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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition News for August 8, 2003

Edited by Chris Henry

Clasica San Sebastian: Who will succeed JaJa?

By Chris Henry

No more JaJa...
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

With the World Cup competition back in full swing, the one day specialists will return to Spain Saturday, August 9 for the Clasica San Sebastian, the seventh round of the ten race series. San Sebastian puts climbing back on the menu with its famed ascent of the Cat. 1 Jaizkibel, along with five other Cat. 2 and 3 climbs. The race title is very much up for grabs, with the winner of the last two editions, Laurent Jalabert, enjoying retirement from the pro peloton.

With the Jaizkibel situated just 36 kilometres from the finish, the selection is often made on the climb, but victory is not assured for those who pass the summit first. Jalabert's two victories in San Sebastian came under similar circumstances, as he helped shape the winning move and outsprinted a small group which stayed clear until the finish. In 2001, however, Dutchman Erik Dekker outfoxed a larger group by attacking in the closing kilometres to win solo. A sprint is always possible, and this year Oscar Freire (Rabobank) is hoping for a group arrival and an opportunity to make amends for an exceedingly quiet Tour de France performance.

The World Cup leader heading into the weekend is Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Domo), who took command of the competition with wins in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Van Petegem is not as well suited to the hilly parcours in San Sebastian or next weekend's race in Zurich, but the experienced Belgian is not to be counted out when he is in form. Having picked up three points in Hamburg, Van Petegem kept his World Cup lead by a slender margin over Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step-Davitamon), who himself took his second World Cup win of the season at the HEW Cyclassics, and moved into second place and an ideal position to challenge for the overall title.

Click here for the full preview, map & profile, and start list.

Cyclingnews will have live coverage of the Clasica San Sebastian beginning around 14:30 CEST/08:30 EDT/05:30PDT/22:30 Aust EST.

Past winners

Year First                      Second         Third
2002 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)     Astarloa       Missaglia
2001 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)     Casagrande     Rebellin
2000 Erik Dekker (Ned)          Tchmil         Vainsteins
1999 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Verbrugghe     Figueras
1998 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Merckx         Piepoli

Nazon looks ahead

Big wins pay off
Photo: © AFP

With a contract secured for the two seasons ahead, Jean-Patrick Nazon can safely look ahead to a developing career, after the virtual disbanding of his Jean Delatour team since the Tour de France and an unceremonious rupture with in 2002. Nazon signed a two year deal with Ag2R-Prévoyance, where he will join veteran sprinter Jaan Kirsipuu.

Although he didn't realise his goal of riding in the same team as his older brother Damien, who recently signed a contract to move from Brioches La Boulangère to Crédit Agricole, Jean-Patrick is pleased to join Vincent Lavenu's Ag2R team and put his past woes behind him.

"I've known what I've could achieve, and I knew I would get there, but I've always been blocked a bit by other sprinters on my team," Nazon said in an interview in l'Equipe. "But maybe it's because I went through it that I am where I am today."

At, Nazon was passed over for key opportunities such as the Tour in favour of the team's other sprinters, Jimmy Casper and Baden Cooke. With a stage win and the green jersey in this year's Tour, Cooke has confirmed his talents at, although it was Nazon who took the final stage honours on the Champs Élysées in Paris.

One might expect Nazon would face an uphill battle in the same team as Kirsipuu, Ag2R's top sprinter and longtime faithful in Lavenu's teams. According to Lavenu, however, this shouldn't be the case. "It was really Jaan who asked for [Nazon] more," Lavenu explained. "He wanted a second sprinter in the team and it was he who brought up the name Jean-Patrick Nazon. He seems himself in the role of mentor."

For his part, Nazon too hopes to build a complimentary relationship with the experienced Estonian, and will surely profit from Lavenu's confidence in his talents. "He has a lot of class in the pure sprints," Lavenu said of his new recruit. "He's someone I've been following for several years, and over time he's gained a lot of endurance. He has all the qualities necessary to ride well in the Belgian classics." A point well taken for Lavenu, as Nazon has himself identified the spring classics as his next career objective.

Rabobank plans for Vuelta

After an unfortunate exit from the Tour de France after his Stage 1 crash, Levi Leipheimer will tackle the Vuelta a España in September as leader of the Rabobank team. Leipheimer has already found success on the roads of the Vuelta, having finished on the podium in 2001 with US Postal Service.

For 2003, Rabobank has announced the pre-selection for the Vuelta, with the American set to lead the way. The remaining eight places should come from a list including the following riders: Robert Bartko, Jan Boven, Maarten Den Bakker, Addy Engels, Mathew Hayman, Steven De Jongh, Karsten Kroon, Ronald Mutsaars, Michael Rasmussen, Thorwald Veneberg, and Beat Zberg.

Cofidis names nine

The Cofidis team, sole French team to line up for this year's Vuelta a España, has already selected its nine riders for the last grand tour of the season. David Millar will lead the team, which will also include Daniel Atienza, Frédéric Bessy, Inigo Cuesta, Peter Farazijn, Bringen Fernandez, Dimitri Fofonov, Luis Perez, and Guido Trentin. Janek Tombak and Angelo Lopeboselli have been named as reserves.

Cipo to Ouest France

World Champion Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) has been announced as a starter for the GP Plouay on August 24. Held on a challenging circuit in the Bretagne region of France, the GP Plouay has nonetheless been known to come down to a sprint, as it did in 2002 when British fast man Jeremy Hunt took the win ahead of Stuart O'Grady and Baden Cooke. Cipollini has not seen much racing action since his crash and subsequent abandon in the Giro d'Italia, but no doubt cycling-mad Bretagne would welcome the rainbow jersey in Plouay.

T-Town flea market opens registration

Registration has opened for the 29th annual Fall Bicycle Flea Market at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. The flea market will be held on October 4th, rain or shine, from 9am - 2pm. The market is the longest running bicycle flea market in he United States. Registration forms for vendor spaces and general information for the Fall Bicycle Flea Market can be found online at or by calling the Velodrome office at 610-967-7587.

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