Clásica de San Sebastián – Valverde


Wearing Endura kit from Scotland, Alejandro Valverde wins Clásica de San Sebastián for the second time in his career & takes the lead in WorldTour rankings

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Clásica de San Sebastián – Valverde

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Wearing Endura kit from Scotland, Alejandro Valverde wins Clásica de San Sebastián for the second time in his career & takes the lead in WorldTour rankings

The early part of the race was dominated by Amets Txurruka who rolled away after 25km and his lead grew to almost seven minutes by the time he hit the first of six categorised climbs. In the peloton, Movistar, sponsored by Endura, began to gradually reel him back in and made the catch as the race started the second ascent of the Alto de Jaizkibel.

David Lopez then made his move and was joined by three riders as he approached the summit of the category-one climb. The quartet’s ranks swelled to seven on the descent which followed, but Trek Factory Racing and Orica-GreenEdge chased hard on the Alto Arkale, and everything was back together again as the peloton reached its summit.

After an attempt by Grivko, a very much reduced peloton started the Bordako Tontorra, the last climb of the day. There were several attacks and Rodriguez and Valverde reached the top together. On the descent Mollema, Nieve and Adam Yates caught the duo and then  Adam Yates crashed hard taking him out of the race for the win.

Valverde jumped away with three kilometers to go and triumphed at the finish clear of the rest. Mollema beat Rodriguez in the sprint for the second place.

“On the second part of the descent, Valverde got 50 metres on us and another 50 after Yates crashed. That was enough for Valverde,” added Mollema. “In the last kilometre, I just thought about at least getting second place.”

Alejandro Valverde: “It was not really like a big grudge held by me, because I’ve shown how I can do all year long. It’s just that it was a bad end to my Tour, not being able to achieve the podium goal after coming so close. The only thing we could do was race full steam like I always do when I put on a backnumber”.

“San Sebastián is a race I really like, even more with this route. It’s my second victory here, plus two other podiums. Ten wins already this season, now on top of the WorldTour… I can only be happy”.

“The Igeldo climb was amazing. It really changes the race. Those like me who come to win, it will always save something for end. It gets harder when the pace picks up in Jaizkibel, where the group shrinks, but the rhythm is not so hard afterwards. It was important to do well on the climb, but also on the descent”.

“If you gained a few meters on the uphill section, it was very difficult for your rivals to get it back on the downhill. I followed Joaquim’s wheel when he jumped away, but he kept accelerating and went solo. As he told to me after the race, he lacked a bit of strength at the end of the climb, while I kept the pace stable and went full gas on the final slopes to reach him”.

“I took the lead on the downhill to try and fight for it, just the two of us, and wasn’t really aware of Yates’s crash. When I saw I was alone, there wasn’t other thing to do than going flat-out until the finish.”

“This victory is a tribute to the Movistar Team and my wife, Natalia, always by my side. Now we’ll keep training, but taking things easy, having some rest and starting thinking about the Vuelta. We’ve got a really strong squad, with Nairo in, and we’ll do our best to keep the overall title within the team.”

Adam Yates, coming off his win at the GP Industria and Artigianato last weekend, was in a lead group of five riders over the final classified climb before crashing heavily on the descent with 3.5km left to ride. The British neo-pro suffered a hit to the chin that will require stitches.

“Damn” he said afterwards! “I can’t remember a thing! Sounds like I was on a good one! Bit crap but for sure I’ll be back in no time!

“To some degree we had control of the race all throughout the day,” sport director Neil Stephens said. “It was a day that we wanted to try and get a result and we were in it until three and a half kilometers to go but then it was out of our hands.”


“Gerrans felt like he wasn’t in good shape. He is a fantastic champion so as soon as he realised he wasn’t in great shape he got on the front and chased. From there on it was game on for Adam Yates and it was a real shame that at 3.5km to go he crashed out. It wasn’t from a lack of trying, we tried everything and unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.”

“He will recover and he will bounce back. What he would have done in the finish we will never know. We will have to wait for others years and other races to find that out.”

1 Valverde Alejandro, Movistar
2 Mollema Bauke, Belkin-Pro Cycling
3 Rodríguez Joaquim, Team Katusha
4 Nieve Mikel, Team Sky
5 Gallopin Tony, Lotto Belisol
6 Vanendert Jelle, Lotto Belisol
7 Zubeldia Agirre Haimar, Trek Factory Racing
8 Van Avermaet Greg, BMC Racing Team
9 Visconti Giovanni, Movistar Team
10 Å tybar ZdenÄ›k, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step

25. Martin Daniel, Garmin Sharp
43. Yates Adam, Orica GreenEDGE


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