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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

 UCI codes explained

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
Photo: © AFP
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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, 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.

Jaan's 100th
Photo: © AFP
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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)
13 Gerhard Trampusch (Aut) Gerolsteiner
14 Oleg Grichkine (Rus) Navigators
15 Carlos Da Cruz (Fra)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)                         5.55
130 Jimmy Casper (Fra)
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

Past winners

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,