By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
Italian Daniele de Paoli (Mercatone Uno) took a solo win at the seventh stage of the Tour of Catalonia, 1:20 ahead of Spaniards Fernando Escartin (Coast) and Joseba Beloki (ONCE). Beloki’s ONCE teammate Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano retained the leader’s white jersey.
On the queen stage of the tour, passing over four passes in the Pyrenees before the finish atop Els Cortals de Encancamp, de Paoli escaped just 29km into the stage along with Andreas Kloden (Telekom), Santiagor Botero (Kelme-Costa Blanca), Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Pavel Tonkov (Mercury-Viatel) and Daniel Clavero (Mercatone Uno). However, the Italian broke clear in the second half of the stage, and by the finish, he was the only one of the breakaways still in the clear.
In second place on the day, Escartin moved from seventh to fourth overall, while Beloki moved from fourth to second, just 22 seconds behind teammate Gonzalez de Galdeano, with only Thursday’s final-stage 13.9km individual time trial remaining.
Tour of Catalonia, Stage 7. June 27.
1. Daniele de Paoli (I), Mercatone Uno, 176km in 4:57:53.
2. Fernando Escartin (Sp), Coast, at 1:20.
3. Joseba Beloki (Sp), ONCE, s.t.
4. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 1:34.
5. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 1:55.
6. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:05.
7. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), iBanesto.com
8. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Sp), ONCE
9. Unai Osa (Sp), iBanesto.com
10. Marzio Bruseghin (I), iBanesto.com, all s.t.
15. Jonathan Vaughters (USA), Credit Agricole, at 3:05
23. Roberto Heras (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 5:08
34. Levi Leipheimer (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 7:30
40. Bobby Julich (USA), Credit Agricole, at 9:44
53. Chann McRae (USA), Mercury-Viatel, at 16:46
56. Julian Dean (NZ), U.S. Postal Service, at 18:24
1. Gonzalez de Galdeano, 26:06:05.
2. Beloki, at 0:22.
3. Aitor Gonzalez, at 0:24.
4. Escartin, at 0:48.
5. Eladio Jimenez, at 1:00.
6. Sevilla, at 1:20.
7. Luis Perez (Sp), Festina, at 2:22.
8. Zubeldia, at 2:28.
9. Osa, at 2:31.
10. Bruseghin, at 2:42.
15. Vaughters, at 3:47
24: Heras, at 9:09
31. Julich, at 15:06
49. Leipheimer, at 30:06
55. Dean, at 36:55
61. McRae, at 45:19