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Vuelta a España - Stage 3 roundup
By Podofdonny
Date: 9/8/2003
Vuelta a España - Stage 3 roundup

Vuelta a España

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Stage Three

Petacchi won in Santander

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Santander, 7th september 2003

The Italian rider Alessandro Petacchi of Fassa Bortolo, achieved the stage win after a very fast sprint. The stage had started in Cangas de Onís and ended in Santander. Petacchi has showed today that he is the best sprinter in the world and he was able to beat the German rider Eric Zabel of Telekom.

The main event of the day was the breakaway with Angel Vicioso, Unai Echevarría, Beat Zberg and Constantino Zaballa. These four riders broke away during the descend from La rebollada climb 20 kilometres away from the starting line; they were cauht up 24 kilometres from the finish line.

They managed to get 3 minutes of advantage but the effort made by the Italians was very fruitful and they brought the four ahead back. It rained all day and there were several falls.

ONCE team rider Joaquin Rodriguez maintains first place in the overall standing, followed by team-mates Igor González de Galdeano, Isidro Nozal and Marcos Serrano, all on the same time.

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Medical report following today’s stage

Medical report

Today’s stage saw various crashes, with the most affected riders being:

-Cadel Evans: contusion to left shoulder and knee.

-Gerrit Glomser: various grazings and contusions.

-Giosué Bonomi: contusions to lumbar region and left hip.

-Oscar Sevilla: grazing and contusion to left hip and knee.

-José Alberto Martínez: contusion to left knee and leg.

-José Enrique Gutiérrez: various grazings and contusions.

Alessandro Petacchi equals the records of Miguel Poblet and Pierino Bafi

With his victory on the 3rd stage of this year’s Vuelta, Italian rider Alessandro Petacchi (Fasso Bortolo) has equalled the records of Miguel Poblet and Pierino Bafi by having won stages in all three of the main three-week cycling races (Tour, Giro and Vuelta) during the same season, a feat that has not been achieved since 1958.

For fuller details on this historic feat click here.

"© Unipublic".

Official Stage Chronicle

by Osvaldo Menéndez

Santander, 8th September 2003

The protagonists of the day have been Vicioso, Unai Etxebarría, Zaballa and Zberg but the Italian power beat them together with the rain and danger.

Life is sometimes cruel and, usually, when someone is not here any longer, he is replaced by someone else. Cycling proves that to be true too. That is why, in Santander, after having finished a stage highlighted by the rain, speed and danger, the new king of the sprinters, Alessandro Petacchi, confirmed to the world that he is the real king, the strongest, the most secure and the one who offers the best performances in cycling.

If Cipollini disappointed this sport when he withdrew from the race the other day, Petacchi means now the prestige and quality. He was able to win in a stage marked by the rain, the wind, the danger and the strategy. He set a new record. He has won in the three major tours. His deed will be known all over the world. He was the best in a day when four men-Vicioso, Unai Etxebarría, Zaballa and Zberg-fought hard against the Italian riders.

Petacchi had already done it very good at the Tour de France as he achieved the stage win four times, Meaux, Saint Dizier, Nevers and Lyon. In Italy he won in six different occasions, Lecce, Catania, Avezzano, Marostica, Pavia and Asti. In Santander he completed a very good year. Nobody had ever won so many times in the same season as Petacchi has done. He has fought in many different fields and he knew that his triumph in the Vuelta a España was going to be highly appreciated in these moments.

In order to get the victory in Santander, Petacchi and his team mates had to fight hard. The rain became the most important danger and the road was like an ice rink. To top it all, the four riders in the break did not reduce their pace at all. There was so much pressure that Fassa Bortolo had to work hard to get their aim fulfilled.

Angel Vicioso was the virtual leader for a long part of the stage, but he accepted the attitude of those who wanted to arrive in Santander longing for a victory. Surrounded by thousands of enthusiasts, the riders risked a lot on the way to the Sardinero. Those who did not fall reached the finish line just in time to see the brilliant performance showed by the new king Petacchi.

Once-Eroski took advantage of the work done by Fassa Bortolo, Phonak and Lampre and took Joaquín Rodríguez to the podium again. Once again the yellow team has the Gold in their hands. They all felt like new kings too. Luis Pérez can be happy again as he is the owner of the Climber Jersey. There are many people now who trust him completely.

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Two riders abandon the race during the 3rd stage: Nicola Gavazzi and David Plaza

All of the participants that finished yesterday’s 2nd stage (196 riders) took the start this morning. Nevertheless, two riders have retired from the race during the 3rd stage. The first to do so was Nicola Gavazzi (Saeco), who climbed off his bike at kilometre 17, just when the race was reaching the first climbs of the 3rd category Rebollada pass. The second retirement took place at kilometre 67. David Plaza (Bianchi) abandoned the Vuelta complaining of the heavy toothache that has affected him for several days. During yesterday’s stage, Plaza lost over 29 minutes to the winning rider.

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