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Vuelta to pay homage to José María Jiménez in 2014

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Jose Maria Jimenez was the first man to win atop the Angliru, after a gripping pursuit of Pavel Tonkov through mist and rain in 1999.

Jose Maria Jimenez was the first man to win atop the Angliru, after a gripping pursuit of Pavel Tonkov through mist and rain in 1999.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A memorial to Spanish rider José Maria Jimenez along the route of stage eight.

A memorial to Spanish rider José Maria Jimenez along the route of stage eight.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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José María Jiménez at the 2001 Vuelta a España

José María Jiménez at the 2001 Vuelta a España
(Image credit: AFP/Franck Fife)
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There was a tribute to José María Jiménez during the 2014 Vuelta route presentation

There was a tribute to José María Jiménez during the 2014 Vuelta route presentation
(Image credit: Vuelta a Espana)

A little over ten years since his death, the Vuelta a España will pay homage to one of Spain's legendary climbers, José María Jiménez, in 2014.

The 2008 Tour de France winner, Carlos Sastre, will give the winner on the Ancares stage - the last mountain-top finish of the race - an award in honour of ‘Chava', who was Sastre's brother-in-law.

"He was an almost unique rider, who loved the Vuelta and the Vuelta loved him," Sastre said during the Vuelta presentation in Cadiz on Saturday, during which video clips were shown of ‘Chava' in action on the Spanish race.

A gifted climber, Jiménez's most memorable Grand Tour performances were almost exclusively in the Vuelta. He took nine stage wins in the mountains including on the Angliru, led the race for four days in 1998 and finished on the podium that year after a memorable fight against Banesto teammate Abraham Olano.

Jiménez also took the King of the Mountains title twice, and - although wildly inconsistent as a rider, which made it impossible for him to fulfill the predictions that he would be a successor to Miguel Indurain and Pedro Delgado - the points competition in 2001.

After retiring and a failed attempt at a comeback, Jiménez died after suffering an embolism while undergoing treatment for health and psychological problems at a clinic in Madrid. He was just 32.