusebio Unzue's were not wanting any surprises. They had the race under control maintaining a strong rhythm at the front on the first ramps of the Cat.3 climb of the alto de Larraitz in order to protect their leader Aitor Osa.

However an attack came and Rafa Casero (Jazztel), Santiago Pérez (Kelme), Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) and Nicki Sorensen (CSC) opened a 1.25 gap on the peloton within 10 kilometres. The course here turns back towards the north and follows the valley of the Oria river, at the sprint in the village of Itsasondo (51 kms to go) the break had a gap of 1.25 with Pellizotti taking the honours from Casero and Sorensen.

As the break continued, the weather and difficulty of the course continued to take its toll, with news of more riders opting to put their feet on terra firma instead of on their pedals, including Barbero, Piccoli, Cortinovis (Lampre), Dufaux (Alessio), and Igor González de Galdeano (Once - Eroski).

At the foot of the climb of Alto de Akiza Cat.2 the escapees had managed to stretch the gap to 2.05. The highest place rider of the four is Pellizotti 27th overall at 3.45 with Sorensen 34th, Casero 36th, and Perez 38th all at 5.30. As the climb progressed pulled the peloton with a hard rhythm and with 31 kms to go the gap had come down to 1.40. The summit came with 28 kms to go, Pérez took the points from Casero and Sorensen.

With 13 kms to go Banesto continued too work at the front of the bunch with Rabobank and Euskaltel also prominent. Clearly those two teams did not want Zberg, David Etxebarria and Samuel Sanchez to forego their positions on G.C. to Pellizotti, hence they threw their hand in with Banesto in an attempt to pull back the four before the finish who now had a gap of 1.15 and falling.

At the 12 km mark Sorensen launched an attack from the front which was not initially contested by the other three. Pellizotti reacted and caught Sorensen and they made a window of 20 metres to the other two, but the orange and blue headed bunch behind had now closed them down to 45 seconds.

As they headed back around the loop to climb the Alkiza again, Pellizotti tried to leave Sorensen behind without luck, but their aggression had made the gap climb again to 1.15, meanwhile behind David Etxebarria (Euskaltel) tried to escape the vigilant peloton. With 10 kms to go the two leaders crossed the Alkiza for the second time, there was thirteen seconds to Perez and Casero with Samuel Sanchez a few metres ahead of the rest of the peloton at 58 seconds.

With 5 kms to go Sorensen and Pellizotti continued with a gap of 50 seconds on Mario Aerts (Lotto), David Etxebarria and Sánchez of Euskaltel whoa re trying to regain some of the time between them and Osa and Fernandez. The three had got away on the crossing and descent of the Alkiza. They quickly caught Perez and Casero and chased the two leaders into Billabona with 2kms to go.

As they hit the last kilometre the two leaders only had 30 seconds between them and their five pursuers. The last five hundred metres consisted of a steep uphill ramp to the finish, Pellizotti attacked Sorensen who could not follow.


1 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                    2.11.00
2 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali                 0.05
3 David Etxebarria (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi              0.18
4 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                        0.21
5 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6 Rafael Casero Moreno (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almeri    0.30
7 Aitor Osa (Spa)                          0.32
8 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank
9 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom
10 Gonzalo Bayarri (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria
11 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast
12 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
13 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
14 Udo Bolts (Ger) Team Telekom
15 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
16 Juan Jose De Los Angeles (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
17 Santiago Perez Fdez. (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca        0.40
18 Andrea Noe (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                    0.42
19 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step
20 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
21 Alexander Shefer (Kaz) Alessio
22 Marco Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE-Eroski
23 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Lampre-Daikin
24 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Team Coast
25 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski
26 Jose Azevedo (Por) ONCE-Eroski
27 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
28 Unai Osa (Spa)
29 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali             0.56
30 Antonio Colom (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada
31 Bingen Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis                       1.01
32 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa)
33 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                   1.03
34 Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Cofidis                         1.07
35 Daniele De Paoli (Ita) Alessio                       1.48
36 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio
37 Francis Vila Errandonea (Spa)           1.56
38 Ricardo Valdez (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria        2.29
39 Abraham Olano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski
40 Cedric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis
41 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Gerolsteiner
42 Daniel Atienza (Spa) Cofidis
43 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin               2.40
44 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                 2.45
45 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Rabobank
46 David Plaza (Spa) Team Coast
47 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Alessio
48 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
49 Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team Telekom
50 Alberto Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi             2.52
51 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R Prevoyance
52 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport
53 Jose Garrido (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria
54 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Fassa Bortolo
55 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                  3.00
56 Gustavo Mario Toledo (Arg) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria
57 Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis                         4.45
58 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol)                4.48
59 Francisco Lara (Spa) Team Coast
60 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R Prevoyance                5.14
61 Cesar Solaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                 5.28
62 Marcelino Garcia Alonso (Spa) Team CSC Tiscali
63 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali
64 Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
65 Inigo Cuesta (Spa) Cofidis                           8.13
66 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank
67 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank
68 Levy Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank
69 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank
70 Marcel Strauss (Swi) Gerolsteiner
71 Aitor Garmendia (Spa) Team Coast
72 Thomas Brozyna (Pol)
73 David Latasa (Spa)
74 Elio Aggiano (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
75 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre-Daikin                 8.33
76 Danny Jonasson (Den) Team CSC Tiscali
77 Thorwald Veneberg (Ned) Rabobank
78 Dario Cioni (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
79 Oscar Laguna (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada
80 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Saeco-Longoni Sport
81 Alberto Lopez De Munain (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
82 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
83 Igor Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
84 Jose M. Maestre (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada
85 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R Prevoyance
86 Angelo Lopeboselli (Ita) Cofidis                     8.44
87 Luca Paolini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
88 Simone Bertoletti (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
89 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
90 Marco Velo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
91 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport
92 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
93 Oscar Pozzi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                      8.58
94 Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                  9.42
95 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                10.38
96 Gustavo Otero Gomez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca        13.26
97 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
98 Juan Carlos Guillamom (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria17.56
99 Jose Vazquez (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada
DNF Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
DNF Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo
DNF Giuseppe Guerini (Ita) Team Telekom
DNF Luca Scinto (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
DNF Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
DNF Ief Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
DNF Ruslan Ivanov (Mda) Alessio
DNF J.Maria Manzano (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
DNF Niki Aebersold (Swi) Team Coast
DNF Gianni Faresin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
DNF Tobias Steinhauser (Ger) Gerolsteiner

General classification after stage 4

1 Aitor Osa (Spa)                      14.58.15
2 Bingen Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis                        0.29
3 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                       3.13
4 David Etxebarria (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi              3.31
5 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                3.34
6 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
7 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                             3.45
8 Gonzalo Bayarri (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria
9 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
10 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast
11 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom
12 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
13 Juan Jose De Los Angeles (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
14 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
15 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                   3.55
16 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Team Coast
17 Marco Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE-Eroski
18 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step
19 Alexander Shefer (Kaz) Alessio
20 Andrea Noe (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
21 Jose Azevedo (Por) ONCE-Eroski
22 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski
23 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Lampre-Daikin
24 Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Cofidis                         4.20
25 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio                      4.31
26 Francis Vila Errandonea (Spa)           4.39
27 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali                5.03
28 Abraham Olano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                      5.12
29 Rafael Casero Moreno (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almer    5.28
30 Udo Bolts (Ger) Team Telekom                         5.30
31 Santiago Perez Fdez. (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca        5.38
32 Unai Osa (Spa)                          5.40
33 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport              6.05
34 Antonio Colom (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada                6.11
35 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa)               6.51
36 Ricardo Valdez (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria        7.27
37 Daniel Atienza (Spa) Cofidis
38 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Alessio                    7.43
39 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
40 Alberto Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi             8.04
41 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Rabobank                        8.35
42 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Gerolsteiner                    8.36
43 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                    9.39
44 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol)               10.38
45 Cesar Solaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                11.18
46 Inigo Cuesta (Spa) Cofidis                          11.26
47 Aitor Garmendia (Spa) Team Coast                    12.45
48 Thomas Brozyna (Pol)                   13.11
49 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R Prevoyance           13.31
50 David Plaza (Spa) Team Coast                        13.40
51 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                      13.56
52 Jose M. Maestre (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada             14.13
53 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                  14.22
54 Daniele De Paoli (Ita) Alessio                      15.07
55 Levy Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank                      15.33
56 Cedric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis                        15.48
57 Gustavo Mario Toledo (Arg) Jazztel-Costa De Almer   16.12
58 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali            16.15
59 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca     18.04
60 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca         19.16
61 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre-Daikin                19.28
62 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R Prevoyance               20.08
63 Oscar Laguna (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada                20.33
64 Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                 20.37
65 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank                            21.32
66 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank                     21.32
67 Marco Velo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                      22.03
68 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Fassa Bortolo                 24.32
69 Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis                        26.25
70 Simone Bertoletti (Ita) Lampre-Daikin               28.00
71 Dario Cioni (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                  28.46
72 Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi          30.15
73 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin              30.17
74 Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team Telekom                       31.54
75 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                 32.02
76 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R Prevoyance               32.46
77 Jose Garrido (Spa) Jazztel-Costa De Almeria         34.01
78 Gustavo Otero Gomez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca        34.42
79 Danny Jonasson (Den) Team CSC Tiscali               35.35
80 Igor Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                 36.24
81 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto-Adecco               37.42
82 Luca Paolini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                 40.19
83 David Latasa (Spa)                     41.55
84 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali               42.34
85 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank                        42.52
86 Thorwald Veneberg (Ned) Rabobank                    45.28
87 Alberto Lopez De Munain (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi     45.39
88 Oscar Pozzi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                     46.04
89 Francisco Lara (Spa) Team Coast                     46.27
90 Marcelino Garcia Alonso (Spa) Team CSC Tiscali      46.48
91 Elio Aggiano (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                 56.54
92 Marcel Strauss (Swi) Gerolsteiner                 1.01.26
93 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport            1.01.57
94 Angelo Lopeboselli (Ita) Cofidis                  1.03.57
95 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport         1.03.57
96 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Saeco-Longoni Sport          1.09.32

Notes: stage 4 was shortened to 80 km due to
snow on the mountain passes. Full results and 
report to come