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10th Classic Haribo - 1.3
France, February 23, 2003
2002 Results Results Past winners
Kirsipuu's encore, a day for Estonia
By Chris Henry
Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2R-Prévoyance) not only claimed his second consecutive Classic Haribo win, his third in total, he earned his hundredth career win. The Estonian powerhouse won today's race in a rare bunch sprint after his well-drilled Ag2R team played its hand to perfection throughout the course. In winning the second round of the Coupe de France, Kirsipuu takes over the series lead from Sylvain Chavanel, victor in yesterday's Tour du Haut Var, though the two are equal on points.
On a parcours more suited to sprinters than the hilly Tour du Haut Var, the peloton was content to keep the pace moderate in the first half of the race. The early attack of the day featured the foursome of Guillaume Auger (BigMat-Auber), Charles Guilbert (Marlux), Lauri Aus (Ag2R-Prévoyance), and former French national champion Eddy Seigneur (Jean Delatour). As these four pressed on, Phonak's Fabrice Gougot chased hard in an effort to bridge to the leaders. With a tenuous advantage of 1'20" at the 43km to mark, the leading four decided to ease the pace just enough to let the tenacious Gougot join the train, before resuming the effort. Gougot was given a chance to catch his breath, but it seems five was a crowd, and Lauri Aus took the first initiative to set off on his own.
Aus, a former Haribo winner, profited from the disorganisation behind and built his own lead of nearly 20" over the chasers, at the same time increasing the gap to the peloton to over two minutes. Auger and Gougot worked together to chase Aus, to no avail. Despite his defiant effort, Aus's attack was too great a task to maintain to the finish, and as the race entered the final 30km the peloton awoke, with the sprinters' teams taking the charge to reel in the splinters of the original break.
Eager for more success on the roads of southern France, Quick-Step took its chances after the peloton regrouped, launching Luca Paolini off the front in the closing kilometres. With 10km to go, the Italian held a slender lead of 15" over the bunch, which rolled along under the pressure of FDJeux.com, working collectively to place Australian Baden Cooke in the running for an eventual sprint. Paolini's advantage may have seemed marginal, but his Quick-Step teammate and leader Paolo Bettini showed his true colours and tactical precision. Bettini took command at the front of the peloton, artfully disrupting the chase with an impeccable display of just how to block for a teammate up the road.
Bettini showed enough confidence in his endeavours that when asked by Ag2R's Mark Scanlon whether or not anyone were out ahead of the peloton, the Italian gave a polite nod, before once again taking the lead and creating havoc in the chase. Into the numerous roundabouts of the final kilometres, Bettini's slowing of the pace was effective enough to allow Paolini to gain seven more seconds advantage with 5km to go. When Ag2R forced its way to the front once again, this time with Andy Flickinger in control, Quick-Step sat comfortably with four riders on Flickinger's wheel.
Quick-Step's show of force was impressive, but ultimately the roads widened, Paolini weakened, and the race once again became wide open as a bunch sprint appeared once again inevitable. Jaan Kirsipuu was given a red carpet ride to the head of affairs by new Ag2R leader (and teammate "de luxe") Laurent Brochard. Into the final corner, Kirsipuu timed his surge to just right to take the turn in first position. Even after looking behind in reaction to a crash several lengths back, Kirsipuu showed his competition a clean pair of wheels, starting the sprint from first position and holding on to cross the line victorious. The Estonian sprinter, clad in his habitual black winter hat and national champion's jersey, edged out Dane Lars Michaelsen (CSC) and US Postal's new recruit Max van Heeswijk, emphatically bringing his victory total into triple digits.
"I'm very happy to have won for the team," Kirsipuu commented after the podium presentation. "Lauri gave a lot today, and with a little more luck could even have won."
For his part, Lauri Aus was content with his compatriot's win, laughing at his own prospects in the process. "I was going very well today," he said. "I thought if I were going to win I'd have to go very early, or else Jaan would win. Then again, if I were caught, Jaan would still win!"
1 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2r Prévoyance 4.55.26 (39.948 km/h) 2 Lars Michaelsen (Den) CSC 3 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 4 Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra) Jean Delatour 5 Damien Nazon (Fra) La Boulangère 6 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Rabobank 7 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco 8 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole 9 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner 10 Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 11 Roy Sentjens (Ned) Rabobank 12 Baden Cooke (Aus) Fdjeux.com 13 Gerhard Trampusch (Aut) Gerolsteiner 14 Oleg Grichkine (Rus) Navigators 15 Carlos Da Cruz (Fra) Fdjeux.com 16 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Lotto-Domo 17 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Quick Step-Davitamon 18 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank 19 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team fakta 20 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) La Boulangère 21 Franck Pencole (Fra) MBK-Oktos 22 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Jean Delatour 0.06 23 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 24 Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators 25 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto-Domo 26 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Jean Delatour 27 Gert Vanderaerden (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 28 Alexei Sivakov (Rus) Big Mat-Auber 93 29 Werner Riebenbauer (Aut) Team fakta 30 Gregory Rast (Swi) Phonak 31 Erik Lievens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 32 Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Boulangère 33 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 34 Sébastien Joly (Fra) Jean Delatour 35 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Lotto-Domo 36 Bruno Thibout (Fra) Jean Delatour 37 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance 38 Ludovic Auger (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93 39 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 40 Matthew White (Aus) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 41 Sébastien Talabardon (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93 42 Chris Wherry (USA) Navigators 43 Marco Milesi (Ita) Sidermec 44 Frédéric Gabriel (Fra) MBK-Oktos 45 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Sidermec 46 Walter Beneteau (Fra) La Boulangère 47 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 48 Antonio Cruz (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 49 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank 50 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Fdjeux.com 51 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Phonak 52 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 53 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance 54 David Etxebarria (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 55 Tom Stremersch (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 56 Mickaël Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com 57 Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators 58 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 59 Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Cofidis 60 Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) Cofidis 61 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2r Prévoyance 62 Daniele Contrini (Ita) Gerolsteiner 63 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 64 Matthew Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com 65 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank 66 Lauri Aus (Est) Ag2r Prévoyance 67 Roger Beuchat (Swi) Phonak 68 Michel Skelde (Den) Team fakta 69 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Rabobank 70 David Lefevre (Fra) Jean Delatour 71 Franck Bouyer (Fra) Brioches la Boulangere 72 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches la Boulangere 73 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Saeco 74 Stéphane Barthe (Fra) MBK-Oktos 75 Christopher Jenner (Fra) Crédit Agricole 76 Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators 77 Daniel Atienza (Spa) Cofidis 78 Marcel Strauss (Ger) Gerolsteiner 79 Jehudi Schoonacker (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 80 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Crédit Agricole 81 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Crédit Agricole 82 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Crédit Agricole 83 Santo Anza (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 84 Paul Van Hyfte (Bel) CSC 85 Pietro Zucconi (Swi) Sidermec 86 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJeux.com 87 Christian Poos (Lux) Marlux-Wincor 88 Andrea Peron (Den) CSC 89 Dimitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Cofidis 90 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quick Step-Davitamon 0.21 91 Jorg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco 92 Henk Vogels (Aus) Navigators 93 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC 0.28 94 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 0.30 95 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Marlux-Wincor 96 Slawomir Kohut (Pol) CCC-Atlas 97 Yohann Charpenteau (Fra) Crédit Agricole 98 Iker Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 99 Kristof Trouve (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 100 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Phonak 101 Michael Rheis (Den) Team fakta 102 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Brioches la Boulangere 103 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quick Step-Davitamon 104 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 105 Geoffrey Demeyere (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 106 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Jean Delatour 107 Christophe Stevens (Bel) Marlux-Wincor 108 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Lotto-Domo 109 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Quick Step-Davitamon 110 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) Marlux-Wincor 111 Andrey Kaschechkin (Kaz) Quick Step-Davitamon 112 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 113 Allan Johansen (Den) Team fakta 0.36 114 Miguel Martinez (Fra) Phonak 115 Igor Pugaci (Mda) Saeco 116 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance 117 Unai Etxebarria (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 118 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco 0.41 119 Steve De Wolf (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 0.58 120 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC 121 Leif Hoste (Bel) Lotto-Domo 122 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Crédit Agricole 1.04 123 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra) MBK-Oktos 1.17 124 Daniel Schnider (Swi) Phonak 1.26 125 Angelo Lopeboselli (Ita) Cofidis 1.40 126 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick Step-Davitamon 127 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Davitamon 128 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo 2.14 129 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJeux.com 5.55 130 Jimmy Casper (Fra) FDJeux.com 131 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2r Prévoyance 132 Jorgen Bo Petersen (Den) Team fakta 6.03 133 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Team fakta 134 Salvatore Scamardella (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 135 Wesley Van Speybroeck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 136 Guillaume Auger (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93 137 Eddy Seigneur (Fra) Jean Delatour 138 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Sidermec 139 Charles Guilbert (Fra) Marlux-Wincor 140 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) MBK-Oktos 141 Nicki Sorensen (Den) CSC 6.50 142 Fabrice Gougot (Swi) Phonak 143 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) CCC-Atlas 144 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) CSC 145 Piotr Chmielewski (Pol) CCC-Atlas 146 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Cofidis 147 Marc Streel (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 148 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Cofidis 13.42 149 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank 14.42 Courtesy of velomania.net
2002 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2r 2001 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 2000 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R-Prevoyance 1999 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole 1998 Lauri Aus (Est) Casino 1997 Frédréric Guesdon (Fra) 1996 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 1995 Giuseppe Citterio (Ita) 1994 Erik Zabel (Ger) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com