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Road Racing News for 9/18/01 [infociclismo]
Road Racing News for 9/18/01 [infociclismo]+ LA VUELTA A ESPAÑA

REST DAY: Yesterday

STAGE 10: Santiago Blanco, not long ago one of Spain's most promising young riders, came center stage today for the biggest win of his career. The rider won the third mountaintop finish of the race in what ended up being a relatively calm day for race leader Joseba Beloki and his main rivals, who concentrated on conserving
energy today in anticipation of the "Etapa Reina" tomorrow.

Blanco, 27, outlasted five other breakaway companions after a group of six decided to leave the peloton around kilometer 45. Today's win represents Blanco's first ever stage win in a major tour. A few years ago, his team director, Jose Miguel Echavarri, had predicted Blanco would be a man to watch during the 2000 Tour. Things didn't quite work out for Blanco. After turning pro with Banesto, he then split with the team in a bitter financial divorce to sign for the now-defunct Vitalicio Seguros team. His stint with Vitalicio was unsuccessful, returning to the Banesto camp prior to the 2000 season, where he will now hope to build on this success. "I hope this victory will help me gain confidence and will help show that I can fight with the heavyweights, " said Blanco, who arrived 2.57 ahead of dane Klaus Moller and 4.23 ahead of the favorites. Blanco left the last of his breakaway companions at around 40 kms to the finish never to be seen again.

The stage began with some controversy brewing among the peloton after the declarations by Relax Fuenlabrada's director Jose Maria Perez concerning ONCE-Eroski team leader Abraham Olano. In a radio interview, Perez cast a shadow of doubt on Olano's performance during the 1995 World Championships, claiming to have knowledge that Olano's hemo level was way beyond the now infamous 50%.

RESULTS Stage 10, Sabadell to La Molina (Gerona), 168 km:
1. BLANCO, Santiago (ESP/BAN) 4h:20:23
2. MOLLER, Klaus (DEN/MIL) at 2:57
3. TAULER, Antonio (ESP/KEL) at 4:09
4. JIMENEZ, Jose María (ESP/BAN) at 4:19
5. OSA, Unai (ESP/BAN) at 4.23
6. ESCARTIN, Fernando (ESP/COA) s.t.
7. SEVILLA, Oscar (ESP/KEL) s.t.
8. OSA, Aitor (ESP/BAN) s.t.
9. LEIPHEIMER, Levi (USA/USP) s.t.
10. HERAS, Roberto (ESP/USP) s.t.
11. CASERO, Angel (ESP/FES) s.t.
12. PLAZA, David (ESP/FES) s.t.
13. RUBIERA, José Luis (ESP/USP) s.t.
14. GOMEZ GOZALO, José Javier (ESP/KEL) s.t.
15. MERCADO, Juan Miguel (ESP/BAN) s.t.
16. CUESTA, Iñigo (ESP/COF) s.t.
17. BELTRAN, Manuel (ESP/MAP) s.t.
18. LAISEKA, Roberto (ESP/EUS) s.t.
19. BOTERO, Santiago (COL/KEL) s.t.
20. BELOKI, Joseba (ESP/ONC) s.t.

GC after Stage 10:
1. BELOKI, Joseba (ESP/ONC) 32h:45:55
2. SEVILLA, Oscar (ESP/KEL) at 14
3. CASERO, Angel (ESP/FES) at 51
4. BOTERO, Santiago(COL/KEL) at 1:28
5. LEIPHEIMER, Levi(USA/USP) at 1:54
6. MERCADO, Juan M.(ESP/BAN) at 2:00
7. PLAZA, David (ESP/FES) at 2:10
8. HERAS, Roberto (ESP/USP) at 2:47
9. MAYO, Iban (ESP/EUS) at 3:14
10. MILLAR, David (GBR/COF) at 3:58
12. BELTRAN, Manuel (ESP/MAP) at 4:38
13. OSA, Aitor (ESP/BAN) at 4:46
14. RUBIERA, José L.(ESP/USP) at 5:07
15. BLANCO, Santiago(ESP/BAN) at 5:15
16. JIMENEZ, Jose M.(ESP/BAN) at 5:32
17. ESCARTIN, Fernando(ESP/COA) at 6:21
18. PEREZ, Luis (ESP/FES) at 6:41
19. LAISEKA, Roberto(ESP/EUS) at 6:55
20. MOLLER, Klaus (DEN/MIL) at 7:44

ITT = Individual Time Trial
MF = Mountain Finish

(Stage winner/G.C. leader)
1: Sep 8, Salamanca-Salamanca (ITT) 12 kms (Millar/Millar)
2: Sep 9, Salamanca-Valladolid 147,2 (Zabel/Millar)
3: Sep 10, Valladolid-León 140,5 (Zabel/Millar)
4: Sep 11, León-Gijón 175 (Zabel/Botero)
5: Sep 12, Gijón-Lagos Covadonga (MF) 160,8 (Mercado/Sevilla)
6: Sep 13, Cangas de Onís-Torrelavega 180,6 (Millar/Sevilla)
7: Sep 14, Torrelavega-Torrelavega (ITT) 44,2 (Botero/Botero)
8: Sep 15, Reinosa-Alto Demanada (final en alto) 195 (Jimenez/Beloki)
9: Sep 16, Logroño-Zaragoza 179,2 (I Gonzalez de Galdeano/Beloki)
Rest Day: Sep 17
10: Sep 18, Sabadell-La Molina (MF) 168,4 (Blanco/Beloki)
11: Sep 19, Alp-Andorra/Pal (MF) 154,2
12: Sep 20, Ordino Arcalís-Andorra (Mountain ITT) 17,1
13: Sep 21, Andorra-Port Aventura (Tarragona) 206
14: Sep 22, Port Aventura-Vinaros 170,5
15: Sep 23, Valencia-Aitana (MF) 207,2
Rest Day: Sep 24
16: Sep 25, Alcoy-Murcia 153,3
17: Sep 26, Murcia-Albacete 159,5
18: Sep 27, Albacete-Cuenca 154,2
19: Sep 28, Cuenca-Guadalajara 168
20: Sep 29, Guadalajara-Alto Abantos (MF) 181
21: Sep 30, Madrid-Madrid (ITT) 38


FRIGO'S NEW TEAM: Dario Frigo, who was fired from Fassa Bartolo during the Giro d'Italia, after his admission of having doping products in his possession has signed with a new team for 2002. Frigo will race for Tacconi Sport - Vini Caldirola.

GOTTI WITHDRAWS: Ivan Gotti, winner of the 1997 and 1999 Giro d'Italia, didn 't start the tenth stage of the Vuelta a España. The Alessio rider left to Monte Carlo to be with his wife who is ill.

Italian Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno), who has yet to leave a lasting impression on the Vuelta this year, claims that things are not as bad as some journalists would have fans believe. "Things have not gone as I expected and I have failed in my terrain", stated Pantani. "There is also a lot of tension within the team, which is to be expected due to the current restructuring plans for the next year", added Pantani.

As for the outlook for the future of his career, Pantani states that he continues to ride out of "dignity and principle" as he considers he has been treated unfairly the last few years. "The easiest thing would have been to quit, but, I have pride and that's why I choose to continue even if I am not currently in my best form", concluded the former Giro and Tour winner.

Txema del Olmo will not be riding for Euskaltel-Euskadi next year. The team announced today in a press release that they have expressed interest in retaining the rider's service for the next two years and continue to support the rider as he attempts to clear his name after his recent disqualification from the Tour de France due to a high
hemo reading.

YEAR'S VUELTA, check out:

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