Search the news archive:
 
44th Vuelta Ciclista a Pais Vasco Preview
 
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 4/5/2004
44th Vuelta Ciclista a Pais Vasco Preview
 

While many of professional cycling's notables were in Belgium Sunday for the northern classic, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, a no less notable list takes the startline Monday afternoon in the Basque Country for the 44th edition of the Hors Category Vuelta a Pais Vasco, the Tour of the Basque Country. Visit the race website here.

Defending champion Iban Mayo takes the startline, though in an interview he underplays his form and says he will ride for the team rather than for individual victory. Other previous winners riding this edition are Alex Zuelle, Andreas Kloden, Inigo Cuesta and Aitor Osa.

Joseba Beloki will also ride, having been found fit after a fall racing. Beloki, who comes from Lazkao, where the final day's stages take place, and lives in Vitoria, says that one always suffers when riding, so it is good to suffer at home. He says that the one to watch in his Brioches la Boulangere team is young Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel. He also says that Euskaltel will be a very strong team, but not to discount riders like Vicioso and Koldo Gil of Liberty Seguros, Valverde of Kelme, or CSC's Ivan Basso, though he echoes the widely held sentiment that the entire CSC team has shown great strength so far this season.

Beloki also says that he will be able to accumulate 800 quality kilometers in the month of April, including Pais Vasco, which will be good for him to gauge his preparation. He has already put in some good training for this race.

While Iban Mayo says teammates Samuel Sanchez and David Extebarria are riders to watch, he also points out that there is a field of 15-20 favorites, Vinokourov, Menchov, Rebellin, and Hamilton among them. The Italian Ivan Basso of CSC says there is one clear favorite for this race, and it is Iban Mayo.

Basso has known Mayo since they both rode in the 1985 San Marino World Championships as juniors, when he and two other Italians, Nocentino and China, attacked Mayo mercilessly. His opinion of Mayo? "He is a very brave rider who always attacks, and he is dangerous."

Asked about Valverde, Hamilton or Vinokourov, Basso says that they are all good riders, but that Mayo will finish well.

Of the course, Basso says, "I find the race on the whole quite hard. I know most of the route from other years. There are many climbs. With what I have seen in the route book only a very strong rider can win. The fourth stage – that finishes in Lekunberri – I find quite selective. From the final climb to the finish is a very few kilometers. If somebody attacks with force they can make a difference."

Basso agrees that his CSC team is one to contend with, but he also points out that Euskaltel will be dangerous - "Anything is possible, but they ride at home."

The Race

The Tour of the Basque Country takes in the four Basque regions in Spain - Guipzucoa and Viscaya along the Atlantic Bay of Biscay, and then inland through Alava and Navarra.

The Stages

Stage 1: Bergara-Bergara 129 km

Stage 1 has four climbs - the Cat 3 Itziar, the Cat 2 Elosua, the Descarga and the Asentzio (both Cat 3), and a very steep descent after the final climb to the short final flat.

 

Stage 2: Bergalla - Zalla, 180 km

This stage offers six climbs: Krutzeta (Cat 2), Bikoitzgane (Cat 2), Garate (Cat 3), as well as the Humaran, Beci and Avellaneda, all Cat 2. There are also three metas volantes.

 

Stage 3: Zalla -Vitoria Gasteiz, 169 km

Stage 3 has three categorized climbs and three metas volantes. The first climb, the Ordunas, is a Cat 1, the race beginning on the uphill and hitting Ordunas at 25 km. The Cat 2 Salinas de Anana is next, followed by the Zaldirian twice, Cat 3.

 

Stage 4: Vitoria-Gasteiz - Lekunberri, 182 km

This stage also has six climbs: the Azazeta, the Iturrieta , the Urbasa and the Zuarrarrate, all Category 2, the Cat 3 Huitzi, and the final climb, the Cat 1 Azpiroz - this last climb caps the stage with a short descent to the finish. 

 

Stage 5A: Lekunberri - Lazkao, 88 km

Friday's first stage of the day features another five climbs over an 88 km course - the Cat 3s Zuarrarrate, Urkillaga and Ollaberia, followed by the Cat 2 Gaintza, and finishing with the Cat 3 Lazkaomendi.

 

Stage 5B: Lazkao - Lazkao, 8.5 km, Time Trial.

The final stage, also on Friday, is an 8.5 km time trial with a rise in the last quarter of the course.

 

Palmares

This race was run in the 1920's and twice in the 1930's but was not run again until 1969. Thus, although it had over three decades of hiatus, it is nonetheless a grand old race.

I 1924 Francis Pellisier
II 1925 Ausgust Verdyck
III 1926 Nicolas Franz
IV 1927 Victor Fontan
V 1928 Maurice Dewaule
VI 1929 Maurice Dewaule
VII 1930 Mariano Cañardo
VIII 1935 Gino Bartali
IX 1969 Jaques Anquetil
X 1970 Luis Pedro Santamarina
XI 1971 Luis Ocaña
XII 1972 J. Antonio González Linares
XIII 1973 Luis Ocaña
XIV 1974 Miguel Mari Lasa
XV 1975 J. Antonio González Linares
XVI 1976 Gian Battista Baronchelli
XVII 1977 J. Antonio González Linares
XVIII 1978 J. Antonio González Linares
XIX 1979 Giovanni Battaglin
XX 1980 Alberto Fernández
XXIII 1983 Julián Gorospe
XXI 1981 Silviano Contini
XXII 1982 José Luis Laguia
XXIV 1984 Sean Kelly
XXV 1985 Peio Ruiz Cabestany
XXVI 1986 Sean Kelly
XXVII 1987 Sean kelly
XXVIII 1988 Eric Breukink
XXIX 1989 Stephen Roche
XXX 1990 Julián Gorospe
XXXI 1991 Claudio Chiapucci
XXXII 1992 Tony Rominger
XXXIII 1993 Tony Rominger
XXXIV 1994 Tony Rominger
XXXV 1995 Alex Zuelle
XXXVI 1996 Francesco Casagrande
XXXVII 1997 Alex Zuelle
XXXVIII 1998 Iñigo Cuesta
XXXIX 1999 Laurent Jalabert
XL 2000 Andreas Klöden
XLI  2001 Raimondas Rumsas
XLII  2002 Aitor Osa
XLIII  2003 Iban Mayo

Start List

Euskaltel - Euskadi
D. D.: Gorospe, Julián
1. Mayo, Iban
2. Sanchez, Samuel
3. Zubeldia, Haimar
4. Etxebarria, David
5. Gonzalez, Gorka
6. Camaño, Lker
7. Etxebarria, Unai
8. Flores, Iker

Phonak Hearing Systems
D. D.: Pino, Alvaro
11. Hamilton, Tyler
12. Zuelle, Alex
13. Bayarri, Gonzalo
14. Tschopp, Johann
15. Moos, Alexandre
16. Aebersold, Niki
17. Pereiro, Oscar
18. Schnider, Daniel

Fassa Bortolo
D. D.: Volpi, Alberto
21. Gonzalez, Aitor
22. Larsson, Gustav Erik
23. Codol, Massimo
24. Danielson, Tom
25. Facci. Mauro
26. Bruseghin, Marzio
27. Cioni, Dario David
28. Sánchez-Pimienta, Julián

Quick Step - Davitamon
D. D.: Parsani, Serge
31. Virenque, Richard
32. Dufaux, Laurent
33. Mercado, Juan Miguel
34. Tankink, Bram
35. Van Goolen, Jurgen
36. Horrillo, Pedro
37. Rogers, Michael
38. Sinkewitz, Patrik

T- Mobile Team
D. D.: Van Looy, Frans
41. Vinokourov, a.
42. Werner, Christian
43. Klóden, Andreas
44. Yakovlev, Serguei
45. Evans, Cadel
46. Gueríni, Giuseppe
47. Hiekmann, Torsten
48. Kessler, Matthias

Saeco Machine Per Cafe
D. D.: Martinelli, G.
51. Di Luca, Danilo
52. Simoni, Gilberto
53. Petrov, Evgeni
54. Bertagnolli, L.
55. Cunego, Damiano
56. Mazzoleni, Eddy
57. Sabaliauskas, M.
58. Spezialetti, A.

Illes Balear - Banesto
D. D.: Unzue, Eusebio
61. Osa, Aitor
62. G. Acosta, J. Vicente
63. Menchov, Denis
64. Gutiérrez, J. I.
65. Arrieta, José Luis
66. Pradera, Mikel
67. Zandio, Xabier
68. Navas, David

Gerolsteiner
D. D.: Dietzen, Raimund
71. Rebellin, Davide
72. Totschnig, Georg
73. Faresin, Gianni
74. Zberg. Beat
75. Peschel, Uwe
76. Montgomery, Sven
77. Wegmann, Fabian
78. Ordowski, Volker

Cofidis Le Credit Per Telephone
D. D.: Quilfen, Bernard
81. Astarloa, Igor
82. Lelli, Massimiliano
83. Perez, Luis
84. Fofonov, Dimitry
85. Cuesta, Iñigo
86. Fernandez, Bingen
87. Atienza, Daniel
88. Bessy, Fréderic

Rabobank
D. D.: Breukink, Erik
91. Boven, Jan
92. Leipheimer, Levi
93. Lotz, Marc
94. De Groot, Bram
95. Níermann, Grischa
96. Vene8erg, Thorwald
97. Mutsaars, Ronald
98. De Weert, Kevin

Liberty Seguros Team
D. D.: Saiz, Manuel
101. Heras, Roberto
102. Glz. Galdeano, I
103. Nozal, Isidro
104. Serrano, Marcos a.
105. Vicioso, Angel
106. Gil, Koldo
107. Glz. Galdeano, a.
108. Caruso, Giampeolo

US Postal Service Berry Floor
D. D.: Bruyneel, Johan
111. Azevedo, José
112. Beltran, Manuel
113. Peña, Victor Hugo
114. Rubiera José Luis
115. 8arry, Michael
116. Landis, Floyd
117. Noval, Benjamín
118. Van Den Broeck, J.

Team CSC
D. D.: Andersen, Kim
121. Basso, Ivan
122. Julich, Bobby
123. Luttenderger, P.
124. Sorensen. Nicki
125. Sastre, Carlos
126. Voigt, Jens
127. Arvensen, Kurl-Asle
128. Calvente, Manuel

Lampre
D. D.: Piovani, Maurizio
131. Belli, Vladimir.
132. Garate, Juan Manuel
133. Vila, Francisco Javier
134. Bertoletti, Simone
135. Righi, Daniele
136. Pinotti, Marco
137. Piccoli, Mariano
138. Scotto, Michele

Chocolade Jacques Wincor - Nixdorf
D. D.: Planckaert, W
141. Stevens, Christophe
142. Aranaga, Andoni ¡
143. Ardila, Mauricio
144. Brard, Florent
145. Kostyuk, Denys ¡
146. Piatek, Zbigniew ¡
147. Van De Walle,
J. 148. Zamana, Cezary

Kelme Costa Blanca
D. D.: Belda, Vicente
151. Valverde, Alejandro
152. Latasa, David
153. Odriozola, Jon
154. Zarate, Carlos
155. G. Quesada, a.
156. G. Quesada, C.
157. Julia, José Cayetano
158. Pascual, Javier

Saunier Duval - Prodir
D. D.: Fernandez, Joxean
161. Dominguez, Juan C.
162. M. Perdiguero
163. Cobo. J.J.
164. Zaballa, Constantino
165. Ventoso. F. J.
166. Gomis, Juan
167. Canada, David
168. De La Fuente, David

Relax Bodysol
D. D.: Suarez Cueva, J.
171. Martínez, Alberto
172. Elías, J. Miguel
173. Mayoz, Ivan
174. Cesar, Gustavo
175, López, Julio
176. Pérez, Luis
177. Burgos, Nacor
178. Scheuneman, Niels

Costa Almería - Paternina
D. D.: Moreno, Miguel
181. Del Río, Ion
182. Ormaetxea, Jokin
183. Ferrio, Jorge
184. Euba, Lander
185. González, Jonathan
186. López, Joaquím
187. Herrero, David
188. Lara, Francisco José

Cafés Baque
D. D: Zengotitabengoa
191. Cárdenas, Félix
192. Buenahora, Hernan
193. Arreitunandia, P.
194. Gutiérrez, F.
195. Gutiérrez, Efraín
196 Palacio, Francisco
197. López, David
198. Serrano, Ricardo

Brioches La Boulangère
D. D: Faudot, Cristophe
201. Beloki, Joseba
202. Chavanel, Sylvain
203. Lefevre, Laurent
204. Pineau, Jerome
205. Charteau, Anthony
206. Sprick, Matthieu
207. Beloki, Gorka
208. Yus, Unai

 
Related Articles
Interview with Kelme's Vincente Belda
Iban Mayo Interview - Vuelta a Pais Vasco

Copyright © 2002-2011 by Daily Peloton.
| contact us |