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Preview of Vuelta Favourites: Introducing Oscar Sevilla
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 9/1/2002
Preview of Vuelta Favourites: Introducing Oscar Sevilla

By Jakob Duma

Last year’s runner up and big revelation of the Vuelta, young baby faced Oscar Sevilla will be looking to step up one place on the final podium in Madrid. This year has however not quite turned out the way the Kelme rider had hoped. He was forced to abandon this year's Tour De France due to some physical problems, but seems to be on his way back to top form with some strong performances in both Coppa Agostoni and Clasica de los Puertos here in late August. Oscar Sevilla has been touted as a future Grand Tour winner with enormous potential in 3 week stage races and his excellent climbing skills will come in especially handy in this year's very mountainous Vuelta - he’s bound to be there every time the road hits skywards. His time trial ability is, however, still not at the highest level and may again work to his disadvantages against guys such as Coast's Angel Casero, Joseba Beloki and teammate Santiago Botero of ONCE.

Oscar Sevilla will celebrate his 27th birthday 29 September in Madrid on the final day of the Vuelta, and why not celebrate the day with the ultimate birthday gift, being crowned as the new 2002 Vuelta champion on the magnificent Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. It would be hard to write a more perfect scenario than that.

In His Favour: 10 stages with medium and high mountains and with the finish line atop 4 of them, which will suit Sevilla perfectly. He may also have a bit more freshness than his other closest rivals as he hasn’t raced much since his retirement in the Tour De France.

Against His Favour: The mental blow he suffered when he lost the Gold Jersey to Casero on last year's final stage may still affect him; this year's version could therefore cause some minor disturbance for him if he is in contention for the overall crown near Madrid. It's also very important that he is back to full health, which is an unknown factor at this moment.

2 Classique des Alpes
3 Subida Naranco
3 Clasica a los Puertos de Guadarrama
4 Coppa Agostoni
6 Vuelta Ciclisita a Aragon
6 Vuelta Ciclista Asturias
6 Vuelta a Castilla-Leon

1 Escalada Montjuic Time Trail
2 Subida Naranco
2 Vuelta España
3 Clasica a los Puertos de Guadarrama
3 Escalada Montjuic End
4 Tour du Romandie
5 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
7 Tour De France

1 Trofeo Luis Ocana
1 Memorial Manuel Galera
2 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
2 Vuelta a Burgos
5 Escalada Montjuic End
14 Vuelta España

1 Tour du Romandie Stage 4
6 Tour du Limousin
7 Tour du Romandie
13 Giro dItalia

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Preview of Vuelta favourites: Introducing Joseba Beloki

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