Setmana Catalana: Zabel Repeats 2002 Result
After a short break the Spanish season resumes with the Setmana Catalana, to-day, Monday. Just like last year, Erik Zabel does it again and wins the first stage.
The five stage Setmana Catalana always has a very talented start sheet, and this year is no different, with Armstrong, Gonzalez, Zabel and Frigo in the line up it will be as exciting as usual. Past winners include: Jalabert, Zulle, Delgado, Roche, Kelly, Merckx and Ocaсa in it’s 39 year history.
To-day’s first stage was round the resort of Lloret de Mar, 146.7 kilometres with a first cat climb of the Alto de Sant Grau of 500 metres with 40 kilometres to the finnish.
First casualty of the race was Roberto Heras of US Postal, who did not start as he has the flu. Through out the stage there was many small attacks but none of them came to much. It was all together for the climb of the Alto de Sant Grau, first over was Rodriguez of ONCE. On the rin-in Andy Engels (Rabobank) tried his usual late rush for the line, he gained 5 seconds but was pulled back in time for the sprint. Erik Zabel (Telekom) won easily, infront of a bunch of 78 riders, with not many sprinters here. Lance Armstrong finnished in the main group.
Tomorrow’s stage is from Lloret de Mar to Empuriabrave, 158.7 kilometres with two 3rd. cat, one 2nd. cat and one 1st. cat climbs, but nothing hard, could be another for Herr Zabel.
Stage 1 Result and Overall:
1st. E.Zabel (TEL) 3:25:15.
2nd. A.Usov (PHO) same time.
3rd. P.Wrolich (GST) same time.
4th. G.Bayarri (PHO) same time.
5th. N.Burgos (CRF) same time.
6th. D.Hondo (TEL) same time.
7th. A.Engels (RAB) same time.
8th. V.Ekimov (USP) same time.
9th. B.Zberg (RAB) same time.
10th. I.Landalaze (EUS) same time.
122nd. M.Barry (USP) at 11:13.