Igor Gonzбlez Makes His Team Happy
The expectancies were right and Igor Gonzбlez de Galdeano has become the first leader of the Vuelta a Espaсa 2003. The first “Pelegrнn” ended in the hands of the Manolo Saнzґs rider. Four years later, Igor again becomes the first protagonist of a Vuelta that seems to look to be both balanced and exciting and which started in an extraordinary way in Gijуn.
***Boletin Del Dia From La Vuelta***
The 22 teams put all their energy into this first stage. In just 30 kilometres they were all risking glory. Saнz has been one of the pioneers in preparation for the time trials. That is why, in Asturias, his riders have began to fight in the way that only they know how. They wanted to start the Vuelta with a great success and they have achieved their aim.
They won the stage, only by 10 seconds. The US Postal of Roberto Heras and Chechu Rubiera also wanted the Gold Jersey. They did everything they could but could not cope with the Once-Eroski. They had to make do with the second position.
Ibanesto.com managed to get very good times having no problems until the end which put them in third position. Kelme-Costa Blanca, Quick-Step, Euskatel-Euskadi and Cofidis showed a very good performance. They lost less than a minute as regards Igor and his team mates. Aitor Gonzбlez lost 1:25 due to a puncture that occurred on the streets of Gijуn, near the finish line. The team lost their pace and they arrived having lost their concentration.
Relax-Fuenlabrada was very unlucky already in the first stage. Santi Blanco, Josй Maestre and Nacor Burgos suffered a hard fall. Having lost three contenders, the team had difficulty to reach the finish line and the three injured riders were taken to Cabueсes hospital. Santi Blanco suffered a blow to the face and was in a lot of pain. It is not yet clear if they are going to be able to continue, though everybody knows that cyclists are very strongwilled and heroic.
The fact that seventeen teams have finished within one minute thirty of one another indicates that the outcome of the race is by no means clear and there will be a daily struggle for victory. Igor Gonzбlez and Once-Eroski have started the race with the responsibility of being number one.
Osvaldo Menйndez/Prensa La Vuelta