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Classica San Sebastian
By Podofdonny
Date: 8/9/2002
Classica San Sebastian
With his win in Hamburg last Sunday Belgian Johan Museeuw seems to be in the World Cup saddle more and more stronger. Tomorrow he will start in the Spanish city of San Sebastian together with 183 compratiots in 23 teams for the next leg of the world cup cyclus, the Clasica San Sebastian. The 227 kilometres will take the racers direction south over some climbs of second and third category. The major difficulty awaits them at 119 k. with the infamous Jaizkibel, which will take them to 476 metres above sealevel. A quick overview on scenery and main contenders.

The Scenery
Distances: 20 km to the French border (Hendaia/Hendaye in Lapurdi province), 75 km to Pamplona, 100 km to Bilbao, 465 km to Madrid, 780 km to Paris.

Names: It is called officially Donostia-San Sebastián, in Basque is called Donostia, and in Spanish San Sebastián. Although many people called it just Donosti, even using Spanish.

The Basques are the oldest ethnic group in Europe. Their language (Euskara or Euskera) is a prelatin language. The Basque Country, called Euskal Herria or Euskadi in Basque language or País Vasco in Spanish, that belongs to Spain refers uniquely to three provinces (Gipuzkoa or Guipúzcoa, Bizkaia or Vizcaya and Araba or Álava), but there is also forth province: Nafarroa or Navarra, that specially in the north, has a very strong Basque fealing. There is also another Basque Country, that formed in the French area, formed by three provinces: Lapurdi, the most important one (Biarritz and Baiona are the most important towns), Behenafarroa and Zuberoa

The capital of the seven provinces are: Araba/Álava (Vitoria-Gasteiz), Bizkaia/Vizcaya (Bilbo/Bilbao), Gipuzkoa/Guipúzcoa (Donostia-San Sebastián), Nafarroa/Navarra (Iruñea/Pamplona), Lapurdi (Baiona/Bayonne), Behenafarroa (Donibane Garazi/Sant Jean Pied de Port) and Zuberoa (Maule/Mauleon).

In the three provinces belonging to the Autonomous Comunity the Basque is co-official (with the Spanish). Navarre is divided into three areas: the Basque area, where Basque is co-official, the mixte area, where it has not some many strenght, and the Non-Basque area where the unique official language is Spanish.

San Sebastian has three beaches: Concha, the most famous one; Ondarreta and Zurriola (also called Gros). Concha and Ondarreta are into a bay adorned with Santa Clara Island. Zurriola beach is at open sea.

The City
This typical summer resort located 20 km from the Irun-Hendaya border is a clean and modern city of about 172,000 inhabitants. It lies in the shelter of the Montes Igueldo, Urgull and Ulía, and the river Urumea flows through the middle of it. As well as the cosmopolitanism of the modern town with its large avenues and elegant tree-lined boulevards there is the picturesque old quarter and its delightful fishing port where excellent typical restaurants compete for business and where we find its two oldest churches - the Gothic Church of San Vicente and the Baroque Church of Santa María, as well as the 16th c Convent of San Telmo, converted into a museum and worthy of a visit to see its cloister and the paintings by the great Sert which decorate it. The beach of La Concha is worthy of mention, being a magical viewing point from the city out onto the Bay of Biscay, and if we add to this the Montes Urgull and Igueldo and the Island of Santa Clara, then the final result is a bay of outstanding beauty.The Cathedral del Buen Pastor and the Municipal Casino are two modern structures of important addition to the urban surroundings.

The Teams

CSC TISCALI Laurent Jalabert (Fra), last year's winner and now sadly in his last season, will be wanting to leave the pro bike scene with another classic win to add to his already impressive palmares. Jaja will be well supported with Sastre and 1999 world Mountain bike champion Michael Rasmussen.

1 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 2 - Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa), 3- Michael Rasmussen (Den), 4 - Nicki Sörensen (Den), 5 -Michael Blaudzun (Den), 6-Francisco Cerezo Perales (Spa), 7 - Manuel Calvente Gorbas (Spa), 8 - Marcelino García Alonso (Spa)

FASSA BORTOLO Francesco Casagrande (Ita) has twice before won this race and last year after sterling work by teammate Wladimir Belli was just beaten into second place. Michele Bartoli hopes to make a comeback while White jersey winner in the Tour de France, Ivan Basso, and Sven Montgomery should add weight to the Fassa attack on the Côte de Jaizkibel.

11 - Francesco Casagrande (Ita), 12 - Wladimir Belli (Ita), 13 - Michele Bartoli (Ita), 14 - Ivan Basso (Ita), 15 - Sven Montgomery (Swi), 16 - Gorad Stangelj (Slo), 17 - Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), 18 - Paolo Tiralongo (Ita)

TEAM TELEKOM Too many hills for Ete Zabel, so hero of Alpe d’Huez, Giuseppe Guerini (Ita), will lead the Telekom attack. Udo Bolts was a surprise winner in 1996; support will come from the North American duo of Livingston and Julich, and up and coming prospect Stefan Schumacher.

21 - Giuseppe Guerini (Ita), 22- XXXXX, 23- Bobby Julich (Usa), 24 - Kevin Livingston (Usa), 25 - Udo Bölts (Ger), 26 - David Kopp (Ger), 27 - Stefan Schumacher (Ger), - Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz)

RABOBANK Injury rules out the 2000 winner Erik Dekker - but the duel strike force of Leipheimer and Boogerd still looks like a potent force for the race. The key to the race lies in the final ascent of the Côte de Jaizkibel and if the men from Montana and Den Haag can work together victory could be within their grasp.

31 - Coen Boerman (Ned), 32 - Michael Boogerd (Ned), 33 - Bram de Groot (Ned), 34 - Levi Leipheimer (Usa), 35 - Marc Wauters (Bel), 36 - Addy Engels (Ned), 37 - Matthé Pronk (Ned), 38 - Beat Zberg (Swi)

MAPEI - QUICKSTEP Will be keen to keep the momentum of Paolo Bettini’s comeback and World Cup Challenge rolling, World Champion Oscar Freire will probably be in a loose cannon role, while hard men Nardello, Canada and Bramati support Bettini. Commonwealth Games Gold and Silver medallist Cadel Evans may try from a long way out on the Jaizkibel.

41 - Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa), 42 - Paolo Bettini (Ita), 43 - Cadel Evans (Aus), 44 - Elio Aggiano (Ita), 45 - Daniele Nardello (Ita), 46 - Dario David Cioni (Ita), 47 - Davide Bramati (Ita), 48 - David Cañada Gracia (Spa)

LOTTO Mario Aerts finally showed some of his enormous potential in this year's Tour de France - and he must be the Lotto’s main weapon of attack - still, to name a full squad, the boys from Belgium may not find the Spanish hills to their liking.

51 - Christophe Detilloux (Bel), 52 - Mario Aerts (Bel), 53 - Kurt van Lancker (Bel), 54 - Chirstophe Brandt (Bel), 55 - Serge Baguet (Bel), 56 - Kurt van de Wouwer (Bel), 57 - Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus), 58 - Tom Stremersch (Bel).

iBANESTO.COM The Banesto boys have never really been geared to the one days races and this squad seems unlikely to change that tradition - Mancebo leads the team but the best prospect of a result would be Unai Osa - whose less famous brother is doing well in Portugal at the moment.

61 - Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa), 62 - Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa), 63 - Juan A. Flecha Giannoni (Spa), - 64 - David Latasa Lasa (Spa), 65 - Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Spa), 66- José L. Arrieta Lujambio (Spa), 67-José V.Garcia Acosta (Spa), 68 - José I.Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) .

COFIDIS Such are the hard times in French cycling at the moment, the Cofidis team look unlikely to field one rider from France. A hugely talented team, the parcours don’t really seem to suit any of the riders. Kivilev will be under pressure to perform after his rather lack lustre display in the Tour de France. The last ascent, Côte de Jaizkibel, would seem to rule out Mattan and Plackaert - which leaves Lelli and Millar, either of whom could win this race - but if the Cofidis Team get a result it will be a giant step upwards for the team .

71 - Andrei Kivilev (Kaz), 72 -Massimiliano Lelli (Ita), 73 - David Millar (GBr), 74 - Iñigo Cuesta Lopez (Spa), 75 -Daniel Atienza Urendez (Spa), 76 - Bingen Fernandez Bustinza (Spa), 77 -Nico Mattan (Bel), 78 - Jo Planckaert (Bel)

ONCE A team of stars - but Tour Stars. Beloki, Azevedo and Nozal should start - but they will be riding for one day specialist Mikel Zarrabeitia - a truly classy squad, but one that possibly lacks a killer punch.

81- Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa), 82 -Giampaolo Caruso (Ita), 83- José Azevedo (Por), 84 - Jörg Jaksche (Ger), 85 - Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa), 86 - Mikel Zarrabeitia Uranga (Spa), 87 - Marcos Serrano Rodriguez (Spa), 88- Mikel Pradera Rodriguez

US POSTAL Lance Armstrong (Usa) will ride, but clearly his hectic after-Tour schedule has not made this event (which of course he has won in the past) a main objective of the season. While Hincapie moved up into third place in the World Cup ratings courtesy of his excellent Hew ride, he should gain full Postal support from newly wed Heras and Ruberia on the Jaizkibel.

91 - Lance Armstrong (Usa), 92 - Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa), 93 - José L.Rubiera Vigil (Spa), 94 - George Hincapie (Usa), 95 - Floyd Landis (Usa), 96 - Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus), 97 - William Chann McRae (Usa), 98 - Victor H.Pena Grisales (Col)

DOMO FARM FRITES Johan Museeuw, leader of the World cup - best place in this race was third - way back in 1995 - but clearly he will not be keen to lose too many points to his rivals - Vainsteins was excellent in support last weekend - although the team tactic could be to allow Richard Virenque to surge up the Jaizkibel in order to deprive the other teams of the victory points?

101 - Johan Museeuw (Bel), 102 - Axel Merckx (Bel), 103 - Richard Virenque (Fra), 104 - Fred Rodriguez (Usa), 105 - Wilfried Cretskens (Bel), 106 - Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), 107 - Steven Kleynen (Bel), 108 - Romans Vainsteins (Lat).

LAMPRE-DAIKIN With the trials and tribulations of the Rumsas Affaire, team morale must be affected - question is how - will Sciandri and Tonkov respond with a fighting display or will the pressure prove just too much? Sadly I suspect the latter.

111 - Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), 112 - Pavel Tonkov (Rus), 113 - Maximilian Sciandri (GBr), 114 -Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita), 115 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita), 116 - Marco Pinotti (Ita), 117 - Marco Serpellini (Ita), 118 Zbigniew Spruch (Pol).

KELME COSTA_BLANCA are not a team famous for it’s one-day race wins, today's team would seem unlikely to alter that fac . May well try and put a couple of men in the early break for TV exposure...

121 - Aitor González Jimenez (Spa), 122 - Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa), 123 - Francisco Cabello Luque (Spa), 124 - Juan M.Cuenca Martinez (Spa), 125 -Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa), 126 - José Cayetano Julia (Spa), 127 -Javier Pascual Llorente (Spa),128-Jesus Manzano Ruano (Spa).

TACCONI SPORT - VINI CALDIROLA Dario Frigo is still paying the price for last season's foolishness - he will see this race as another step towards the road to respectability - and it would be nice to see Luttenberger have a good day.Well organised team, they will fight hard for a result.

131 - Dario Frigo (Ita), 132 - Peter Luttenberger (Aut), 133- Ruggero Borghi (Ita),- 134 - Gianluca Bortolami (Ita), 135 - Massimo Donati (Ita), 136 - Dmitri Gaynitdinov (Rus), 137 - Marco Gili (Ita), 138 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) .

EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI will be riding for the excellent Unai Etxebarria - after a very disappointing Tour de France the local boys will be wanting to make amends - difficult to see how they will be strong enough against the might of the top Classics teams though.

141 - Gorka Arrizabalaga Aguirre (Spa), 142 -Mikel Artetxe Guezuraga (Spa), 143 - Igor Flores Galarza (Spa), 144 -Iker Flores Galarza (Spa), 145 -José A.Martinez Trinidad (Spa), 146 - Unai Etxebarria Arana (Ven), 147 - Alberto Lopez de Munain (Spa), Gorka Gerrikagoitia Arrien (Spa) - 148.

SAECO The harshly treated team have left the cycling establishment, set a precedent (by saying they would ride Zurich) to which the establishment responded by saying - oh so will we then! All credit to Saeco for making a stand, and they bring a top weight team. Di Luca was looking good last weekend, and if Simoni makes it to the start line he will be a man on a mission. But from a team of talent Astarloa would seem a very good outside bet.

151 - Danilo Di Luca (Ita), 152 - Gilberto Simoni (Ita), 153 - Igor Astarloa Askasibar (Spa), 154 - Salvatore Commesso (Ita), 155 - Mirko Celestino (Ita), 156 - Alessio Galletti (Ita), 157 - Gerrit Glomser (Aut), 158 - Fabio Sacchi (Ita).

Crédit Agricole O’Grady was magnificent in last weekend's Commonwealth Games and Moreau is a great rider on his day. But it was Hushovd who saved the team in the Tour. Norway to win in Spain - highly unlikely!!

161 - Christophe Moreau (Fra) - 162 - Stuart O'Grady (Aus) - 163 - Jens Voigt (Ger) - 164 - Sébastien Hinault (Fra) - 165 - Fréderic Bessy (Fra) - 166 - Thor Hushovd (Nor) - 167 - Anthony Langella (Fra) - 168 - Anthony Morin (Fra)

Alessio The established names could well be riding for Pellizota - expect a usual strong ride by a good team - and they could just surprise.

171 Ivan Gotti (Ita) - 172 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) - 173 - Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) - 174 -Ruslan Ivanov (Mda) - 175 - Raffaele Ferrara (Ita) - 176 - Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) - 177 -Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) - 178 - Franco Pellizotti (Ita)

AG2r Prevoyance Alexandre Botcharov was great in the Tour and the AG2R team will fight - hard to see a top ten finisher in the team though.

181 Iñigo Chaurreau Bernadez (Spa) 183 - Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) - 183 - Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) -184 - Stéphane Bergès (Fra)185 - Laurent Estadieu (FRa) - 186- Christophe Oriol (Fra) -187 -Laurent Paumier (Fra) - 188 - Ludovic Turpin (Fra)

Gerolsteinerfield a strong team and all devoted to Rebellin. A season plagued by bad luck seems to finally ending - Rebellin's back and his rivals are well aware of it.

- 191 - Davide Rebellin (Ita) - 192 - Georg Totschnig (Aut) - 193 - Gianni Faresin (ITa) - 194 -Ellis Rastelli (Ita) - 195 - Torsten Schmidt (Ger) - 196 -Ronny Scholz (Ger) - 197 - tobias Steinhauser (Ger) - 198 -Fabian Wegmann (Ger)

Phonak Camenzind is in good form, and this is a well run team - interesting to see how they do.

- 201 - Oscar Camenzind (Swi) - 202 - Juan C.Dominguez (Spa) - 203 - Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) - 204 - Reto Bergmann (Swi) - 205 - Matthias Buxhofer (Aut) - 206 - Alexandre Moos (Swi) - 207 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) - 208 - Daniel Schnider (Swi)

Jazztel-Costa de Almeria The local team will put up an early fight.

211 - Serguei Smetanine (Rus) - 212 Rafael Casero Moreno (Spa) 213 Gonzalo Bayarri Esteve (Spa) 214 José A.Garrido Lima (Spa) 215 Pedro Díaz Lobato 216 Carlos Torrent Tarres (Spa) 218 Ricardo Valdéz Prieto (Spa) 218 Gustavo M.Toledo (Arg

Relax-Fuenlabrada as above.

221Jorge Capitan Peregrina (Spa) 222 Nacor Burgos Rojas (Spa) 223 Oscar Laguna Garcia (Spa) 224 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) 225 Sergio Perez Gomez (Spa) 226 José L.Rebollo Aguado (Spa) 227 David Vázquez Garcia (Spa) 228 José M.Vazquez Palomo (Spa)

The Main Contenders

Johan Museeuw
date of birth 13 october 1965
place of birth Varsenare, Belgium
professional 1988-
teams 1988-1989 A.D.R.
1990-1992 Lotto
1993 GB MG Bianchi
1994 M.G. Maglificio/GB
1995-1997 Mapei - GB
1998 Mapei - Bricobi
1999-2000 Mapei - Quick Step
2001-2002 Domo - Farm Frites

Laurent Jalabert
date of birth 30 january 1968
place of birth Mazamet, Frankrijk
professional 1989-
1989 Toshiba
1992 ONCE
2001 MemoryCard
2001 CSC Worldonline
2002 CSC Tiscali

Francesco Casagrande
date of birth 14 september 1970
place of birth Firenze, Italia
professional 1992-
1992: Mercatone Uno
1996: Saeco
1998: Cofidis
1999: Vini Caldirola
2000: Vini Caldirola Sidermec
2001-2002: Fasso Bortolo

Lance Armstrong
date of birth 18 september 1971
place of birth Plano - Dallas, USA
professional 1992-
1992: Motorola
1997: Inattivo
1998: Postal Service
2000:2002 US Postal Service

Wladimir Belli
date of birth 25 july 1970
place of birth Sorengo, Switzerland
professional 1992-
teams 1992:Lampre
1994-1995: Lampre-Panaria
1996: Panaria-Vinavil
1997: Brescialat
1998: Festina
2000-2002: Fassa Bortolo

George Hincapie
date of birth 29 june 1973
place of birth Farmingdale, USA
professional -
1993 Motorola
1997 Postal Service
2000-2002 US Postal Service

Levi Leipheimer
date of birth 24 october 1973
place of birth USA
professional 1995-
1995 Maestro
1996 Individuale
1997 Comptel Colorado
1998-1999 Saturn
2000-2001 US Postal Service
2002 Rabobank

Oscar Freire
date of birth 15 february 1976
place of birth Torrelavega, Spain
professional 1998-
1998 Vitalicio Seguro
1999 Vitalicio Seguro
2000-2002 Mapei-Quick Step

Paolo Bettini
date of birth 1 april 1974
place of birth Cecina (LI), Italia
professional 1997-
1997: M.G. Technogym
1998: Asics-CGA
1999-2002: Mapei-Quick Step

Igor Astarloa
date of birth 29 march 1976
place of birth Ermua, Spain
professional 2000-
teams 2000: Mercatone Uno - Albacom
2002 Saeco - Longoni Sport

Pavel Tonkov
date of birth 9 february 1969
place of birth Ichevsk, Russia
professional 1992
1992 Russ
1993 Lampre - Polti
1994-1995 Lampre - Panaria
1996 Panaria - Vinavil
1997 Mapei - GB
1998 Mapei - Bricobi
1999-2000 Mapei - Quick Step
2001 Mercury - Viatel
2002 Lampre Daikin

Ivan Basso
date of birth 26 november 1977
place of birth Gallarate (VA), Italia
professional 1999-
1999: Risso Scotti-Vinavil
2000: Amica chips-Tacconi Sport
2001-2002: Fassa Bortolo

Igor Gonzales de Galdeano
date of birth 1 november 1973
place of birth Gastiez, Spain
professional 1995-
1995 Euskadi
1999 Vitalicio Seguros
2000 Vitalicio Seguros - Grupo Generali
2001 ONCE
2002 ONCE-Eroski

Rik Verbrugghe date of birth 23 july 1974
place of birth Tienen, Belgium
professional 1996
1996 Lotto
1997 Lotto-Mobistar-Isoglass
1998 Lotto-Mobistar
1999 Lotto-Mobistar
2000-2002 Lotto-Adecco

Previous Winners 1st, 2nd, 3rd:

2001 1 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC Tiscali 5.17.54 (42.84 km/h) 2 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata

2000 Erik Dekker (NET), Andrei Tchmil (BEL), Romans Vainsteins (LAT)

1999 Francesco Casagrande (ITA), Rik Verbrugghe (BEL), Giuliano Figueras (ITA)

1998 Francesco Casagrande (ITA), Axel Merckx (BEL), Leonardo Piepoli (ITA)

1997 Davide Rebellin (ITA), Aleksandr Gonchenkov (UKR), Stefano Colage (ITA)

1996 Udo Bölts (GER), Stefano Cattai (ITA), Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

1995 Lance Armstrong (USA), Stefano della Santa (ITA), Johan Museeuw (BEL)

1994 Armand de las Cuevas (FRA), Lance Armstrong (USA), Stefano della Santa (ITA)

1993 Claudio Chiappucci (ITA), Gianni Faresin (ITA), Alberto Volpi (ITA)

1992 Raúl Alcala (MEX), Claudio Chiappucci (ITA), Carlo Bomans (BEL)

1991 Gianni Bugno (ITA), Pedro Delgado (SPA), Maurizio Fondriest (ITA)

1990 Miguel Indurain (SPA), Laurent Jalabert (FRA), Sean Kelly (IRL)

1989 Gerhard Zadrobilek (AUT), Antequera (SPA), Tony Rominger (SWI)

1988 Gert-Jan Theunisse (NET), Enrique Aja (SPA), Steven Rooks (NET)

1987 Marino Lejarreta (SPA), Jesus Arroyo (SPA), Federico Echave (SPA)

1986 Iñaki Gaston (SPA), Marino Lejarreta (SPA), Fernández (SPA)

1985 Adri van der Poel (NET), Iñaki Gaston (SPA), Fernández (SPA)

1984 Niki Rüttimann (SWI), Raimund Dietzen (GER), Prieto (SPA)

1983 Claude Criquielion (BEL), Coll (SPA), Raimund Dietzen (GER)

1982 Marino Lejarreta (SPA), Rodriguez (SPA), Pedro Delgado (SPA)

1981 Marino Lejarreta (SPA), Jones (GBR), Faustino Ruperez (SPA)

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