26th Vuelta a Espana 1971

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

Spanish Rivalry Benefits a Foreigner

Experts agreed that Vuelta a Espana 1971 was going to be very similar to the recent edition.  Luis Ocaña and Augstin Tamames started as major favorites for the overall victory. 

The early leader of the race Dutchman Rene Pijnen controlled affairs, but faded on stage 9 from Jaca to Pamplona.  A group of 20 riders broke away with 103 km to go.  The lead grew to 6’05’ over a passive peloton with pre-race favorite Augstin Tamames driving the pace of the breakaway.  Tamames won the stage and with the time bonus took the overall race lead by 2 seconds.

The Spanish media began to criticize defending champion Luis Ocana for his passive racing.  Hurt by the critics, Ocana let loose on stage 12 from Bilbao to Vitoria.  At the start of the Orduna climb Ocana attacked with Belgian Ferdinand Bracke close behind.  Ocana continued to drive the aggressive pace and dropped his breakaway companions on the Alto Herrera.  The angry Spaniard soloed the final 50 km for the stage win, but Bracke gained enough time to take the race lead. 

The final assault on Bracke’s race lead came on stage 14.  Miguel Maria Lasa and Wilfried David joined a 4-rider breakaway that gained significant time on Bracke.  Wilfried David won the stage and moved into second place in the overall classification. 

The unheralded Ferdinand Bracke, who was 32, rode a solid race and slipped into breakaways among the elites when no one considered him a threat.  Bracke shared the podium with his countryman Wilfred David and Luis Ocaña.  It was disappointing not to see Ocaña or Augustin Tamames on the top of the podium, but even more disconcerting was the performance of the rest of the Spanish riders.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Prologue Almeria, 4.2 km ITT

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Stage 1 Almeria-Aguilas, 126 km

Gert Harings (Hol)

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Stage 2 Aguilas-Calpe, 245 km

Eddy Peelman (Bel)

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Stage 3 Calpe-Playa de Farnals, 164 km

Cyrille Guimard (Fra)

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Stage 4 Playa de Farnals-Benicasim, 175 km

Hubert Hutsebaut (Bel)

Domingo Perurena (Spa)

Stage 5 Benicasim-Salou, 172 km

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Stage 6 Salou-Barcelona, 149 km

Eddy Peelman (Bel)

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Stage 7 Barcelona-Manresa, 179 km

Walter Godefroot (Bel)

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Stage 8 Balaguer-Jaca, 211 km

Walter Godefroot (Bel)

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Stage 9 Jaca-Pamplona, 175 km

Agustin Tamames (Spa)

Agustin Tamames (Spa)

Stage 10 Pamplona-San Sebastian, 120 km

Gerard Vianen (Hol)

Agustin Tamames (Spa)

Stage 11a San Sebastian-Bilbao, 140 km

Gerben Karstens (Hol)

Agustin Tamames (Spa)

Stage 11b Bilbao-Bilbao, 2.650 km ITT

J-A Gonzalez-Linares (Spa)

Miguel Maria Lasa (Spa)

Stage 12 Bilbao-Vitoria, 185 km

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)

Stage 13 Vitoria-Torrelavega, 208 km

Eddy Peelman (Bel)

Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)

Stage 14 Torrelavega-Burgos, 192 km

Wilfried David (Bel)

Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)

Stage 15 Burgos-Segovia, 188 km

Cyrille Guimard (Fra)

Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)

Stage 16 Segovia-Avila, 114 km

Joop Zoetemelk (Hol)

Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)

Stage 17a Avila-Madrid, 138 km

Willy Scheers (Bel)

Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)

Stage 17b Madrid-Madrid, 5.3 km ITT

Rene Pijnen (Hol)

Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)

 

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Joop Zoetemelk (Hol)
 

POINT'S COMPETITION

Cyrille Guimard (Fra)


VaE April 29 - May 16, 1971
2,893 km

1. Ferdinand BRACKE (Bel) 73h50'05"

2. Wilfried David (Bel) +59"

3. Luis Ocana (Spa) +1'51"

Starters: 110
Finishers: 68
Average Speed: 37.829 km/h

 

 

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