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1994 Vuelta a España
|Dates||25 April - 15 May|
|Stages||20 + Prologue|
|Distance||3,531.6 km (2,194 mi)|
|Winning time||92h 07' 48"|
The 1994 Vuelta a España was the 49th Edition of the Vuelta a España, one of cycling's Grand Tours. The Vuelta started on April 25 with a short 9 km (5.6 mi) prologue around the Spanish city of Valladolid. The race came to a close on May 15 with a flat stage that stretched from Palazuelos de Eresma to the Spanish capital of Madrid. Seventeen teams entered the race, which was won by Tony Rominger of the Mapei–CLAS team. Second and third respectively were the Spanish riders Mikel Zarrabeitia and Pedro Delgado.
Tony Rominger became the first rider to win the Vuelta a España three consecutive times. Amongst the race's other classifications, Laurent Jalabert of the ONCE team won the points classification, Festina–Lotus rider Luc Leblanc won the mountains classification, Mauro Radaelli of the Brescialat team won the intermediate sprints classification, and Amore & Vita rider Alessio Di Basco won the special sprints classification. Banesto finished as the winners of the team classification, which ranked each of the twenty teams contesting the race by lowest cumulative time.
Race preview and favorites
Tony Rominger, winner of the past two editions, was once again the favorite. Alex Zülle the previous year's runner up and Pedro Delgado, twice winner of the Vuelta, were expected to be his main rivals.
A total of 17 teams were invited to participate in the 1994 Vuelta a España. Each team sent a squad of ten riders, so the Vuelta began with a peloton of 170 cyclists. Out of the 170 riders that started this edition of the Vuelta a España, a total of 121 riders made it to the finish in Madrid.
Route and stages
The 1994 Vuelta a España began with a brief 9 km (6 mi) individual time trial that circuited the city of Valladolid. The official race route contained three individual time trial events with distances that ranged from 9 km (6 mi) to 53 km (33 mi) in length. There were a total of eight stages that held many high mountains, while there was only one hilly stage that contained climbs of lesser degree. The nine remaining stages were primarily flat.
Of the stages that contained mountains, six contained summit finishes: stage 6 to Sierra Nevada, stage 10 to Andorra-Arcalís, stage 11 to Cerler, stage 14 to Sierra de la Demanda, stage 16 to Lakes of Covadonga, and stage 17 to Monte Naranco.
|1||25 April||Valladolid||9 km (6 mi)||Individual time trial||Tony Rominger (SUI)|
|2||26 April||Valladolid to Salamanca||178.4 km (111 mi)||Plain stage||Laurent Jalabert (FRA)|
|3||27 April||Salamanca to Cáceres||239 km (149 mi)||Plain stage||Laurent Jalabert (FRA)|
|4||28 April||Almendralejo to Córdoba||235.6 km (146 mi)||Plain stage||Endrio Leoni (ITA)|
|5||29 April||Córdoba to Granada||166.9 km (104 mi)||Plain stage||Laurent Jalabert (FRA)|
|6||30 April||Granada to Sierra Nevada||151.7 km (94 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Tony Rominger (SUI)|
|7||1 May||Baza to Alicante||256.5 km (159 mi)||Plain stage||Simone Biasci (ITA)|
|8||2 May||Benidorm to Benidorm||39.5 km (25 mi)||Individual time trial||Tony Rominger (SUI)|
|9||3 May||Benidorm to Valencia||166 km (103 mi)||Plain stage||Jean-Paul van Poppel (NED)|
|10||4 May||Igualada to Andorra-Arcalís (Andorra)||205 km (127 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Ángel Camargo (COL)|
|11||5 May||Andorra la Vella (Andorra) to Cerler||195.3 km (121 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Tony Rominger (SUI)|
|12||6 May||Benasque to Zaragoza||226.7 km (141 mi)||Plain stage||Laurent Jalabert (FRA)|
|13||7 May||Zaragoza to Pamplona||201.6 km (125 mi)||Plain stage||Laurent Jalabert (FRA)|
|14||8 May||Pamplona to Sierra de la Demanda||174 km (108 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Tony Rominger (SUI)|
|15||9 May||Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Santander||209.3 km (130 mi)||Hilly stage||Alessio Di Basco (ITA)|
|16||10 May||Santander to Lakes of Covadonga||147.7 km (92 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Laurent Jalabert (FRA)|
|17||11 May||Cangas de Onís to Monte Naranco||150.4 km (93 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Bart Voskamp (NED)|
|18||12 May||Ávila to Ávila||189 km (117 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Giuseppe Calcaterra (ITA)|
|19||13 May||Ávila to Palazuelos de Eresma||171 km (106 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Marino Alonso (ESP)|
|20||14 May||Segovia to Palazuelos de Eresma||53 km (33 mi)||Individual time trial||Tony Rominger (SUI)|
|21||15 May||Palazuelos de Eresma to Madrid||165.7 km (103 mi)||Plain stage||Laurent Jalabert (FRA)|
|Total||3,531 km (2,194 mi)|
Rominger showed from the very start that he was unlikely to be easily beaten, as he won the prologue by a large margin. On the sixth stage, ending at the top of the 2700m climb of the Sierra Nevada, Rominger took advantage of an attack by youngster Mikel Zarrabeitia to leave all other riders behind and win the stage. After only one mountain stage Rominger was now the leader by over two minutes over his rivals.
In the second week, Rominger put his overall win beyond doubt, gaining another two minutes on his rivals at the Benidorm individual time trial and taking two more stage wins, albeit without much time gain, on the mountaintop finishes at Cerler and the Alto de la Cruz de la Demanda.
Even though the overall winner was set in stone, there was a spirited fight for second and third places between ONCE leader Zülle and Banesto riders Delgado and Zarrabeitia. This fight was mostly decided when Zülle cracked on the Lagos de Covadonga climb and lost several minutes. This very stage marked the beginning of Laurent Jalabert's transformation from sprinter into GC contender as he took the stage win.
In Segovia, on the outskirts of Madrid, Marino Alonso took the only stage win by a Spanish rider in this edition of the Vuelta. It was also in Segovia that the penultima stage was held, a 53 km individual time trial. Zülle set the fastest intermediate times and looked set to win the stage and finish on the podium, but bad luck struck, and after four consecutive mechanical issues he lost any chance of doing so. Rominger took his 6th stage win.
The final stage, ending in Madrid, resulted in Jalabert's seventh stage win, a record that also netted him the points classification. Also a record was Rominger's third Vuelta win. He also held the leader's jersey from start to finish (which only three riders had achieved before) and won six stages. The Banesto duo of Zarrabeitia and Delgado accompanied him on the podium.
It was the last time that the race was held in late spring as from 1995 onwards the race was held in September.
|P||Tony Rominger||Tony Rominger||Tony Rominger||not awarded||Banesto|
|2||Laurent Jalabert||Laurent Jalabert||José Manuel Uría|
|3||Endrio Leoni||Ignacio García Camacho|
|4||Laurent Jalabert||Luc Leblanc|
|7||Tony Rominger||Tony Rominger|
|8||Jean-Paul van Poppel||Luc Leblanc||Banesto|
|9||Ángel Camargo||Tony Rominger|
|10||Tony Rominger||Tony Rominger||Mapei–CLAS|
|11||Laurent Jalabert||Laurent Jalabert|
|14||Alessio Di Basco||Banesto|
|17||Giuseppe Calcaterra||Luc Leblanc|
|19||Tony Rominger||Tony Rominger|
|20||Laurent Jalabert||Laurent Jalabert|
|Final||Tony Rominger||Laurent Jalabert||Luc Leblanc||Banesto|
|Denotes the winner of the General classification||Denotes the winner of the Points classification|
|Denotes the winner of the Mountains classification||Denotes the winner of the Intermediate sprints classification|
|Denotes the winner of the Special sprints classification|
- "Esta carrera es la mas importante" [This race is the most important] (PDF) (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 16 May 1994. p. 44. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "La Vuelta - 94" [The Vuelta - 94] (PDF) (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 16 May 1994. p. 45. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "La Vuelta - 94" [The Vuelta - 94] (PDF) (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 26 April 1994. p. 45. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Año 1994" [Year 1994] (in Spanish). Unipublic. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2013-01-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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