End for Classique des Alpes?
The Classique des Alpes looks set to go the same unfortunate way as the GP des Nations as ASO reveal
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE After reluctantly drawing the curtain down on the Grand Prix des Nations this year, Tour de France organisers ASO are on the verge of deciding to do the same next year with the one-day Classique des Alpes event, which takes place the day before the start of the Dauphin Libr at the start of June. According to a story in this morning’s Dauphin Libr newspaper, the race run between Chambry and Aix les Bains in the Chartreuse region has been suffering from the same lack of high-level rider interest that led to the plug being pulled on the GP Nations. “The Classique has suffered a huge amount because of the disinterest of the teams,” Tour boss Jean-Marie Leblanc was quoted as saying. Among the winners of an event favoured by some of the sport’s leading climbers are two-time Tour King of the Mountains Laurent Jalabert, who was victorious in 1996 and 1998, current Dauphin Libr race organiser Charly Mottet, and Spaniards Jos Maria Jimenez, Iban Mayo and Paco Mancebo. This year’s race was won by another Spaniard, Oscar Pereiro of Phonak. Mottet has said he believes the event suffers because it is in the wrong place on the calendar. “The ideal place for it would be in August when the climbers are in form coming out of the Tour de France.” Leblanc has indicated that the race may well continue as a junior or espoirs event with the aim of encouraging the emergence of young French talent.