25th Clasica San Sebastian - ProT
Spain, August 13, 2005
Start List Results
Commentary by Jeff Jones
Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:00 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews' airborne
coverage of the 25th edition of the Clasica San Sebastian/Donostia Klasikoa.
This ProTour classic is run over a traditional parcours of 227 km, featuring
several medium level climbs, culminating in the Alto de Jaizkibel at km 195.
This is traditionally the breaking point of the race, as the 8 km, 5.73 percent
climb is a tough prospect after nearly 200 km of hard racing. But with 12 km
to go, there is the Alto de Gurutze, a Cat. 3 climb of 2.8 km, also averaging
5 percent. This can often serve as the spring plank for the winning move of
Riders to watch today include ProTour leader Danilo Di Luca
(Liquigas-Bianchi), who will be looking to strengthen his advantage over his
rivals after missing out on the points in Hamburg a couple of weeks back. There's
also defending champion Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero and sidekick Oscar Pereiro
(Phonak), Carlos Sastre (CSC), Cadel Evans and Axel Merckx (Davitamon-Lotto),
Chris Horner (Saunier Duval), Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole), Allan Davis
(Liberty Seguros), Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo), George Hincapie and
Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery), Serguei Ivanov (T-Mobile), Davide Rebellin and
Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), David Moncoutié (Cofidis), Francisco Mancebo
(Illes Balears), Paolo Bettini and Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step), Damiano Cunego
and Giuliano Figueras (Lampre), Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues), Philippe Gilbert
(Francaise des Jeux), Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), and Igor Astarloa
It is rather a decent line up.
The story so far...
peloton started in San Sebastian at 11:30 in dry, but fairly cool conditions:
the temperature was in the low 20s at the start, and hasn't really moved much.
A light NNE was at the riders' backs for the first part of the course, as Óscar
Laguna (Relax- Fuenlabrada) took the points on the Alto de Orio, also taking
the sprint at Zarautz ahead of Karsten Kroon and Adrian Palomares. On the Alto
de Garate (km 29), the break of the day was established when Christophe Moreau
(CA), Michael Barry (Discovery), Patxi Vila (Lampre), Ruban Lobato (Saunier
Duval), Mauro Facci (Fassas Bortolo), Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel), Matthias
Kessler (T-Mobile) and Antonio Tauler (Illes Balears) escaped. Lobato was first
over the top of the climb.
But by the Cat. 2 Alto de Azkarate (59
km), the group of eight riders had 4'30 lead, increasing it to a maximum of
6'05 after 90 km, but then the peloton started to clamp down and they haven't
been given much more than that.
On the 8 km/3.2 percent Alto de Udana
after 101 km, the group had 5'38, and has kept that gap now as we approach the
final half of the race. The average speed so far is 43.8 km/h, which is reasonably
quick but it should slow down as the climbs take their toll and the wind blows
in the riders' faces.
15:27 CEST 157km/70km to go
The lead group is
travelling well, but they are not being given much freedom as the hungry peloton
has now closed the gap to 3'35 with 70 km of the bike race left.
The pace is such that the riders
are ahead of the fastest schedule, and a finish at around 17:00 is predicted.
15:35 CEST 168km/59km to go
The main teams working
today are Phonak, Gerolsteiner, Barloworld-Valsir and Quick Step. They don't
have riders in the break, so they have to do the donkey work.
15:47 CEST 176km/51km to go
There are no more
categorised climbs until the Jaizkibel now, but the parcours is still up and
down in the lead up to the feared climb. The eight riders are doing their best
to cling on to their lead, but are fighting a losing battle against the might
of the peloton.
Laiseka comes through for his turn
with Michael Barry (Discovery) on his wheel. Kessler and Lobato follow.
15:51 CEST 181km/46km to go
The gap is down to
1'37 as Barloworld leads the chase in the peloton. The eight leaders aren't
going to be out there for much longer. Allan Davis is moved up to the front
by his Liberty teammates.
15:52 CEST 182km/45km to go
The Jaizkibel is
starting in about 5 km, as now Davitmon-Lotto takes a turn at the front of the
bunch. Belgian champion Baguet in third wheel.
15:54 CEST 184km/43km to go
The steepest part
of the Jaizkibel is at the bottom, with the first kilometre averaging 8.2 percent.
Then it eases to 6-7 percent, with a "flat" spot of 3.9 percent between km 3-4,
then back to 6-7 percent for a couple of kilometres, before the top part of
the climb eases off to 4.6 and 1.2 percent for the final two kilometres.
15:56 CEST 185km/42km to go
The gap is down to
a minute as the leaders get very close to the foot of the feared climb. They're
not going to last too much longer. 6'05 wasn't really a gap you could do a lot
15:57 CEST 186km/41km to go
The battle for position
is full on now as Di Luca moves up. Then Axel Merckx brings up Cadel Evans.
Tauler and Facci get a small gap
as the climb looms. Laiseka is off the back of the break a little bit, but survives.
15:59 CEST 188km/39km to go
The climb starts
- I'll try to get a time. The gap is 30 seconds to the peloton.
attacks first, but the others react.
The peloton is on the climb too,
with the Barloworld boys to the fore. But now Stangelj (Lampre) makes the first
In the break, Patxi Vila is doing
the work at a steady pace.
Moncoutié goes after Stangelj.
The peloton sweeps up the back of
the break. Only Christophe Moreau (CA), Patxi Vila (Lampre), Ruban Lobato (Saunier
Duval), and Matthias Kessler (T-Mobile) are left. Valjavec (Phonak) is setting
tempo in the peloton. Astarloa is well placed.
Valjavec drives the bunch up the
climb and the break is pretty much history. Vila does one more turn.
The break gradually disintegrates
with Moreau and Vila looking back for the bunch. Don't worry, it's coming...
Moreau doesn't really sit up, but
he can't survive as Sastre attacks hard for CSC. Then one of the Rabobank riders
counters - is that Veneberg?
It ain't Veneberg, it's Denis Menchov
(Rabobank) who is leading the race now. He's chased by Sastre, Rebellin and
a Saunier rider. He has about 4 seconds.
The chasing group grows as Luis Perez,
Cadel Evans, and Levi Leipheimer get on the back. But Menchov still has a gap
as he reaches a flat spot. Joaquin Rodriguez is the Saunier man.
Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel) closes to the chase group too.
In the lead we have Denis Menchov
(Rabobank), being chased at 10 seconds by Joaquin Rodriguez (Saunier), Haimar
Zubeldia (Euskaltel), Davide Rebellin, Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), Carlos
Sastre (CSC), Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto), Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas) and
Luis Perez (Cofidis). Leipheimer is setting the tempo for Rebellin. Where is
Di Luca? Not here...
16:11 CEST 192km/35km to go
Menchov has got 14
seconds now but will have a tough time holding off a group of nine after the
descent. The Russian is doing a good ride though.
Bits of the peloton
are chasing too. Bettini is a fair way down.
16:12 CEST 193km/34km to go
Popovych is leading
a couple of Saunier riders, one of which attacks in pursuit of a group in front.
He bridges the gap, but they haven't got the front 1 + 9 yet.
looks back and sits up. 1 km to the summit.
Leipheimer continues to drive the
chase group as the Jaizkibel starts to flatten out. They are hauling in Menchov,
who seems to want to be the first over the top at least.
The chasing group of nine have a
good 20 seconds on a much larger group, which has Popovych, Mancebo, Cunego,
Zaballa and Astarloa in it. Relax is leading the chase there.
16:17 CEST 195km/32km to go
Menchov has 4 seconds
now on the first chase group and 20 seconds on the Mancebo-led one. He is caught
at the top of the climb by Leipheimer, but was first to the top.
The Mancebo group is at 15 seconds.
The Mancebo group could well reach
the front 10 on the descent. 15 seconds isn't much.
The time for
the climb: between 17'05 and 17'10 (for Menchov). Anyone want to have a stab
at the average power? 8 km at 5.73 percent, very light headwind.
16:20 CEST 197km/30km to go
The leaders: Denis
Menchov (Rabobank), Joaquin Rodriguez (Saunier), Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel),
Davide Rebellin, Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), Carlos Sastre (CSC), Cadel
Evans (Davitamon-Lotto), Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas), and Luis Perez (Cofidis).
The chase group of 15-20 is coming back though. Haven't spotted Di Luca, but
if he's in this group, he should be able to get some more ProTour points.
The bunches come together on the descent. We have perhaps 30 leaders now.
16:21 CEST 198km/29km to go
Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel)
is almost onto the front group now. He was just off the back on the climb.
16:22 CEST 200km/27km to go
and Garrido have all abandoned. No sign of HEW winner Pozzato, but he might
be up in front. They are heading down to Hondarribia now.
16:23 CEST 202km/25km to go
Aitor Gonzalez is
about 20m off the back, but he'll get them. He hasn't been racing much since
he won the Tour de Suisse, and will now be preparing for the Vuelta.
This lead group is not hanging around.
Aitor Gonzalez is not having an easy time getting back on, probably cursing
his teammate - Zubeldia? - who is leading the group.
16:26 CEST 203km/24km to go
The lead bunch reaches
Hondarribia, very strung out. Michele Scarponi (Liberty) is sitting in last
16:28 CEST 205km/22km to go
Most of the Barloworld
team have abandoned, but they put Astarloa in the front group, so job done for
Aitor inches his way onto the group, but can't close the gap.
His team director might want to tell Zubeldia to slow down a bit... Too late
now - Chris Horner attacks! He's riding for Davitamon-Lotto next year and in
2007, it's been confirmed.
16:28 CEST 207km/20km to go
makes it onto the back of Luis Perez's wheel in the lead group. Now it will
Horner looks back and sees he has a gap.
16:30 CEST 208km/19km to go
Horner is caught
as the speed stays high in the lead group. The cooperation is not great, but
there are enough riders who want to keep the pace up.
16:31 CEST 210km/17km to go
They go through the
Meta Volante in Irun and there is another attack. Four riders, including Horner
again, have a gap. This looks more promising.
Horner, and Leipheimer are there,
and a Domina Vacanze and Illes Balears rider. They have a nice gap.
16:34 CEST 212km/15km to go
The four leaders
hit the Alto de Gurutze, the final climb of the day. They are: Chris Horner
(Saunier), Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), Luca Solari (Domina), Xabier Zandio
(Illes Balears). But Rebellin closes the gap with six or seven others. The bunch
The front group is 20 riders strong
now, as Rodriguez (Saunier) attacks. Rebellin is right on him, as is Astarloa.
But Igor can't hold the pace and drops back.
16:38 CEST 213km/14km to go
They reach the top
of the Gurutze and four riders are clear: Joaquin Rodriguez (Saunier), Denis
Menchov (Rabobank), Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas) and Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner).
The gap is not great though.
Nope, it all comes back. In bits.
16:40 CEST 215km/12km to go
The lead group is
quite big again as Sastre led the rest back to Rebellin and co. No more climbs
now, but there is still time for an attack. This group is surely too big to
get to the finish together.
16:41 CEST 216km/11km to go
Off the descent of
the Gurutze and through Oiartzun, we still have a lead group of 25 odd riders.
Di Luca isn't here, as far as we can tell. But Rebellin certainly is.
Al Stolz reckons Menchov's average
power output for the Jaizkibel was 425 watts, fairly roughly.
16:42 CEST 217km/10km to go
A group of seven
or so has a 100m gap on the rest now. 8 seconds is the gap, but the chasers
are strung out in pursuit.
16:43 CEST 218km/9km to go
It's a handy break
- 14 seconds now, as the break flies along. No names yet, but soon.
16:45 CEST 219km/8km to go
Garzelli is one of
the leaders, as is Zaballa, Zubeldia, Mazzoleni, Mosquera (Kaiku), Moncoutié
(Cofidis) and Rodriguez. Two Sauniers in the lead. The gap is 20 seconds to
a Menchov led chase.
16:47 CEST 221km/6km to go
The seven leaders:
Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas), Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel), Zaballa, Rodriguez
(Saunier), Mosquera (Kaiku), David Moncoutié (Cofidis), Eddy Mazzoleni (Lampre).
They have 20 seconds as they approach San Sebastian. Rebellin and Menchov are
chasing them, but Horner is in second wheel, not coming through of course as
his teammates are up there.
16:49 CEST 222km/5km to go
The leaders are gone,
surely. It's over half a minute now and they're not hanging around. Garzelli
is probably the best sprinter here, but watch for the Sauniers.
not Ezequiel Mosquera in the Kaiku pink, it's Yon Bru!! Probably my favourite
Yon Bru is much easier to type as
16:49 CEST 223km/4km to go
Menchov leads the
chasers, but it's 42 seconds and growing. They ain't coming back. The race will
be decided among the seven leaders.
Garzelli takes a spell at the back
of the group. He can probably gamble a bit, as the Sauniers want to keep the
pace high. Bru is the only non-ProTour rider here. Zubeldia looks good today.
16:51 CEST 224km/3km to go
It's up to 50 seconds
as Zaballa attacks. Garzelli looks round and it's Moncoutié who reacts. Zaballa
Could this be two in a row for Saunier?
Zaballa has got a good gap and Rodriguez is doing some good spoiler work behind.
16:52 CEST 225km/2km to go
Zaballa has what looks
to be an unbeatable gap. 10 seconds as Garzelli tries to organise a chase. Bru
helps. But Zaballa is long gone...
The six (well, five) chasers must
work together if they are to have a chance. It may be too late. 12 seconds to
Zaballa in front.
16:53 CEST 225.7km/1.3km to go
Zaballa gets out
of the saddle and drives up a small climb. Nearly 1 km to go.
16:54 CEST 226km/1km to go
Zaballa takes advantage
of the tailwind and drives to the kilometre to go banner. He'll take it, definitely.
Constantino Zaballa (Saunier Duval)
has 15 seconds under the kilometre to go banner as Garzelli looks at the others
again. Nope. Bit late for arguing.
16:55 CEST 227km/0km to go
Zaballa looks back
quickly a couple of times but he is home and hosed. Great ride set up by some
great team work. Two from two for Saunier Duval!
Rodriguez leads out for second and
takes it with a massive gap to Mazzoleni, Garzelli, Bru, Moncoutié and Zubeldia.
Yus took eighth from the next group, very close behind.
Despite not featuring in the finale,
Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas-Bianchi) will keep the ProTour leader's jersey.
OK, that's all from us in the blimp today. We'll be back with full results,
report and pics later, along with everything else!
1 Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 5.24.18
2 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 0.20
3 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Lampre - Caffita
4 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas - Bianchi
5 Yon Bru (Spa) Kaiku
6 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
7 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.31
8 Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spa) Bouygues Telecom 0.40
9 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis
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