The US-based Team Columbia will send a strong squad of opportunists to attack the finale of Saturday's Clásica San Sebastián in Spain, the latest round of the UCI ProTour. The team's climbers will be on the lookout for a move to form on the race's most difficult climb, the Alto de Jaizkebel, which comes with 39 kilometres to go
"We won't be looking at getting in the early breaks unless they're 15 or 20-strong and looking really dangerous. The best policy at San Sebastián is always to wait for the Jaizkebel climb close to the finish," said directeur sportif Allan Peiper. "There's invariably a move early on, but the Spanish teams always calculate it so things come back together for Jaizkebel. So that's where we will plan to try and make our move."
The race will see German Linus Gerdemann, who is returning from injury, looking for a solid result in the Clásica. "It's important for [Gerdemann] to keep building up his confidence after such a long time away from racing," said Peiper. Gerdemann finished seventh overall in his first race back at the Sachsen-Tour.
The race will also provide an opportunity for the team's Olympians to tune up their legs before heading off to China. Kanstantsin Siutzou, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Michael Barry will all be heading to Beijing after the race. "San Sebastián represents an opportunity for them to shake off the cobwebs and have a good, full-on, test-out of their form before they head off to represent their country at Beijing."
Columbia for San Sebastián: Michael Barry, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Linus Gerdemann, Craig Lewis, Morris Possoni, Kanstantsin Siutzou