Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian - San Sebastian (ESP) - 02.08.2008
While many people go on holiday in early August, the riders of the UCI ProTour keep racing, and the best one-day riders and all the overall UCI ProTour contenders will be in the saddle on August 2 for the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian in the Basque Region of northern Spain.
Since Spanish hero Marino Lejarreta won the first edition in 1981, the Clasica has become a real classic and now kicks-off the summer one-day races in August.
The hilly 227km route starts in San Sebastian, overlooking the golden sands of the bay, and ends back in the centre of town in the main boulevard after more than five hours in the saddle. The decisive attacks usually come on the slopes of the Alto de Jaizkibel climb. The descent back towards San Sebastian is fast with only one other short climb offering a last chance to attack.
In recent years some of professional cyclingâ€™s biggest names have won the Clasica and pulled on the typical Basque hat given to every winner. In 2007 Italyâ€™s Leonardo Bertagnolli, of the Liquigas team, broke clear in the finale with Spainâ€™s Juan Manuel, of the Quick Step team, and then won the sprint with a long surge to the line. In January, Bertagnolli had been forced to stop racing due to a minor heart problem but celebrated a successful return in style and took 40 precious UCI ProTour points.