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Vuelta a España 2003 - latest news
By Podofdonny
Date: 9/1/2003
Vuelta a España 2003 - latest news

Vuelta a España

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New Trophy

The Vuelta 2003 winner will receive the new trophy that is an authentic work of art. The sculpture is the result of different designs and glass technical combination. The work is composed by a big base with a truncated prism shape that represents the effort and the sacrifice that winning a prize means. A laminated smelted glass slope represents the road the riders cover everyday.

The group of riders, represented by four of them, symbolizes the team work. The Gold Jersey and the winner are represented by a gold brush on the top cyclist. Three wheels symbolize the life cycles. The Vuelta 2003 route is described, manually polished, in the big hemisphere.

Eduardo Osimani, Art and Formation Area director of the Glass School, explained that the trophy has been a big challenge for the Foundation. "The base of the new trophy has been made of laminated and melted glass, the hemisphere and wheels with warm glass and the riders with glass paste. Everything has been made by hand, so it is a work of art of an incalculable artistic value".

No doubt, its value exceeds the fifteen thousand Euros.

Cups no more! Last years podium Heras, the Terminaitor , and Beloki - this year's winner will lift glass not silver.

The 23rd Team

La Vuelta 2003, that will start on the 6th of September in Gijón with a team time trial, will have 23 teams of great riders. The Team Managers have already handed over to the organisers of LaVuelta the preliminary list of the 22 enrolled teams, that will be official on the 3rd of September. But we have to add one more team to these 22; this 23rd team has been made up by the organisers of the race; ten ex-riders will contribute to the development of this edition of the Vuelta a España with all their knowledge as reporters and collaborators.

The ten riders that make up this special team are: Abraham Olano, Melchor Mauri, Herminio Díaz Zabala, Neil Stephens, Jesús Rodríguez Magro, Miguel Angel Iglesias, Jesús Cruz "Pantera" Martín, Antonio Sánchez, Alberto Leanizbarrutia and José Enrique Cima.

Melchor Mauri in Milaneza MSS colours at last year's Tour - still associated with the race after a long and fruitful career. ©Unipublic.

La Vuelta organisers want this stars team to contribute to the organization of the event with all their experience and at the same time to come closer to the authorities, sponsors and guests. They will also reinforce the relationships of the organisers with the different teams for them not to have any problem in or out of the competition.

Abraham Olano is, no doubt, one of the great riders in Spanish cycling and he will be a first-rate collaborator in this team of La Vuelta. Very few professional riders have such a brilliant list of achievements as this rider born in Guipúzcoa has. Apart from winning La Vuelta in 1998, he has showed a spectacular performance in all the races he has taken part, he has stepped on every single podium and his list of important achievements is endless.

Melchor Mauri, who stopped being a professional rider last year, has been one of the best timetrialists in the Spanish cycling. He won the Vuelta a España in 1991 and he also achieved the silver medal in the Time Trial World Championship in Holland in 1998.

Herminio Díaz Zabala has been one of the riders who has worked hard for the Spanish cycling. The Cantabria-born rider is part of the history of the Once team as he was the first rider to achieve the first victory for the yellow team in the Vuelta a España.

Another brilliant star in Spanish cycling has been Alberto Leanizbarrutia. He became a professional rider with the Hueso team in 1985 and then he also rode for Zahor, Teka, Clas and Once.

The Australian-born rider, Neil Stephens, came to Spain with the Paternina in 1989 and then he changed to Caja Rural, Artiach, Festina and Once. He started to shine in Villafranca de Ordizia but then he made a name for himself in the Tour de France and in the Vuelta a España.

The rider born in Madrid, Jesús Rodríguez Magro, became a professional rider when he was just 22 years old with the Zor and Mínguez and Cordero, then he also rode for Teka, Reynolds and Banesto. He won in Burgos, Urkiola and Asturias but gave the best of himself to Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain.

Controlling the race we will have the ex-rider Miguel Angel Iglesias, who has been called "Mister sprints" as he achieved the hot spot sprint prize in La Vuelta 87, 88, 89, 90 and 91.

Miguel Angel was a brilliant sprinter and a tireless rider as good as Antonio Sánchez who is also another member of this special team of La Vuelta 2003. Jesús Cruz "Pantera" Martín, who achieved a spectacular stage win in Jaén in La Vuelta 1991, will also be working with them. The Asturias-born rider, José Enrique Cima, who rode for Novostil-Transmallorca, Kas and Teka, is another excellent member of this group.

Cima won in Cangas de Onís in the Vuelta 1978 in a very similar stage to the second one of this edition 2003 that had also started in Gijón with the great Bernard Hinault following his wheel.

With this so special team, La Vuelta becomes even bigger and those who were stars now will be contributing with their experience and their love for cycling.

Vuelta Records to be broken


La Vuelta 2003 has not still started and the world record is already in mind.

La Vuelta 2003 will come to Zaragoza, the place where the speed record was broken in 2001 during the stage that covered 179.2 kilometres between Logroño and Zaragoza. A group of 40 riders, among them was Igor González de Galdeano, reached the finish line after having used 3 hours, 14 minutes and 52 seconds to cover the stage. That day, González de Galdeano, as he was the winner, broke the speed record of La Vuelta with an average speed of 55.176 kilometres per hour.

The riders taking part in his new edition will find again a 166.7 kilometre long stage that starts in Soria and ends in Zaragoza. The riders will descend from 1,035 metres high, where the Soria Natural factory is located, to the streets of Zaragoza; this could be a frantic descent. They will only have to climb to the Lanzas Agudas 3rd category climb located between the kilometres 81.3 and 89.

PETACCHI AND THE STAGE RECORD La Vuelta 2003 will surely offer a great performance as regard massive sprints because the best sprinters are taking part in this edition.

Cycling fans all over the world will be watching Alessandro Petacchi, from Fassa Bortolo, and his strongest rivals: Mario Cipollini, Erik Zabel, Jan Svorada, Giovanni Lombardi, Angel Edo, Martin Perdiguero, among others.

Alessandro Petacchi has already showed in the Tour of the Netherlands that he is in a very good shape and that he wants to break the stage wins record in the three major races this year.

Petacchi has already got six stage wins in the Giro d´Italia (Lecce, Catania, Avezzano, Marostica and Astil) and four in the Tour de France (Montgeron-Meaux, Saint-Dizier, Nevers and Lyon).

In this moment Petacchi has achieved 10 victories. In 1956 Miguel Poblet achieved eight stage wins. He got four in the Giro (Mantova, Salerno, Rapallo and Sondrio) one in the Tour (La Rochelle) and three in La Vuelta (Valladolid, Albacete and Alicante).

Pierino Baffi, Adriano Baffi´s father achieved one stage win in the Giro d´Italia (San Benedetto del Tronto), three in the Tour de France (Royan, Beziers and Paris) and two in the Vuelta a España (Gijón and Zaragoza) in 1956. In the Vuelta a España 1995, Laurent Jalabert achieved five stage wins (Alto del Naranco, Orense, Avila, Barcelona and Luz Ardident) and one in the Tour de France (Mende).

Stage 12 - 2002 Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortola) crosses the line, his pursuers still in full force. Courtesy of

Showroom for Spanish Racing

With the withdrawal of ONCE and Banesto from the Spanish scene next season, team managers will keen to show the benefits of cycle racing to potential sponsors -

The Spanish Managers want to change the anguish for the excitement, face a race full of incentives and offer a brilliant performance.

The Spanish Managers have described the Vuelta a España 2003 route as exciting and have said it can be a "great shop window" for the Spanish teams and riders. The Vuelta a España 20032 will start on the 6th of September in Gijón with a team time trial along 30 kilometres. The route has been described as "demanding, competitive and suitable for the best performances".

The Team Managers have already handed over to the organisers of the race the preliminary list of enrolled riders, that will be officially closed on the 3rd of September. Manolo Sainz, Once-Eroski´s Manager has said that all the teams taking part in this edition of the Vuelta a España are going to fight hard to get the triumph and offer a spectacular performance; he also added that the first week is going to be the hardest one.

Javier Mínguez, Labarca 2-Café Baqué´s Manager has said that this route has a bit of everything; we will be the witnesses of a very important Spanish duel; he added that once we are in the middle of the vuelta we will forget the crisis and when there is a crisis we need more triumphs. He also said that no one can snatch the triumph out of Casero´s hands and all his riders are going to do their best in this Vuelta 2003.

Maximino Pérez, Relax-Fuenlabrada´s Manager wants his riders to face a Vuelta where everyone wants to look for success; he said that the route is interesting for the complete riders, the ones who are good timetrialists as well as quite good climbers. Pérez considers the Vuelta a "great shop window full of incentives". He has also said that the riders must start the race full of positive energy and change the anguish for excitement.

Stage 11 2002 - The first break forming ©Unipublic

All photos and some text copyright © Unipublic.

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