Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of Stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana. Remember to refresh this page often (F5) to see the latest information.
Stage 14: One more day to Angliru. The race heads due west along the northern border of Spain, beginning in Santander and ending in Gijon. The stage is once again extremely flat and pretty straight, so it looks like a day for the sprinters. Over 190.2 km the riders will only encounter two Cat 3 climbs: the Cat 3 Alto Buenos Aires at 148 km and the Cat 3 Alto El Gobernador at 165 km.
The GC men will have nothing but Angliru on their minds (as will most everyone else), so while there will likely be some frisky men anxious for a stage win, don't be surprised if the peloton rides "piano" for a good chunk of the day. A bunch sprint between the remaining big guys should cap another exciting day of elbow-smacking, high-paced fun before the fearful and pitiful crawl to come.
0 km - The first team to sign today was Alessio, rider 31 (CAUCCHIOLI Pietro).
There will be clouds all day but the sun will shine as well. But as they get nearer Asturias the weather is going to change and it is likeky to rain later. There will be a tail wind as well as a cross wind coming from the left. There are 24 degrees in Santander now and we they get to Gijón there will be around 21 degrees.
DNS - The signing time is over. There are two Spanish riders, 162 (GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO ARANZABAL Igor), and 146 (HORRILLO MUNOZ Pedro), who still have not signed. 24 (BOTCHAROV Alexandre), has not signed either.
After having covered 14 stages, only two teams, Team Coast and Kelme-Costa Blanca, have still all their riders taking part in this Spanish Tour.
3 km - A very fast start, as usual -There are two riders who have broken away from the group: 163 (AZEVEDO José) and 81 (CASAGRANDE Francesco), and have gained several metres of advantage on the peloton.
5km - These two men ahead have already been bridged up by the peloton.
8km - The rhythm is fast as usual in this Vuelta a España 2002. The attempts to break at the head are continuous.
12 km - Peloton grouped after one attempt to break away by: 8 (PEREZ RODRIGUEZ Luis), 17 (MARTIN PERDIGUERO Miguel Angel), 48 (SIVAKOV Alexei), 62 (BRUYLANDTS Dave),95 (GUTIERREZ PALACIOS José Ivan), 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), 103 (DI GRANDE Giuseppe), 111 (CASERO MORENO Rafael), 136 (PICCOLI Mariano), 144 (CANADA GRACIA David),154 (HORRACH RIPPOLL Joan), 168 (SERRANO RODRIGUEZ Marcos Antonio), 173 (BERGMAN).
15 km - The speed is almost frantic. There has been another attempt to break by 11 (GONZALEZ CAPILLA Santos), who rides several metres ahead of the peloton.
16km - Capilla is pulled back into the peloton.
65 Kashechkin - the Domo Farm Frites riders abandons.
21 km - There has been another attempt to break away by 99 (OSA EIZAGUIRRE Aitor), 142 (AGGIANO Elio), and 181 (BURGOS ROJO Nacor), but one kilometre later they are bridged up.
22 km - The US Postal rider 226 (KJAERGAARD Steffen) abandons the race.
Km 25 - Aitor Osa has been in all the breaks so far, he is looking very lively today.
Km 32 - The rhythm remains fast. The teams controlling the peloton are: Acqua e Sapone, ONCE, Fassa Bortolo, Euskaltel and Milaneza.
Km 42 - Intermediate sprint of Comillas: 184 (LAGUNA GARCIA Oscar), 158 (SILVA Joao), and 116 (SMETANINE Serguei).
Km 44 - Break away:
116 (SMETANINE Serguei), and 184 (LAGUNA GARCIA Oscar), are the two only men ahead as the rest of the riders of the break have been bridged up by the peloton.
The average speed for this first hour has been 48.200 kilometres per hour.
51 km - These two riders ahead take a lead of 2:53 on the group as they are approaching the beautiful village of San Vicente de la Barquera.
Km 55 - This seems to be the breakaway of the day; they lead by 4:50 on the group now.
Km 55 - Intermediate sprint of San Vicente de la Barquera: 184 (LAGUNA GARCIA Oscar), 116 (SMETANINE Serguei), and 84 (PETACCHI Alessandro). Those ahead lead by 5:26 on the group.
Km 65 - Garrido Mayorga Martin - no. 183 abandons the race - the two riders of the break now have 7.18.
Km 71 -The advantage of 9:40 of the riders ahead has made Fassa Bortolo start controlling the peloton. They have started the pursuit of those ahead.
Km 79 - The difference of the riders ahead has increased to 11:10.
Km 84 - The advantage of the riders of the break decreases slightly to 11:05 due the hard work by Fassa Bortolo at the head of the bunch.
Km 90 - When the riders are leaving the beautiful village of Llanes, the advantage of those ahead is 11:05. Despite the great effort made by the Fassa Bortolo men, the riders of the break keep on increasing or at least keeping their advantage.
The average speed for these two hours has been 45.200 kilometres per hour.
Km 94 - The Fassa Bortolo riders do not seem able to cut the difference with the two riders of the break.
184 (LAGUNA GARCIA Oscar) could get today his deserved reward. He has taken part in many of the breakaways produced during this Vuelta and today he could have chances of becoming the winner.
Km 98 - The advantage of the two-men break has started to decrease: 10:35 for those ahead.
Km 103 - The two riders ahead lead now by 10:05. Their advantage keeps on decreasing.
Km 111 - The advantage of the riders of the break decreases to 9:42.
Km 115 - Those ahead take a lead of 9:55 on the bunch.
Km 120 - Oscar Laguna the Relax rider at the start of the day was in 72nd position - 1.02.49 behind race leader Oscar Sevilla.
Km 124 - Serguei Smetanine is in 89th position at the start of the day - he is 1.18.47 down on the leader, he rides for Jazztel - both Jazztel and Relax have been main protagonists in the breaks this year as you would expect from the smaller Spanish teams - although their efforts have not received the awards maybe they should have.
KM 130 - The two escapees will need to maintain a good time difference if they want to stay away - the three cat 3 climbs at the end of the stage give the advantage to the chasing peloton - which is still being controlled by Fassa.
KM 130 - The advantage of those ahead is now 9:46. The road is winding and this could be an advantage for the riders of the break.
The average speed for this third hour has been 43.7 kilometres per hour. The difference between the riders ahead and the bunch is 9:14.
Laguna has not done a lot this year - last year he had three good rides:
1 - Etapa 5 Volta Catalunya ESP 21/06/2001 REL
6 Vuelta Murcia ESP 07/03/2001 REL
42 Vuelta España ESP 08/09/2001 REL
KM 138 - The riders of the break lead now by 9:00 on the peloton. From kilometre 79, when the riders ahead reached their maximum difference with the peloton, 11:10, until now, the Fassa Bortolo men have needed more than 71 kilometres to reduce the advantage by two minutes. This means that those ahead are to going to have things easier.
KM 140 - Serguei Smetanine, the Russian rider, is one of the oldest pros in the peloton - he made his debut way back in 1994 when Indurain was still king - born in Ekaterinburgo, he is now a resident of Toledo - and he will need all his steely determination today if he wants to achieve a historic victory.
Km 142 - The difference falls to 8,47 - while the Phonak have moved to the front of the peloton to help the Fassa lads.
Other News Just In:
Grand Prix des Nations - Uwe Peschel has continued Gerolsteiner's great week of success by winning the Grand Prix des Nations time trial. Top 5:
Uwe Peschel (Ger-Gst) 1.24.04
Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun-Map) 0.36
Yuriy Krivstov (Ukr-Del)0.54
Michael Rich (Ger-Gst) 1.04
Jean Nuttli (Swi-Sai) 1.07
KM 150 - The peloton has accelerated, the lead has now dropped to 7.50.
KM 148 - 184 (LAGUNA GARCIA Oscar), 116 (SMETANINE Serguei), and 204 (CALCAGNI Patrick), are the three first riders to reach the top of this third category mountain pass. The difference of those ahead is 7:06.
KM 155 - The gap continues to fall, now down to 6.50.
KM 158 - BIG CRASH - about 40 men involved - ONCE, Coast and Postal men down - the peloton has split as riders remount.
Garate looks to be hurt - Luis Perez is also down! The peloton is fragmented now - bad luck for the riders involved...
98 (ODRIOZOLA MUGARZA Jon) and 25 (CHAURREAU BERNARDEZ Inigo) are badly hurt too - the peloton is now in 5 groups - the gap is now 6:27 and confusion reigns in Spain peloton.
Brave Garate, the iron man of Irun, decides to continue - he is receiving medical attention as he tries to get back onto the split peloton.
KM 160 - Just 30 kilometres to go - the advantage now very much with the escapees - but at the minute it is difficult to tell which, if any, of the favourites have been affected by the fall.
KM 165 - The Russian Smetanine has attacked on the Alto de Gobernador.
He has got a gap of around 16".
Serguei Smetanine has a lead of 4:58 on the peloton. Gonzalez Galdeano is receiving treatment from the doctors. His race seems over...
170 km - Phonak and Fassa lead the chase on Smetanine; the gap is still over 4 minutes.
15 km to go - it looks like Smetanine has the race won.
KM 179 - 116 (SMETANINE Serguei) leads by 1:05 on 184 (LAGUNA GARCIA Oscar), and by 4:30 on the peloton. There is a second group 7:40 behind the head of the peloton.
The peloton is spread all over the course - the gap is over 7 minutes to the back group.
KM 180 - Garate has a large cut on his leg. Piccoli has gone back to help him - bad day for Lampre.
The first over the last categorised climb at KM 165 - Alto del Gobernador - were (SMETANINE Serguei), 184 (LAGUNA GARCIA Oscar), 86 (TIRALONGO Paolo) and 88 (VELO Marco).
KM 185 - Laguna has been caught but Smetanine looks sure of victory.
No, sorry. Laguna is still clear - (oops) Smetanine is pedalling to solo glory - but the damage done in the crash will take some time to evaluate.
3km to the finish - nothing can stop Smetanine now - it is yet another dramatic stage.
2km to go - Gijón - people are jamming all the sidewalks of the streets of Gijón to receive to Smetanine who is going away to get the victory...SMETANINE WINS IN SOLO GLORY! Laguna hangs on for second place!
The peloton is just behind.
Official Stage 14 Results:
1º 116 SMETANINE, Serguei RUS JAZ 4:17:23
2º 184 LAGUNA, Oscar ESP REL a 1:57
3º 34 FURLAN, Angelo ITA ALS a 2:39
4º 211 ZABEL, Erik GER TEL a 2:39
5º 84 PETACCHI, Alessandro ITA FAS a 2:39
6º 12 BENNATI, Daniele ITA ACQ a 2:39
7º 6 GUIDI, Fabrizio ITA COA a 2:39
8º 197 GLOMSER, Gerrit AUT SAE a 2:39
9º 143 BRAMATI, Davide ITA MAP a 2:39
10º 206 HAUPTMAN, Andrej SLO TAC a 2:39
11º 152 EDO, Angel ESP MIL a 2:39
12º 203 BOSSONI, Paolo ITA TAC a 2:39
13º 198 SACCHI, Fabio ITA SAE a 2:39
14º 179 TEUTENBERG, Sven GER PHO a 2:39
15º 142 AGGIANO, Elio ITA MAP a 2:39
16º 17 MARTIN PERDIGUERO, M.A. ESP ACQ a 2:39
17º 48 SIVAKOV, Alexei RUS BIG a 2:39
18º 126 GUTIERREZ, José ESP KEL a 2:39
19º 58 FOFONOV, Dmitri KAZ COF a 2:39
20º 83 LODA, Nicola ITA FAS a 2:39
21º 35 MIHOLJEVIC, Vladimir CRO ALS a 2:39
22º 121 SEVILLA, Oscar ESP KEL a 2:39
23º 125 GONZALEZ, Aitor ESP KEL a 2:39
24º 171 CAMENZIND, Oscar SUI PHO a 2:39
25º 54 CLAIN, Mederic FRA COF a 2:39
26º 151 MÖLLER, Klaus DEN MIL a 2:39
27º 194 DI LUCA, Danilo ITA SAE a 2:39
28º 51 MILLAR, David GBR COF a 2:39
29º 204 CALCAGNI, Patrick SUI TAC a 2:39
30º 159 SOUSA, Rui Miguel POR MIL a 2:39
31º 81 CASAGRANDE, Francesco ITA FAS a 2:39
32º 74 GERRIKAGOITIA, Gorka ESP EUS a 2:39
33º 78 MAYO, Iban ESP EUS a 2:39
34º 195 FUENTES, Juan ESP SAE a 2:39
35º 155 JEKER, Fabian SUI MIL a 2:39
36º 222 RUBIERA, José Luis ESP USP a 2:39
37º 124 GARCIA, Carlos ESP KEL a 2:39
38º 24 BOTCHAROV, Alexandre RUS A2R a 2:39
39º 3 BELTRAN, Manuel ESP COA a 2:39
40º 161 BELOKI, Joseba ESP ONE a 2:39
41º 181 BURGOS, Nacor ESP REL a 2:39
42º 1 CASERO, Angel ESP COA a 2:39
43º 192 ASTARLOA, Igor ESP SAE a 2:39
44º 191 SIMONI, Gilberto ITA SAE a 2:39
45º 79 ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP EUS a 2:39
46º 166 JAKSCHE, Jörg GER ONE a 2:39
47º 41 GARCIA CASAS, Félix ESP BIG a 2:39
48º 225 CRUZ, Antonio USA USP a 2:39
49º 164 DIAZ JUSTO, Rafael ESP ONE a 2:39
50º 221 HERAS, Roberto ESP USP a 2:39
So in spite of all the excitment it seems that the top ten men have all made it safely through yet another dramatic day's racing.
Official General Classification:
1º 121 SEVILLA, Oscar ESP KEL 50:11:24
2º 125 GONZALEZ, Aitor ESP KEL a 1
3º 221 HERAS, Roberto ESP USP a 1:42
4º 78 MAYO, Iban ESP EUS a 2:04
5º 161 BELOKI, Joseba ESP ONE a 2:04
6º 79 ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP EUS a 2:47
7º 41 GARCIA CASAS, Félix ESP BIG
8º 59 TRENTIN, Guido ITA COF a 3:34
9º 51 MILLAR, David GBR COF a 3:36
10º 166 JAKSCHE, Jörg GER ONE a 3:51
11º 151 MÖLLER, Klaus DEN MIL a 3:52
12º 81 CASAGRANDE, Francesco ITA FAS a 3:57
13º 3 BELTRAN, Manuel ESP COA a 4:12
14º 191 SIMONI, Gilberto ITA SAE a 4:21
15º 96 LASTRAS, Pablo ESP BAN a 4:30
16º 1 CASERO, Angel ESP COA a 4:51
17º 155 JEKER, Fabian SUI MIL a 5:51
18º 159 SOUSA, Rui Miguel POR MIL a 7:23
19º 171 CAMENZIND, Oscar SUI PHO a 7:55
20º 87 VALJAVEC, Tadej SLO FAS a 10:48
Full details on the injuries and abandons later on today - thanks for reading this afternoon's ticker and don't forget to join me tomorrow for what would seem to be the most dramatic stage of what has been a dramatic, tense spectacle of cycle racing. Viva La Vuelta - see you tomorrow!