57th Vuelta a España
Spain, September 7- 29, 2002
Vai Dani! Danilo Di Luca's Vuelta diary
Danilo Di Luca
Photo: © Sirotti
Team: Saeco-Longoni Sport
Italian speedster Danilo Di Luca from the Saeco-Longoni Sport Team will be
writing a diary for Cyclingnews.com during this year's Vuelta a España.
The classy rider has been in excellent form leading into the 2002 Vuelta, with
a recent victory in the Giro Del
Veneto showing he has hit Spain's major tour with motivation and speed.
With his consistent performances in Italy during August, Di Luca is looking
to the Vuelta with confidence. "The Giro del Veneto was my last race before
the Vuelta... we've got big plans for the Spanish race. Simoni will be going
for the overall and I'm looking for stage wins."
Index to all entries
Stage 16 - September 24: Avilés - León, 154.7 km
A Weird Stage
It was one of those stages where I just didn't get what was going on. Because
if you are racing not to win, without a specific objective, things don't make
sense. Well the goal could have been a the overall win, but just look how the
key moves by Kelme and ONCE went up in smoke at just the right moment...I really
don't get it!
The climb today was quite difficult...I suffered from the beginning of the
stage. A lot of riders seemed crazy today; with one attack after the other,
and then the group split up:
a. Botero was in the break with a Kelme teammate, two Maia, two Coast and
Unai Osa (Banesto)
b. behind the break was a group of 20 with Simoni, Heras and lots of Kelmes
and ONCEs c. Then I was in a group with 6 riders, 30" behind
d. the rest of the group, blown to pieces
I had paid a bit from all the attacks, but above all I didn't go 100% today
because my D.S. Beppe Martinelli explained that on this stage, after the climb,
there was still a long way to go to the finish and I should go at my own pace
and it would likely all come together anyway.
When we did finally regroup behind the Botero break, I saw something strange.
In my group, there were two Saeco riders, race leader Heras by himself against
5 Kelmes and 5 ONCE riders. The Kelmes and Once riders were strangely passive;
they would close gaps but not attack Heras. Strange, because these two teams
could have isolated the "americano" Heras, but no one attacked, no one looked
to benefit from the team game and it ended up good for Heras since the Kelmes
and ONCE threw away a great chance to attack the race leader.
In the finale I felt good; I attacked a few times but I was chased down even
though I am not a threat on GC. Tomorrow I think we'll probably have a sprint
finish...will it be Zabel or Petacchi? I say Petacchi; let's see how well I
can predict the future!
Danilo Di Luca's official
website - www.danilodiluca.com
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