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22nd Clasica San Sebastian - CDM
Spain, August 10, 2002
By Jeff Jones
The Clasica San Sebastian will be raced after HEW Cyclassics this year, as the seventh round of the UCI World Cup. The 227 kilometre classic is generally hard enough to force a selection on the main climb of the Jaizkibel, which has its summit at 36 km to go. Recent winners include Laurent Jalabert, Erik Dekker, Francesco Casagrande, Davide Rebellin, Udo Bölts and Lance Armstrong, all of whom (save Dekker) will be present at the start line in front of sponsoring newspaper El Diario Vasco's offices on Saturday.
Last year, Jalabert, Casagrande, Belli, and Rebellin surged away on the lower slopes of the Alto de Jaizkibel, and stayed away to contest the sprint with Jalabert taking the honours. The year before, a much larger bunch came to the finish, and Erik Dekker attacked with 2 km to go to take the win.
This year, Jalabert, Casagrande and Rebellin can again be counted amongst the favourites, as well as Mapei's Paolo Bettini, who has a small chance of taking over the World Cup lead from Johan Museeuw, provided he wins and Museeuw doesn't place. Bettini should have good support from the likes of Evans, Nardello, Cioni and Freire, and will find this race more suited to his talents than last week's HEW Cyclassics, where he finished third.
Johan Museeuw (Domo-Farm Frites) has said that he intends on defending his World Cup jersey for as long as possible, and after winning HEW Cyclassics he will be looking to make sure Bettini and any other close rivals don't get too far. Of course, he may not have a choice, as this course does not really suit a rider of Museeuw's talents.
If he still has his good condition from the Tour de France, Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) will be considered a favourite to make the selection if it goes on the Jaizkibel. Tour riders Levi Leipheimer and Marc Wauters will also start for Rabobank.
The Spanish teams will certainly be looking to make an impact in the only World Cup race held in Spain. ONCE, iBanesto, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Kelme-Costa Blanca, Relax-Fuenlabrada and Jazztel-Costa de Almeria will all start, with hopes of obtaining a good result. ONCE has several of its Tour riders, including Beloki, Gonzalez de Galdeano, Azevedo and Jaksche, who didn't have much of a show in HEW Cyclassics. Perhaps the extra week's recovery will help.
The US Postal squad, with Armstrong, Heras, Hincapie, Ekimov, Rubiera, Peña, Landis and McRae, has an almost identical squad to its Tour team. Armstrong has won this race before, but with Hincapie in good form and well placed on the World Cup standings it's likely that they'll put everything into working for him.
The Saeco Longoni Sport team is intent on giving Gilberto Simoni some hard racing before the Vuelta, while riders such as Danilo Di Luca and Igor Astarloa have already shown their form at HEW. Coupled with Mirko Celestino and Salvatore Commesso, Saeco looks to have its strongest team for San Sebastian.
From Switzerland, Alexandre Moos and Oscar Camenzind are Team Phonak's big guns for the race, with Spaniards Juan Carlos Dominguez and Oscar Pereiro also strong chances on their home territory.
Finally, watch out for Credit Agricole's Stuart O'Grady, fresh off his strong win in the Commonwealth Games Road Race last Saturday. He certainly has the ability to win a classic, and may take advantage of his form to try in a breakaway at San Sebastian.
Follow the live coverage of the 22nd Clasica San Sebastian on Cyclingnews. Coverage starts at approximately 14:30 CEST/5:30 PDT/08:30 EDT/22:30 Aust EST.
Year First Second Third 2001 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Casagrande Rebellin 2000 Erik Dekker (Ned) Tchmil Vainsteins 1999 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Verbrugghe Figueras 1998 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Merckx Piepoli 1997 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gontchenkov Kolage 1996 Udo Bölts (Ger) Cattai Podenzana 1995 Lance Armstrong (USA) Della Santa Museeuw 1994 Armand De las Cuevas (Fra) Amstrong Della Santa 1993 Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) Farensin Voupi 1992 Raul Alcala (Mex) Chiappucci Bowmans 1991 Gianni Bugno (Ita) Delgado Fondriest 1990 Miguel Indurain (Spa) Jalabert Kelly 1989 Gerhard Zadrobilek (Aut) Antequera Rominger 1988 Gert Jan Theunisse (Ned) Aja Rooks 1987 Marino Lejarreta (Spa) Arroyo Echave 1986 Inaki Caston (Spa) Lejarreta Fernandez 1985 Adrie Van der Poel (Ned) Gaston Fernandez 1984 Niki Rüttimann (Swi) Dietzen Prieto 1983 Claude Criquielion (Bel) Coll Dietzen 1982 Marino Lejarreta (Spa) Rodriguez Delgado 1981 Marino Lejarreta (Spa) Jones Ruperez Distance, time and average speed of the winner 2001 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC 230 kms in 5.17.54 (42.8 km/h) 2000 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 230 kms in 5.16.01 (43.7 km/h) 1999 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 230 kms in 5.15.29 (43.7 km/h) 1998 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 232 kms in 5.43.35 (40.5 km/h) 1997 Davide Rebellin (Ita) 234 kms in 5.47.22 (39.7 km/h) 1996 Udo Bölts (Ger) 227 kms in 5.45.55 (40.5 km/h) 1995 Lance Armstrong (USA) 234 kms in 5.31.17 (44.0 km/h) 1994 Armand De las Cuevas (Fra) 238 kms in 5.24.44 (45.3 km/h) 1993 Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) 238 kms in 5.47.51 (41.1 km/h) 1992 Raul Alcala (Mex) 234 kms in 5.58.17 (39.2 km/h) 1991 Gianni Bugno (Ita) 238 kms in 6.04.28 (39.2 km/h) 1990 Miguel Indurain (Spa) 248 kms in 6.19.59 (39.2 km/h) 1989 Gerhard Zadrobilek (Aut) 244 kms in 6.24.10 (38.1 km/h) 1988 Gert Jan Theunisse (Ned) 244 kms in 6.09.36 (39.6 km/h) 1987 Marino Lejarreta (Spa) 244 kms in 6.19.19 (38.6 km/h) 1986 Gaston (Fra) 244 kms in 5.53.53 (41.4 km/h) 1985 Adrie Van der Poel (Ned) 244 kms in 5.52.32 (41.5 km/h) 1984 Niki Rüttimann (Swi) 244 kms in 6.11.10 (39.4 km/h) 1983 Claude Criquielion (Bel) 1982 Marino Lejarreta (Spa) 1981 Marino Lejarreta (Spa) 230 kms in 6.09.24 (37.4 km/h)