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2001 Vuelta

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Vuelta News for September 20, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry

Stage 12 wrap up

Today's stage from Segovia to Burgos was the longest of the Vuelta at 210.5 kilometres, and also the fastest, with the riders covering the distance at an average speed of over 49 km/h. The profile of the stage suited the sprinters, but their teams had to do a bit of work to pull back an 18 man break that had escaped after 63 km. Eventually Telekom and Fassa Bortolo caught the last man standing Toni Tauler with 2 km to go, setting things up for a fast bunch sprint. Fassa's Alessandro Petacchi clocked up win number 12 of the season, beating Erik Zabel and Angelo Furlan in the dash for the line.

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Alessandro Petacchi
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Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo, 1st stage)

"First of all I must thank my team for its work in the last kilometre. I am very happy, as today my father came to the Vuelta, and I wanted to win a stage and dedicate it to my grandfather who passed away the first day."

"It was a complicated sprint since Bennati and Lombardi were going, and I knew if I didn't launch the sprint from that distance I couldn't win."

"As far as the World's go, we have a great team as in other years, but there is always something that does not go right. The important thing is to have two or three leaders and to be able to choose any one of them for victory."

Antonio Tauler (Kelme, so close and yet so far...)

"In the last moments I was dreaming of winning the stage, despite having been in several attacks throughout the last 145km. It was a difficult stage because they always leave everything to Kelme, but we can't do everything."

Oscar Sevilla (Kelme, 1st GC)

Oscar Sevilla
Photo: © Lavuelta.com
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"We have given Toni Tauler freedom to try to play a few of his tricks, because he has deserved it."

"Tomorrow is the climb of the Portillo de la Sia, which I do not know well, but I've been told it's a stage that will be difficult to control."

Roberto Heras (USPS, 3rd GC)

"Today was very fast and crazy, with the kind of speed that can make a difference in the last week."

"We will see who the leader of Kelme is on the Covatilla [stage 18]. We'll see because they are so close on overall time. The logical thing would be that they don't attack each other, and both remain leaders."

Azevedo turns 29

Portuguese rider Jose Azevedo is one of the unsung heroes of the ONCE-Eroski team. A good climber and rider against the clock, Azevedo joined ONCE in 2001 after victories in several major Portuguese races. This year he finished 6th in the Tour de France behind his team leaders Joseba Beloki and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, and he is again working hard for them in the Vuelta. Today was his 29th birthday, and we'll surely see more of him in future.

41 riders out so far

The Vuelta is over halfway now, and the overall average speed is a high 41.36 km/h. The pace has certainly taken its toll on the peloton, with 41 riders abandoning so far of 206 starters. At the same point during this year's Tour de France, only 12 riders had abandoned, although the mountains had not yet started.

During today's stage, two Lampre riders Milan Kadlec and Johan Verstrepen abandoned, while Phonak's Gonzalo Bayarri did not take the start.

Di Luca donates to Multiple Sclerosis

Danilo Di Luca has decided to donate part of the proceeds of the sale of his "Killer" T-shirts to the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association. "I strongly support this initiative as every time that I get in the saddle, thinking about all those people who suffer from this terrible illness, I feel very lucky and want to help as many of them as possible," said Di Luca.

The t-shirts can be found by visiting www.danilodiluca.it or going to this link: www.danilodiluca.it/pages_e/merch.htm

Stage 13 preview: Burgos - Santander

Stage 13 from Burgos to Santander will be run over 189.9 km and includes several categorised climbs. The most difficult of these comes at km 99 with the Alto Portillo de la Sia, a 7 km climb averaging 6.1%. It may be too early in the stage to cause a selection, but much will depend on how the leading teams wish to treat the stage. The final climb of the Alto Fuente de Las Varas (Cat. 3) is at 45 km to go, so the stage could well finish in another bunch sprint.

Join us tomorrow at 14:45 CEST/05:45 PDT/08:45 EDT/22:45 Aust. EST for live coverage of Stage 13.

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


Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini