Classique Haribo: Navigators Postcard
Classic Haribo (UCI 1.3)
The Navigators Cycling Team saw their racing form improve Sunday in the 10th edition of the 203Km Classic Haribo in Marseille, France. With 6 of their 8 starters finishing in the front group of what is deemed a “sprinters race”, the odds of a high placing were relatively good. The race began with a steady pace as the riders settled in for a long day in the saddle. The biggest move of the day was a breakaway of 4, that included Guillaume Auger (BigMat), Charles Guilbert (Marlux), Lauri Aus (Ag2R), and Eddy Seigneur (Jean Delatour). Their gap increased to about 4:00 as they
passed through the feed zone at 90Km. Over the next 50Km, Phonak’s Fabrice Gougot chased hard and eventually bridged to the leaders. However, their
lead diminished to just over a minute heading into the final 50Km of the race, the group of 5 were brought back into the fold. With the big teams of the sprinters now patrolling the front, Luca Paolini (Quickstep)
attacked at 10Km to go and held a steady 20-second gap over the next 5Km. At 5Km remaining, the field was together once again and poised for a group sprint.
Coming into the finish, there are a lot of round-abouts,
several corners, and 1 “U-turn” just 300-meters from the line at the bottom of a fast descent. This type of finish favors the Navigators squad as the U.S. criterium circuit has many of the same elements. The team did an excellent job delivering their 3 speedsters to the front of the group for the critical final turn. Unfortunately, a crash just behind the front-runners delayed Henk Vogels and Vassili Davidenko in the corner, but Oleg Grichkine was able to work his way through the traffic jam to finish a respectable 14th. At the line, it was Jaan Kirsipu (Ag2r) taking his second win in as many years (he has won this race 3 times).
1) Jaan Kirsipu (Ag2r)
2) Lars Michaelson (CSC)
3) Max Van Heeswijk (US Postal)
14) Oleg Grichkine (Navigators)