Adam Yates takes solo win at Clásica San Sebastián

Orica-GreenEdge rider attacks on final climb

Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) took the biggest win of his young career at the Clásica San Sebastian on Saturday, with victory coming as a huge surprise after the 22-year-old British rider believed a breakaway had finished ahead of him.

Yates only realised he had won after he passed the finish line and saw his soigneur celebrating. He only then started to celebrate his win but still needed convincing after the race.

“I didn’t know I’d won. I spoke to my directeur sportif but the radio was too quiet to hear him. I honestly thought there was a break up the road,” Yates explained briefly before crowned the winner on the podium. “I didn’t know what had exactly happened up front in the finale. I just went full gas and so I won but at the time I had no idea.”

A problem with the plane that helps transit live television images was the cause for confusion with teams and commentators forced to follow the action by official race radio. Yates attacked on the final climb of the 219km Clásica, the steep Bordako Tontorra that summited just seven kilometres from the finish line.

He blasted past the remains of a late attack that included Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) and passed Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), who was apparently hit by a race motorbike after attacking first. The Belgian later vented his anger via Twitter but failed to finish the race after breaking his bike.

Yates did not hesitate despite the confusion and surged on, blasting between the walls of shouting Basque cycling fans. He started the descent with a handful of seconds on the chasers and kept going.

Last year, Adam Yates was in the select front group but crashed on the twisting descent. This time he had no problem and used his evident Tour de France form to dive down the descent and power to the finish.

Behind, big favourites Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) joined the group of chasers but they failed to work together, helping Yates stay away.

They sat up on the descent and then refused to work smoothly on the final flat kilometres into San Sebastian, allowing Yates to open his lead to 15 seconds.

In the final kilometre, Yates tried desperately to obtain info from his Orica-GreenEdge team car but the crowd drowned out any updates during one of the best moments of his young career.

How it happened

Before the hectic, confused finale, the Clásica San Sebastian followed its traditional pattern with the early break of eight riders surviving the two climbs of the Jaizkibel.

The eight were Manuel Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo), Valerio Agnoli (Astana), Dennis Vannendert (Lotto Soudal), Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin), Maarten Wynants (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas Degand (IAM Cycling), Lluis Mas (Caja Rural) and Romain Hardy (Cofidis) but the peloton never let them gain more than three-minutes, with the Movistar team doing a lot of work on the front to keep them in check.

The second climb of the Jaizkibel saw the break explode after Boaro attacked alone. He got a gap but faced a long, lone battle in pursuit of victory. Several groups attacked from the peloton on the Jaizkibel and that helped a 16-rider group form later over the top of the Alto Arkale climb with 30km to go. Gilbert was convinced the move was the right attack and worked hard to make it stay away. Hesjedal was also in the move as the Movistar and Katusha lead peloton waited for the late and decisive Bordako Tontorra climb.

The break suffered on the 20 per cent slopes of the climb as Yates made his move in the confusion, avoiding Van Avermaet’s crash.

Behind, Valverde and the others hesitated and missed their chance, perhaps convinced that Yates would not make it to the finish on his own. They must have forgotten how strong the young British rider was in the Tour de France and his performance in last year’s race. It was a huge mistake to let Yates go and he finished off a perfect attack, even if he did not know he had won.  

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge5:30:22 
2Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing0:00:15 
3Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team  
4Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha  
5Joaquim Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha  
6Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing  
7Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
8Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step  
9Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin  
10Rigoberto Urán (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step  
11Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team  
12Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida  
13Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo  
14Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge  
15Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
16Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky  
17Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:20 
18Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing0:00:24 
19Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
20Thibaut Pinot (Fra)  
21Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
22Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:28 
23Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:37 
24Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:42 
25Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:54 
26Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:57 
27Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
28Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
29Andre Fernando S Martins Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
30Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky  
31Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
32Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky  
33Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing  
34Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra)  
35Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky  
36Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
37David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling  
38Zdenek _tybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step  
39Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge  
40Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
41Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling  
42David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
43Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
44Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Movistar Team  
45Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha  
46Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling0:02:29 
47Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo  
48Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
49Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky  
50Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
51Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
52Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida  
53Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:03:03 
54Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:37 
55Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling0:03:46 
56Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin0:03:53 
57Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek Factory Racing  
58Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling  
59Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
60Benoït Vaugrenard (Fra)  
61Luis Angel Maté Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
62Rein Taaramäe (Est) Astana Pro Team  
63Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha  
64Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:03 
65Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
66Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
67Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida  
68Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing0:04:47 
69Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:50 
70Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:01 
71Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling  
72Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing  
73Julián Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing  
74Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha0:05:58 
75Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:18 
76Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge  
77Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale  
78Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha0:06:53 
79Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team0:06:54 
80Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
81Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
82Simon _pilak (Slo) Team Katusha  
83Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:07:10 
84Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:37 
85Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha  
86Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing0:08:12 
87Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step  
88Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
89Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin0:09:12 
90Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team0:12:01 
91Miguel Ángel Benito Diez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:12:08 
92Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
93Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
94Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:14:40 
95Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida0:15:06 
96Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Pro Team  
DNFRuben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJavier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team  
DNFChristopher Sutton (Aus) Team Sky  
DNFDanny Pate (USA) Team Sky  
DNFStijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
DNFMartin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-Step  
DNFMatteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFPavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFOliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFValerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFAlessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFRick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
DNFGreg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
DNFLoic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
DNFSam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge  
DNFLuke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
DNFMichael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
DNFJan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida  
DNFMario Jorge Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida  
DNFIlia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre-Merida  
DNFLuka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre-Merida  
DNFMikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFBiel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMickael Delage (Fra)  
DNFKévin Reza (Fra)  
DNFArthur Vichot (Fra)  
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra)  
DNFPim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal  
DNFStig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFSean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFJasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFKoen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFThierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFFredrik Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFLars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFZico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFKristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFRamunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
DNFNick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
DNFJos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
DNFMaarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
DNFThomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling  
DNFJarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling  
DNFCarlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFOmar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFLuis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFDaniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFYohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team5 pts
2Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits3 
3Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo3 
4Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team3 
5Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal3 
6Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing2 
7Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2 
8Thomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling2 
9Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin1 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team30 pts
2Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal16 
3Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo14 
4Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team13 
5Thomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling10 
6Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA9 
7Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits8 
8Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge6 
9Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits6 
10Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo6 
11Joaquim Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha4 
12Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team4 
13Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team2 
14Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha2 
15Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin1 
16Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo1 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Astana Pro Team16:32:00 
2Orica GreenEDGE0:01:18 
3Katusha Team0:01:33 
4Etixx - Quick Step  
5BMC Racing Team0:01:42 
6Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr0:02:04 
7Team Cannondale - Garmin0:03:15 
8Team Sky  
9Lotto Soudal0:03:24 
10Cofidis Solutions Crédits0:03:54 
11Ag2r La Mondiale0:04:55 
12Trek Factory Racing0:05:11 
13IAM Cycling0:05:29 
14Tinkoff - Saxo0:05:53 
15Lampre - Merida  
16Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:06:03 
17Movistar Team0:08:12 
18Team Lotto NL - Jumbo0:08:35 
19Team Giant - Alpecin0:12:26 

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