29th Vuelta a Espana 1974

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

Excitement until the Very Last Minute

The Vuelta a Espana organizers answered complaints of fans and riders, who were critical of the easy race route in 1973, by increasing the difficulty of the 1974 race profile.  The course was much to the delight of the climbers.

The 1974 Vuelta was billed as a showdown between the 1973 Tour de France Podium with Luis Ocana, Bernard Thevenet, and José Manuel Fuente (also the 1972 Vuelta winner).

On stage 13 from Leon to the summit of Monte Naranco eight riders escaped on the Alto del Pajares.  Leading the group was Miguel-Maria Lasa, the teammate of race leader Fuente. Chasing was Joaquim Agostinho with Fuente in tow.  The breakaway took a lead of 4'30" in advance on the peloton.  KAS’s director sportif Eusebio Velez orders to the team members in the break not to work, he does not consider the danger represented by Agostinho in the chase group and wants Fuente in the breakaway.  Fuente’s teammate Miguel-Maria Lasa has designs on the race leader’s jersey and was offended by the lack of confidence from his director sportif.  The relationship between the KAS teammates became strained. 

The group now led by Fuente goes back over the original escape and Fuente launches his own breakaway.  On the finishing climb of Monte Naranco, he flies away solo.  A huge crowd cheered wildly when Fuente accomplished a beautiful victory, 50 seconds ahead of Lasa and 1’31” in front of Luis Ocana.

SPECIAL NOTE: Ocana complained after the stage at the behavior of the fans.  He was soundly heckled and received insults because of his insistence that Fuente and Lasa not be selected for the 1973 Spanish World Championship national team.  The WC road race was held in Spain

Misfortune enters the story on stage 18 when the race leader crashed at the finish on the streets of Eiber.  Cover in blood, the courageous Fuente remounted and finished the stage losing 41" to the stage winner Agustin Tamames.  In the general classification his advance on second placed Lasa is reduced to 1'32"; and 2'35" to the dangerous Joaquim Agostinho. 

There remained only one opportunity to catch Fuente, the individual time trial on final day.  The third place Agostinho was a master time trailer and was a heavy favorite for the stage win.  Agostinho did not disappoint, he won the stage and in the process set a time record.  The pressure was on the last rider on the course, race leader Fuente. 

At the finish Fuente crossed the line in ninth place, 2’24” behind Agostinho.  The 1974 Vuelta victory belonged to José Manuel Fuente by only 11 seconds over Joaquim Agostinho.  The victory was his second and he became the third Vuelta winner to gain two victories with Belgian Gustaaf Deloor (1935 and 1936) and Spaniard Julien Berrendero (1941 and 1942).

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Prologue Almeria, 5 km ITT

Roger Swerts (Bel)

Roger Swerts (Bel)

Stage 1 Almeria Circuit, 98 km

Eddy Peelman (Bel)

Roger Swerts (Bel)

Stage 2 Almeria-Granada, 187 km

Eric Leman (Bel)

Bernard Thevenet (Fra)

Stage 3 Granada-Fuengirola, 161 km

Rik Van Linden (Bel)

Bernard Thevenet (Fra)

Stage 4 Marbella-Sevilla, 206 km

Rik Van Linden (Bel)

Domingo Perurena (Spa)

Stage 5 Sevilla-Cordoba, 139 km

Domingo Perurena (Spa)

Domingo Perurena (Spa)

Stage 6 Cordoba-Cuidad Real, 211 km

Eddy Peelman (Bel)

Domingo Perurena (Spa)

Stage 7 Ciudad-Real Toledo, 126 km

Domingo Perurena (Spa)

Domingo Perurena (Spa)

Stage 8 Toledo-Madrid, 167 km

Roger Swerts (Bel)

Domingo Perurena (Spa)

Stage 9 Madrid-Los Angeles de San Rafael, 158 km

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Domingo Perurena (Spa)

Stage 10a Los Angeles, 5 km ITT

Raymond Delisle (Fra)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 10b Los Angeles-Avila, 125 km

Martin Martinez (Fra)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 11 Avila-Valladolid, 168 km

Jose-Luis Uribezubia (Spa)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 12 Valladolid-Leon, 203 km

Roger Swerts (Bel)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 13 Leon-Monte Naranco, 128 km

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 14 Oviedo-Cangas de Onis, 134 km

Joaquim Agostinho (Por)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 15 Cangas de Onis-Laredo, 210 km

Juan-Manuel Santisteban (Spa)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 16 Laredo-Bilbao, 133 km

Gerben Karstens (Hol)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 17 Bilbao-Miranda de Ebro, 157 km

Agustin Tamames (Spa)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 18 Miranda-Eibar, 152 km

Agustin Tamames (Spa)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 19a Eibar-San Sebastian, 79 km

Manuel-Antonio Garcia (Spa)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 19b Anoeta, 35.9 km ITT

Joaquim Agostinho (Por)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

 

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Jose-Luis Abilleira (Spa)
 

POINT'S COMPETITION

Domingo Perurena (Spa)


VaE April 23 - May 12, 1974
2,987.9 km

1. Jose-Manuel FUENTE (Spa) 86h48'18"

2. Joaquim Agostinho (Por) +11"

3. Miguel-Maria Lasa (Spa) +1'09"

Starters: 88
Finishers: 55
Average Speed: 34.420 km/h


 

Return to the Timeline Table of Contents x x Race Snippets

 
       
         
         
   


All materials are property of CyclingRevealed and Copyright © 2012
unless otherwise noted

Advertising Information | Contact Us
-