1991 Vuelta a España

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1991 Vuelta a España
Race details
Dates 29 April - 19 May
Stages 20 + Prologue, including one split stage
Distance 3,215 km (1,998 mi)
Winning time 82h 48' 07"
Winner  Melchor Mauri (ESP) (ONCE)
Second  Miguel Indurain (ESP) (Banesto)
Third  Marino Lejarreta (ESP) (ONCE)

Jersey awarded to the points classification winner Points  Uwe Raab (GER) (PDM)
Mountains  Luis Herrera (COL) (Ryalcao Postobón)
Youth  Oliverio Rincón (COL) (Kelme - CAM)
Combination  Federico Echave (ESP) (CLAS-Cajastur)
Sprints  Miguel Ángel Iglesias (ESP) (Puertas Mavisa)

The 46th Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain), a long-distance bicycle stage race and one of the 3 grand tours, was held from April 29 to May 19, 1991. It consisted of 20 stages covering a total of 3215 km, and was won by Melchor Mauri of the ONCE cycling team.

Race preview and favorites

Miguel Induráin, Laudelino Cubino and Anselmo Fuerte were the Spanish favourites for the race. Defending champion Marco Giovannetti was also a favourite together with Steven Rooks, Raúl Alcalá and the Colombians Fabio Parra and Luis ‘Lucho’ Herrera.

In the end Melchor Mauri was the revelation of the race and beat the future winner of the Tour de France Miguel Indurain in all the time trials. Indurain was forced to ride an aggressive race in the mountain stages but Mauri was able to defend his lead.

Race overview

The prologue consisted, on this occasion, of a three-man Team Time Trial. The winning trio consisted of ONCE's Melchor Mauri, Anselmo Fuerte and Herminio Díaz-Zabala. Coupled with ONCE's win in the following day's Team Time Trial, meant the leader's jersey alternated between these three riders for the first week of the race. The team time trial would turn out to have a large impact as Induráin lost almost two minutes to Mauri on this stage.

Stage 7, a 47km Individual Time Trial, was the first decisive stage of the Vuelta. Riders such as Laudelino Cubino and Anselmo Fuerte lost most of their chances that day. Mauri increased his lead by winning the stage, a little less than a minute ahead of Induráin.

The Pyrenean stages were awaited with anticipation, to see if ONCE's Catalunyan rider would be capable of withstanding the high mountains. However, the queen stage ending at Pla de Beret had to be suspended due to adverse weather. Russian rider Ivan Ivanov won the 11th stage to the mountaintop ski resort at Cerler, but Mauri held on, losing less than a minute to Induráin.

Stage 13 was a mountain time trial finishing at the Ski station in Valdezcaray, where Parra and Herrera set the leading times. Mauri once again put in a good performance, gaining more time on Induráin and leading the general classification ahead of his teammate Lejarreta, Echave and Induráin.

The third and final week of the race featured two high mountain stages in the Cordillera Cantábrica mountain range: the historic ascensions to the Alto del Naranco and the Covadonga Lakes. Herrera and Cubino took the stages, but Mauri managed to hang on. Mauri lost some time, but not enough to lose his overall lead. At this point he was the leader and there was still one time trial to go.

Mauri didn't disappoint, winning the Valladolid time trial ahead of Induráin by over a minute to seal his Vuelta win. He would never again perform at such a high standard. Induráin finished second overall, and Lejarreta third.


Final General Classification

Rank Rider Team Time
1 Spain Melchor Mauri ONCE 82h 48' 07s
2 Spain Miguel Induráin Banesto a 2' 52s
3 Spain Marino Lejarreta ONCE a 3' 11s
4 Spain Federico Echave CLAS-Cajastur a 3' 54s
5 Colombia Fabio Parra Amaya Seguros a 5' 38s
6 Spain Pello Ruiz Cabestany CLAS-Cajastur a 6' 50s
7 Mexico Raúl Alcalá PDM-Concorde a 6' 57s
8 Latvia Piotr Ugrumov Seur a 10' 43s
9 Netherlands Steven Rooks Buckler a 12' 09s
10 Colombia Oliverio Rincón Kelme a 12' 11s
11 Spain Eduardo Chozas ONCE
12 Netherlands Tom Cordes PDM-Ultima-Concorde
13 Colombia Luis Herrera Ryalco-Postobon
14 Spain Ignacio Gaston Crespo CLAS-Cajastur
15 Spain Laudelino Cubino Gonzalez Amaya
16 Spain Jon Unzaga Bombin Seur
17 Germany Udo Bölts Telekom-Mercedes-Merckx
18 Italy Marco Giovannetti Gatorade-Chateau d'Ax
19 Soviet Union Ivan Ivanov Seur
20 Spain Fernando Martinez De Guerenu Puertas Mavisa
21 Spain Francisco-Javier Mauleon CLAS-Cajastur
22 Colombia Alvaro Meija Castrillon Ryalco-Postobon
23 Spain Jesus Montoya Alarcon Amaya
24 Spain Vicente Ridaura Sebastian Artiach-Royal
25 Colombia Gerardo Moncada Ryalco-Postobon

External links