The 2024 Vuelta a España
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La VueltaArchive a Espana 2002

Vuelta a Espana 2002

The 57th Edition Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain), a long-distance bicycle stage race and one of the three grand tours, was held from 7 September to 29 September 2002. It consisted of 21 stages covering a total of 2,957 km (1,837 mi), and was won by Aitor González of the Kelme-Costa Blanca cycling team.

Joseba Beloki, the second-place finisher of the 2002 Tour de France was part of the winning ONCE-Eroski team that won the opening team time trial of the race. Beloki held the lead until the fifth stage when he lost it to a teammate but on the sixth stage which was won by Roberto Heras. Beloki lost considerable time to other general classification contenders Óscar Sevilla, Aitor González and Heras. Sevilla took the leader’s jersey which he had worn for much of the previous edition of the Vuelta. After the first individual time trial, his teammate Aitor González was within one second of the jersey. On stage 15, González increased the pace of the group and put Sevilla in difficulty. Heras profited from this and attacked to take the stage win and the lead. Heras kept the lead until the final day when there was an individual time trial. Heras started the day with a lead of one minute and eight seconds over González but he lost this in the first 25 km of the time trial. González took the lead and won the Vuelta, Heras came second and Beloki recovered to eventually finish third overall. The Vuelta was also marked by three stage wins of Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini who retired from the race after his third stage win to prepare for the World Championships.

During stage 15 riders climbed the Alto de l’Angliru in rain. Team cars stalled on the steepest part, some unable to restart because their tires slipped on messages painted by fans. Riders were caught behind them and others had to ride with flat tires because mechanics could not reach them. David Millar crashed three times and protested by handing in his race number a metre from the line. The judges ruled he had not finished the stage and he left the race. He regretted his temper – he had been ninth – and apologised to his team.

2002 Vuelta a España
Race details
Dates 7–29 September
Stages 21
Distance 2,957 km (1,837 mi)
Winning time 75h 13′ 52″
Winner  Aitor González (ESP) (Kelme-Costa Blanca)
Second  Roberto Heras (ESP) (US Postal)
Third  Joseba Beloki (ESP) (ONCE-Eroski)

Points  Erik Zabel (GER) (Team Telekom)
Mountains  Aitor Osa (ESP) (
Combination  Roberto Heras (ESP) (US Postal)
← 2001
2003 →


List of stages
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 7 September Valencia – Valencia 24.6 km (15 mi) Team Time Trial Stage.svg Team time trial ONCE–Eroski
2 8 September Valencia – Alcoy 144.7 km (90 mi)  Danilo Di Luca (ITA)
3 9 September San Vicente del Raspeig – Murcia 134.2 km (83 mi)  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
4 10 September Águilas – Roquetas de Mar 149.5 km (93 mi)  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
5 11 September El Ejido – Sierra Nevada 198 km (123 mi)  Guido Trentin (ITA)
6 12 September Granada – Sierra de la Pandera 153.1 km (95 mi)  Roberto Heras (ESP)
7 13 September Jaén – Málaga 196.8 km (122 mi)  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
8 14 September Málaga – Ubrique 173.6 km (108 mi)  Aitor González (ESP)
9 15 September Córdoba – Córdoba 130.2 km (81 mi)  Pablo Lastras (ESP)
10 16 September Córdoba – Córdoba 36.5 km (23 mi) Time Trial.svg Individual time trial  Aitor González (ESP)
17 September Rest day
11 18 September Alcobendas – Collado Villalba 166.1 km (103 mi)  Pablo Lastras (ESP)
12 19 September Segovia – Burgos 210.5 km (131 mi)  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
13 20 September Burgos – Santander 189.8 km (118 mi)  Giovanni Lombardi (ITA)
14 21 September Santander – Gijón 190.2 km (118 mi)  Serguei Smetanine (RUS)
15 22 September Gijón – Alto de l’Angliru 176.7 km (110 mi)  Roberto Heras (ESP)
23 September Rest day
16 24 September Avilés – León 154.7 km (96 mi)  Santiago Botero (COL)
17 25 September Benavente – Salamanca 146.6 km (91 mi)  Angelo Furlan (ITA)
18 26 September Salamanca – La Covatilla 193.7 km (120 mi)  Santiago Blanco (ESP)
19 27 September Béjar – Avila 177.8 km (110 mi)  José Vicente Garcia Acosta (ESP)
20 28 September Avila – Warner Bros. Park 141.2 km (88 mi)  Angelo Furlan (ITA)
21 29 September Warner Bros. Park – Madrid (Santiago Bernabéu Stadium) 41.2 km (26 mi) Time Trial.svg Individual time trial  Aitor González (ESP)
Total 2,957 km (1,837 mi)

Jersey Progress

Stage Winner General classification Points classification Mountains classification Combination classification Team classification
1 ONCE-Eroski Joseba Beloki no award no award Joseba Beloki ONCE-Eroski
2 Danilo di Luca Danilo di Luca Mederic Clain Vitoriano Fernandez
3 Mario Cipollini Erik Zabel Mederic Clain
4 Mario Cipollini Vitoriano Fernandez
5 Guido Trentin Mikel Zarrabeitia Guido Trentin
6 Roberto Heras Óscar Sevilla Félix García Casas
7 Mario Cipollini
8 Aitor González Gilberto Simoni Óscar Sevilla
9 Pablo Lastras
10 Aitor González Kelme-Costa Blanca
11 Pablo Lastras
12 Alessandro Petacchi
13 Giovanni Lombardi Team Coast
14 Sergei Smetanine
15 Roberto Heras Roberto Heras Roberto Heras Kelme-Costa Blanca
16 Santiago Botero Aitor Osa
17 Angelo Furlan
18 Santiago Blanco Roberto Heras
19 Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta Aitor Osa
20 Angelo Furlan
21 Aitor González Aitor González
Final Aitor González Erik Zabel Aitor Osa Roberto Heras Kelme-Costa Blanca

General classification (final)

Rank Rider Team Time
1 Spain Aitor González Kelme-Costa Blanca 75h13’52”
2 Spain Roberto Heras US Postal 2’14”
3 Spain Joseba Beloki ONCE-Eroski 3’11”
4 Spain Óscar Sevilla Kelme-Costa Blanca 3’26”
5 Spain Iban Mayo Euskaltel–Euskadi 5’42”
6 Spain Ángel Casero Team Coast 6’33”
7 Italy Francesco Casagrande Fassa Bortolo 6’38”
8 Spain Félix García Casas BigMat–Auber 93 6’46”
9 Spain Manuel Beltrán Team Coast 8’29”
10 Italy Gilberto Simoni Saeco Macchine per Caffè–Longoni Sport 9’22”
11 Spain Haimar Zubeldia Euskaltel–Euskadi 9’49”
12 Denmark Claus Michael Møller Milaneza–MSS 10’16”
13 Switzerland Fabian Jeker Milaneza–MSS 11’45”
14 Spain David Plaza Team Coast 11’50”
15 Italy Guido Trentin Cofidis 15’27”
16 Portugal Rui Sousa Milaneza–MSS 16’36”
17 Spain Pablo Lastras 19’33”
18 Slovenia Tadej Valjavec Fassa Bortolo 23’11”
19 Spain Carlos García Quesada Kelme-Costa Blanca 24’01”
20 Italy Danilo Di Luca Saeco Macchine per Caffè–Longoni Sport 30’35”
21 Spain Mikel Zarrabeitia ONCE-Eroski 31’57”
22 Spain Luis Pérez Team Coast 39’42”
23 Italy Pietro Caucchioli Alessio 43’54”
24 Croatia Vladimir Miholjević Alessio 50’13”
25 United States Christian Vande Velde US Postal 52’50”
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