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By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
Spaniard Juan Miguel Mercado of the iBanesto.com team won the Tour of Burgos second stage as Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong eased over the 158km ride from Covarrubias to Lagunad de Neila Tuesday. Armstrong’s teammates Jose-Luis Rubiera and Levi Leipheimer put in a strong showing for the American team, finishing second and seventh, respectively, on the stage.
Mercado, who takes hold of the leader’s purple jersey from Italy’s Andrea Tafi of the Mapei team, broke away from two compatriots, Rubiera and Eladio Jimenez (iBanesto.com) on the Lagunas de Neila climb.
Mercado crossed the line with room to spare, with Rubiera coming second and Jimenez third. The overall standings for the first three riders are identical to the stage standings.
Tour de France white jersey (best young rider) winner Oscar Sevilla (Kelme-Costa Blanca) animated the proceedings late in the race. Sevilla attacked in the closing stages, but ran out of steam in the final two kilometers of the last climb. The Spaniard finished fourth on the day, ahead of Felix Cardenas (Kelme-Costa Blanca), Fernando Escartin (Coast) and U.S. Postal’s Leipheimer, who moved into seventh place overall.
Frenchman Richard Virenque (Domo-Farm Frites) – in his first stage race after serving a nine-month suspension for doping – finished at 2:43 in 36th place.
Armstrong came in at more than six minutes off the pace, but still ahead of Italian Marco Pantani, at 6:42.
Copyright 2001 AFP
1. Juan-Miguel Mercado (Sp), iBanesto.com, 3:57:01; 2. Jose-Luis Rubiera (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:16; 3. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), iBanesto.com, s.t.; 4. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 0;23; 5. Felix Cardenas (Col), Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 0:47; 6. Fernando Escartin (Sp), Coast, s.t.; 7. Levi Leipheimer (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:54; 8. Felix Garcia Casas (Sp), Festina, at 1:06; 9. Tomas Konecny (Cze), Domo-Farm Frites, at 1:17; 10. Carlos Sastre (Sp), ONCE-Eroski, at 1:26.;
OTHERS: 36. Richard Virenque (F), Domo-Farm Frites, at 2:43,; 53. Roberto Heras (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 3:55, 78. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 6:14; 85. Marco Pantani (I), Mercatone Uno, at 6:39;
1. Mercado, in 7:00:07; 2. Rubiera, at 0:17; 3. Jimenez, at 0:18; 4. Sevilla, at 0:26; 5. Escartin, at 0:50; 6. Cardenas, s.t.; 7. Leipheimer, at 0:57; 8. Garcia Casas, at 1:09; 9. Konecny, at 1:20; 10. Sastre, at 1:29.;
OTHERS: 35. Virenque, at 2:46; 54. Heras, at 3:58; 77. Armstrong, at 6:14; 85. Pantani, at 6:42.