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Laurent Jalabert

Laurent Jalabert

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'''Laurent Jalabert''' (born November 30, 1968 in [[Mazamet]]) is a [[France|French]] former professional [[road racing cyclist]], from 1989 to 2002. Affectionately known as ''"Jaja"'' (slang for a glass of wine; when he continued drinking wine as a professional, the nickname stuck because of the similarity to his name), he won many one-day and stage races and was ranked number 1 in the 1990s. Although he never won the [[Tour de France]], where he suffered altitude sickness, he won the [[Vuelta a España]] in 1995; as well as the leader's jersey, he won the [[sprinting specialist|sprinter]]'s jersey and [[climbing specialist|climber]]'s jersey all in the same race - only the second rider to have done this in a [[Grand Tour (cycling)|Grand Tour]]. With [[Alessandro Petacchi]], [[Eddy Merckx]] and [[Djamolidine Abdoujaparov]], he is one of only four riders to win the [[points classification]] in all three grand tours. ==Biography== [[Image:Laurent Jalabert (Tour de France - stage 8) - 2.jpg|thumb|left|Laurent Jalabert]] He turned professional with the French Toshiba team in 1989 and quickly established himself as a daring sprinter. He moved on to the Spanish ONCE team under [[Manolo Saiz]], where he reinvented himself as an all-rounder capable of winning one-day races and the tours. A catalyst was an accident at the finish of the [[1994 Tour de France]] stage in [[Armentières]]. A policeman leaned out and several riders hit him. Jalabert was flung into the air and his bicycle was destroyed. He injured his face and promised his wife to change his style of riding. It only took a short while. He won the 1995 Vuelta a España along with the points and climbers' competitions. He won the [[World Cycling Championship|world time trial championship]] in 1997, and was French road champion in 1998, the year he initiated a pull-out of Spanish teams from the [[1998 Tour de France]] in protest at treatment of riders in a police inquiry into drug-taking. This caused discontent among French fans and it took years for them to warm to him. He moved to [[Team CSC|CSC]] in 2001, where he won the stage on July 14, the French national day, [[Bastille Day]], in the [[2001 Tour de France]]. Earlier in the year he had injured his back in a domestic accident. He retired in 2002 after winning the climber's jersey in the Tour and going on a solo escape in the Pyrenees. ==Grand tours== He won several stages of the [[Tour de France]], as a sprinter winning the [[maillot vert|green jersey]] twice and as a climber winning the [[polka dot jersey]] twice. His wins on [[Bastille Day]] in Tour de France in 1995 and 2001 ensured him a place in the hearts of French fans. In the 1990s he dominated Spanish stage races. Jalabert and [[Alex Zülle]] were a constant threat to other teams in the Vuelta a España, taking turns winning stages, the overall classification and the points jersey. The strength of ONCE, with [[domestiques]] such as [[Johan Bruyneel]] and [[Neil Stephens]], meant they were able to keep a rein from start to finish. Besides [[Eddy Merckx]] and [[Tony Rominger]], Jalabert is the only cyclist who has accomplished the ''trifecta'' at the ''grand tour'' level in the 1995 Vuelta a España, where he won the general, sprinters' and climbers' classifications. Jalabert is known for sporting generosity. In the 1995 Vuelta he allowed Bert Dietz of Telekom - who had been in a solo breakaway for many kilometers - to take the mountaintop stage win at [[Sierra Nevada (Spain)|Sierra Nevada]] even though he had caught Dietz in the final kilometers. ''"I never thought we'd catch him, and when I saw he was ready to drop I felt sorry for him. I wanted to show it's not true I'm trying to win it all. My goal is the Tour of Spain,"'' Jalabert said. When the Vuelta was moved to September, Jalabert was finally able to compete in the spring [[classic cycle races|classics]] and stage races such as [[Paris–Nice]], winning many stages and the overall classification many times. ==One-day races== His palmarès include [[Milan – San Remo]] in 1995 and the [[Giro di Lombardia]] in 1997. He also won [[La Flèche Wallonne]] in 1995 and 1997, and the [[Clásica de San Sebastián]] in 2001 and 2002. Absent from his palmares is the [[world cycling championship]] road race, although he was second in 1992 to [[Gianni Bugno]] of Italy. He also won an award as the most combative rider in the Tour de France in 2001 and 2002. ==Retirement== On retirement, Jalabert was a consultant for [[Look (company)|Look]] cycles and contributed to a new line of [[bicycle]] frames. He is a commentator for France 2 and 3, the national television stations, often from a motorcycle alongside the race. In 2005, Jalabert ran the [[New York]] [[marathon]] in 2h 55m 39s, coming 391st in a field of 36,894. He lives with his wife Sylvie and their children at Lafrançaise, near [[Montauban]], south-west France. His brother [[Nicolas Jalabert|Nicolas]], who often raced with him, continued racing after Laurent's retirement. Jalabert has also taken up triathlon. In January 2007, he competed at Ironman Switzerland and finished in 9 hours 12 minutes. He exited the water in 1:16, which put him 966th after the swim. Once on the bike he made up significant ground with a 4:39 bike split, which allowed him to climb to 91st overall at the run transition. A 3:11 marathon was enough to gain an additional 69 places and finish 22nd of 1,850 participants. After Switzerland he qualified for the Ironman World championship in Kona, Hawaii, finishing in 9:19 and 76th overall. In June, 2008, he finished 12th overall at Ironman France in Nice, improving his swim time to 1:06 and having the second fastest bike split. ===Awards=== : 1st in ([[Union Cycliste Internationale|UCI]]) rankings: (1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999) (2nd in 1998) : Vélo d'Or international (1995) (2nd in 1997) : Vélo d'Or national (1992, 1995, 2002) : Mendrisio d'Oro (1995) ===Championships=== : {{flagiconUCI}}[[World Cycling Championship|World champion]] in [[Individual time trial]] (1997) : {{flagicon|FRA}}French Road National Champion (1998) ===Races=== : [[Tour de France]] (4 stages, ''career''); ([[Image:Jersey green.svg|20px]][[1992 Tour de France|1992]] points classification); ([[Image:Jersey green.svg|20px]][[1995 Tour de France|1995]] points classification); ([[Image:Jersey polkadot.svg|20px]][[2001 Tour de France|2001]] mountains classification); ([[Image:Jersey polkadot.svg|20px]][[2002 Tour de France|2002]] mountains classification); : [[Giro d'Italia]] (3 stages, ''career''); ([[Image:Jersey violet.svg|20px]][[1999 Giro d'Italia|1999]] points classification) : [[Vuelta a España]] (18 stages, ''career''); (1994 points classification); (1995 [[Image:Jersey gold.svg|20px]][[general classification|general]], [[points classification|points]] and [[King of the Mountains|mountains classification]]); (1996 points classification); (1997 points classification) : [[Milan – San Remo]] (1995) : [[Giro di Lombardia]] (1997) : [[La Flèche Wallonne]] (1995, 1997) : [[Paris–Nice]] (1995, 1996, 1997) : [[Midi Libre]] (1996) : [[Clásica de San Sebastián]] (2001, 2002) : [[Classique des Alpes]] (1996, 1998) : [[Tour de Romandie]] (1999) : [[Volta a Catalunya]] (1995) : [[Vuelta al País Vasco]] (1999) : [[Tour Méditerranéen]] (2000) : [[Critérium International]] (1995) : [[Classic Haribo]] (1996) : [[Paris–Bourges]] (1990) : [[Milano–Torino]] (1997) : [[Trofeo Luis Puig]] (1993) : [[Coppa Agostoni]] (2002) : [[Route du Sud]] (1996) : [[Route Adélie]] (1997) : [[Setmana Catalana]] (1999, 2000) : [[Tour du Haut-Var]] (1998, 2002) : [[Tour d'Armorique]] (1989) : [[Vuelta a la Rioja]] (1993) : [[Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana]] (1996) : [[Vuelta a Burgos]] (1997) : [[Vuelta a Asturias]] (1998) : [[Escalada a Montjuïc]] (1997) : [[Classica de Alcobendas]] (1993) : [[Vuelta a Mallorca]] (1993, 1997) : [[Sète-Mont Saint-Clair]] 1996) : [[GP de Villafranca de Ordizia]] 1999) : [[GP de Toulouse]] (1993, 1995) : [[GP Amore-Bieta]] (1995) : [[GP d'Aarhus]] (2002) : French military champion (1988) ===Other placings=== : 2nd in [[World Cycling Championship]] in road racing (1992) : 2nd in the [[UCI Road World Cup]] (1991) : 2nd overall Tour de Suisse (1999) : 2nd overall 4 jours de Dunkerque (2001) : 2nd in Züri-Metzgete (1991) : 2nd in Wincanton Classic (1992) : 2nd in the Coupe de France competition (1996) ===Ironman=== :22nd Ironman Switzerland (2007) :76th Ironman World Championship (2007) :12th Ironman France (2008) {{Palmares end}}