Aug 13 2005
Big day for Saunier Duval-Prodir. Constantino Zaballa, a bald little man with a fine set of legs, secured the Classica San Sebastian for the boys in the yellow, the teams second win in as many years, while teammate Joaquin Rodrigues won the small group sprint for second. The reward? Fame, some cash, and above all, a Txapela; a traditonal hat of the region, questionable in its practicality both as headgear and as a fashion statement.
Another bald Saunier rider, American Chris Horner, made headlines today by announcing his transfer next season to the Belgian Davitamon-Lotto unit. Horner will give the Belgian squad, which hasn’t had much to crow about this season that isn’t named “McEwen,” a presence in the mountains, as well as in hillier one-days, such as Amstel Gold and the aforementioned San Sebastian. Not to be outdone, Patrick Lefevre officially inked Jose Rujano (who, he’d like you to know, is a way better climber than Horner) to his Quick-Step outfit for *most* of next season. Seems Selle Italia has hold of him through the ’06 Giro. Strange, but true.
Not going so hot is ProTour leader Danilo DiLuca, who managed to turn two months of rest and relaxation into a putrid 89th place finish at San Sebastien. This leaves the door open for Bobby Julich, who, after a retired Lance Armstrong, and a now-sick-and-riding-for-a-team-that-hates-him Alexandre Vinokourov, looks to be DiLuca’s closest competitor. A strong finish at the upcoming Tour of Germany would help the American, who claims still to be more interested in the World Chrono Title than anything else.