The 57th edition of the 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.
|Distance||2,957 km (1,837 mi)|
|Winning time||75h 13' 52"|
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.
|1||7 September||Valencia – Valencia||24.6 km (15 mi)||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)||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)||Individual time trial||Aitor González (ESP)|
|Total||2,957 km (1,837 mi)|
General classification (final)Edit
- "Heras conquers l'Angliru, taking the stage and the race lead". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- Procycling, UK, November 2003
- Procycling, UK, November 2002
- No way back for Millar
- Epica y polémica (in Spanish)
- "57th Vuelta a España Preview". Cycling News. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "57ème Vuelta a España 2002". Memoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 12 January 2005.