45th Vuelta a Espana 1990


By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian





Favorites Ignore Early Breakaways

SPECIAL NOTE: Two-time winner of the Vuelta a Espana Pedro Delgado (1985 and 1989) move to the powerful Banesto team with his 2 major lieutenants Miguel Indurain and Julian Gorospe.

The 45th edition of the Vuelta a Espana was held from April 24 to May 15, 1990 and raced 3,711 km from Benicassim to Madrid.

The 5 pre-race favorites, listed by Spanish Meta2Mil were:

1. Miguel Indurain (odds of victory 48.5)
2. Pedro Delgado (47.7)
3. Alvaro Pino (45.5)
4. Fabio Parra (45.0)
5. Anselmo Fuerte (44.6)

The early stages of the race were characterized by the long breakaways. The breakaway ‘early leaders’ included Julián Gorospe and Team Seur’s Marco Giovannetti (Ita). This group of riders was able to gain a lead of almost ten minutes on the pre-race favorites in the General Classification.

The first serious action was set for the 198 km Stage 5 from Almeria to Sierra Nevada. Spanish media predicted the end of the early leaders’ control of the race. Team BH-Amaya’s Patrice Esnault (Fra) launched the breakaway of the day. With 49 km to go Esnault’s time gain was more than 13 minutes. At the foot of the 17 km climb to the finish three Columbian teams set a brutal climbing pace and cut Esnault’s lead 3 minutes by the finish. Race leader Viktor Klimov (Urs) held onto the Maillot Amarillo, but with a significantly reduced time advantage. Marino Lejarreta, Ivan Ivanov and Marco Giovannetti also held their advantage over other favorites.

During the 203 km Stage 11 from Leon to San Isidro race leader Julián Gorospe struggled and was dropped from the lead group. Team Lotus’ Carlos Hernandez gained the stage win, but the time gains were small. With Gorospe dropped Marco Giovannetti took the race lead.

Giovannetti’s time advantage on his main rivals remained significant:

2'47" on Indurain
2'51" on Delgado
4’06” on Gorospe

Giovannetti was starting to be taken seriously as the Stage 15 mountain time trial stage approached. He was able to ride a solid TT in the wind and rain of the stage and only Parra and Farfán were able take significant time on the race leader. Giovannetti maintain the time advantage in the GC, he had +27" on second place Anselmo Fuerte.

Solid Time Trial by race leader Marco Giovannetti on Stage 20

The final opportunity to gain time came on the Stage 20 individual time trial in Zaragoza. The stage was won by Pello Ruiz Cabestani with Pedro Delgado second. Marco Giovannetti rode brilliantly and consolidated his race lead.

To the surprise of the best Spanish riders AND the Spanish media, Team Seur’s Marco Giovannetti (Ita) rode into the finish in Madrid to claim the finest victory of his career.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 Benicassim, 11.5 km ITT

Pello Ruiz-Cabestany (Spa)

Pello Ruiz-Cabestany (Spa)

Stage 2a Oropesa-Castellon, 108 km

Emilio Cuadrado (Spa)

Viktor Klimov (Urs)

Stage 2b Benicasim-Burriana, 36.3 km TTT


Viktor Klimov (Urs)

Stage 3 Denia-Murcia, 204.3 km

Silvio Martinello (Ita)

Viktor Klimov (Urs)

Stage 4 Murcia-Almeria, 233.2 km

Erwin Nijboer (Ned)

Viktor Klimov (Urs)

Stage 5 Almeria-Sierra Nevada, 198 km

Patrice Esnault (Fra)

Viktor Klimov (Urs)

Stage 6 Loja-Ubrique, 195.2 km

Jesper Worre (Den)

Julian Gorospe (Spa)

Stage 7 Jerez-Sevilla, 187.3 km

Benny Van Brabant (Bel)

Julian Gorospe (Spa)

Stage 8 Sevilla-Merida, 199.6 km

Atle Pedersen (Nor)

Julian Gorospe (Spa)

Stage 9 Caceres-Guijuelo, 192.7 km

Nestor Mora (Col)

Julian Gorospe (Spa)

Stage 10 Penaranda de Bracamonte-Leon, 230 km

Uwe Raab (Ger)

Julian Gorospe (Spa)

Stage 11 Leon-San Isidro, 203 km

Carlos Hernandez (Col)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 12 San Isidro-Naranco, 156 km

Alberto Camargo (Col)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 13 Oviedo-Santander, 193.3 km

Nico Emonds (Bel)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 14 Santander-Najera, 207 km

Bernd Grone (Ger)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 15 Ezceray-Valdezcaray, 24 km ITT

Jean-Francois Bernard (Fra)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 16 Logrono-Pamplona, 165 km

Uwe Raab (Ger)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 17 Pamplona-Jaca, 151 km

Federico Echave (Spa)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 18 Jaca-Estacion de Cerler, 178 km

Martin Farfan (Col)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 19 Benasque-Zaragoza, 223 km

Asiate Saitov (Urs)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 20 Zaragoza-Zaragoza, 39 km ITT

Pello Ruiz-Cabestany (Spa)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 21 Collada Villalba-Palazuelos Eresma, 188 km

Denis Roux (Fra)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Stage 22 Segovia-Madrid, 176 km

Uwe Raab (Ger)

Marco Giovannetti (Ita)

Martin Farfan (Col)
Uwe Raab (Ger)

VaE April 24 - May 15, 1990
3,711.0 km

1. Marco GIOVANNETTI (Ita) 94h36'40"

2. Pedro Delgado (Spa) +1'28"

3. Anselmo Fuerte (Spa) +1'48"

Starters: 198
Finishers: 133
Average Speed: 39.224 km/h

VaE 1989

VaE 1991

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