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
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
& profile, and start
Cyclingnews will have live coverage of the Clasica San Sebastian beginning
around 14:30 CEST/08:30 EDT/05:30PDT/22:30 Aust EST.
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 FDJeux.com 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 FDJeux.com, 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 FDJeux.com, 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
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
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
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 www.lvvelo.org or by calling
the Velodrome office at 610-967-7587.
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