Classica San Sebastian - CDM

San Sebastian, Spain, August 12, 2000

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Complete Live Report

Although we will not be able to bring you this classic live in its entirety, we will provide live updates at regular intervals from 1500 CEST onwards. Full report and results will follow as usual.

Here are some pre-race snippets of interest:

Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno), Laurent Jalabert (ONCE) and Alex Zülle (Banesto) will not start today in San Sebastian. The reasons given were that Pantani will not start in any races before August 20, Jalabert is too tired, and about Zülle there were no details.

On Friday night it was quiet at the Farm Frites table. Assistant team leader, Johan Capiot confirmed that the riders and employees have many questions about their future. "It isn't strange that they have questions, but I never have said that they are on the street next season." (this was in relation to an article published in Algemeen Dagblad).

Theo de Rooy (Rabobank) had other problems. He was nearly sitting by himself at the table on Friday night. The riders arrived after 23h00 in the hotel because of an overbooked Sabena plane from Brussels.

De Rooy "It's a drama. The riders were hanging around on the airport for 7 hours. They booked a hotel and took a diner. We even sent a masseur to the hotel, but that didn't made the atmosphere better. How can you put in a top performance after such a delay?"

Maybe take an earlier flight? Like De Rooy did?

15.00 CEST

Lance Armstrong did not take the start this morning and has already packed and gone home to Nice, France. Reason unknown so far (later found to be a stomach complaint).

Due to circumstances beyond our control the live reporting today is somewhat delayed.

15.15 CEST - 149 kms to go

After three and a half hours of racing, or at least riding, the peloton rolls as one in a light rain. No serious early attacks so far, there is no television coverage of the race until later. The minor wild card teams, that otherwise send riders away early, might as well spare themselves for the final hours to get some profitable attention for their sponsors.

15.40 CEST - 138 kms to go

Tempo is slowing even more, rain is increasing. Everybody seems to be waiting for someone else to start racing seriously.

15.45 CEST - 127 kms to go

Finally some action Twelve riders are in front, Paolo Bettini (Mapei), winner of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege is one of them. They have 25 seconds to the peloton. This is serious enough for the peloton to be on the alert. Bettini is more or less Michele Bartoli's personal assistant but strong enough to win the race if he gets the opportunity.

16.10 CEST - 85 kms to go

On the climb of the Azkarate climb Tiralongo (Fassa Bortolo) attacks in the front group but is caught, later Perez (Polti) attacks with the same result and it's finally Elio Aggiano, Vitalicio's Italian, that gets a gap to the others. Secchiari (Saeco) catches him with two others and Aggiano has problems following the trio.

16.19 CEST - 40 kms to go

It's Rastelli (Liquigas) and Tralongo (Fassa Bortolo) that rides with Secchiari up front. Then Nozal (ONCE) manages to bridge up from the group, so there is a quartet leading. Odriozola (Banesto) also catches the leaders and also Zarrabeitia (ONCE) comes along. The two latest additions then try to break away on the descent but only Odriozola manages to get a gap, it's more than 20 seconds now going towards San Sebastian.

16.30 CEST - 25 kms to go

One main obstacle remaining and here it comes, the hardest climb of them all, the Cote de Jaizkibel with 30 kms to go from the summit. Zarrabeitia (ONCE) manages to catch Odriozola and leaves him immediately behind on the decent of the Jaizkibel.

16.35 - 17 kms to go

Odroizola manages to get back to Zarrabeitia and their gap to the chasing group is 14 seconds and shrinking

16.42 - CEST 10 kms to go

So far we haven't seen to much of the favourites, except for Bettini at an early stage of the attack. But here comes Gonzalez de Galdeano (Vitalicio) from behind, and more riders follow as the duo is caught with some 12 kilometres to go. Nico Mattan (Cofidis) is also up front and now it's his turn to attack. He showed good form in the Tour, let's see how much of that is left.

16.47 CEST - 4 kms to go

Nico Mattan sees his chance in the uncaptained Cofidis team to make a name for himself. He clings on to the little gap. In the chase his compatriot (well…) Andrei Tchmil (Lotto) seems to be the most serious worker and Mattan is finally caught by the followers.

16.55 CEST - 2 kms to go

It's building up to a sprint finish. Let's see now how many that are along and who they are. Speed has been high all the way from the Jaizkibel and question is which sprinters remain in the group.

But then another Tour revelation, none less than Erik Dekker (Rabobank) attacks with two kilometres to go and gets a gap. Will he take another major victory, his finest ever?

17.00 CEST - Finish

Yes he does! Erik Dekker manages to hold off the field to take his first World Cup win ever. What a season for the 30 year old Dutchman. Three stages in the Tour and now a World cup race (to say nothing of the two stages and overall second place in the Tour of Sweden…)

17.10 CEST - Top results:

1. Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank               5.15.59
2. Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco            0.04
3. Roman Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola
4. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei
5. Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei


Complete results