Perdiguero Wins at San Sebastian
Martin Perdiguero (Saunier Duval) has won the Clasica San Sebastian.
Martin Perdiguero (Saunier Duval) has won the Clasica San Sebastian. The Spaniard took a five-up sprint from Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) and Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) to win the hilly, 227-km race, which is Round 7 of the World Cup, in 5:18:35. Rebellin remains the World Cup leader.
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After a flurry of attacks, 25 riders--Alexandre Moos (Phonak); Roberto Sgambelluri (Vini Caldirola); Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros); Pieter Weening, Levi Leipheimer, and Karsten Kroon (all from Rabobank); Benjamin Noval (U.S. Postal Service); David Canada (Saunier Duval); Bekim Christensen (CSC); Koos Moerenhout and Axel Merckx (both from Lotto); Daniel Atienza and Dmitri Fofonov (both from Cofidis); Daniele Nardello and Giuseppe Guerini (both from T-Mobile); Nicolas Inaudi and Inigo Chaurreau (both from Ag2r); Laurent Dufaux and Patrik Sinkewitz (both from Quick Step); Joaquim Lopez (Paternina); Ruben Plaza (Comunidad Valenciana); Gorazd Stangelj (Saeco); Andrej Hauptman and Michele Scotto (both from Lampre); and Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner)?rolled off of the front. At 63 km, the gaggle led by 4:35 when it split. Moos, Sgambelluri, Barredo, Leipheimer, Kroon, Christensen, Nardello, Inaudi, Charreau, Dufaux, Plaza, Stangelj, Hauptman, and Scotto formed the lead group.
At 83 km, Leipheimer and Plaza attacked their companions on the Alto de Gaintxurizketa. The pair forged a 40-second lead over rest of the break and a 1:40 advantage over the peloton. At the base of the Alto de Jaizkibel, Stangelj bridged up to the leaders. The trio led the bunch by 1:12.
On the climb, the bunch reeled in the break. Burgos Tour winner Alejandro Valverde (Comunidad Valenciana) punctured, while Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) began to force the pace. A lead group of seven?Bettini, Rebellin, Totschnig, Perdiguero, Marcos Serrano (Liberty Seguros), Ivan Basso (CSC), and Alberto Martinez (Relax)--formed. The septet, which was assisted by Saunier Duval?s blocking for Perdiguero, breasted the climb with about a minute on the peloton.
With 23 km left, Martinez attacked. Totschnig chased him down for Rebellin. On the Category 3 Alto de Gurutze, the Austrian set the pace. Basso punctured on the descent. With 10 km remaining, the bunch led the break by 1:20.
With four km left, Serrano attacked. Bettini covered him. Perdiguero countered, and Bettini repeated the performance. Totschnig attacked but was caught in the last two km. With 900 m left, Basso attacked, but Bettini, Perdiguero, Martinez, and Rebellin stayed with him. With 250 m left, Perdiguero jumped while Bettini was watching Rebellin. Bettini reacted quickly, but the Spaniard held on to win.
In the World Cup, Rebellin picked up 50 points for today?s third place and continues to lead the competition with 282 points. Bettini is second with 238 points after garnering 70 points for second place at San Sebastian. Oscar Freire grabbed 15 points for 11 th place and is third with 182 points. Round 8, the Championship of Zurich, will take place on August 22. Will Rebellin keep his lead? Will Bettini or Freire overhaul him? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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