Just six days after the end of the Tour de France, the Clásica San Sebastian is scheduled for Saturday. With Bauke Mollema (winner in 2016), Tom Dumoulin and many other big names at the start. Everything you need to know about the 41st edition of the Spanish cycling classic can be found in this article.
Around 11:50 a.m., the peloton set off for the Basque seaside resort of San Sebastián for a 224.8 kilometer ride. On paper there are “only” six graded climbs on the course, but in reality it’s up and down all day. In the first 100 kilometers, the runners must overcome Azkarate, Urraki and Alkiza. Warming up for the final which basically breaks out on the mythical Jaizkibel. Chances are the toppers there are already trying to fire up the course.
The decision will probably only fall on the last two and also the most difficult climbs of the day, the Erlaitz and the terribly narrow and steep Murgil Tontorra. The latter, in particular, has often proved to be an executioner in recent years. After the Murgil Tontorra, it descends until about four kilometers from the finish, with some dangerous bends. The last kilometers in the center of San Sebastián are flat again.
• Azkarate: 4.4 kilometers at 7.6% average (168.7 kilometers from the finish)
• Urraki: 8.8 kilometers at 6.7% average (152.6 kilometers from the finish)
• Alkiza: 4.5 kilometers at 5.8% average (127.3 kilometers from the finish)
• Jaizkibel: 7.4 kilometers at 5.8% average (72.7 kilometers from the finish)
• Erlaitz: 4 kilometers on average 10.4% (48.8 kilometers from the finish)
• Murgil – Tontorra: 2.1 kilometers at 9.8% average (11.9 kilometers from the finish)
It was like this last year
In 2021, due to the Olympic Games, the Clásica San Sebastián was not run on the first, but on the second weekend after the Tour de France ended. World champion Julian Alaphilippe was the big favorite at the start in the absence, among others, of Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic, Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel. The Frenchman let his teammates check the run but surprisingly didn’t play a significant role.
The lead role, on the other hand, was reserved for Neilson Powless. The American (thirteenth in the last Tour de France) sprinted ahead of the Slovenian Matej Mohoric by half a wheel and has just signed his first professional victory. Mikkel Frølich Honoré, Alaphilippe’s teammate at Quick-Step, turned out to have the worst sprint of the trio at the top.
There are a lot of big names on the list of participants, although we can delete the name of Wout van Aert. The Tour de France green jersey winner has gone to great lengths in recent weeks and is now battling a cold. Tour winner Jonas Vingaard is also absent, but the Clásica was not on the schedule either.
great rival of Vingeard, Tadej Pogacar, is there. The Slovenian again won three Tour stages and finished second in the standings. Ineos Grenadiers counts on brilliant Spanish growth Carlos Rodriguez. The 21-year-old climber was crowned Spanish road champion at the end of June, but has not raced since. A role in the service of the number three of the Tour, Geraint Thomasis one of the possibilities.
Dutch cycling fans immediately think of the Clásica San Sebastián Bauke Mollema. De Groninger has an excellent track record in the difficult classic. The highlight was his victory in 2016, but he was also on the podium in 2018 (second), 2014 (second) and 2017 (third). In total, Mollema even finished in the top ten nine times.
These numbers can Tom Dumoulin not consult, even if in 2017 (fourth) he was close to the podium. The 31-year-old from Limburg will take part in his first race in over a month in Spain on Saturday. Dumoulin, who is in his last season as a professional, sees it above all as preparation for the World Cup to be held in Australia in September.
On behalf of Belgium, with Remco Evenepoel the 2019 winner at the start. He competed in a somewhat disappointing Tour de Suisse last month but won the final time trial. Evenepoel, 22, is the only rider since 2007 to have triumphed in San Sebastian without completing the Tour de France.
In addition, he is also looking for defending champion Neilson Powless and his teammate Alberto Bettiol (EF Education), former winner Alejandro Valverde, Bahraini trident Landa-Mohoric-Mäder, strong BikeExchange duo Matthews and Yates, Giro winner Jai Hindley, Lorenzo Rota, Alexander Kron, Vincenzo Nibali and the French Guillaume Martin, Romain Bardet, David Gaudu and Valentin Madouas. Reason enough to watch Saturday!
10 last winners
2021: Neilson Powless
2020: not raced
2019: Remco Evenepoel
2018: Julian Alaphilippe
2017: Michal Kwiatkowski
2016: Bauke Mollema
2015: Adam Yates
2014: Alejandro Valverde
2013: Tony Gallopin
2012: Luis Leon Sanchez
Record holder (3 wins)
Marino Lejarreta (Spain): 1981, 1982 and 1987
Victories by country
2: United States
1: Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Austria, Mexico and Poland
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