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Preview of Vuelta favourites: Introducing Joseba Beloki
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 8/31/2002
Preview of Vuelta favourites: Introducing Joseba Beloki

By Jakob Duma

Joseba Beloki will head to the Vuelta to prove one major point, that he is the strongest rider for the 3 week races this year in the absence of L. Armstrong. Beloki will confront this year's Vuelta with some unresolved business after his total breakdown in the 2001 edition, where a mysterious virus and some physical problems caused his unexpected retirement after he had worn the gold leader jersey for a couple of days. Joseba Beloki started his professional career with the Basque team Euskaltel were he promptly began to show some great qualities that caught the attentions of several top teams, and before the start of the 2000 season Beloki signed a contract with Andorra-based French team Festina.

Beloki is a very regular rider whose emphasis is in the high mountains, and who defends himself acceptably well (although it used to be his speciality as an amateur) in the time trials. As most riders with similar qualities, his improvement in the mountains has cost him a bit in the time trials.

In His Favour: Is a specialist in 3 week stage races, knows his own limitations very well, and he may in ONCE have one of the strongest teams on paper in the whole Vuelta.

Against His Favour: After his retirement in the 2001 edition it could look like that fighting for victories in two Grand Tours during the same season maybe is a bit too much, although this year he wasn’t at a such a high level before the start of the Tour de France.

1 - Etape 5 Bicicleta Vasca
2 Tour De France
3 Vuelta Asturias
3 GP Karlsruher
4 Spanish Championship Time Trial
8 Bicicleta Vasca

1 Volta Catalunya
1 - Etape 4 Volta Catalunya
1 - Etape 8 Volta Catalunya
2 Bicicleta Vasca
2 Escalada Montjuic
3 Tour De France
4 Circuito Getxo
45 World Championship

1 - Etape 3 Sector 2 Tour De Romandi
1 Vuelta Asturias
2 Tour De Romandi
3 Tour De France
6 Vuelta Aragon
6 Spanish Championship Time Trial
6 GP Breitling
11 Vuelta Pais Vasco
24 Dauphine Libere

3 Spanish Championship
4 Dauphine Libere
4 Volta Catalunya
14 Bicicleta Vasca

5 Tour de l'Avenir

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