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Road Racing News for 9/19/01 [infociclismo]
Road Racing News for 9/19/01 [infociclismo]+ LA VUELTA A ESPAÑA

STAGE 11: Today the Vuelta a España visited what the Spaniards call the "Etapa Reina" or Queen of Stages for this edition of the Vuelta. The 154 km stage raced between Alp and Pal went over the following climbs in this order:

Cat 2, Alto de Eyne
Cat 1, Fotn Romeu
Cat 2, Col de Puymorens
Cat 1, Port of Envalira
Cat 1, Col de Ordino
Special Category, Pal Ski Station (Mountain Finish)

What was expected to be a show didn't disappoint. Jose Maria Jimenez (El Chava) gave their fourth stage-win at this edition, while Kelme's Oscar Sevilla took over the Golden Fleece, taking advantage of Beloki's auto destruction. Beloki seemed to be sick today and lost 19:55 minutes. Thirty year old Jiménez once again showed his strength in the mountains, taking his second mountain stage of this edition. El Chava, who came in 1:44 ahead of the chase group, broke the record of stage wins in the high mountains that he shared with Swiss Tony Rominger by
taking the win today.

This edition of La Vuelta has been very unpredictable, since no rider has shown the Armstrong-like domination that the American has had in the Tour. The climb of Envalira, the fourth climb of the day, was the place where Beloki would unravel. Beloki's rivals saw his moment of weakness and attacked mercilessly. Jimenez attacked from the front group during the climb of Ordino, the penultimate climb, which began the chase after him. By the peak he had already opened a 1:13 gap over the chase, which would increase to 1:22 on the descent. With Jimenez off the front, the game would turn to the chase group, where almost all the overall favorites could be found. Angel Casero launched an attack, which dropped American Vuelta revelation Levy Leipheimer, although the rest remained

Earlier in the day, on the second climb of the day, on the cat 2 climb of Eyne, Italian Marco Pantani hung them up and headed home. The "king" of the climbers had been riding an embarrassing race and it was a matter of tie before he would withdraw. The 12th stage will be a 17.1 km mountain time trial between Ordino and Arcalí. The route tomorrow will have the riders ascending 940 meters, with an average slope of 5%, with maximums in the 8.8%.

RESULTS Stage 11, Alp to Pal (Andorra), 154.2 km:
1. JIMENEZ, José María (ESP/BAN) 4h08:28
2. ESCARTIN, Fernando (ESP/COA) at 1:44
3. MERCADO, Juan Miguel (ESP/BAN) s.t.
4. HERAS, Roberto (ESP/USP) s.t.
5. OSA, Aitor (ESP/BAN) s.t.
6. SEVILLA, Oscar (ESP/KEL) s.t.
7. CASERO, Angel Luis (ESP/FES) s.t.
8. MOLLER, Claus (DEN/MIL) at 1:49
9. CUESTA, Iñigo (ESP/COF) at 2:10
10. RUBIERA, José Luis (ESP/USP) at 2:31
11. LEIPHEIMER Levi (USA/USP) s.t.
12. LAISEKA, Roberto (ESP/EUS) at 2:48
13. MAYO, Iban (ESP/EUS) s.t.
15. PLAZA, David (ESP/FES) s.t.
16. DI LUCA, Danilo (ITA/CTA) at 2:58
17. BELTRAN, Manuel (ESP/MAP) at 3:03
18. BLANCO, Santiago (ESP/BAN) at 3:21
19. BOTERO, Santiago (COL/KEL) at 3:36
20. FIGUERAS, Giuliano (ITA/PAN) s.t.

GC after Stage 11:
1.SEVILLA, Oscar (ESP/KEL) 36:56:21
2.CASERO, Angel (ESP/FES) at 37
3.MERCADO, Juan Miguel (ESP/BAN) at 1:46
4.LEIPHEIMER, Levi (USA/USP) at 2:27
5.HERAS, Roberto (ESP/USP) at 2:33
6.PLAZA, David (ESP/FES) at 3:00
7.BOTERO, Santiago (COL/KEL) at 3:06
8.JIMENEZ, Jose María (ESP/BAN) at 3:34
9.MAYO. Iban (ESP/EUS) at 4:04
10.OSA, Aitor (ESP/BAN) at 4:32
12.RUBIERA, José Luis (ESP/USP) at 5:40
13.BELTRAN, Manuel (ESP/MAP) at 5:43
14.ESCARTIN, Fernando (ESP/COA) at 6:07
15.BLANCO, Santiago (ESP/BAN) at 6:38
16.MOLLER, Klaus (DEN/MIL) at 7:35
17.LAISEKA, Roberto (ESP/EUS) at 7:45
18.PEREZ, Luis (ESP/FES) at 8:36
19.MILLAR, David (GBR/COF) at 8:42
20.CUESTA, Iñigo (ESP/COF) at 8:58

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 (Jimenez/Sevilla) 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



>From Richard Virenque, how are you feeling halfway through this Vuelta?

Richard Virenque: Today (Tuesday) was the first day where I was able to attack. I tried to breakaway five times to get in the good escape group, so that's a good sign of my form. Unfortunately I missed the winning group by nothing after a puncture. I didn't really enjoy myself in the last first category climb, especially after all I had given, but I went up at my rhythm. So the good news today is that I am able to attack. Tomorrow (Wednesday) should be a good day and starting from today, I have decided to attack. What's the toughest for you with only a few days of competition before the beginning of the Vuelta?

Richard Virenque: I think I have to be patient. I arrived on the Tour of Spain with a lack of competition. There was a big gap between the best riders and myself, and to catch up this gap on a major Tour is not possible. On the other hand, what is possible is to improve and suffer less on my bike. I think that after the Tour of Spain and a good week of rest, I will be at my best. My main objectives start after the Vuelta. I needed to do the Vuelta to come back to real competition. I might not be amongst the best, but I'm not very far behind. How about winning a stage?

Richard Virenque: The advantage I have today is that I'm badly placed in the overall, so I'm free to maneuver in the peloton. That makes it easier. Now the most important thing is to get into condition again, grabbing a stage win would be a bonus. It must be great to be back in the peloton and feel the atmosphere of the race again?

Richard Virenque: Yes, it's great and I feel well in the team. I didn't choose the easiest race to start, it goes really fast, but I enjoy challenges like that. You seem planned for the World Championships?

Richard Virenque: Well first of all, I have to be picked in the French team. Once that happens, I will be able to focus on the World Champs. All the work I have done since coming back to the competition is based on the World Championships. If I have come to the Tour of Spain, it is to get into condition for the final fifteen days of the season.
It's a lot of efforts and sacrifices to prepare the WCH as well as the Tour of Lombardy and the next season, but it's important. Starting the Tour of Spain was like "Mission Impossible" with only seven days of riding in the legs.

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