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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Thursday, 27 September, 2001, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Simeoni strolls to victory
Simeone crosses the line with bike aloft
Simeone crosses the line with bike aloft
Click here for stage results
Click here for overall standings

Italy's Filippo Simeoni attacked at the top of the final climb to win the 154.2km 18th stage of the Tour of Spain from Albacete to Cuenca.

Simeoni, a Cantina Tollo rider, dismounted and walked across the line, kissing his bike in triumph, after finishing ahead of a group of riders including race leader Oscar Sevilla and his closest challenger Angel Casero.

Sevilla retained his overall lead of 25 seconds over fellow Spaniard Casero with three race stages remaining.

Santi Blanco had been leading the stage with 15km to go but he came off on a corner, allowing Simeoni to capitalise.

Blanco remounted and attempted to catch up but, incredibly, he fell again and wisely decided to finish the stage at a more leisurely pace.

Simeoni took advantage of the fall to build a clear lead at the front and he held on to take the stage at a stroll.

Leading results from 18th stage:
1. Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Cantina three hours seven minutes 32 seconds
2. Geert Verheyen (Bel) Rabobank 28 seconds behind
3. Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa) Once same time
4. Rui Lavarinhas (Por) Milaneza s.t.
5. Haimar Zubelda (Spa) Euskatel s.t.
6. Inigo Cuesta (Spa) Cofidis Spain s.t.
7. Sven Teutenberg (Ger) Festina 58 seconds behind
8. Tomas Konecny (Cze) Domo s.t.
9. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom s.t.
10. David Etxeberria (Spa) Euskatel s.t.

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Overall standings:
1. Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Kelme 61 hours, 36 minutes, 53 seconds
2. Angel Casero (Spa) Festina 25 seconds behind.
3. Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal 2:20 behind.
4. Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa), 3:19 behind.
5. Levi Leipheimer (USA) US Postal 3:55 behind.
6. David Plaza (Spa) Festina 4:44 behind.
7. Jose Maria Rubiera (Spa) US Postal 4:59 behind.
8. Aitor Osa (Spa), 5:47 behind.
9. Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskatel, 6:59 behind.
10. Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast, 7:18 behind.

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See also:

26 Sep 01 |  Other Sports
Hunter triumphs in sprint finish
25 Sep 01 |  Other Sports
Konecny sprints to stage win
05 Oct 01 |  Other Sports
Casero shadows Sevilla
22 Sep 01 |  Other Sports
Garate takes first pro victory
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