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2001 Vuelta

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Vuelta News for September 14, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones & Chris Henry

Vuelta España news: Stage 7 wrap up

Mario Cipollini was again too good for the fast men today, taking his third stage win in the Vuelta and his 180th in his career. Cipollini benefited from the perfect timing of his Acqua e Sapone lead out men, who hit the front with 2 km to go and didn't look back. Erik Zabel finished second and kept control of the points jersey, while Sven Teutenberg (Phonak) crossed for third. There were no changes to the general classificcaiton, with Oscar Sevilla keeping the gold jersey.

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Mario Cipollini (Acqua e Sapone, 1st stage)

Count to three
Photo: © Yuzuru Sunada
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"The number 13 gave me luck. It is the number of the day today and the number on my jersey. Plus it's Friday, the day of the discotheque and of celebration."

Regarding his 3 vuelta wins: "In the first one my teammates set the fastest tempo and it was difficult for me to follow them. The second was a sprint of force and power, whereas in the third I was a little worried because I thought that the team had done too much work too soon."

"I won because I have a team just for me. In the past I have always split the team with other captains, and this has surely limited my possibilities. In this team I am the captain and my teammates have a perfect synergy that allows me to win with ease. Today I have confirmed that my condition is optimal and I could go even go home tomorrow."

In the next few days, Mario Cipollini will meet his friend Ronaldo in Madrid for dinner.

Sevilla admits to tactical error

In today's (September 13) edition of Marca, overnight race leader Oscar Sevilla commented that he had made a few tactical errors on the stage to La Pandera, where he finished third, 17 seconds behind Roberto Heras. "If I'd fitted a 25 sprocket instead of the 23 I used, I wouldn't have had such a hard time during the climb," he said. It is also noteworthy that Sevilla spent some energy earlier in the stage chasing back onto the pack a couple of times after mechanical problems. Although he was not in difficulty, it may have cost him a little at the finish.

El Pais reported that Sevilla's mistake was repeated by former leader Mikel Zarrabeitia (ONCE). "When Zarrabeitia told his team director that he wished to fit a 25 sprocket to his bike, Sáiz inquired as to where the rider intended to go with such a large sprocket, reminding Zarrabeitia that he was a professional cyclist and not a sightseeing amateur," reported El Pais, which noted that Heras had used a 25.

Simoni wants a podium place

After a successful adventure on La Pandera during Thursday's stage 6, Gilberto Simoni feels as though he can finish in a podium spot in Madrid. The Saeco rider is currently lying in 13th place on GC, but only 1'49 off the lead. If he can produce a few more rides like he did yesterday, then his goal is certainly achievable.

He told Spanish daily AS yesterday that "I felt good, more or less at the same level as when I won the Giro. I see a place on the podium in Madrid as perfectly within my reach".

Watch out on the Angliru.

Vueltita Phonak

The Phonak Hearing Systems company is sponsoring a race called the Vueltita Ciclista Phonak, which will see 25 young riders race in Malaga (today), Córdoba, Burgos, Salamanca and Warner Bros Park in Madrid. The children will cover the final kilometre of the stage, approximately an hour before the professionals arrive. The race is designed to promote Phonak's hearing aids and assistance for children suffering from hearing loss.

Tomorrow not easy

Tomorrow's eighth stage of the Vuelta will take the riders 173.6 km from Málaga to Ubrique, via three categorised climbs. The last of which (Las Palomas, 12.7 km @ 7.1%) is rated as a Cat. 1 climb and comes with just 33 km to go. This opens the stage up for an opportunist breakaway to get clear on the climb, with a chance that the top GC riders will also test each other. Alternatively, Telekom and Mapei might want to control the stage for Erik Zabel and Oscar Freire but they will have a hard time on this climb.

Cyclingnews will provide live coverage of the eighth stage from 15:00 CEST/06:00 PDT/09:00 EDT/23:00 Aust. EST

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)


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