ClÃ¡sica Ciclista San SebastiÃ¡n (ESP) - 04.08.2007
While most Europeans are on holiday in early August, the riders of the UCI ProTour will be in the saddle on August 4 as they race the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian in the Basque Region of northern Spain. Since Spanish hero Marino Lejarreta won the first edition in 1981, the 227km race has become a real classic and in 2007 will kick-off the summer one-day race in the UCI ProTour. The hilly route starts in San Sebastian, overlooking the golden sands of the bay and ends back in the centre of town in the main boulevard. In between there are a series of tough climbs but the decisive action almost always happens on the slopes of the Alto de Jaizkibel. It is only 465 metres high and not particularly steep but comes after a hot day in the saddle and always splits the field. The descent back towards is fast with only one other short climb offering a last chance to attack. In recent years Lance Armstrong, Laurent Jalabert and Paolo Bettini have won and pulled on the typical Basque hat given to every winner. In 2006 Spainâ€™s Xavier Florencio snatched a surprise win with an audacious late attack in the final metres. He will surely not have the same freedom in 2007.