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Vuelta a Espaņa - Museo de Jamon Report: Stage 10
 
By Locutus
Date: 9/15/2003
Vuelta a Espaņa - Museo de Jamon Report: Stage 10
 
Golden Hams of the Day

  • "The Big E-Z," Erik Zabel (Telekom). "The Big E-Z" put the wood to Petacchi today in what must have been his most satisfying sprint victory this year. The German Champion sat on Petacchi's wheel, and when Petacchi went into the wind to launch his trademark sprint from way out, Zabel bided his time. Then he came around Petacchi along the barriers on the right side to win easily. With their GC chances gone out the window, this victory will be a welcome relief for the Pinkboys. It also bodes well for Zabel's run at a second consecutive Points Jersey in the Vuelta. If I remember correctly, I predicted Zabel would start to take it to Petacchi after the mountains. Of course, I also predicted that Leipheimer would end up on the podium.
  • Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo). Yeah, so Zabel won the sprint today, but Petacchi has managed to make it through the first batch of mountains with some sprint left in his legs. He also beat Zabel in the points competition today, as he took 4 points at the first intermediate sprint and 2 points at the third intermediate sprint. With the 20 points he picked up for 2nd at the finish line, that gave him 26 points on the day to Zabel's 25. This stretched Petacchi's lead in that competition to 8 points over Zabel and Alejandro Valverde (Kelme-Costa Blanca). It looks like Petacchi is now determined to make the finish in Madrid with the Points Jersey on his back.
  • Fabrizio Guidi (Bianchi). The Italian sprinter was extremely active today, and he pulled off a great finish to land 3rd at the line. The crafty veteran could manage to steal a stage victory yet!
  • Isidro Nozal (ONCE-Eroski). Geez, I go to San Francisco for a few days to cover a big race and interview Simoni, and this Nozal guy turns into a hero. He's still got a 1' 48" lead in the Gold Jersey race over his teammate Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano. Even though Saiz still says that de Galdeano is the team leader, you've got to give Nozal his props and count him among the favorites for final victory in Madrid. When I left last Wednesday night, I expected this guy to be gone from the top twenty by the time I got back. Instead, he has ridden himself inside out to shock the world. Nice going, Isidro!
Ham-Gazers of the Day

Nobody. I mean, these guys just had three tough mountain stages. The fact that they can even throw their legs over their bikes is a miracle at this point.
 
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