August 3, 2007 – Fresh from his solid seventh place in the Tour de France, Kim Kirchen will lead an experienced T-Mobile Team into the 27th Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday.
The 29-year-old will be joined at this “climb-fest” by a number of mountain specialists such as 37-year-old Giuseppe Guerini from Italy as well as two Australians, Scott Davis and Adam Hansen. Gent-Wevelgem winner, German, Marcus Burghardt, will also be there and the highly experienced seven-strong squad will be completed by Briton Roger Hammond and Canadian Michael Barry.
“Because of some injured riders and parallel races at the weekend, we’ve had to improvise a little,” explains sporting director, Allan Peiper, “but we believe that around Kirchen and Guerini, we’ll have a strong team at the start in Spain.”
The course is a classic layout, 225 km long, selective, with six climbs to be tackled along the way. The heat in this part of Spain in August is expected to play a major role along with the attacking style of the home teams. The twenty pro teams taking part will be joined by three wildcard teams from the Spanish second division – Relax, Fuertoventura and Karpin.
Giuseppe GueriniThe demanding course profile has traditionally set up many tense and fascinating finishes. The 8 km long climb up the (Cat1) Jazibel, after 195 km at a gradient of up to 8% has been the defining moment of the race for the past few years. At just 30 km before the finish, any podium candidates will need to show here.
“Riders who want to be in the mix at the finish will have to hold off early in the race and make sure they’re in the decisive break on the Jaizkibel,” explains Peiper.
Giro winner, Danilo di Luca (Liquigas) will take part, as will the Schleck brothers Frank and Andy from CSC. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse) will also be there along with classics specialist, Samuel Sanchez, from the local Euskaltel-Team. The German road champion Fabien Wegmann will co-captain the Gerolsteiner Team along with Davide Rebellin. Damiano Cunego and World Champion Paolo Bettini will count as two of the firm favourites. Since Bettini’s win in 2003, a Spaniard has always won this “young classic.”
The T-Mobile Team
– Adam Hansen (26/Australia)
– Giuseppe Guerini (37/Italy)
– Kim Kirchen (29/Luxembourg)
– Michael Barry (31/Canada)
– Marcus Burghardt (24)
– Scott Davis (28/Australia)
– Roger Hammond (33/Great Britain)