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Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Furlan frustrates Zabel
Angelo Furlan beats Erik Zabel to the line in Salamanca
Furlan (left) surged past Zabel in the final metres

Italy's Angelo Furlan edged out Erik Zabel to take the 145.6km 17th stage of the Tour of Spain from Benavente to Salamanca.

Zabel's hunt for a stage victory continued as Furlan beat him to the line in a bunch sprint to win with a time of two hours and 58 minutes.


Zabel has always been my idol so to beat him was an incredible feeling
Angelo Furlan

It was Zabel's fourth second place in this year's Tour, and the German is fast running out of chances to break his duck.

"Jan Svorada and other sprinters were fighting for Zabel's wheel but I managed to come past him at the end," said Furlan.

"Zabel has always been my idol, so to beat him today was an incredible feeling."

Race leader Roberto Heras of the US Postal team finished safely in the peloton to retain the gold jersey, 35 seconds ahead of his fellow Spaniard Aitor Gonzalez.

Thursday's 18th stage, which has two first category climbs and ends on the ski station of Covatilla, probably represents the last chance for Heras' rivals to deny him victory.

Meanwhile, cycling's governing body the UCI said on Wednesday that all standard anti-doping tests on La Vuelta up to and including stage 15 had been negative.

The tests included checks for the banned stamina-boosting substance erythropoietin (EPO).


Stage 17, Benavente to Salamanca

1 A Furlan (Ita) Alessio 2hrs 58mins 00secs
2 E Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom
3 A Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
4 S Teutenberg (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems
5 G Glomser (Aut) Saeco-Longoni Sport
6 A Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
7 P Bossoni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
8 D Zanette (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
9 A Edo (Spa) Milaneza-MSS
10 J Svorada (Cze) Lampre-Daikin

General classification

1 R Heras (Spa) US Postal Service 61hrs 53mins 18secs
2 A Gonzalez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca at 0.35
3 O Sevilla (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca at 1.08
4 J Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski at 1.57
5 I Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 2.16
6 F Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo at 3.56
7 F Garcia Casas (Spa) Bigmat.Auber 93 at 4.05
8 G Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport at 4.55
9 M Beltran (Spa) Team Coast at 5.20
10 H Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 5.26

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25 Sep 02 | Cycling
Links to more Cycling stories are at the foot of the page.


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