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  Jose-Manuel Fuente    

Picture courtesy of www.france-cyclisme.com
Jose-Manuel Fuente was born on September 30, 1945. He died after a long struggle with kidney disease on July 18, 1996 at age 50.

The Spanish climber was a major force in the Mountains of the Grand Tours.

Fuente was 3rd in the 1973 Tour de France behind Luis Ocana of Sapin and Bernard Thevenet of France.

In the Giro díItalia, he won the Mountains Jerseys in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974.

In the Giro in 1972 and 1974, he held significant leads over Eddy Merckx. In 1972, already more than 5:00 in front of Merckx, Fuente felt he needed to attack. The plan backfired and Merckx demolished him on the stage and went on to win the Giro with Fuente in 2nd place.

In the 1974 race, he again held a significant lead over Merckx, but didnít eat enough on a tough, rainy stage and lost significant time, finishing 5th overall, with Merckx taking the victory again.

Fuente did win his home tour, the Vuelta a Espana, in 1972 in front of Spaniards Miguel Maria Lasa and Augustin Tamames. Fuente also won the Mountains Jersey that year.

Fuente won the Vuelta a Espana again in 1974 in front of Joaquim Agostinho of Portugal and Bernard Thevenet of France.

Picture courtesy of www.tarangu.galeon.com

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