News: Mollema wins Clasica San Sebastian


Bauke Mollema (Trek Segafredo) rebounded from the bitter disappointment one week ago when crashes ruined his podium chances at the Tour de France by soloing to his first WorldTour victory in Clasica San Sebastian Saturday

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News: Mollema wins Clasica San Sebastian

Team Press Release
Bauke Mollema rebounded from the bitter disappointment one week ago when crashes ruined his podium chances at the Tour de France by soloing to his first WorldTour victory in Clasica San Sebastian Saturday.


“The last days of the Tour de France were really disappointing for me, and this was a good way to fight back,” said Mollema. “I recovered well from the Tour, and I am really happy to win, I have always loved this race. This is the first WorldTour classic I have won; I have always wanted to be on the podium of this race and have one of those Basque hats, and now I finally have one.”

“Yesterday in training I did the last climb twice and three times the descent, so I knew what was coming,” continued Mollema. “I was a few places behind when Rodriguez went, and it was a narrow climb, so it was difficult to pass the other riders. But I felt quite good and knew that I could close the gap in the last few hundred meters of the climb. On the top, we were four and Rodriguez slowed down a little bit, and I think that was the perfect time to go.

“I just wanted to try something, and it was a good moment for an attack, it was still 500 meters flat at the top. I tried and saw I had a gap and then it was just full gas until the finish. I think with two kilometers more or less I knew I had it. I still felt I had some power in the legs, so I was not going to blow up, and when I looked back, I didn’t see the second group. I felt I could keep it until the finish – it was a nice feeling, especially in the last few hundred meters.”

How it happened
The 220 kilometre race began under cloudy skies with six riders including Moreno Moser (Cannondale) attacking straight out of the neutral zone and forming the days early breakaway. After 40 kilometres of racing the sextet had over six minutes advantage over the peloton that was being led by ORICA-BikeExchange and Movistar.

The situation remained the same over the first two climbs with the gap to the leaders still at six minutes after 80kilometres. As the race hit the first ascent of the Alto de Jaizkibel with 100 kilometres to go, the six escapees saw their advantage slip to around three minutes with Astana and Team-Sky now dictating the tempo. ... continued after advert


Over the top of the climb and the gap was down to one-minute 40seconds as the now four leaders began the descent with the peloton strung out in the chase behind them. The breakaway was finally caught with 60kilometres to go with Mikel Landa (Team-Sky) leading a counter attack that absorbed the Moser group. Around 30seconds now separated the eight riders at the front of the race from the peloton.

The peloton reformed inside the final 40kilometres with around eighty riders making up the bunch. The tension was building nicely as ORICA-BikeExchange with Durbridge and Chris Juul Jensen led the peloton into the last 20 kilometres through downtown San Sebastian. The steep final climb before the finish saw the race come alive as attacks began as the gradient intensified.

Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) jumped clear followed by Simon Yates and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). Yates and Rodriguez pushed on as the gradient reached 23% with Uran dropping off the pace as Mollema and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) moved up.

Mollema led the race into the final five kilometres, ten seconds ahead of Rodriguez and Valverde with Yates a few more seconds behind. Holding on for the win Mollema crossed the line alone with Simon Yates sprinting to seventh place from the chasing group.

Alejandro Valverde: “I’m happy with yet another podium. Mollema was really good in that finale; he went ahead before the downhill, and even though we started to cooperate behind, we didn’t got on with each other as we should. Plus, at the sprint, I was full of cramps – when I tried to launch the final acceleration, my legs were hurting too much to continue, and I could only keep Gallopin’s wheel for third. It happened the same to ‘Purito’ – it was a hot race and a very humid one, which happens to be a quite similar scenario to what we’ll find in Brazil. Finishing third here with the top guys keeps my hopes high for Rio. It’s a good route for us on the 6th; we will try to continue this way and hopefully chase a medal for our country.”

Joaquim Rodriguez: “I enjoyed my last race in Spain. That last climb was really my terrain. I saw I had a gap and I tried. I had to. Earlier I saw Adam Yates attacking and I knew he was trying to repeat his move of last year. That’s why I followed him and later dropped him. Unfortunately, at the top Mollema, Valverde and Gallopin joined me and when Mollema went away, Valverde and Gallopin really did nothing. Were they so afraid of me? In theory they are faster than me in the sprint. In the end they also missed the victory but it is like this. I was dead at that moment after my attack”.

“The climb was super with the fans cheering for me. This is most likely my last race ever in Spain. This was a nice goodbye. I really enjoyed it, doing this climb even while suffering. I’m sorry I missed the top 3, but in the end there were three riders faster”.

1 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 5:31:00
2 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:00:17
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
4 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:22
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:34

7 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange @ 34
16 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange @ 37
39 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff Team @ 1:28
45 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky @ 2:36
73 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team @ 5:24
90 Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA



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