Abraham Olano

Abraham Olano
Personal information
Full name Abraham Olano Manzano
Born (1970-01-22) January 22, 1970
Anoeta, Spain
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 70 kg (150 lb; 11 st)
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type Time-trialist
Amateur team(s)
- Kaiku, AVSA
Professional team(s)
1992 CHCS
1992 Lotus
1993 CLAS Cajastur
19941997 Mapei
19971998 Banesto
19992001 ONCE
Major wins

Grand Tours

Tour de France
1 individual stage (1997)
1 TTT stage (2002)
Vuelta a España
General Classification (1998)
5 individual stages (1995, 1998, 1999, 2000)

Stage races

Tour de Romandie (1996)
Tirreno–Adriatico (2000)
Critérium International (2000)

One-day races and Classics

World Road Race Championships (1995)
World Time Trial Championships (1998)
National Road Race Championships (1994)
National Time Trial Championships (1994, 1998)
Infobox last updated on
20 February 2009

Abraham Olano Manzano (born January 22, 1970 in Anoeta, Gipuzkoa) is a Spanish former professional road racing cyclist, who raced between 1992 and 2002. He won the World Road Championship in 1995, and the World Time Trial Championship in 1998, becoming the first and so far only male cyclist to win both.

He also played a great role in Grand Tours: he won Vuelta a España in 1998 and was second in 1995, made it twice to the final podium at Giro d'Italia (third in 1996 and second in 2001), and placed three times in the top-ten at Tour de France, with the fourth place in 1997 as his personal best. In total he won six stages in the Vuelta and one in the Tour, all of them time trials.

Olano was also double Spanish Champion in both road (1994) and time trial (1994 and 1998), olympic silver medalist in time trial in Atlanta 1996 and winner of several shorter stage races, like Tour of Romandie in 1996 and Criterium International and Tirreno-Adriatico in 2000.

Amateur career

Olano started racing 11 years old at the Oria Cycling school, and already at junior level he won several races.[1] Later, Olano went to track racing. He became Spanish Champion in pursuit (together with Etxegoyen, Pérez and Juárez), in the 1 km with standing start and in sprint.[1] In road racing, he started as an amateur for Kaiku and AVSA. He was specialized in sprinting.

Professional career

In 1992, Olano started his professional career at CHCS. This team shortly after disbanded, and he moved to Lotus. With Lotus, Olano won his first professional race, the Gran Premio de Villafranca de Ordizia in Gipuzkoa.[1]

In 1993, Olano switched to CLAS Cajastur, which was later merged with Mapei. Here, he started to win important races, such as the Vuelta a Asturias and the Spanish National Road Race Championships, both in road race and time trial.

In 1995, Olano won three stages in the Vuelta a España, finishing second in overall classification to Laurent Jalabert.[1] Later in the year Olano was a vital part of a hugely successful Spanish team at the World Cycling Championship in Colombia. In the time trial, Olano took silver, finishing second to Miguel Indurain. In the Road race, the top two positions was reversed, with Olano taking the Championship and Indurain silver. The route for the road race was one of the hardest courses ever for a World Championship, and Olano showed his stamina by riding the last kilometer solo with a flat tyre.

Olano established his abilities in stage races in 1996; he won the Tour de Romandie, finished third in the Giro d'Italia (leading the race at the second to last day), and finished ninth in the Tour de France. He also won the silver medal in the time trial at the 1996 Olympic Games, losing out to Miguel Indurain by a margin of only 12 seconds.[1]

Olano finished fourth in the 1997 Tour de France, taking 1 stage win - a long time trial in Disneyland, ahead of the eventual Tour winner Jan Ullrich.

In 1998, Olano won his only grand tour, the Vuelta a España,[1] fighting off furious challenges from mountain specialistsFernando Escartin and Roberto Heras as well as fellow all-rounders Laurent Jalabert and Alex Zülle, all at the height of their careers. Despite the victory, Olano was reportedly not happy with the support from the Banesto team and management. Banestos own mountain specialist José Maria Jimenez took 4 stage wins, on several occasions leaving Olano alone on the climbs, and even taking the Yellow Jersey from his team captain. Olano won back the jersey on the second time trial, but the events and subsequent media speculation soured his relationship with Banesto, and he decided for a switch to the ONCE team for the following season.

Olano finished 1998 in style, winning the World Championship Time Trial i Valkenburg, ahead of compatriot Melcior Mauri. Olano is the only male rider of the modern era to win the world Championship in both the Road race (1995) and the time trial (1998).

In 1999, Olano was back to defend the Vuelta title. In the prologue, severe rains put the late starters (including most of the GC contenders) at a big disadvantage, but Olano nevertheless managed to take 2nd place. In the stage 7 time trial, Olano won with a clear margin to main challenger Jan Ullrich, taking the top spot on the GC and the Yellow Jersey. Olano defended his lead through several mountain stages, but a crash on the stage to Alto de Angliru cost him a broken rib, and he was eventually forced to abandon the race.

In 2000, Olano made a shift in focusing on shorter stage races, and won Tirreno-Adriatico and Criterium International, among others. He would make his last mark at the grand Tours with a 2nd place in the 2001 Giro d'Italia. He retired from racing in 2002.[1]

On account of results early in his career, a Basque background and some physical similarities, Olano was seen by many supporters as the successor to five-times Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain. The comparison would haunt Olano for all of his career, as he went on to have a career that was very successful by almost any other standard. Olano was one of the very best time trialists of his generation, and a rider with enormous stamina. However, he was a reluctant climber, and a tendency to loose valuable time to the specialists on the steepest and highest climbs, would keep his number of Grand Tour Wins to 1.

Doping revelations

Olano is one of the people responsible for designing stages for the Vuelta a España.[1] He was fired from this position after a report from the French senate revealed that he had delivered a suspicious sample during the 1998 Tour de France, indicating use of EPO.[2]

Later life

In November 2006 Olano ran the San Sebastian marathon in a time of 2:39:19. In October 2015, he took over as new national coach for Gabon, with the task of building the national team "from scratch"[3]

Career achievements

Major results

1st Prueba Villafranca de Ordizia
3rd Clasica de Almeria
1st National Road Race Championships
1st National Time Trial Championships
1st Overall Clásica Internacional de Alcobendas
1st Overall Vuelta a Asturias
5th UCI World Time Trial Championships
UCI Road World Championships
1st Road Race
2nd Time Trial
2nd Overall Vuelta a España
1st Prologue, Stages 7 (ITT) & 20 (ITT)
4th Overall Paris–Nice
1st Overall Tour de Romandie
1st Stage 6 (ITT)
1st Overall Tour of Galicia
2nd Time Trial, Olympic Games
2nd National Road Race Championships
2nd GP du Canton d'Argovie
3rd Overall Giro d'Italia
3rd Overall Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
8th UCI World Time Trial Championships
9th Overall Tour de France
1st Overall Euskal Bizikleta
1st Stage 4b (ITT)
1st Grand Prix Eddy Merckx
2nd Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
3rd Overall Vuelta a Aragon
4th Overall Tour de France
1st Stage 20 (ITT)
1st UCI World Time Trial Championship
1st National Time Trial Championships
1st Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 9 (ITT)
1st Overall Euskal Bizikleta
1st Stage 4b (ITT)
1st Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja
1st Grand Prix Eddy Merckx
6th Overall Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
1st Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st Stage 6 (ITT) Vuelta a España
6th Overall Tour de France
1st Stage 8 (ITT) Vuelta a España:
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stage 5
1st Overall Critérium International
1st Overall Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
1st Stage 5b (ITT)
4th Time Trial, Olympic Games
5th UCI World Time Trial Championship
8th Overall Tour Méditerranéen
1st Overall Clásica de Alcobendas
2nd Overall Giro d'Italia
7th GP Primavera
1st Stage 4 (TTT) Tour de France
2nd National Road Race Championships

Grand Tour general classification results timeline

Grand Tour 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Pink jersey Giro - - - 3 - - - - 2 -
Yellow jersey Tour WD 30 - 9 4 WD 6 34 - 78
gold jersey Vuelta - 20 2 - WD 1 WD 19 64 -

WD = Withdrew


External links

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