Posted by Editor on 09/11/02
Vuelta a Espana
Stage 5 - El Ejido o Almeria to Sierra Nevada 198 km
Stage 5 is the first of the climbing stages, finishing at Sierra Nevada after 37 kilometres of climbing. Sierra Nevada was the site of the 2000 Mountain Bike World Championships, and I can attest that it is a tough climb - not as steep as some, but very long and requiring constant effort.
A group of 7 formed off the front in the first 50 kilometres, and reached a maximum lead of nearly 7 minutes before the peloton began to reel them in. By the start of the final climb, the gap was down to under 3 minutes, and the tempo was picking up, with US Postal going to the front to help set up leader Roberto Heras.
Luis Perez (Coast) and Alberto Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel) broke away from the peloton and gradually scooped up the remnants of the break, moving into the lead as the favourites sat behind at the front of the peloton, maintaining tempo. As their lead grew, a group of 12 formed, and Munain was caught by Garcia Casas (Big Mat) and Guido Trentin (Cofidis), who jumped off the front of the chasers. Trentin won the stage over Casas and Mikel Zarrabeitia (ONCE-Eroski, 4th in the stage) took over the leader's jersey as the leader's board was completely rearranged.
- Giro d'Italia winner Paolo Savoldelli did not start, after a crash at the end of stage 4.
- Many of the favourites did not seem too worried about this stage, just making sure that they did not lose too much time.
1 Guido Trentin (Ita) Cofidis 5:45:57
2 Felix Garcia Casas (Esp) Bigmat.Auber 93 at 0:08
3 Haimar Zubeldia (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
4 Mikel Zarrabeitia (Esp) ONCE-Eroski both s.t.
5 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom 0:29
6 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski 0:47
7 Oscar Sevilla (Esp) Kelme-Costa Blanca
8 Pablo Lastras (Esp) iBanesto.com both s.t.
9 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 0:50
10 Rui Miguel Sousa (Por) Milaneza-MSS
11 Aitor Gonzalez (Esp) Kelme-Costa Blanca both s.t.
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