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Vuelta Live Coverage - Stage 8 - Another Hard Day of Racing!
 
By Podofdonny
Date: 9/14/2002
Vuelta Live Coverage - Stage 8 - Another Hard Day of Racing!
 

Stage 8 Photos Online!

Good afternoon and welcome to Daily Peloton's coverage of stage 8 of the Vuelta Espana between Malaga and Ubrique for what promises to be 174 km of great racing - please remember to hit the F5 button to refresh the coverage - 191 are taking part in today's stage of Vuelta 2002.

The eighth stage of the Vuelta (Málaga-Ubrique, 173.6km) is sprinkled with three mountain climbs, which are sure to provide difficulties for the riders. The first two climbs (Abejas and Viento) are far from the finish line, but the climb up Las Palomas lies only 36.6 km from Ubrique and will therefore take on a special importance for those wishing to obtain victory.

Las Palomas is a first category climb, which measures 12.7 km, with an average gradient of 7.1% and maximum slopes of 10%.

The difficulty of the climb was put to the test in 1990, the only edition of the Vuelta to pass through the area to date, and proved decisive. The stage, which was won by Dane Jesper Worre, provided Marco Giovanetti with sufficient advantage to be able to proclaim himself winner of the General Classification.

Signing-in: from 11.35 h to 12.20 h.

Intermediate sprints: Zalea (km. 29.4), Zahara de La Sierra (km. 128.7) and Benaocaz (km. 165).

Mountain points: Puerto de Las Abejas (2nd cat., km. 58), Puerto del Viento (km. 3rd cat., km 78.8) and Puerto de Las Palomas (1st cat., km. 140).

Last kilometre: Right and left hand curves for 600 metres, last 400 metres 5% climb with open curves. Finish: Ubrique (Avenida Jesulín de Ubrique).

Happy Birthday to - Italian rider Francesco Casagrande celebrating his 32nd birthday today during the eighth stage of the 57th edition of the Vuelta, This excellent rider, leader of the Fassa Bortolo team, has been one of the international peloton's leading riders during recent seasons, as is demonstrated by his prestigious wins in the Tirreno-Adriático, Tour of the Basque Country, San Sebastian Classic (twice), Tour of Switzerland, Flecha Valona, Tour of Trentino, Semana Internacional and his second place in the 2000 Giro.

KM 0 -The eighth stage of Vuelta 2002 started at 11:35 with the signing time. Mario Cipollini was the last rider to sign today. 142 (AGGIANO Elio), has broken away as soon as he crossed the kilometre 0 banner. The Mapei rider is currently lying in 138th place at 43.18 seconds behind the race leader Oscar Sevilla - so poses no threat to the leaders.

KM 01 There is a group of riders at the head of the main group who had been able to gain several metres of advantage: 142 (AGGIANO Elio), 66 (KLEYNEN Steven),117 (PECHARROMAN FABIAN José Antonio), 192 (ASTARLOA Igor), and 136 (PICCOLI Mariano).

KM 15 - The hectic start to the day continues but the peloton is now all back together - for the minute!

KM 21 - The attacks continue - but so far no one is gaining an advantage - but the speed is frantic!

KM27 - The first 27 kilometres have been covered in 30 minutes - that’s pretty fast!

KM 30 - Intermediate sprint of Zalea: 84 (PETACCHI Alessandro), 211 (ZABEL Erik), and 56 (LELLI Massimiliano). There is a group of riders, 56 (LELLI Massimiliano), 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), 35 (MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir), and 203 (BOSSONI Paolo), who have gained 12 seconds of advantage on the peloton.

KM 33 - The high pace is having its effect - 82 (BALDATO Fabio), from Fassa- Bortolo abandons the race. The fifteenth rider to abandon so far...

KM 36 - The group of four riders ahead lead now by 24 seconds on the main group. 196 (GALLETTI Alessio), abandons the race too.

KM 40 - There are three men ahead now: 35 (MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir), 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), 46 (KINTANA ZARATE Aitor), who are leading by 25 seconds on the peloton. 63 (DE WOLF Steve), has abandoned the race as well. The Vuelta is proving to be very tough and we are still only in the first week.

KM 43 - The group of three men still lead the race 35 (MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir), 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), and 46 (KINTANA ZARATE Aitor), with by 154 (HORRACH RIPPOLL Joan), just 15 seconds behind. 39 seconds behind the leaders is a group containing 139 (TONKOV Pavel), 122 (BOTERO ECHEVERRY Santiago), 162 (GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO ARANZABAL Igor), 127 (MANZANO RUANO Jesus Maria), and 141 (FREIRE GOMEZ Oscar). The peloton is 52 seconds behind the first group.

KM 45 - Now the group of 35 (MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir),99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), and 46 (KINTANA ZARATE Aitor), is followed by 154 (HORRACH RIPPOLL Joan), and behind him we have 103 (DI GRANDE Giuseppe), who is riding alone trying to bridge the gap. They are approaching the first mountain pass of the day.

KM 46 - The average speed for this first hour has been 46.400 kilometres per hour.

KM 50 - The peloton have bridged the gap to the middle group so there are just 5 men not in the main bunch.

KM 57 - Yet another rider out! 27 (LODER Thierry), has abandoned the race. The three-men break is followed by a group of 11 riders with 162 (GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO ARANZABAL Igor), among them 1:02 behind and the peloton is 1:12 behind the group at the head.

KM 58 - Over the first Cat 2 climb the Mountain pass of Las Abejas: 56 (LELLI Massimiliano), 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), 35 (MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir), 135 (VERSTREPEN Johan), 139 (TONKOV Pavel), 162 (GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO ARANZABAL Igor), and 141 (FREIRE GOMEZ Oscar). The group in the middle is 1:10 behind the first group and the peloton loses 1:32.

KM 67 Yet more riders find the going just too tough - -22 (AUS Lauri), and 23 (BERGES Stéphane), abandon the race. The middle group has been bridged up.

KM 75 The Lion King Retires! 13 (CIPOLLINI Mario), abandons the race after having showed one of the best performances in this Vuelta 2002. The advantage of those ahaead increases to 2:47.

KM 78 - Cat 3, El Viento mountain pass: three men over the top first 56 (LELLI Massimiliano), and 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor). 162 (GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO ARANZABAL Igor), and 35 (MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir), reach this top after them. Behind there is a group with 222 (RUBIERA VIGIL José Luis), 103 (DI GRANDE Giuseppe), 59 (TRENTIN Guido), 127 (MANZANO RUANO Jesus Maria), 92 (BLANCO GIL Santiago), 73 (FLORES GALARZA Iker), 159 (SOUSA BARBOSA Rui Miguel), 93 (FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio), and 114 (GARRIDO José Antonio). The peloton 4:02 behind.

KM 91 - The situatuion of the race is quite complicated now: 56 (LELLI Massimiliano), and 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), lead by 45 seconds on 165 (HRUSKA Jan), and 35 (MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir),. The group of 9 riders after them are 1:50 behind. The average speed for the second hour has been 39.750 kilometres per hour.

KM 100 - the middle group have been brought back by the peloton.

KM 110 - not such great weather in Spain today, the sky is overcast. The four escapees are being chased down by an Euskatel-led peloton. Lelli is the best placed man on the overall - he is in 45th place @ 8.31.

KM 111 - so the four leaders are 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), and 56 (LELLI Massimiliano), 162 (GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO ARANZABAL Igor), and 35 (MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir), and they all lead by 3:04 on the main group.

KM 112 - the lead is now 2.57.

KM 116 - Euskaltel still lead the peloton, the lead is down to 2'44'' - Galdeano takes a drink from his team car as the 4 escapados work well together.

KM 115 - Euskaltel-Euskadi team for this race: 71. Mikel Artetxe, 72. David Etxebarria, 73. Iker Flores, 74. Gorka Gerrikagoitia, 75. Roberto Laiseka, 76. Alberto Lopez de Munain, 77. Jose Martinez, 78. Iban Mayo, 79. Haimar Zubeldia; of course Laiseka has crashed out and we wish him speeedy recovery.

KM 122 - The riders ahead lead now by 2:40 on the peloton, controlled by Kelme and Euskaltel teams. All orange at the front at the minute; the road surfaces are not too good - as the peloton winds it way around the lakeside.

Third Hour of Racing - The average speed for this third hour has been 41.400 kilometres per hour.

KM 129 - The escapados go through the sprint of Zahara de la Sierra - they will now start the climb of the Puerto de las Palomas.

KM 130 - The lead has dropped to 1'49'' as the Kelme team start to take up the work at the front of the peloton.

KM 132 - The Cat 1 Puerto de las Palomas. This climb contains grades as steep as 10% that should decimate the peloton - Kelme are setting the pace while the peloton starts to split up.

At the Intermediate sprint of Zahara de la Sierra: the order was 162 (GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO ARANZABAL Igor), 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), and 56 (LELLI Massimiliano). The peloton is 1:51 behind.

KM 135 - 17. Miguel Martin of Acqua is starting to struggle at the back of the Kelme-led peloton. Iker Flores also seems to be having difficulty holding the wheels.

KM 136 - now Oscar Freire is struggling to keep on the pace.

KM 137 - Pena and Rubiera also off the back of the peloton - the gap now down to 1'13".

KM 138 - 72. David Etxebarria puts in an attack - there is no immediate response from the peloton but Richard Valdez joins him now.

KM 138.5 - 35 (MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir) is caught by Etxebarria and Valdez...

KM 139 - Galdeano is now caught by the Jazztel rider Valdez - Osa has also been caught - so only Lelli remains at the front from the original group.

KM 139.5 - Still, Lelli leads - behind him Valdez, whose best result so far this year is 4th place in the Vuelta Ciclista Asturias. Behind him the Kelme-led peloton, Sevilla prominent at the front.

KM 139.6 - Lelli is caught by Valdez - and cannot hold the Jazztel rider's wheel - he will be caught by the peloton now - while the Saeco boys are just behind the Kelme at the front of the peloton.

Mancebo for Banesto attacks - Vandevelde is off the back of the peloton - possibly with a mechanical problem; the mountainside is steep and tough now!

KM 139.9 - Casero and Beloki are in trouble too! Valdez is caught just before the top of the climb.

KM 140 - The descent is fast and tricky - will it give chance for those dropped to get back into the race?

KM 142 - Only about 35 men are in the lead peloton now as they swoop down the descent.

KM 146 - Past the town of Grazalema, the speed is up to 63 kph and it is Saeco at the front of the peloton.

KM 149 - Bunches of riders are trying desperately to get back to the lead group.

KM 150 - Luis Perez (Coast) attacks the leading group while Mayo is very active at the front of the peloton.

KM 150.5 - Now David Extebarria attacks the front group which contains Heras and Beloki and Casagrande the birthday boy.

Vinokourov is also in the lead group.

KM 165 - Luis Perez has 25 seconds on the front group as he goes under the sprint at Benoacaz.

KM 166 - Perez is actually increasing his lead up to 36'' - Millar is also in the lead group as is Casero.

Perez's lead is up to 52'', while it is Simoni who is at the front of the peloton. Di Luca joins his captain to set the pace.

4 Hours of racing as Pablo Lastras attacks - he is chased down by Di Luca.

KM 166 - Perez (Coast) has around 50" on the peloton.

Under the 10k kite - Perez is followed by Aitor Gonzalez (Kelme), who is fourth on GC, so it is a great tactical move by the Kelme team.

8 km to the finish - still Perez in the lead, Gonzalez between the peloton at 27".

7 km to go - the lead still 27".

Gonzalez is 10 seconds behind Perez - the descent is steep and dangerous.

5km to go - the lead still around 26 seconds. After this descent, though, there is a slight uphill finish.

3KM to go - the lead still 23 seconds from the peloton but there are a few riders who are off the front of the peloton.

2Km to go - Perez is taking all sorts of risks as he comes into the town on very twisty roads.

Flamme Rouge! Still Perez in the lead, huge crowds - two chasers are 20 seconds behind, then the peloton.

500m to go, Perez out of the saddle pushing hard for home - it is a hard finish.

But Gonzalez has caught him!

It will be very close.

Poor Perez faded at the end - Gonzalez wins!

Official Stage Results:
1º 125 GONZALEZ, Aitor ESP KEL 4:18:36
2º 72 ETXEBARRIA, David ESP EUS m.t.
3º 8 PEREZ, Luis ESP COA m.t.
4º 194 DI LUCA, Danilo ITA SAE m.t.
5º 81 CASAGRANDE, Francesco ITA FAS m.t.
6º 96 LASTRAS, Pablo ESP BAN m.t.
7º 97 MANCEBO, Francisco ESP BAN m.t.
8º 51 MILLAR, David GBR COF m.t.
9º 78 MAYO, Iban ESP EUS m.t.
10º 218 VINOKOUROV, Alexandre KAZ TEL m.t.
11º 121 SEVILLA, Oscar ESP KEL m.t.
12º 161 BELOKI, Joseba ESP ONE m.t.
13º 191 SIMONI, Gilberto ITA SAE m.t.
14º 155 JEKER, Fabian SUI MIL m.t.
15º 171 CAMENZIND, Oscar SUI PHO m.t.
16º 221 HERAS, Roberto ESP USP a 9
17º 41 GARCIA CASAS, Félix ESP BIG a 9
18º 87 VALJAVEC, Tadej SLO FAS a 9
19º 169 ZARRABEITIA, Mikel ESP ONE a 9
20º 4 ESCARTIN, Fernando ESP COA a 12
21º 79 ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP EUS a 12
22º 166 JAKSCHE, Jörg GER ONE a 12
23º 1 CASERO, Angel ESP COA a 12
24º 3 BELTRAN, Manuel ESP COA a 12
25º 176 PEREIRO, Oscar ESP PHO a 12
26º 59 TRENTIN, Guido ITA COF a 12
27º 197 GLOMSER, Gerrit AUT SAE a 16
28º 152 EDO, Angel ESP MIL a 24
29º 113 FERRIO, Jorge ESP JAZ a 28
30º 151 MÖLLER, Klaus DEN MIL a 28
31º 56 LELLI, Massimiliano ITA COF a 28
32º 9 PLAZA, David ESP COA a 34
33º 119 VALDEZ, Ricardo ESP JAZ a 34
34º 93 FLECHA, J.Antonio ESP BAN a 41
35º 163 AZEVEDO, José POR ONE a 49
36º 124 GARCIA, Carlos ESP KEL a 54
37º 132 BERTOLETTI, Simone ITA LAM a 54
38º 208 SZYMYD, Sylvester POL TAC a 3:54
39º 66 KLEYNEN, Steven BEL DFF a 3:54
40º 62 BRUYLANDTS, Dave BEL DFF a 3:54
41º 52 ATIENZA, Daniel ESP COF a 3:54
42º 228 VANDEVELDE, Christian USA USP a 4:04
43º 103 DI GRANDE, Giuseppe ITA INA a 4:18
44º 131 GARATE, Juan Manuel ESP LAM a 4:23
45º 133 CODOL, Massimo ITA LAM a 4:23
46º 156 LAVARINHAS, Rui POR MIL a 4:23
47º 154 HORRACH, Joan ESP MIL a 4:23
48º 159 SOUSA, Rui Miguel POR MIL a 4:23
49º 114 GARRIDO, José ESP JAZ a 4:23
50º 181 BURGOS, Nacor ESP REL a 4:23

Official Overall After Stage 8:
1º 121 SEVILLA, Oscar ESP KEL 29:43:40
2º 218 VINOKOUROV, Alexandre KAZ TEL a 14
3º 125 GONZALEZ, Aitor ESP KEL a 41
4º 221 HERAS, Roberto ESP USP a 48
5º 41 GARCIA CASAS, Félix ESP BIG a 1:01
6º 79 ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP EUS a 1:09
7º 78 MAYO, Iban ESP EUS a 1:14
8º 169 ZARRABEITIA, Mikel ESP ONE a 1:34
9º 161 BELOKI, Joseba ESP ONE a 1:43
10º 166 JAKSCHE, Jörg GER ONE a 1:44
11º 81 CASAGRANDE, Francesco ITA FAS a 1:45
12º 194 DI LUCA, Danilo ITA SAE a 1:48
13º 191 SIMONI, Gilberto ITA SAE a 1:49
14º 59 TRENTIN, Guido ITA COF a 2:13
15º 97 MANCEBO, Francisco ESP BAN a 2:18
16º 171 CAMENZIND, Oscar SUI PHO a 2:22 17º 96 LASTRAS, Pablo ESP BAN a 2:29
18º 3 BELTRAN, Manuel ESP COA a 2:45
19º 151 MÖLLER, Klaus DEN MIL a 2:57
20º 1 CASERO, Angel ESP COA a 2:58
21º 51 MILLAR, David GBR COF a 3:16
22º 4 ESCARTIN, Fernando ESP COA a 3:16
23º 87 VALJAVEC, Tadej SLO FAS a 3:44
24º 72 ETXEBARRIA, David ESP EUS a 4:02
25º 155 JEKER, Fabian SUI MIL a 4:26

So a great day for the Kelme boys - Sevilla in Gold - Gonzalez stage winner and up to third spot overall.

Tomorrow we see Stage 9, a largely flat, 130.2 km figure eight around the city. The only serious difficulty on the stage is the Cat 2 Alto de San Jeronimo, which crests 17.2 km from the finish.

Though the climb will throw a wrench into the train of the sprinters' teams; the 17.2 km descent to the finish should provide a good opportunity for a regrouping and a bunch sprint.

At the same time, the climb will give the opportunists a good chance to break away and steal a stage. Whichever way it goes, this stage will be filled with speed and attacks by those men out for a day of glory.

The GC contenders will spend the day trying to stay out of trouble and conserve their energies for the following day's time trial.

Thanks for reading today and I hope to see you all again tomorrow.

 
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