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24th Clasica San Sebastian - CDM

Spain, August 7, 2004

2003 results    Live coverage     Preview    Start List     Past winners

Bettini, Rebellin bid for more World Cup points

By Martin Hardie

Can Bettini repeat his San Sebastian feat?
Photo: © Sirotti
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After last weekend's surprise result in the HEW Cyclassics, the World Cup competition is back in full swing as the one day specialists return to the beaches and mountains of the Basque Country to see who can make it first onto the beautiful Donostia boulevard this Saturday, August 7.

The Clasica San Sebastian - Klasika Donostia follows the traditional course on its tour of the Basque province of Guipuzkoa and features a good mixture of scenic coastal roads in the early stretch followed by a series of sharp testing climbs as it heads inland to the valleys and "cuestas" that make this such a fabled course.

Of its categorised climbs, the feature and selection-maker is always the famed ascent of the Cat. 1 Jaizkibel, which falls some 36 kms from the finish. After the Jaizkibel those who have made the selection still have to maintain their advantage as they pass over the Cat. 3 Alto de Gurutze with 13.5 kms remaining. From there the race has one more uncategorised rise - the Alto de Miracruz- out of the port of Pasajes before the plunge down and onto the beachside Boulevard in what is certainly one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Earlier on its course the route passes the Cat. 3 Alto de Orio as it heads along the coast to the holiday town of Zarautz. Following this come the Cat. 2 climbs of the Alto de Azkarate and the Alto de Garate as the race heads south and inland and the Cat. 2 Alto de Undana at the point at which the race heads north again and back down the valley towards San Sebastian and the steep 8 km Jaizkibel.

The Jaizkibel soars distinctly out of its coastal surrounds between San Sebastian and the border town of Irun, recognisable for its shape and the antenna that populate its summit. A bare long rocky ridge, you can see from a distance the cutting of the road as it climbs along the mount's side. Its steepest sections are in the earliest kilometres after which in its second half the grade steadies to average of around 5%. The Jaizkibel is where the customary selection is made as the strong men of the classics who have the climbing prowess power up to keep the pace high over the climb and the final 30 kilometre run in to the finish.

As such we can expect all the usual subjects among them a host of past winners to try their luck, last year's winner, Paolo Bettini, Davide Rebellin and Igor Astarloa should all be in the hunt, along with Danilo Di Luca and Jan Ullrich. Hot Spanish finishers such as Perdiguero and Valverde should also not be discounted on this course.

As always this year the start list is a veritable who's who of the pro peloton. The list of hopefuls is long, also testing their luck will be the likes of Gonzalez, Cancellara, Virenque, Frigo, Flecha, Cioni, Merckx, Casagrande, Camenzind, Ullrich, Cunego, Karpets, Freire, Dekker, Leipheimer, Rasmussen, Heras, Azevedo, Basso, Tonkov, Jeker and Møller. Brochard returns, having won the World's here in 1997, and is accompanied by his Basque teammate Mikel Astarloza. The local orange brigade of Euskaltel-Euskadi will be looking to make amends for a bad month of July with Mayo, Zubeldia, the Etxebarrias all riding.

Live coverage

If you can't be there on the Boulevard by the beach, at least tune in for our live coverage here on Cyclingnews. Coverage starts at 15:00 CEST (Europe)/9:00 EDT (USA East)/6:00 PDT (USA West)/23:00 AEST (Australia East).

Past winners

Year First                      Second         Third
2003 Paolo Bettini (Ita)        Basso          Di Luca
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
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

2002 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC  230 kms in 5.47.29 (39.19 km/h)
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)

Past Winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com.