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Vuelta a Espaņa - Museo de Jamon Report: Stage 2
 
By Locutus
Date: 9/7/2003
Vuelta a Espaņa - Museo de Jamon Report: Stage 2
 
Golden Hams of the Day

  • Luis Perez (Cofidis). He claimed a brilliant victory on a surprisingly chaotic stage. Though new to winning, Perez showed great climbing skills and canny tactics to take a winner like Sastre in the two-up sprint. With this kind of performance, I get the feeling that we'll be hearing a lot of Perez over the next few years.
  • Carlos "Baby" Sastre (CSC). He had a brilliant stage win in the Tour this year, and he rode away from the big names on the climb of the Alto Mirador Del Fito today. With this performance, Sastre has announced himself as a serious GC threat who could really do some major damage with five uphill finishes still to come. After riding in the shadow of Hamilton, this could really turn out to be a breakout race for the popular Spaniard.
  • Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo), Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE-Eroski), Oscar Sevilla (Kelme-Costa Blanca)and Roberto Heras (US Postal-Berry Floor). These big names were all at the front when it counted today, taking time out of some major rivals and putting themselves in the position of early leaders. The list of major challengers has shrunk dramatically over the last two days, and these men have survived what has been a shocking series of events to keep their GC hopes in great shape.
Ham-Gazers of the Day

  • Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank) and Cadel Evans (Telekom). Any hopes these two men had of GC glory are gone. Leipheimer lost over 12' and Evans lost over 4' to climbers like Heras and Sevilla today. Both men are huge talents, and will likely focus on stage wins from here on out. With any luck, they'll be able to rally and salvage what has been a very disappointing race so far.
  • Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) and Angel Casero (Bianchi). They made the split in the field that claimed men like Leipheimer and Alex Zulle (Phonak), but they got dropped by the big guns on the Alto Mirador Del Fito. With so many big climbs still to come, these two former winners will have to rally quickly and take huge time in the individual time trials if they hope to salvage a top ten finish on GC. As it stands now, their podium hopes are gone.
 
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