What's Cool In Road Cycling

The Stars Will Soon Shine In The Vuelta Espaсa

The Vuelta a Espaсa starts soon, BIG Jan wont be starting, but a lot of big stars will be. The organizers have announced that the Stars, “Las Estrellas”, who will be lining up in Gijon on the 6th of September are as follows:

Igor Astarloa, one of the strongest men in one of the strongest teams in the World. This year he won the Fleche Walonne classic and also second places in Hambourg and San Sebastian to his name in the past, he should be good for a stage win.

Santi Blanco last year took the very hard stage up La Covatilla in front of Roberto Heras, then on the other hard day up La Molina he did it again. Relax-fuenlabrada should be able to back probably the best rider they have ever had.

The winner in 2001, Angel Casero had some form in the Tour de France this year, he’s not seen the form he had when he won, but that could all change now, one to watch.

The sprinters; Mario Cipollini, Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel, not really sure who’ll start. The King, “Super Mario”, what can you say? He didn’t ride the Tour, took the record in the Giro and last year took two stages in the Vuelta. Petacchi, the fast man of the moment and the man to beat. Zabel can never written off, he should be up for the points prize as usual.

Dario Frigo and last years winner Aitor Gonzбlez will head a Fassa Bortolo team that cant make up it’s mind who it’s riders will be, as they have to many to choose from. Aitor has a lot to live up to after last year, whether Frigo will back him or he will be playing his own hand, could turn in to an internal team battle, a little like last year at Kelme.

Igor Gonzбlez De Galdeano of ONCE-Eroski had a crash in the Tour of Germany, it kept him out for a month and now he needs a good ride to get a team for next year, as ONCE will be no more.

Some say Roberto Heras is the best climber in the World, winner in 2000 and second last year, Armstrong’s second in command will do it in the hills, but lose it in the time trials.

Paco Mancebo is ibanesto.com’s top rider, but the others all have to prove something as the un-employment queue waits, Quick-step waits for Mancebo.

David Millar will take a time trial win, lets hope he doesn’t throw all the toys out of the pram when things don’t go his way in the mountains.

One of the most promising young Spanish riders of the moment, Jose Antonio Pecharromбn at the moment rides for the Paternina team, he’s done enough already this year for a lot of teams to be interested, if he is up for it he’ll try to do some thing special.

One of the best memories of the Tour de France will be of Carlos Sastre crossing the line with his daughters “chupete” in his mouth. The ex-ONCE rider is now a much stronger man with CSC and we hope he can repeat his dummy trick!

Oscar Sevilla has not had a good year, he felt he was “double crossed” by his domestique Aitor Gonzбlez in the Vuelta. Since then he has been ill and had surgery, he has youth on his side, but this is not going to be his year, he will have a big following from the fans though.

Well, those are some of the stars, there will be others and as usual it’s the course that will keep you on the edge of your seats, that little race round France will soon be forgotten.

Oh yea! And the podium girls! Cant wait!

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