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24th Clasica San Sebastian - CDM
Spain, August 7, 2004
Perdi Powers to World Cup win in San Sebastian
Bettini blows sprint, still gains more ground on World Cup leader Rebellin
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
With one week before the 2004 Olympic Road Race, Saunier Duval-Prodir's Miguel Martin Perdiguero won his eighth race of the season in Donostia/San Sebastian, Spain, taking his first ever World Cup win in the 24th edition of the Clasica San Sebastian. It was the first win for a home rider in Spain's only World Cup race since Miguel Indurain took the winner's bouquet 14 years ago, and the 23rd career win for the 31 year old Madrileno. Nicknamed Perdi, the talented Saunier Duval rider is both a a fast sprinter and a strong climber, perfect qualities for the difficult parcours of the Clasica San Sebastian.
Last year in San Sebastian, the first five were riders were all Italian, with Bettini and Basso going 1-2. In 2004, although no local Basque riders had any impact in the Clasica, the huge crowds of spectators lining the sunny, beachfront finish at least got to see a Spanish rider from a mostly Spanish team sprint to victory.
"I felt really good today," said Perdi in the post-race interviews. "There were three Italians in the break and I knew they were all dangerous, especially Bettini. But I had some luck in the final and made the right move. So I'm really happy to win."
Another happy hombre in casa Saunier Duval-Prodir today was team director Joxean Matxin Fernandez, who once again has gotten great results with the his year squad. Next, Matxin will guide a solid squad captained by Joseba Beloki in next month's Vuelta a España.
For second week in a row, Paolo Bettini (Quick Step-Davitamon) slammed his fist on handlebars in frustration after crossing the finish line as runner-up in a World Cup race. '03 World Cup champ Bettini lost last week in Hamburg to Stuey O'Grady by a half-wheel. Although Bettini won the GP Camaiore Wednesday and is clearly in excellent form, his surprising tactical error in the final sprint cost him another World Cup win by a similarly small margin. Bettini gained some ground on World Cup leader Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), who took third place today in the Clasica San Sebastian. Rebellin and his tough Austrian teammate Georg Totschnig rode a perfect team race, but Bettini was faster than Rebellin, a former Clasica winner. With 238 points, Bettini is now just 44 points behind Rebellin and will put major pressure on Rebellin's World Cup aspirations in World Cup Round 8 coming up in Zurich in two weeks.
How it unfolded
On a hot sunny Basque country summer morning, 188 riders took the start. After some preliminary attacks, On the Cat. 2 Alto de Gárate after 29 km, a large group of riders got away over the top, with Moos (Phonak), Sgambelluri (Vini Caldirola), Barredo (Liberty), Weening, Leipheimer, Kroon (Rabobank), Noval (US Postal), Cañada (Saunier), Christensen (CSC), Moerenhout, Merckx (Lotto), Atienza, Fofonov (Cofidis), Nardello, Guerini (T-Mobile), Inaudi, Chaurreau (Ag2r), Dufaux, Sinkewitz (Quick Step), Gómez (Paternina), Plaza (Kelme), Stangelj (Saeco), Hauptman, Scotto (Lampre) and Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) up front. After 48 km, this group had a 1'32 lead, which grew to 2'30 after 55km. before the peloton reacted approaching the Cat. 2 Alto de Azkarate.
The leaders' gap was reduced to 1'00 after 120 km of racing. After the feed zone the gap between the big break and the peloton grew and with 63km to go, the time split was 4'35 while the escape broke in half, with 14 riders still in the lead: Moos (Phonak), Sgambelluri (Vini Caldirola), Barredo (Liberty), Leipheimer, Kroon (Rabobank), Christensen (CSC), Nardello (T-Mobile), Inaudi, Chaurreau (AG2R), Dufaux (Quick Step) Plaza (Kelme), Stangelj (Saeco), Hauptman and Scotto (Lampre).
20 kilometres later on the unclassified Alto De Gaintxurizketa, Leipheimer and Plaza attacked off the front and got 0'40 on the rest of the break, but with the Alto de Jaizkibel looming just ahead, the peloton had awoken behind and was only 1'40 behind the two leaders.
Stangelj (Saeco) bridged up and at the base of the Jaizkibel with 36 km to go, this trio had a slim 1'12 lead over the chasing peloton. Jaizkibel is 8 km long at an average gradient of 5.1%, with some steeper parts (km 2-3 & km 4-5 are both 7.5%.average), and as it started, Leipheimer tried to stay away, but after 1.5 km, the American was brought back. Just as Leipheimer was absorbed by the Gerolsteiner-led peloton, recent Tour of Burgos winner Alejandro Valverde (Kelme) had a stroke of bad luck. He had an ill-timed a mechanical and needed to make a wheel change after 1km of the tough ascent.
While Valverde chased back desperately, last year's Clasica winner Paolo Bettini had gone to the front after 2 km of the Jaizkibel ascent and his forcing under the hot afternoon sun allowed a group of seven to extricate themselves. The key break included the aforementioned Bettini (Quick.Step), World Cup leader Davide Rebellin and teammate Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner), Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Saunier Duval), Marcos Serrano (Liberty), Ivan Basso (CSC) and Alberto Martinez (Bodysol). The chase was disorganized behind, with Saunier Duval disrupting any attempt to close the gap once they had gotten the man they wanted in the move of the day. This break was the decisive move of the Clasica and as the seven man break crossed the KOM atop the Jaizkibel, they had just about a minute on remains of the chasing peloton with 35 km to race.
Down the descent into Hondaribba, Bettini hammered away but as soon as the pace slowed on the flats with 23km to go, Martinez went solo. But tireless Austrian powermeister Totschnig terminated his escape after 3km as he kept the tempo high for his teammate 'Tintin' Rebellin. Behind, the chase group was disorganized as the break continued to gain ground. With 15km to go, the Clasica frontrunners hit the final challenge of the day, the Cat 3 Alto de Gurutze, a 2.8km ascent averaging 5 percent. Last year, Bettini and Basso attacked on this ascent, but in 2004, Totschnig stayed on the front until the inevitable wind-up attack from Bettini. But it was nothing doing as Rebellin was right there. On the descent of the Gurutze, Basso had a flat, but got back on in three kilometres of chasing.
In the final phase of the 24th Clasica San Sebastian with 10km to go as the break approached the outskirts of the beautiful seaside city of San Sebastian, the gap was 1'20 on the still disorganized chase group. Everybody up front was eyeballing each other, but the Austrian locomotive called Totschnig just continued to ride massive tempo on the front to keep anyone from getting away from his man Rebellin. Considering that the Austrian had been in the day's big break and was away almost 200km today, Totschnig's superb ride in Clasica San Sebastian has to be one of the best efforts of the season so far to support his team leader by any pro rider.
Now in the leafy streets of San Sebastian, Serrano attacked with 3.5km and Bettini marked him, then Perdi tested his legs and Bettini covered him. Then Totschnig attacked as Gerolsteiner played the team game perfectly. Martinez was just hanging back watching and once the Austrian's move was terminated, finally went with 1.5km to go but didn't have the legs to make his move stick. Totschnig attacked again but came back quickly as Bettini was on top of everything. With 1km everyone was together and as the jockeying for position started, Bettini went to the front of the group to take control of the situation. Marking his main World Cup rival Rebellin was the main job for the Quick.Step man, so perhaps his attention wavered for a moment with 400m to race.
Just as the road jogged to the left with 300m to go, Bettini looked over his left shoulder to check Rebellin's position, which moved him left. As the road moved back right, Perdi saw that Bettini had left a huge hole on his right and made the perfect move to surprise Bettini with a strong jump right up the middle of the road. Perdi gapped Bettini by two lengths and although the Italian came back fast, Perdi had made the move of a lifetime. The Saunier Duval rider had enough of a gap on Bettini to raise his arms at the finish for his biggest career win, while a frustrated Bettini pounded his handlebars in frustration for the second week in a row.
Rebellin was the best of the rest in third and despite the awesome ride of his teammate Totschnig, timid Tintin never attacked in Clasica San Sebastian, never challenged Bettini, and set himself up to lose the World Cup lead in Zurich at the end of August.
Resurgent Lotto man Rik Verbrugghe soloed in for 8th, 1'17 behind Perdi, while another Saunier Duval rider, Zaballa, was a solo 9th at 1'33. Gerolsteiner's Markus Zberg won the chase group sprint for 10th at 1'47 from Freire and local lad, World Champ Astarloa. First American today was Bobby Julich (CSC) finishing 22nd in the first chase group 1'39 behind Martin Perdiguero, while George Hincapie (USPS-Berry Floor) was 54th, 5'24 back in the main peloton. Leipheimer was in the second big group over 9'00 behind, but the Santa Rosa, CA. rider was the last to surrender in the day's big break and could be an interesting factor next Saturday in Athens, given that Leipheimer has shown that he's not afraid to attack in major races.
Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti
Images by AFP Photo
1 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 5.18.35 (42.75 km/h) 2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 4 Marcos Antonio Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Liberty Seguros 5 Alberto Martinez (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 6 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 0.06 7 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner 8 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Domo 1.19 9 Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 1.35 10 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 1.39 11 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 12 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Lampre 13 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 14 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 15 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 16 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems 17 Richard Virenque (Fra) Quick.Step-Davitamon 18 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco 19 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 20 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 21 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco 22 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 23 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme 24 David Herrero Llorente (Spa) Costa de Almeria-Paternina 25 Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Domina Vacanze 26 Christophe Oriol (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 27 Axel Merckx (Bel) Lotto-Domo 28 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Liberty Seguros 29 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Fassa Bortolo 30 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 31 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 4.28 32 Gianluca Sironi (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 5.24 33 José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 34 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 35 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone 36 Joaquim Lopez Torrella (Spa) Costa de Almeria-Paternina 37 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre 38 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 39 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 40 Francisco Vila (Spa) Lampre 41 José Iván Gutierrez (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 42 Pedro Arreitunandia Quintero (Spa) Cafés Baqué 43 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Cafés Baqué 44 Johann Tschopp (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 45 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme 46 Serge Baguet (Bel) Lotto-Domo 47 Marco Fertonani (Ita) Phonak Hearing Systems 48 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros 49 Juan Carlos Dominguez Dominguez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 50 José Antonio Pecharromán (Spa) Quick.Step-Davitamon 51 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) Quick.Step-Davitamon 52 Daniel Rincon (Col) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 53 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 54 Guido Trentin (Ita) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone 55 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone 56 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 57 José Azevedo (Por) US Postal Service p/b Berry Floor 58 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco 59 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Saeco 60 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 61 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme 62 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 63 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team 9.33 64 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 65 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 66 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank 67 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 68 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 69 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Alessio-Bianchi 70 Daniele Nardello (Ita) T-Mobile Team 71 Daniel Schnider (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 72 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2r Prévoyance 73 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 74 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 75 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 76 Denis Menchov (Rus) Illes Balears-Banesto 77 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears-Banesto 78 Juan Fuentes Angullo (Spa) Saeco 79 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 80 Iñigo Chaurreau (Spa) AG2r Prévoyance 11.14 81 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) T-Mobile Team 82 Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 83 Gonzalo Bayarri Esteve (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 84 Andrea Noè (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 85 José Luis Rebollo Aguado (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 86 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 87 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 88 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Saeco 89 Mikel Elgezabal Fernandez (Spa) Costa de Almeria-Paternina 90 Bert Roesems (Bel) Relax-Bodysol 91 Daniel Atienza Urendez (Spa) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone 92 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Lampre 93 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Alessio-Bianchi 94 Francisco Palacio (Spa) Cafes Baque 95 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 96 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Domina Vacanze 97 Gorka Gonzalez Larranaga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 98 Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Quick.Step-Davitamon 99 Nacor Burgos Rojo (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 100 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) AG2r Prévoyance 101 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Domina Vacanze 102 Moises Dueñas (Spa) Relax-Bodysol 103 Luis Perez (Spa) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone 104 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 105 David Latasa Lasa (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme 106 Ronny Scholz (Ger) Gerolsteiner 107 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 108 Michele Scotto (Ita) Lampre 109 Jonathan Gonzalez (Spa) Costa de Almeria-Paternina 110 Mauro Gerosa (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 111 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto-Domo 112 Leif Hoste (Bel) Lotto-Domo 113 Marco Serpellini (Ita) Gerolsteiner 114 Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank 115 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank 116 Alexandre Moos (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 117 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Rabobank 118 Inigo Landaluze (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 119 Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 120 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Liberty Seguros 121 Giuseppe Guerini (Ita) T-Mobile Team 122 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Relax-Bodysol 123 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto-Domo 124 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Saeco 125 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 126 Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa) Cafés Baqué 15.57 127 David Cañada (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 128 Ion Del Rio (Spa) Costa de Almeria-Paternina 129 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Saeco 130 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 131 Jokin Ormaetxea (Spa) Costa de Almeria-Paternina 132 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) T-Mobile Team 133 Massimo Iannetti (Ita) Domina Vacanze 134 Nicolas Inaudi (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 135 Raffaele Ferrara (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 136 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 137 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Domina Vacanze 138 J. Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Costa de Almeria-Paternina 139 Mauro Zinetti (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie
Provisional 1 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 282 pts 2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon 238 3 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 182 4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis 150 5 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 146 6 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 137 7 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) T-Mobile 131 8 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile 108 9 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Alessio-Bianchi 100 9 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 100