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Museo de Jamon: Vuelta Stage 18
 
By Locutus
Date: 9/26/2002
Museo de Jamon: Vuelta Stage 18
 
Ham-Gazers of the Day
  • Iban Mayo (Euskaltel-Euskadi). He started the day in 5th on GC at 2' 16". He had ridden a brilliant race and attacked his way up the leader board. But today was his bad day, and he was paced across the finish line by his teammate Haimar Zubeldia in 19th at 2' 38" behind Blanco. Despite losing lots of time, he managed to hang on to 5th on GC. With his bad day behind him, hopefully he can rebound and hold off the men who are now snapping at his heels.
  • Oscar Sevilla (Kelme-Costa Blanca). He was having a good day, and was having a great dual with Beloki (ONCE). Then he was ordered back to help his traitorous teammate Aitor Gonzalez, who had blown higher than a Santa Cruz stoner on the climb up the Covatilla. Oscar had to sacrifice himself for the good of the team, and showed great class and dignity in doing what Gonzalez had failed to do for him on the Angliru. Sevilla was forced to ham-gaze, a sad fate for the second strongest man in the race. Here's hoping Gonzalez bonks again and Sevilla is allowed to climb further up the podium in Madrid.
Golden Hams of the Day
  • Santiago Blanco (iBanesto.com). He attacked early and hard, but had the guts and the power to hold off the hard-charging Heras on his climb to the stage win. He gives another wonderful victory for the deep Spanish team that lost its leaders early.
  • Roberto Heras (US Postal). He opened up the box of Spanish fly again, dropping his rivals and almost chasing down the heroic Blanco. He has done everything possible to deserve the win in Madrid. He just has to dig deep now and hold off Gonzalez and Sevilla in the final time trial.
  • Santos Gonzalez and Miguel Perdiguero (Acqua e Sapone). Without the big Cipo to lead out, they pledged their allegiance to the American team and their leader Heras. They came to the front and hammered, setting the pace on the penultimate climb and leading out Heras on the Covatilla. It was a baffling move that we will never get the whole story about, but they definitely put their hams to good use. A stellar ride for the zebra-men, showing their ability to lead out on any terrain.
 
Related Articles
Vuelta Live Coverage - Stage 18
Museo de Jamon: Vuelta Stages 16-17
Vuelta Stage 18 Official Notes

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